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Showing posts from July 14, 2013

Fred Noltie Is Amazing

I just can't thank him enough for this . It is not an apologetic for the Catholic Church as much as it forces us to really critically examine perspicuity, and whether we can hold it. Sola Scriptura--no matter how cleverly nuanced--utterly depends on the alleged perspicuity of Scripture. For my part, I saw all our separate Christian communities not first as a scandal--though it is--but as repositories for different interpretations of Scripture. It added fuel to the real question: Who is the arbiter of divine revelation? There are two choices: Either I am, or someone else is. In the absence of a visible community claiming to be the one Church, imbued with a gift of infallibility, (we'll get there) it would seem that the communities would just be shorthand for the arbitration the individual is doing anyway; he could do it without them; he could defer because he believes the community to truly teach what Scripture teaches. In either case, he discerns what Scripture says; he is the

I'd Be A Liturgical Music Fascist, Except...

I can hang with St. Thomas and his hierarchy of the good; I am willing to say that sacred music is sacred music, and that Bach is more fitting than Matt Maher for Holy Mass (but seriously, I love Matt Maher). I actually expect to find out when I study it that even what goes on in good parishes (AKA faithful to the Church's Magisterium) is contrary to the rubrics and the intent of Vatican II. But I am not one of those people who equates a perfectly executed and dignified liturgy with hearts that are aflame for God. Duh. And that means--Heaven help me--you're darn skippy I sang right along with those contemporary songs last night. I knew every single one of them, and not just because they're popular or catchy. We got saved with those; we love Jesus because of them. And frankly, most Catholics need to start at the very beginning--right there--anyway. So sue me, the convert. I'm no traditionalist.

"Mommy, Where Does Dogma Come From?"

If God is our Father, and the Church (however conceived) is our mother, then she ought to be able to tell us exactly what God said. That's why an invisible Church is so stupid: You only have yourself to ask, (points 5 and 4)  and your ecclesial conversation partners (your tradition) can't tell you what God said, and they don't want to. They can see the Tyranny of the Plausible as well as I can; I can appreciate the desire to link Christians as well as we can, but if we push it too far (like with a false concept of the invisible Church) we put the very concept of revelation and its knowable content in serious doubt. When I saw the reality of that doubt as the logical outcome of the concept, and its operative principle, Sola Scriptura, I officially had a problem. Say it with me now: "If God didn't say it, it doesn't really matter." Which is to say that even as a Protestant, I did not believe that the Sacred Scriptures had more than one meaning, with respect

Innocent Until Proven Guilty

I think that one of the great harms in our society done by our lack of virtue is that our noble principles become empty words. The principles don't really work unless they are practiced habits of mind and will that we come back to in the face of emotion. Let me get to the point: If your friend were accused of something horrible, wouldn't you want the people involved to practice this habit? You see, Fr. Jiang is my friend. He was also my confessor almost exclusively for the first year I was in the Church. A man who encouraged me like he has could not do these things. A man who does these things does not speak so warmly of Jesus like Father Joseph does. If I'm wrong, then I'm wrong, and he would need much more prayer (and a different kind) than someone like Judy Block-Jones is willing to offer the person Fr. Joseph Jiang. Have you prayed once for Father? Have you prayed once for the Archbishop? Because even if all these allegations were true, they would need our praye

Love Wins

God is Love. He can heal any pain, if it pleases Him. He has answered my prayers more than I could ask or imagine. I knew that agape was greater than death, but I admit that I doubted it these last 18 months. These errors were all mine, but I know that there will be joy abounding to make up for all that was lost. Never give up; never close the door of your heart, because you never know when God will work a miracle. May God who is Love be praised forever and ever! Welcome back, my friend.

The Elephant In The Minivan

Oh, wait. You don't have a minivan. Because you're married, and not having kids. Let's get this out of the way: Contraception is wrong. Look, I get it: You're not Catholic, and you don't care what the Pope says. Feel better now? It's still wrong. Let me take a moment to express my sympathy and prayers for those who cannot conceive, whether due to temporary circumstances, or permanent ones. We all have paternity and maternity built right into us. We long for this. In fact, I'm glad this is still present in a very flawed way in gay and lesbian couples, harmful as it may be. Exactly how are you going to fulfill that mandate to "be fruitful and multiply" if you are blocking your own fruitfulness? How are you demonstrating your fidelity to the teaching that "Children are a blessing from the Lord" if you don't have any, and are intentionally preventing it? Someone was lamenting and joking that Facebook was turning into "Mom-book&

It's So Simple, Really

5 Thoughts For Today 5. Creation is better than destruction. 4. You can win a Nobel Prize, and still not know what you are talking about. 3. Maybe "capitalism" is not what we're going for. But I don't have a word for "The humane opposite of socialism" yet. 2. I hate the All-Star Break. 1. Sorry, Molly. I won't be making it tonight.

It's Time

The RCIA programs are beginning to get warmed up. You've been lurking about the Catholic world for some time. Perhaps you've acquired some resources; maybe you've even read a few. But we're certainly at that point where you've learned all you can know on your own. Stop being a candy-buns; join the class. They'll even give you a Bible/New Testament and a Catechism. Do what you like; there's no coercion. But you owe it to yourself to hear it from the horse's mouth. You think R.C. Sproul or James White will tell you what you need to know about us and what we believe? (No offense.) What? Are ya scared?

I Was Thinking Again

5 Thoughts For Today 5. I liked South Pacific, in spite of the innuendo. 4. Glad I'm not a Zimmerman juror right now. 3. Rest In Peace, Cory Monteith. 2. The best team in baseball is still in a funk. 1. It matters little what you say; it's what you do that defines you.