Notes from someone, who discovered them

“To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often.”

John Henry Cardinal Newman (1845). An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine


“Living movements do not come out of committees.”
John Henry Kardinal Newman (1864). Apologia pro Vita Sua


“Primitive doctrine has been explored for us in every direction, and the original principles of the Gospel and the Church patiently brought to light. But one thing is still wanting: (…) To put them into action: a living Church, made of flesh and blood, with voice, complexion, and motion and action, and a will of its own.”
John Henry Kardinal Newman (1864). Apologia pro Vita Sua

Where we think to know the church well, we are finished with it

It is remarkable that the persons we love most are those we can least describe. We simply love them. And that is exactly what love is, and what is so wonderful about it: that it keeps us in a state of suspense, prepared to follow a person in all his possible manifestations.

We know that every person who is loved feels transformed, unfolded, and he unfolds everything, the most intimate as well as the most familiar, to the one who loves him as well as to himself. That is the exciting, the unpredictable, the truly gripping thing about love: that we never come to the end of the person we love: because we love them; and as long as we love them.

Once we feel we know the other, love is at an end every time, but the cause of that, and the consequence of it, are perhaps not quite as we have always imagined. It is not because we know the other that we cease to love, but vice versa: because our love has come to an end, because its power is expended, that person is finished for us. He must be. We can do no more. We withdraw from him our willingness to participate in further manifestations. We refuse him the right that belongs to all living things to remain ungraspable, and then we are both surprised and disappointed that the relationship has ceased to exist.

„You are not,“ says he or she who has been disappointed, „what I took you for.“ And what was that? For a mystery – which after all is what a human being is – for an exciting puzzle of which one has become tired. And so one creates for oneself an image. That is the loveless act, the betrayal.

From: Max Frisch, Sketchbook 1946-1949

Rediscovering the lost wholeness

The ‘social disease’ of antisemitism is also a Christian disease in its core. In the deepest sense, this antisemitic disease appears as the Christians suffering of the metaphysical and moral aspirations of the Christian religion itself. Christian antisemitism is the cancer in the body of Christianity, destroying the foundation that has created it.

Christianity must overcome this disastrous separation. This can only be achieved if it does not further subdue the separated Jewish part, but reintegrates it. Initiating this process is at the same time a theological, pastoral and spiritual task. Its aim must be to rediscover the Jew Jesus – the ‘wisdom of Israel’ – for Christianity and to integrate him into the Christian credo. This is the perspective of Christianity after Auschwitz. And therein lies also the chance to resolve the shadows that obscure Christianity.

This won't help the Christian religion thrive in the secular and post-secular world, but it would help to regain its lost wholeness, credibility and dignity ...

Translated from: Maximilian Gottschlich, Unerlöste Schatten. Die Christen und der neue Antisemitismus (2015)

Nobody turns around to look at her anymore

A new catholic bible translation has been published with a new register: 62 pages full of beautiful new words. In vain I look through the pages for words like “unanimity”... “gathering”... “succession”... “discipleship”.

Precisely these are the things I would have been interested in. It's just like “Miss Universe” has lost all her jewelry, her peculiarity. Does what's lost reveal what we should look for? pez


The man of the majority reluctantly looks at the one disturbing his comfortable rest, and his natural inclination may only lead to stoning him.

But woe to the body of Christ, if his ordinary limbs succeeded in this. It is the blessing of the church that independent, high-spirited minds constantly stir up and shake up the stagnating life of their everyday children.

From: Erich Przywara, Early Religious Writings (1917)

Similar to soccer?

A Hebrew-speaking magazine writes about the first president of FC Bayern, Kurt Landauer: “Landauer shaped the special traits of the club; he made it international, he employed foreign Ma'aminim and organised buying the property in the Säbener Street (Säbenerstraße).”

