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Joy to the World > Chapters 5 thru 7

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message 1: by Manny (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 3914 comments Mod
Summary

Chapter 5: “Mary: Cause of Our Joy”
Hahn provides a historical and theological justification for the Virgin Birth, for Mary’s role in salvation history and her continued importance in our lives as Christians.

Chapter 6: “Silent Knight, Holy Knight”
Hahn shows the importance and significance of Joseph’s fatherhood to Christ.

Chapter 7: “Angels: Echoing Their Joyous Strains”
Throughout the Christmas story, angels supply guidance, wisdom, prayer, and protection, and the holy family is open to it.


message 2: by Celia (last edited Dec 16, 2018 05:18AM) (new)

Celia (cinbread19) | 75 comments Chapter 5 starts with a paragraph of artistic works depicting Mary.

Question: What is your favorite depiction?

Mine is the Sistine Madonna. Wikipedia article about it can be found
here


message 3: by Kerstin (last edited Dec 16, 2018 08:47AM) (new)

Kerstin | 1435 comments Mod
Celia wrote: "Chapter 5 starts with a paragraph of artistic works depicting Mary.

Question: What is your favorite depiction?

Mine is the Sistine Madonna. Wikipedia article about it can be found
here"


Oh my gosh, I don't know where to start! I love so many.
For many years I've been in the habit of copying pictures/paintings/art from the internet and collect them in my screen saver folder on my laptop. I have quite a few Marian depictions in all kinds of styles, but for most of them I didn't make a note who did them. Here is a selection of what I did find in a quick search:

Botticelli:
https://neweyesonart.files.wordpress....
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-v98LiQ-cDNw...

Others:
https://i.pinimg.com/736x/96/fa/bc/96...
https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4182/33...


message 4: by Manny (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 3914 comments Mod
I never really thought about it. That Raphael is very nice Celia.

I agree with Kerstin, there are too many. I have had a preference for the Annunciation, and perhaps Leonardo's version may be the best:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annunci...

Or perhaps Fra Lilippo's
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annunci...

Or maybe the simplicity of Fr Angelico's:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...

As to Madoanna and child, perhaps Leonardo again:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...

As a Dominican at heart, I should put in Lorenzo Lotto's, "Madonna of the Rosary" with the Blessed Mother handing the rosary to St. Dominic and St Catherine of Siena on the side:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...

Zoom in on that; the Madonna's face is exquisitely painted.

Also, I should mention the Catholic Thought banner we recently selected that sits atop our book club main page. It's called the Dresden Triptich by Jan van Eyck, and the center piece is a beautiful Madonna and Child. The way Kerstin cropped it really highlights the Blessed Mother, but you can see the entire painting here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dresden...


message 5: by Celia (new)

Celia (cinbread19) | 75 comments On another chapter 5 note, I loved this chapter because of all the suppositions about Mary: how she learned the bible, how she might have been involved in the temple, the comments about her virginity and the celibacy of her male contemporaries. My husband wanted to know about how Mary was related to Elizabeth and Hahn addressed that, not with a definitive answer, but I still appreciated the possibilities. I love historical fiction. This chapter read likethat to me: a possible story based on facts.

One more: Mary is a virgin, not because sex is bad, but because we must emphasize that Jesus is the Son of God.

LOVED this chapter!!


message 6: by Kerstin (new)

Kerstin | 1435 comments Mod
Here is another lovely Annunciation - by Bernadino Penturicchio
http://www.photofromtheworld.com/img/...


message 7: by Manny (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 3914 comments Mod
Celia wrote: "On another chapter 5 note, I loved this chapter because of all the suppositions about Mary: how she learned the bible, how she might have been involved in the temple, the comments about her virgini..."

I loved this chapter too Celia. The book reads so simply, but there is so much information I never knew.


message 8: by Manny (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 3914 comments Mod
Kerstin wrote: "Here is another lovely Annunciation - by Bernadino Penturicchio
http://www.photofromtheworld.com/img/..."


That is stunning Kerstin! That my be my new favorite.


message 9: by Celia (new)

Celia (cinbread19) | 75 comments Just the first paragraph in chapter 5 is compelling me to research Marian art. So many beautiful examples to review.


message 10: by Kerstin (new)

Kerstin | 1435 comments Mod
Manny wrote: "The book reads so simply, but there is so much information I never knew."

