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Showing posts from March 24, 2013

All Is Quiet

5 Thoughts On Holy Saturday 5. In my experience, this day was not as...taxing, when I was Reformed. 4. But Easter Sunday wasn't as thrilling, either. (No offense.) 3. But who am I kidding? A large portion of me wants to sing, "No Lent, no Lent, la-la-la-la-la-la!" 2. On the other hand still, I hope and pray that the joy of my first Easter Vigil in communion with the Church never fades. To be Catholic for me means an active choice to renounce anything from my former days that dissents from the Church. "Test everything; hold on to what is good." 1. Almost 2 years... [Two actual liturgical years, anyway.--ed.] Indeed.

Good Friday

I'm christening a new nickname right now: Gentle Warrior. When she reads it and realizes it's her, she will feel unworthy of it. Which is precisely why it is deserved. I hadn't intended to do it, but if I want to tell you a Good Friday story, I need you to know the people in the story. Oftentimes, when people see Christ in us, we are instead humbled by our self-knowledge, our own sin that is ever before us. And yet, let the love of Christ be so near that self-knowledge draws us in, rather than pushes us away. If we need to do penance, well and good. But not of servile fear, but love. There is no such thing as "Catholic guilt." It doesn't exist. When people say this, they are the epitome of the damned in Hell. The damned will regret the consequences of what they've done, but not what they have done with true penitence. If your conscience accuses you, go toward Christ! Was He not speaking through St. John about this very thing when He said, "But God is

I Just Met You, And This Is Crazy, But You're Not Catholic, So Come Home, Maybe

I'm sorry. I had to do it. What a great song, anyway. Even if Carly Rae Jepsen spurns the Boy Scouts for morally dubious reasons. All I can say is this, and that Jesus Christ is the Lord of history. The Incarnation and the Paschal Mystery are the pivot-points of all history. Contact with Him isn't some weird existential encounter--at least not fundamentally--but acceptance of the apostolic testimony that God has come to redeem man in Jesus Christ. History may be messy [Just like hermeneutics. Ahem.--ed.] but Truth isn't. Good luck evangelizing the world from a place of epistemic skepticism. That's why "Proper Confidence" has only a limited usefulness. You may gain an audience with a few impressed by your "openness," but it's that same non-realism that prevents them from moving from, "That's interesting" to, "God said that--who is Truth Himself--and I need to do something about it." Now, let's clarify a few things. P

You Don't Slice Up The Body Of Christ On A "Maybe"

It has been asserted that I have an inappropriate, unnecessary need for epistemic certainty, and it has been offered by the Catholic Church, [Sidebar: It is indeed the Catholic Church, not the Roman Catholic Church, unless we are referring to its principle of unity, or to the liturgical rite used by most of the West. There is a proper way to say we are united to the Bishop of Rome, and so it can be that way. However, most of us feel "Roman Catholic Church" is a little misleading, owing to the fact that, what, 22 separate particular Churches are united to the Successor of Peter, many with a unique liturgical tradition going back...a really long time. I digress.] and so, I took it. Some friends of mine covered this . And at this point, I have to call shenanigans. Or BS. Or something. Because visible communities have reasons for not being united with each other. Despite whatever lies they tell each other with the Borg Cube of Mother Church bearing down on them, I take them at t

Today Is The Greatest

5 Thoughts For Today 5. These bishop-dudes, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, know what they are talking about. Looking in your direction, Lumen Gentium. 4. It's like they wrote the Catechism to help people understand Vatican II! Oh, wait. 3. "Where the bishop is, there is the Catholic Church." I read that somewhere. 2. CCC, 2089. Know it, love it, live it. Er, kind of. It's more like what not to do. You get the idea. 1. "I was all set to publish my master work on the glories of Monophysitism, when the Church and her stupid Council shut it all down!" said no faithful Christian, ever. Take Bill & Ted's phone booth to 1563, and apply. Ahem.

No Centralized Authority? Really?

Did the books of Moses say, "Israel put their faith in God, and in his servant, the book that fell out of the sky"? What happened when Miriam and Aaron challenged Moses? Did God say, "This is really complicated, and hey, nobody's perfect?" And King David totally killed that scumbag Saul, because he obviously wasn't really king, being so unworthy and all. The "protest" of Korah's family obviously led to a glorious era of power-sharing and conciliarism. Oh, wait. With due respect, that's just silly. I don't know where you are trying to go with that, but it seems like Israel generally always had a head, someone in charge. Whether they were good is almost beside the point. Was that power constituted legitimately, even if gained illegitimately? It seems so. It would also seem that God is the only one who can legitimately revoke it. Did I miss something? I remember the circle with the 'R'. I never saw a democratic free-for-all anywh

I Stir Things Up

I got a lot of reaction from my last post. You said, among other things, that I sounded angry. You said in various ways that I was mischaracterizing your position. I love that one. 57.6% of the time, people don't feel the need to show how they have been misunderstood, they simply assert it. Frankly, when I see this, I often read it as, "I'm offended." Who cares? Well, I care. But not enough to refrain from taking the risk. I feel I owe you an explanation. So, I'm going to restate everything I said in the last post as an explanation of what I was thinking to write it that way. Fair enough? If the tone got in the way of the point, I am sorry. But I'm not at all sorry that I view certain principles--cherished principles of the Reformation--as self-refuting nonsense that deserve nothing but mockery and disdain. Ahem. Onward! Mere Christianity paragraph: I was trying to say that Catholics do not and cannot consent to being one viable option among many. If that

I'm Not A "Catholic Christian," I'm A Christian (And You Have Caveats)

We are not one among many. I do not accept your "Mere Christianity." This is not one room in the house; this is the house. I can say this because the conceit that allows your Mere Christianity some surface plausibility is Catholic truth. Those of you who are not completely sucked into fundamentalism or individualism (but I repeat myself) are incoherently relying on some Catholic means or truth to make some semblance of a narrative out of Christian history without the Catholic Church. It mystifies me that people passionately committed to objective truth in other areas of life, who battle relativism wherever it is found in the natural world, become rank postmodernists in theology and ecclesiology. Anything to avoid becoming Catholic. Yes, I'm talking to you, Protestant. Get some Protestants in a room, and it sounds like a bumper sticker. "Co-Exist." Peace and love. One big happy family. Based upon what? United by what? Anti-Catholicism? What would be the point o