“Ma'aminim?”, the translating reader might ask himself, “What's that? Derived from ‘Emuna’ – faith? ‘Emun’ – trust?  ‘Leha'amin’ – belief? Who did Kurt Landauer hire then? Foreign trusting ones? Maybe faithful devotees of the club?” The dictionary might help: “leha'amin” – to believe – “le'emon” – to raise somebody – “le'amen” – to teach, to train, to educate – “lehit'amen” – to practise, to train. We got it: he hired foreign trainers, just like the other ones would do it later. ... – “Omanut” – art – “Umanut” – crafts. The very same root. The unforeseen variety of meanings allures to think of some etymological scenarios: does that mean: soccer players are secular believers? Or: faith as a team sport? And: faith means to just keep it rolling? Or, in a plain way: believing always means learning? mas

Sunday, gander, wings

Imagine geese had their own service. Each Sunday they would gather around one preaching gander.

The substantial content of the preaching would be: what a high purpose the goose has, what a divine function the Creator – with all geese curtsying and all ganders bowing when this word was spoken – has chosen for the goose; with the help of their wings, they could fly off to distant regions and blessed realms. The same each Sunday. Afterwards, the convention would split up, everyone toddling home, to their own stove. Next Sunday to the service again, followed by going home - that would be all, they would thrive and become fat, rounded and delicious - and then, they would be eaten on St. Martin's Day – and that's all. That's because while the preaching on sunday sounded that ceremonious, the geese would tell each other on Monday what happened to a goose that tried to make use of the wings the Creator gave her along with the divine purpose he had in mind for her, how she had been, what terrible horrors she had to endure. There were some geese among them that looked like they were suffering, and became thin. Those geese were referred to as bad examples of how you would end up when you take that wish of using your wings to fly seriously. They silently tinker with the wish of flying, therefore they become thin, stop thriving, lacking the grace of God that we have as we become fat, rounded and delicious because the grace of God makes you fat, rounded, delicious. On the next Sunday, they went to service again, and the old gander preached of the divine function which the Creator (here the geese curtsied, and the ganders bowed) had in mind for the goose and of the purpose of the wings.

Translated from: S. Kierkegaard, Diary, 3.-12.12.1854 (1854)

Perceptions of reforms

During an oecumenic event celebrating Martin Luther, a bishop of an Alpine diocese judged the present perceptions of reforms:

“Everyone talking about reforms nowadays is primarily asking: How could a structural reform lead to as many savings in expenditures and staff as possible while gaining as much productivity and output as possible? 40 or 50 years ago, reform meant: You can start something new in the world, you could initiate a project and you'll get lots of money and staff for it.”

In contrast, Hans Urs von Balthasar: “Reforms never originate in glueing together broken pieces. Instead: ‘A sprig sprouts from Isai's stub, and a sapling comes from its root stock.’” mim

The Christo effect

The plannings for the “Floating Piers” by Christo have started more than forty years ago, supported by his wife Jeanne-Claude who passed away in the meantime.

Carefully realised and freely funded, they enabled everyone to stroll on gold-orange panels of fabric for kilometers, over the North Italian lake Lago D'Iseo and through the old town on its island, for sixteen days this summer. “For the first time since humans settled here, the island in the lake is accessible not only via boat, but also by foot” - that's the way the artist describes his project idea. On the water, the strollers took off their shoes and enjoyed the feeling of the movement of the waves beneath their feet through the fabric and the floats. Here you can see the original, underlying idea that the artist's lifework is based on: transforming a location in a surprising way that dignifies it while creating a different experience on a completely new level. Supported by lots of people, the location literally becomes an attraction. Thus, many come to experience it, knowing that the time spent on moments like that is precious. ses

June 27th – international day of scent

According to the new “festival calendar” – which seems to gradually replace the old calendar of saints – June 27th is the international day of scent.

Hearing that, I remembered that Paul wrote to his people in Korinth shortly after Jesus' death: “We are Christ's fragrance for God among those that are saved and among those that are lost.”

Paul says the same as a Jewish Midrash did, comparing the people of Israel who are scattered to the four winds to a toppled and fractured perfume bottle whose scent spread everywhere. ang