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Friday, April 17, 2015

CCC, 841 (Again)

One of the wonderful things about being Catholic is that the work of theology changes. No longer must I scour the Bible in a frenzied ad hoc effort to construct a theology, a "Christianity" that makes sense. All I have to do is try to make what God has revealed through the Church accessible to people. It's still hard work, but it's not from scratch. It's like an open-book test.

Still, this paragraph of the Catechism is a controversial one. We could split hairs, and begin an arcane discussion about levels of assent, and the authority of the Catechism, but we're not going to do that. Instead, here's my best shot at this paragraph, as a faithful Catholic:

The Bible is a love story between God and his people. His love is creative, in that it created everything we see. When our father Abraham was called, there was still much we did not see or know explicitly. Suppose people who had come from Abraham and his faith parted ways with us over things that were revealed later? Suppose after they did so, traditions and practices arose which are quite unlike we know as the faith today? Could we still say that they adore the one merciful God that called Abraham? I should think so.

It does not obligate us to agree with those traditions, practices, and beliefs which grew up later. Especially that which rejects the Son of God. Yet it is common ground, and worthy of mention.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

5 Thoughts For Today

5. I hate "The Notebook." Yes, I know. But seriously, they committed ADULTERY. Nor do I recall a Declaration of Nullity proceeding happening as the music swelled. Don't even ask me. I won't watch it ever again.

4. If you lose your last game of an 82-game season to another playoff team, and fall from a 2 seed out of 8, to a 5 seed, while maintaining a record that merits the 4 or the 3, that is sick and wrong.

3. OK, I love "A Walk To Remember" slightly more than "The Notebook." But, just so we are clear, my daughter (if I have one) is not marrying an atheist while I'm alive. I don't care what her diagnosis is. A putative minister would have never let this go down in real life. And yes, Landon became someone we like, admire, and root for. Still, I call shenanigans.

2. Star Wars and Star Trek are 2 different worlds. I understand that the balance of you just see or hear "Nerd, nerd, nerd, nerd" at the mere mention of either one, but it matters. If they are mixed, the person who hatched that idea will pay.

1. Standardized tests--whatever their merits--are obviously written by twisted people.




Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Love Actually

I think a lot of our problems in the Christian life stem from self-conversations that start, "[Name], you idiot..." Sin is one thing, but sin is a deeply personal act of betrayal, and it's only seen in the light of perfect Love.

Instead of seeing our lives as the joy-filled effort of experiencing God's pleasure in every moment, we think we have to please Him ourselves. God actually loves us. It's not abstract; it's the fundamental truth of being. St. John says, "Not that we loved God, but that he loved us..."

Our faith has to have teeth. That is, rather than get hemmed in by interminable debates about faith and works, it is better to say that good works are the "therefore" in the sentence that begins, "Jesus is Lord; therefore..." Innumerable good deeds apart from him are worthless in God's sight, and the words alone aren't enough.

God has never hated us. Even at our most distant, most self-involved, Christ died for us. It is all very well to tell others Jesus died for them. Do we believe it ourselves?