Yes! I was thinking along the same lines. Hahn incorporates so many details and they seamlessly flow from sentence to sentence.


message 11: by Kerstin (new)

Kerstin | 1435 comments Mod
Manny wrote: "Kerstin wrote: "Here is another lovely Annunciation - by Bernadino Penturicchio
That is stunning Kerstin! That my be my new favorite."


It is a new favorite of mine too :) An article I read recently had as the picture the detail of the angel, which caught my eye immediately, so I looked up the photo credit.


message 12: by Kerstin (new)

Kerstin | 1435 comments Mod
Celia wrote: "Just the first paragraph in chapter 5 is compelling me to research Marian art. So many beautiful examples to review."

I find a lot of these with the title page of the 'Magnificat' devotional and their art essay. Or Catholic blogs, Word on Fire, etc. when they are used as pictures to accompany an article. Most of the time there is a credit on the bottom of the article. And it is not just Marian art, but Christian religious art in general.
No other woman in history has been the subject of art than Mary. Even the National Geographic did an article once. I remember buying the issue and was ultimately disappointed. From their secular stance they did a decent article, but from a Catholic perspective they completely missed her significance.


message 13: by Manny (last edited Dec 16, 2018 09:05PM) (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 3914 comments Mod
Hahn seems to think the “most controversial aspect” of Mary is her virginity. Would that be because of her conceiving a child without “knowing man” or that it would be unlikely she maintained her virginity throughout her life? Neither strike me as that controversial in my mind. I think this is the key passage regarding her virginity. Hahn is looking at the Isaiah prophecy of a "virgin" bearing a son.
We cannot read Isaiah’s mind, but we can read his context. The passage opens with the challenge: “Ask a sign of the LORD your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven” (Isaiah 7:11). He seems to be talking about a momentous sign, something indisputably miraculous. A virgin bearing a son would indeed be such a singular event. A “young woman” bearing a son would be unremarkable and underwhelming, as signs go.

Thus we can probably trust the authority of the Septuagint—which enjoyed a semi-official status in the Jewish diaspora and was uninfluenced by later Christian-Jewish disputes.

Mary’s virginal motherhood is a sign. It is not, however, a statement against the goodness of sex, as some heretics later claimed it was. It is rather a guarantee of God’s fatherhood—God is the only possible father of Jesus—and at the same time it is recognition of Mary’s special status as the mother of the Messiah. She was, as such, a vessel of the divine. Her body was, in a sense, like the golden vessels dedicated for Temple service. It was forbidden to use such chalices and plates at even the most dignified royal banquet. Likewise, her womb, having borne the Savior, could not return to ordinary activity, no matter how good, no matter how blessed.

Her perpetual virginity was fitting and proper to her unique role in the history of salvation. It is interesting to note that for the early Christians she was “the Virgin”—as if she had a special claim on the noun and required the definite article. It is the same grammatical construction found in the earliest Hebrew manuscripts of Isaiah 7:14. (p. 56-7)


That is an interesting comparison, Mary’s body as holy chalices and plates. Knowing what I know of Judaism strict dietary and purity laws, that comparison is perfect.


message 14: by Manny (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 3914 comments Mod
Kerstin wrote: "Manny wrote: "Kerstin wrote: "Here is another lovely Annunciation - by Bernadino Penturicchio
That is stunning Kerstin! That my be my new favorite."

It is a new favorite of mine too :) An article ..."


Those arches that structure the painting suggest a womb, an allusion to the Blessed Mother's holy womb.


message 15: by Manny (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 3914 comments Mod
The most startling thing about the St. Joseph chapter I thought was the title, "Silent Knight, Holy Knight."

I never thought of St. Joseph as a knight, but it is very apt. He is the protector, he is the good guy, the strong silent type. Scott Hahn always seems to have a fresh perspective that is spot on.

