Professing the Creed for the Year of Faith: A Series

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CREDO: Professing the Creed for the Year of Faith

In his Apostolic Letter announcing the Year of Faith, Pope Benedict exhorts us to find a way to publicly profess the creed: “Religious communities as well as parish communities, and all ecclesial bodies old and new, are to find a way, during this Year, to make a public profession of the Credo.”

Although the online community is not a formal ecclesial body, Pope Benedict has previously addressed the reality of believers in this virtual space and the need for those of us who inhabit it to to take on the responsibility for the evangelization of this “digital continent”. Therefore, I think it altogether fitting and proper for those of us who are at home in this digital world to heed this call to “make a public profession of the Credo.”

In building the Archdiocese of Boston’s Year of Faith website Dom included a page on the Nicene Creed hyperlinked to the corresponding sections of the Catechism. I thought that was a pretty awesome idea (and a really beautiful website); but I kept thinking it would be also great if someone were to host something like Jennifer Fulwiler’s series of blog posts on the Lord’s prayer: Our Father, Word by Word and Sarah Reinhard’s Looking Closer at the Hail Mary series. Well, even though I feel completely incompetent to organize such a huge project while six months pregnant with my fifth child, it seems to me that because the idea occurred to me, that someone is…me.

The creed is obviously much too long to take word by word so I have chosen to divide it into phrases instead—47 of them to be precise.  And I have invited some of my favorite bloggers to write a reflection on what one of those phrases means to them. I will post these reflections once a week, beginning this Thursday, October 11, which marks the formal opening of the Year of Faith and is also the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of Vatican II and the tenth anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The series won’t quite stretch to the end of the Year of Faith on the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King, on 24 November 2013; but will take us to the end of August.

Pope Benedict further exhorts us: “We want this Year to arouse in every believer the aspiration to profess the faith in fullness and with renewed conviction, with confidence and hope.” I hope that this series will help us all to make our profession with renewed conviction.

“To rediscover the content of the faith that is professed, celebrated, lived and prayed, and to reflect on the act of faith, is a task that every believer must make his own, especially in the course of this Year.” I hope that you, dear readers, will join us as we contemplate the creed and add your own thoughts and reflections in the comments.

Follow the hyperlinked phrases below to navigate to the individual posts, which will appear every Thursday:

I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.

I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.

I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

21 Responses to Professing the Creed for the Year of Faith: A Series

  1. Jennifer October 10, 2012 at 10:25 am #

    I’m intrigued!

  2. jen ambrose October 10, 2012 at 10:33 am #

    How have I missed this book?

  3. Kathy October 10, 2012 at 1:09 am #

    Y’all have sold me.  Off to place a hold.

  4. Teresa October 10, 2012 at 1:58 am #

    I also love this book. The very first chapter (on Water) was mind blowing for me. I also loved your review, Melanie, and think you have captured the book perfectly.

  5. Danae October 10, 2012 at 6:10 am #

    I love your summary of the book! She changed the way I shopped for food. Instead of going to the store with a list of ingredients to cook specific dishes (although I will still need to do that occasionally), I will just buy basic staples and whatever produce looks good. Then I am free to create whatever comes to me when I am in the kitchen and it does feel like I am making art. Also, if you are interested, she has some really fun videos showing her process of striding ahead and boiling water, etc. She does not speak in the videos but I thought they were really creative:

    http://www.tamareadler.com/2011/10/06/how-to-stride-ahead-part-1-2/

    There is also a part 2, if you like the part 1. Anyway, thanks for sharing your review. I, too, loved this book!

  6. Karen Edmisten October 10, 2012 at 6:45 am #

    Okay, so, I was going to say that my friend Danae introduced me to this book, and told me that it changed the way she cooked but I see Danae has already been here. smile Thanks again, Danae!

    I have never enjoyed croutons as much as I have been enjoying them since I started this book. smile On salads, in soup, and with the joy of knowing that I’m using up stale bread heels and turning them into something delicious.

