I’m a philosopher at heart. If I had to label myself as a philosopher — I mean, if someone were to ask, “What are you, an Aristotelian, Thomist, Neo-Platonist, Kantian, Heideggarian…?” — I’d either say Yes, or else I’d probably end up like this guy:
Biltirix began as a Cultural Apologitics blog in 2011. Somewhere along the line, our attention shifted toward Catholic spirituality with a strong focus on liturgical life. It eventually became misleading to use the label “Cultural Apologetics for the New Evangelization,” as some commenters on the blog mentioned. Thank you for pointing that out!
Everyone agrees it’s important to do what you say and say what you do. What we do here at Biltrix is “liturgical logic.” And here’s what we mean by that.
My first love in Philosophy was Aristotle, the Father of Logic. But the logic of Aristotle (categorical, modal, and whatnot) is not the logic of liturgy. Liturgical logic is based in the logic of analogy, which is a messy field, but if you’re really in the mood for some Medieval pedantry, you’ll find an ample dose of it here: Medieval Theories of Analogy, @ Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (only the best!).
For our purposes, the kind of logical analogy we’re interested in is the type you are probably most familiar with, namely, the simile/metaphor or the extended version thereof, commonly called allegory.
My approach to interpreting, understanding, and living the life of the Church, is to dive in and meditate on the allegory of Scripture presented in the readings for the Mass throughout the liturgical year.
My hope is that the blog posts themselves will make it crystal clear what we mean by liturgical logic. For those who want to accelerate their learning and intensify their knowledge of Sacred Scripture in order to deepen their life of faith and prayer, or just understand the liturgy better, here are a couple of recommended sources.
- Understanding the Scriptures, a Complete Course, by Scott Hahn
- The Bible Project Video Series (also on YouTube)
In Understanding the Scriptures, Scott Hahn does an excellent job engaging the reader and providing the tools to interpret the story of Salvation History in the Bible. It’s masterfully written so that young and adult students can grasp and put to use the key concepts he teaches for understanding the Scriptures. For our purposes, we would like to draw attention to his presentation on the senses of Scripture, which are the literal sense and the spiritual sense. The spiritual sense is subdivided into three distinct aspects: the moral, allegorical, and anagogic (a big fancy word meaning “the eternal perspective”). So all together we can treat them as “the four senses of Scripture.” Hahn emphasizes that while we must try to understand the literal sense first, the moral, allegorical, and anagogic senses are indispensable keys to unlocking the full meaning of the text. Here, we will give due consideration to all of these aspects when presenting the connections between liturgical readings on any given Sunday. The one we will spend more time unpacking will usually be the allegorical sense.
The Bible Project videos present a range of topics related to reading and interpreting the Scriptures. They cover every book of the Bible in picture board format and also treat various groups of books in the Bible thematically. My favorite videos deal with word studies that delve deeper into the Hebrew philology. Clear and simple, yet deep and enriching, each video is aimed at enabling the layperson to study and pray with the Scriptures with confidence. Each video is around six minutes long, on average, but packed with easy to grasp information and insights on the Scriptures. CAVEAT: they are binge worthy. You could spend hours watching these videos, though in my opinion, it would be time well spent leaning about the word of God. Here’s a sample of what I’m talking about.
My desire is to cover the readings for Sundays and Solemnities throughout the liturgical year and share some insights based on the four senses of Scripture, focusing mainly on the allegorical sense, to make some connections between the Gospel and the other readings for that day, within the context of their respective Liturgical Season.
And because I know myself well enough to admit that I just can’t help myself, I might as well say it now. Every once and a while, I get off topic and show a bit of my quirky side, like this guy…