Archive for April, 2008

The Pilgrimage of Egeria mentioned the “Acts of St. Thecla”, so here you go. It’s probably more legend than truth, which is the same thing that happened to other early holy women. (Think of St. Brigid! “She was a canoness or a nun. She sang the Hours a lot and did good works, and sometimes miracles happened” is not as much fun as “And then, she hung her big woolly cloak on a sunbeam!”)  Anyway, it’s definitely got some exciting stuff in it. (Lionesses! The Holy Spirit zapping man-eating seals to death!) You’ve also got somebody’s idea of what a sermon by St. Paul would’ve been like and a physical description of him.

I totally forgot to include information on Thecla’s ultimate mission destination, Seleucia in Isauria, and confused it with Iconium. (Oops.) So I will be re-recording those bits.

Appendix 2: Iconium and the Acts of St. Thecla.


In antiquity, we have a treatise on baptism from Tertullian (before he went Montanist, apparently) against a female Cainite cult leader who claimed, among other things, that baptism was unnecessary. Being Tertullian, the talk includes lots of good info and reasoning, lots of nasty insults, and the following cute comment:

“But we, being little fishes, as Jesus Christ is our great Fish, begin our life in the water, and only while we abide in the water are we safe and sound.”

Anyway, one of this heretic chick’s arguments was that, since Thecla was sent out as an evangelist (little-a apostle), she could teach and preach; and that since Thecla was miraculously baptized by the Holy Spirit and desire, everybody else didn’t need water baptism or formal baptism at all. Tertullian argues against this (not addressing the little-a apostle Junia, which is interesting), and says “let men know that in Asia the presbyter who compiled that document, thinking to add of his own to Paul’s reputation, was found out, and though he professed he had done it for love of Paul, was deposed from his position.”

(Tertullian also says that laymen – laicis – have the power to baptize in emergencies, and that baptism can be “administered by all”. He then goes on to rant about how women don’t have the right to baptize. Apparently what he means is that women can baptize in emergencies by virtue of their priestly office as lay Christians; but that they cannot run around formally having baptism sessions for all and sundry, as a priest or deacon or bishop could.)

Anyway, it seems to me that Thecla’s baptism scene is supposed to be an illustration of a baptism of desire, except that for once the baptized person survives. See what you think.

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The Pilgrimage of Egeria continues, with an account of the Epiphany services in Bethlehem and Jerusalem.

Part 7: Epiphany Liturgies.


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The Worm Ouroboros continues rushing toward its conclusion. King Gorice considers the nuclear option, and battle is joined beneath the walls of Carce.

Chapter 31B


There’s only two more chapters after this. So if you’ve been waiting to jump in on this book, now is a very good time!

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The Moon Pool continues, with a shocking ending to the great amphitheatre prayer meeting.

Chapter 19: The Madness of Olaf.


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Over at the Sonic Society, you might want to listen to “The Queer Feet” and “Three Tools of Death”.

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An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine continues. The discussion of the Monophysites concludes.

Chapter 6i


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An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine continues. Newman examines the beginnings of the Monophysites, and the events of the Council of Chalcedon.

Chapter 6H: The Monophysites.


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The library image is from the famous monastery of St. Gall. (Tons of patristic material there, of course.) The painting is by Schedoni.

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Legacy continues, as Trigger is finally briefed on what’s going on with her — so far as anybody knows about it.

Chapter 17


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The Ring and the Book continues, as our proponent of a third explanation talks about Pompilia and Guido’s marriage problems.

Book 4B


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The First Letter of Clement concludes.

“On account of the Love he bore us, Jesus Christ our Lord gave His blood for us by the will of God; His flesh for our flesh, and His soul for our souls.”

Part 3


Clement I was the fourth pope, serving somewhere around AD 88-99. Tradition associates him with the  Clement in Philippians 4:3; so does an allusion in the First Letter. Tradition also records that he was imprisoned under Emperor Trajan at Chersonesus, ministered to his fellow prisoners, and eventually was executed by being dumped in the sea tied to an anchor.

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he First Letter of Clement continues, with more talk to the Corinthians about unity, peace, and the ultimate goal — eternal life with God.

“How blessed and wonderful, beloved, are the gifts of God! Life in immortality, splendour in righteousness, truth in perfect confidence, faith in assurance, self-control in holiness! And all these fall under the cognizance of our understandings [now]; what then shall those things be which are prepared for such as wait for Him? The Creator and Father of all worlds, the Most Holy, alone knows their amount and their beauty.”

Part 2


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In honor of Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the US, I thought I’d post something from one of his very early predecessors: The First Letter of Clement. It’s another letter to those darned Corinthians!

Part 1


“These things, beloved, we write to you, not merely to admonish you of your duty, but also to remind ourselves. For we are struggling in the same arena, and the same conflict is assigned to both of us.”

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The Pilgrimage of Egeria continues, with the beginning of a long look at how they pray the liturgy of the hours in Jerusalem.

Part 6: Daily and Sunday Offices in Jerusalem.


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The Pilgrimage of Egeria continues as she takes a brief trip to Antioch, Iconium, and Tarsus. Very brief.

Part 5: Antioch to Tarsus to Constantinople.


I will be recording another appendix so that you can hear “The Acts of St. Thecla”, and there’s a bunch of information in the very extensive introductory material to this book that I’ll also give you. Just not this week. Sorry.

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