    Melanie, you write as eloquently as Adler does. I loved this: “Instead, her economy is the economy of the poet writing a sonnet, allowing the constraints of space and ingredients to bloom into something rare and unexpected.”

    I, too, had trouble describing the book. When my sister asked me what it was about, all I could manage was to say, “The writer has an elegant relationship with food, if that makes sense.” She wasn’t sure it did, but you’ve described it beautifully.

  7. Karen Edmisten October 10, 2012 at 6:49 am #

    Oops, I misquoted myself. I apparently said that Adler has a graceful relationship with food. But elegant works, too. smile

  8. Melanie Bettinelli October 10, 2012 at 8:07 am #

    Oh and tonight I made the soup I was dreaming of last night and it was indeed heavenly.

    I sauteed about three quarters of a finely chopped red onion (the other quarter went to my salad), then added a bit of grated ginger and some red pepper flakes. I added some white wine and let it cook down and then tossed in my turnip and carrot mush as well as the leftover sweet potatoes which were really too mushy to eat and kind of stringy too. Then I added some nice chicken stock that I made this afternoon (I save and freeze bags of bones from roast chicken and from buffalo wings that Dom gets from our local pizza place when we get takeout and cook those with all the leftover odds and ends of onion tops and roots and skins and old celery and stems from kale and bits and pieces of all sorts of vegetables. It makes a glorious stock with a few bay leaves and some peppercorns.) At the end I pureed it with my immersion blender and added a few heaping spoonfuls of plain yogurt and some half and half as well as fresh ground pepper and freshly grated nutmeg. Dom ate his with a good dollop of sriracha and that was good too.

    I made the same salad as last night except I added some thinly sliced radishes to the onions and then served with some goat cheese crumbles I’d forgotten about last night. The soup and salad were a perfect meal for a rainy October night.

  9. Julie D. October 11, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

    The best cookbooks are the ones that help set you free from owrry about what you’re cooking. grin

    I’m waiting for the library to get a copy to me … can’t remember what number I am in line. grin

    If you liked this book you may well enjoy M.F.K. Fisher’s How to Cook a Wolf, which I think Adler said inspired her to write a version for today. Fisher’s prose is lovely, her sense of fun (and the ridiculous) is infectious, and it is a fascinating time capsule into wartime rationing.

  10. Melanie Bettinelli October 10, 2012 at 7:58 am #

    Danae,

    Thanks for the video link. I’ll watch it soon, I hope. I’d love to believe that the book will change the way I shop and cook. The only doubts I have about are that I’m reading it in the brief phase of pregnancy when I actually have energy and enthusiasm and (some) time. A couple of months ago I was too sick and tired to even think about food except as a chore to be executed. In another month or so I might be too huge to spend much time on my feet in the kitchen—especially if sciatic rears its ugly head as it has in the past. In January I’ll be recovering from major surgery and nursing a newborn. In my experience a nursing mother, especially one with other small children, has to snatch what dribs and drabs of time she can. Many of Adler’s food ideas are quick and easy; but they also require a certain degree of mental engagement and cooking from a state of enthusiasm. Right now I have it; but will I always? Is it sustainable in the long run?

    In theory, Adler’s principles should work even when you’re pressed for time and energy. But she gives the impression of having plenty of time, of never feeling rushed or needing to squeeze cooking into the spaces left by the demands of homeschooling and child rearing and housekeeping. I hate to step back to be skeptical as I’m being swept away by the beauty of her prose and the joy of cooking. But I know my attitude toward food can change radically depending on the delicate balance of hormones and health and how much sleep everyone in the household has had. 

    Karen,

    Thank you. I think my prose was definitely inspired by Adler’s. I’m not sure I’m going to jump on the crouton bandwagon. Bread heels don’t often happen around here and when they do, well, I tend to already save heels and breadcrusts for breadcrumbs to make meatloaf and salmon cakes and those are about the only two meat dishes Ben will eat and so are in very regular rotation pretty much which uses crusts and heels up at the same rate we make them.