I got a really good laugh out of this sentence:
No one, I'm afraid, will ever write even a single paragraph about me with the title "Scott the Silent."



message 16: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 185 comments Manny wrote: "Hahn seems to think the “most controversial aspect” of Mary is her virginity. Would that be because of her conceiving a child without “knowing man” or that it would be unlikely she maintained her v..."
I've often thought of Mary as the first tabernacle since within her womb she bore the Body of Christ.


message 17: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 185 comments I love "worship is what angels do". How much can we learn from the angels. May we be inspired to worship God in everything we do!


message 18: by Lucy (new)

Lucy | 2 comments Really thankful to each of you who shared your favorite depictions of Our Lady. Great Question Cecilia. I had not come across them all, but loved each of them!

All three chapters this week were really splendid. I really enjoyed his chapter on the angels, and how key their role is in salvation history. I regularly pray the St Michael Prayer and the prayer to my Guardian Angel. I still feel I could draw on their strength more often.


message 19: by Manny (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 3914 comments Mod
I have to apologize for not participating in the past few days. I have been under the weather and trying to rest in bed when home. Finally feeling a little better but now I'm behind n Christmas shopping. I have opened the folder for the next set of chapters. I'll probably come back to these chapters with some of my thoughts when I get a chance.


message 20: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 185 comments Hope you continue on the road to full health, Manny


message 21: by Manny (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 3914 comments Mod
Lisa wrote: "Hope you continue on the road to full health, Manny"

I'm feeling better Lisa, thank you.


message 22: by Madeleine (new)

Madeleine Myers | 650 comments To Manny: Get well soon!

Once again I'm struck by more Old Testament//New Testament parallel stories. First, (Chapter 6) Joseph of the OT and Joseph of the NT: Both are sons of Jacob; both receive messages from God in dreams; both were righteous and chaste; both saved their families by bringing them to Egypt; and both were descended from David.

Second, (Chapter 7) the fallen angels in the OT and Herod in the NT; both refused to pay homage to God, especially if He appears in a form which they deemed as inferior to them; as Herod seeks to kill Jesus by slaughtering all infant boys in his age range, so Satan destroyed the first family of God by turning Eve and Adam toward disobedience; Satan and Herod are both motivated against God through pride and envy and their own desire to take on a divine nature.

And last, this isn't really in Hahn's book, but Mary, the "new Eve," who will carry the person of God's new covenant, is often considered as the NT Ark of the Covenant. Bishop Barron, on his reflection on today's Gospel, compares the "leap" in Elizabeth's womb when she greets Mary to David's dancing before the Ark in the OT. ( I just love this one.)


message 23: by Manny (last edited Dec 27, 2018 09:11PM) (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 3914 comments Mod
I found this passage incredibly insightful on St. Joseph’s fatherhood.

Joseph’s vocation is to be an earthly image of Jesus’s heavenly Father. God is more Father than any man on earth, though he fathers without gender, without body, without sexual organs or a sexual act, and without a spouse. God’s fatherhood is not primarily physical, but rather spiritual. The fatherhood of Joseph is spiritual and real, though virginal, just as the fatherhood of God is spiritual and nonphysical.

Saint Joseph then serves, then, as an icon of God the Father, and even Jesus would have thought of him in that way… (p. 69-70)


One certainly realizes that St. Joseph is Jesus’ foster father, but in being a non-bearing father he emulates God’s Fatherhood to us all. What’s also fascinating is that studies show that it’s the father’s faith in a family that tends to get passed onto the children. If the father of a family is devout, the children have a much higher chance of retaining the faith, especially the sons. So this notion of the father as being an icon of God the Father is important to all our lives.


message 24: by Manny (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 3914 comments Mod
I was really surprised to find three theories as to why Joseph decides to divorce Mary. (1) The suspicion theory: Joseph suspects Mary of adultery. (2) The perplexity theory: Joseph couldn’t figure out how Mary got pregnant but couldn’t attribute adultery. (3) The reverence theory: Joseph knew of the Holy Spirit’s impregnating her and didn’t consider himself worthy. Hahn finds the third theory the most satisfying.

I had never heard of the other two theories, and I don’t find the perplexity and reverence theories all that plausible. The support for those theories is rather tenuous. The suspicion theory is the only one that seems to fit. Anyone think differently?


message 25: by Kerstin (new)

Kerstin | 1435 comments Mod
Generally speaking, we don't spend as much time with Joseph as we do with Mary. Devotion to him has waxed and waned over the centuries as well.

