Dr George Corbett reflects on another long-weekend of Thomistic philosophy and theology at CEPHAS 2018.
‘What is man? What is the meaning and purpose of our life? What is good and what is sin? [...] What is freedom and what is its relationship to the truth towards which we tend? What is the role of conscience in man’s moral development?’ These are just some of the questions posed by the encyclical Veritatis Splendor [The Splendour of the Truth] (1993), published on the 25th anniversary of Humanae Vitae (1968) and on the 15th anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s death (6 August 1978). In it, Pope John-Paul II provided a new presentation of the ‘Thomistic doctrine of natural law’ which, he affirmed, the Church has always included ‘in her own teaching on morality’ (VS, 44).
By Sr Ann Catherine Swailes o.p. Address given at the Fisher Mass 2018
Why are we here this afternoon? Another way of framing that question would be to borrow words from our first reading and ask, with the seer of the apocalypse, who are these, clothed in white robes, and whence have they come? When we speak of St John Fisher as a member of that white robed army of martyrs, what kind of a claim are we making for him, and what can it possibly have to do with us? What, in other words, is martyrdom, and why should we care about it? Is there even any sense we can possibly make, on this sunny Bank holiday afternoon in Cambridge, of the notion that martyrdom might be our vocation? After all, there must have been sunny spring time afternoons in the Cambridge career of St John Fisher when this would have seemed as unthinkable as perhaps it does to us.
Click here for the Lamentations of Jeremiah
This was sung last year at Tenebrae. If you want to hear it live, Tenebrae is hld at Blackfriars Cambridge on Good Friday nd Holy Saturday. For further information visit the Friary website