    I agree that both “elegant” and “graceful” work.

    Jennifer, Jen and Kathy, You’ll love it. I look forward to hearing your reviews.

    Thank you, Teresa. I loved the first chapter, too, though I’m still a bit skeptical about boiling foods as much as she suggests.

  11. Enbrethiliel October 12, 2012 at 4:09 am #

    +JMJ+

    Melanie, have you ever heard of the BBC cooking show (now cancelled) Ready Steady Cook? Cross your description of An Everlasting Meal with the folktale Stone Soup, and you have the concept of the show. It’s quite simple: two guests each bring a small bag of groceries costing no more than 7 pounds or so, and the two celebrity chefs each take a bag and try to make as many dishes as they can out of the limited ingredients, in twenty minutes. Of course, there are also basic supplies like flour, butter, (no more than six) eggs each, etc. available. The creativity can be amazing!

    I can totally relate to the guests who bring in the most random bunch of ingredients, saying, “I always have these on hand but have never used them together”—and am totally impressed by the chefs who do manage to put them together in three ways or more!

  12. Melanie Bettinelli October 12, 2012 at 8:17 am #

    Julie, I’ll have to check it out.

    Enbrethiliel, I’ve never heard of it; but it sounds fun. When I’m feeling up to the challenge, I do enjoy trying to come up with recipes to use the random ingredients in my kitchen. It’s always a thrill when I find a use for something that would have otherwise gone to waste.

  13. Kyra October 15, 2012 at 1:15 am #

    Sold. I love food writing, I love cookbooks, and that sounds wonderful. I have just put it on hold at my local bookstore.

  14. The Sojourner October 15, 2012 at 5:59 am #

    As you might know from reading my grocery shopping/meal planning chatter, I am not a very spontaneous person. (In meal planning or in anything else.) I’m one of those types who thrive on routine and predictability and boundaries.

    I still find this book interesting based on your description, though. I have a lot of boundaries imposed on what I can eat by my food aversions and my husband’s digestive problems, and it would be nice to know how to improvise a little more within those boundaries…even if I then took my improvised dishes and added them to the rigid, pre-planned rotation. wink

    I’m very good at improvising desserts and other baked goods because I have a lot of experience and know how the different elements work, so if a dish contains something we don’t have on hand or something one of us can’t or won’t eat it’s easy for me to tweak and get something awesome. It’s like the difference between actually speaking a foreign language and only knowing pre-composed phrases from a phrasebook. But we can’t live off dessert and I am mostly in the “phrasebook” phase of cooking real food. It’s kind of nice when my husband helps because he likes to improvise but has little practical experience (in other words, he’s the opposite of me, cooking-wise); together we can actually pull off some pretty interesting and delicious things. He’s not often up for standing around in the kitchen when it’s time to cook dinner, though; his workday wears him out. So figuring out how to be more spontaneous myself could be an asset. (Yeah, I think I just suggested replacing my husband with a book.)

    I have to run, so no time to proofread, but I hope I got my point across here. Happy cooking!

  15. Melanie Bettinelli October 16, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    That’s what cookbooks are for, right? Suggestions and techniques. Ok, there are *some* recipes I usually follow fairly exactly. Like my pumpkin risotto or moussaka recipes. They are just so stellar that tweaking doesn’t make sense. But most of the time I look at two or three similar recipes and then just sort of adapt and make it up as I go.

    Even with baking I’ve become pretty good at tweaking and improvising. Most muffin recipes, for example, call for far too little fat. They yield unfriendly things that are fine hot from the oven but don’t keep at all. By doubling the fat, I’ve found I can make muffins that will keep for a couple of days. Not quite as much of an issue now that we have four muffin eating kids; but when it was just two toddlers, they didn’t eat a whole batch before I had to toss the hard as rock leftovers. 

