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Showing posts from September 16, 2012
Sometimes people surprise you. You think they'll ask for a certain thing or other from you via prayer, you think you know the struggle, and you turn out flat wrong. I did today. I often pray, quite frankly, that the theological columns don't add up straight for many of you anymore; often, you have to lose before you win. I know that the dark night of honest doubt for a Protestant ends in the pot of gold that is the Catholic Church. I don't believe it is triumphalistic, precisely because, like Louis Bouyer, I believe the legitimate goals and desires of the Reformation find their completion in the Catholic Church. No, my brothers, the irony does not escape me. The other delicious irony is that God was trying to give me simply Jesus, even as I swore up and down that it was these Romish sorts cluttering up the gospel with extraneous details. It's hilarious to me now: that mere Christianity finds its fullness in Rome ? Can anything good come out of Nazareth? Come and see.
I think it's sort of funny that when Protestant girls get frustrated about being single, they joke about becoming nuns. Some guys joke about the priesthood. In my limited experience, Catholics don't do this. I would hope it is because we recognize that a call to the priesthood or religious life is not a fall-back; if this is God's plan, nothing else will fit. I could be wrong, but I don't think there are armies of sexually-frustrated priests and nuns; I think they freely enter into that state, and they mourn that which they did not choose. But no one gets dragged into anything. There are two aspects of carrying the cross as a single person if you believe you are called to marriage: the physical, and the emotional. The physical is about recognizing rhythms. At certain times, you will be physiologically tempted to commit sexual sin. Again, in my experience, you just have to recognize the moment, and develop a specific plan of action: leave the room, call a friend, sin
There is a lot of suffering going on, it seems. Old friends going through things I cannot even fathom, living Job's experience for real. Others are looking their own deaths right in the face, fighting for life each day. A brave face, to be sure. A happy face, even. But they know the stakes. And it hangs in the air: "Why?" And I don't have an answer. I wish I did. You can't just make it OK. You can't bring back the dead. But I don't doubt God's goodness; I can't. That would be like calling flowers ugly, or hating kittens, or something insane. Still, we're left here, thinking in spite of what we know: This isn't right. And nothing could be more correct. Our Savior himself wept, even though he was about to reverse the death that caused his tears. This isn't right. If Jesus can say it, so can we. And we should. But not with bitter hearts. Not with doubting hearts. Rather, we should say it with groanings that believe promises, with te