In his own way he had his own fiat moment, mirroring that of the Blessed Virgin, when he consented to God's plan. Though it is clear he wrestled with the situation and the angelic vision in a dream helped him to focus in the right direction. Whereas Mary's consent was before the event, Joseph is presented with the unexpected pregnancy. We also have to keep in mind that Joseph was chosen by God too, a man with the right faithful disposition to do his part out of his own free will.

I imagine Joseph went through a whole set of emotions and reactions when presented with the facts. I see the three theories Hahn presents not so much as one over the others but an intertwining of all three until his clarifying dream.


message 26: by Celia (new)

Celia (cinbread19) | 75 comments Comments on Chapter 6
Silent Knight, Holy Knight
Yes.. the Silent Knight, whose words are never mentioned in the Bible.
Quotes to ponder:
1) God’s fatherhood is perfect, so we know that fatherhood is not primarily physical, but rather spiritual.
2) For the sake of Christ he (Joseph) experienced persecution, exile and the poverty which this entails. He had to settle far from his native town. His only reward was to be with Christ. It is the only reward any Christian, father or mother, should hope for.


message 27: by Celia (new)

Celia (cinbread19) | 75 comments Comments on Chapter 7
Angels: Echoing Their Joyous Strains
Angels were created to love and serve the Lord. He asked them to worship the Son, who would be human. Some refused because they thought this was beneath them. We call this group the Fallen Angels.
Quote: Yet he (God) also created them to be free, because only free creatures can experience love. Love cannot be coerced, or it ceases to be love.
So many beautiful words were shared about the angels.
I will share 1 quote:
A gathering of angels is a clear and unmistakable sign of God’s presence and his favor.
And to end the chapter:
And that’s how Christmas changed everything. By establishing the conditions for our adoption as children of God—by bringing about a certain identification between man and God in Jesus Christ.
***BEAUTIFUL***


message 28: by Manny (last edited Jan 03, 2019 06:54AM) (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 3914 comments Mod
Those are excellent highlights of Chapter 6 Celia. Being the father of an adopted son, I'm strengthened by #1 and completely agree on #2.


message 29: by Manny (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 3914 comments Mod
Celia wrote: "So many beautiful words were shared about the angels.
I will share 1 quote:
A gathering of angels is a clear and unmistakable sign of God’s presence and his favor.
And to end the chapter:
And that’s how Christmas changed everything. By establishing the conditions for our adoption as children of God—by bringing about a certain identification between man and God in Jesus Christ.
***BEAUTIFUL*** ."


That is beautiful. That last one is particularly important, which I'll add to when I comment on Chapter 14. It's part of the very important quest Hahn asks in that chapter, why did God become man?


message 30: by Celia (new)

Celia (cinbread19) | 75 comments Manny wrote: "Celia wrote: "So many beautiful words were shared about the angels.
I will share 1 quote:
A gathering of angels is a clear and unmistakable sign of God’s presence and his favor.
And to end the chap..."


Thanks for your comments, Manny. I got behind on reading this astounding book, but will have it done with my comments by Sat or Sun. I AM blown away from what I am learning in this book.


message 31: by Kerstin (new)

Kerstin | 1435 comments Mod
Celia wrote: "I AM blown away from what I am learning in this book."

Isn't it astounding how much information Hahn puts into every chapter? And it is so accessible. I think this is one of the books that I will always go back to to re-read a chapter or two, or even the whole thing, because one cannot retain it all in the first reading.


message 32: by Celia (new)

Celia (cinbread19) | 75 comments Kerstin wrote: "Celia wrote: "I AM blown away from what I am learning in this book."

Isn't it astounding how much information Hahn puts into every chapter? And it is so accessible. I think this is one of the book..."


I agree Kerstin. I have friends in a Small Church. I will recommend to them as well. (Small Church 10 to 12 who meet and share on a weekly basis.


message 33: by Kerstin (new)

Kerstin | 1435 comments Mod
Here is an article that ties in nicely with the archeological evidence we have. He book mentioned, Mystery of the Magi: The Quest to Identify the Three Wise Men would make a nice Christmas read in the future :)

https://www.crisismagazine.com/2018/m...


message 34: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 185 comments Thank nyiu


message 35: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 185 comments Thank you, Kerstin, for sharing this.


message 36: by Kerstin (new)

Kerstin | 1435 comments Mod
You're welcome, Lisa :)


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