    The smoked duck sounds heavenly. I’m so jealous.

  16. Kyra October 16, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

    Ooh, good idea about adding extra fat to make muffins keep. I’ll have to try that. I made a howlingly successful batch of muffins last week from leftover oatmeal and peanut butter and flour and chocolate chips, basing it on the coffee cake I’ve made hundreds of times, and it made me want to bake muffins again, even though spooning the batter into the muffin papers makes me want to hurl everything out the window. I wonder if my kids would still eat them if I made them in cake pans, or if they’d get persnickety about shape.

  17. Melanie Bettinelli October 16, 2012 at 1:37 am #

    I think it occurred to me serendipitously after I’d found one recipe that used an appropriate amount of fat and wondered why they kept so much better. My kids are just as happy with pumpkin bread as pumpkin muffins. But I’m not so annoyed at spooning batter into the muffin cups. I just get annoyed at the cups that hold onto the muffins. Extra fat also solves that problem, by the way. Muffins don’t stick as much when they have enough fat.

  18. Melanie Bettinelli October 15, 2012 at 7:17 am #

    Here’s a great short article by Adler about her first attempt at teaching a cooking class using the book’s method.

    Kyra, Oh I do hope you enjoy!

    Soujourner, I think phrase book vs speaking a language fluently is a great analogy. I think with cooking I’m mostly fluent but sometimes need to look things up in a phrase book or dictionary. I’m still not good enough to be able to do this kind of improvisation when super tired or sick. Tonight i’m having an asthma attack so we ordered pizza and I had leftover risotto and mugfuls of the chicken stock I made last week.

    Now having the chicken stock on hand is rather from Adler’s book. I save all the bones from chickens I roast and from hot wings Dom orders from the pizza place and the necks from the inside of the roaster chicken—just pop them in plastic bags and stick them in the freezer. In another bag I save ends of onions and carrots and peels of the same. Also ends of limp celery, stems from various greens I cook, broccoli, kale, etc. When I have a full bag of bones and a full bag of veggies, I make stock. I first cover the bones with water and bring to a boil. I let it simmer for half an hour, skimming off the icky foam that rises to the top. Then I add in my bag of veggie ends, a couple of bay leaves, a small handful of peppercorns, some cloves of garlic, maybe some herbs if I have any that look good. And I let that all simmer for a couple of hours. Then I strain out all the solids and what is left is pure gold. I put it into containers and freeze it and use it for soups and sauces and as a medicine when sick.

    I don’t do it often enough. Lesson: make more roast chickens. Roasting chickens is for me more about what I do with the leftovers—soups, enchiladas, stock, etc—than about the actual meal of roast chicken.

    As for replacing your husband with a book—- I find that both of us working together have a definite magic in the kitchen. We like to read the same cooking books so have a shared vocabulary. But there are some things I am better at and vice versa. And some things he used to do, like bread baking, that I have become more proficient at because I do it more often. And he’s learned some of my recipes and then improved upon them. It’s a lovely back and forth dance, like all good marriages are.

  19. Kyra October 16, 2012 at 7:59 am #

    Hah, Sojourner, we have the same kind of cooking personality marriage split, except reversed. My husband can’t really cook, and because I am naturally rebellious and anarchic I never follow recipes and mostly cook by feel, so I am the worst person in the world to teach him.

    My husband finds my extensive collection of cookbooks both funny and frustrating, because I never follow the recipes. I love cookbooks, and I read them for suggestions, and sometimes for technique.

    A friend of ours who has a smoker gave us a smoked duck last week, and I pondered about what to do with it until yesterday, when I made a cream sauce with pepper and white wine and petit pois, plus shredded duck, and put it on pasta. It was wonderful, and now I’m happily thinking about the duck stock I have in the fridge, made with the carcass.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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