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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I'll be honest: Origen's commentary on Romans has had a huge impact on my decision to become Catholic, but in ways I did not expect. It was actually the soteriological continuity (in a sacramental synergism) between he and Augustine (yes, you'll be fine, just breathe) that has made it tons easier to see, understand, and believe what the bishops taught at the Council of Trent, which is itself a restatement of Thomas Aquinas, applied to those present difficulties. Once I saw that Thomas, though brilliant in any case, was not the product of some corrupt medievalism but instead simply built upon what had always been believed, it was all academic from there. Hey Reformed people: That Paul Helm dude is good; I definitely enjoyed reading that guy's blog. Regent; I should have known.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A reader of the blog asked me how Albert Pujols's struggles this season affect his free-agent prospects this winter, and I forgot to answer it. I answer that Pujols has not adversely affected his value at all. Before his hopefully minor injury today, he had gone 3 for 3 with a home run--bringing his season total to a non-meager 17--and raising his batting mark to .279. A normal Pujols batting mark is anywhere in the neighborhood of .315-.340, with a frightening boat-load of runs batted in (RBI) and runs scored. Put simply, unless he is badly hurt and misses a great deal of time, the monster is becoming locked in. The reason seasonal averages are still important in baseball is that no player, no matter how great, is unmitigated terror-inducing perfect all the time. But the truly great ones can slog it out over 162 games, put up the numbers, and make you tremble in fear as the opponent most of the time (in other words, Pujols). He's gonna make a borderline unholy amount of money this winter, and frankly, rightly so. I think he's the best player I ever saw. So far, anyway.
I went to Mass with my family (my brother, sister-in-law, and nephew) this afternoon. Worth noting that the 'LifeTeen' or maybe 'Life Teen' nature of this Mass generally means the songs will be catchy and simple, though why this is so is a mystery to me. [Rant deleted] [Praise the Lord!--ed.] Hey, our reader enjoys my rants. [Lies.--ed.] Anyway, the eldest member of the pastoral staff was retiring today, and this old priest gave ample evidence of having "priested," as it were, for quite some time. [Fitting, whatever I think of the whole thing, to have him retire on Father's Day.--ed.] I thought so. The homily was adequate; this being Trinity Sunday, he noted that the entirety of human history has been a wrestling to understand God, which in some sense is futile, because we will never exhaust Him, or get a handle on his character and majesty. Still, we try. And in Jesus Christ, we get the fullest picture of God; he is God, after all, and He shows us the Father. John 3:16 was contained in the Gospel reading; I understand mentioning the boundless love in this verse; what I do not understand is failing to mention what unbelief earns one, and a brief exhortation to take heed. Let me say this: I absolutely believe that Peter's successor is holding the keys of the Kingdom, and that all Christ's ministers and people ought to be in union with him. With that said, evangelical Protestant pastors NEVER miss the opportunity to exhort someone in a sermon to a robust and living faith in Christ or else, and certainly not when thrown the softball of John 3:16-18. I'm just sayin'.
In related news, if they keep using Protestant songs, as familiar and warm as that is, they may be harming the Church's case for itself. Obvious Perception #1: "Well, I guess the differences between us and other Christians are not significant." (false) Obvious Perception #2: "Well, I guess there's some core of the gospel that we all share (true, to a point) and our specific practices are just The Way We Do Things." (false) Not good. [People probably don't know those are Protestant.--ed.] True, but I doubt that makes it better. There's a third perception that's utterly disastrous that comes from a Protestant: "See, we were right all along!" Which isn't helpful at arriving where we all need to go. [I'm offended.--ed.] Good; prove my claims false. Give it everything you have. I'll be waiting when it's over, and so will the Church.