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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Suffering

I've done a measure. Not enough. And I don't deserve all the lightness I do have. But here's the thing: God is not beyond it; He's in it. I'm no great saint, but I know this. Maybe we've been stuck in cultures of avoidance, eh?

But let's be clear: saying what I said doesn't mean we don't cry and hurt; far from it. But faith looks for Jesus through the tears. Jenny taught me that, even though we didn't talk much before she died. I start to realize that Jesus is always close to those who sorrow and suffer. And if you have Jesus, nothing else matters. Paradoxically though, if you have Jesus, everything matters.

I have a buddy who gave me a small but precious gift many years ago. The Lord chose him and his beloved for some pretty big crosses these past few years. I cry for him, but I rejoice for him. The Lord God is Love. I know he knows this, probably better than most. Through all of it, Love.

I hope before I'm out of this place that every tear I cry is a love-gift. Every smile, every joy. Then I will begin to understand.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Get A Toy And Come Back To The 'Caapet' (Carpet)!

5 More Thoughts For Today

5. Don't you just love it when you are faithful to a reading program, and don't leave yourself 100 pages per day? Oh, wait.

4. I will finish Newman, I will finish Newman...

3. Go Cards!

2. Bloody papist philosophers! Oh, wait.

1. One cannot be the arbiter of revelation and a humble receiver of it at the same time.

Theology...It's What's For Lunch

5 Thoughts For Today

5. Well, that's interesting.

4. Jesus is not a "human being," though. Really. Divine Person, human nature. Yes, that is extremely important.

3. Sola Scriptura 1, Truth 0.

2. I like this dude. A lot.

1. You'll be praying after this.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Reading Words And Stuff

5 Thoughts For Today

5. "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

4. Define your terms.

3. St. Francis de Sales: "You are in fact predestined to receive sneaky pamphlets and whatnot in your Calvinist dwellings! Muhahaha!" I'm pretty sure that's what he said.

2. I want to learn to say, "Your pastor has no authority" in like 42 languages.

1. Oh, boy. The Jake Westbrook Experience again.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Chris Christie? Fuhgeddaboutit!

End of discussion. It's not so much my enthusiasm for theocracy, by the way. It's because the truth is often buried underneath mountains of sentimentality and conventional wisdom. You want somebody to parrot that? And how much of a weak-willed candy-pants do you have to be, not to follow your own religion? You can choose it, for pete's sake! No one's stopping you from changing it, either.

A Man And His Thoughts

5 Thoughts For Today

5. I'm not sure whether to hug James Taylor, or punch him in the face.

4. That's a nasty ear-worm. Or is it a Mind-Eel, like poor Chekhov and Terrell got?

3. Speaking of Mind-Eels, since I've consented to the Magisterial one, I'm bound to honestly wrestle with Church teaching re: markets, even though the whole thing smells of a commie plot.

2. Telos, they say.

1. "What will be your answer/Some December morning?"

Gospel Meditation: Mt. 19:16-22

I guess I'm one of those people who has trouble trusting. That little phrase, "moral certainty" that is supposed to guide us and comfort us when we examine our consciences does nothing of the sort. I have to remind myself of St. Paul's infamous lists; if I didn't do one of those, I have no reason to be troubled.

Can I do the right thing when it gives me no pleasure? Will I rely on God's promises when I do not feel loved?

I suppose the lesson is to continue to seek out communion with God, no matter what. This guy in the gospel wasn't willing to let some things go. I don't want to be that guy.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Vote In My Poll!

Blogger/AdSense obviously wants me to be depressed; they have invited me to add several new gadgets to the blog that no one will use. Yet one is a poll, and that is brilliant. They have no idea how comically self-deprecating I can be. It'll be awesome!

Note to the Catholics: Our Catechism is really good. People should read it now and again. Go read paragraph 568.

If the chortling from the right-wing audience ever dies down, I do want to hear more about the common good and distributive justice (see CCC, 1906-1912, for starters). In all frankness, I wonder if it is possible without turning the West into a Stalinist paradise, but I'm open to ideas. Whatever we decide to do and how to do it, might I politely suggest that roughly doubling the US budget in the last 10 years was a bad idea?

Faith And Reason

Really, it all comes back to this: Grace builds on nature; it doesn't destroy it. That's why we can ask of ourselves logical coherence in theological systems. You literally can't say "God does it all" and "Man is not an automaton" for the same system. Well, you could, but you'd be a fideist.

And since all Christian theology relies on the God who reveals Himself in Jesus Christ, (that is shared in common) I am supposed to rely on the superior hermeneutical abilities of Martin Luther and friends (I guess) to somehow deal with the dissonance of the fact that you just asked me to believe in the theological equivalent of a square circle.

Unfortunately for Luther, the basic principle behind CCC, 100 hasn't changed in forever. Something to think about.