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Showing posts from December 1, 2013

5 Thoughts For Today

5. Some call it "whitewashing"; I call it perspective. 4. I only care marginally about the teachings of the Puritans, anyway. That is, to understand them well enough to refute them, quite frankly. 3. You have a curiously defensive reaction for a person who is supposed to believe that we're all wicked worms who do nothing of value before God, anyway. 2. I don't always agree with Dr. Anthony Bradley of King's College, NYC, but when I do, it's enthusiastically. Stay questioning, my friends. 1. Have mercy on us all, O Lord. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death.

5 Thoughts For Today

5. No, that's not what I'm saying. 4. In fact, it's not even close. 3. Yes, I agree with you that I am a terrible communicator. 2. But you have an obligation to ascertain what I am saying (accurately) before you destroy me. Granted, I have not always had the discipline to do this, but I am trying. 1. RIP, Nelson Mandela.

5 Thoughts For Tonight

5. I find it odd, and yet classically me, that I can overlook tons of things if I like a person. O Lord, give me the grace to love everyone as You do, so that I may not turn them away from You. 4. It really isn't our place to "call down fire from Heaven." Sometimes, a clinical "that's not correct" with a citation better serves than passion. 3. [Take your own advice, Sparky.--ed.] I know. 2. In ecumenical dialogue, we should expect that we have different conclusions, but also different sources and methods. If we cannot critically examine those sources and methods, even simply to see them (our own) in contrast to others, we simply aren't ready for that dialogue. 1. Actually, Mr. Dukeman, I don't question anything in Matthew 24. I question your authority to give the definitive interpretation of that text, in light of CCC, 100, and the prudence of being the arbiter of the soul of Benny Hinn, even in light of his error. Anything else is outside th

Thinking Out Loud

This merits some reflection. On the other hand, before the anti-"capitalism" forces get too pleased with themselves, how much is too much? Who gets to decide? What gives the social teaching its reality, its practicality? What keeps the social teaching from being a bunch of platitudes, spouted by amateurs, determined to appear "above the fray?" If you think that sounds harsh, just keep in mind that 1) I'm a Catholic, determined to keep the teaching so far as I'm able; and 2) the questions will be just as direct from the economists, and the non-Catholics. Paging David Anders! The science of economics was created to try to deal with the problem of scarcity. We have to assume several things because of the social teaching as I understand it at this point: 1. the right of private property is real, but not absolute; 2. there is such a thing as "distributive justice," such that massive inequities of wealth are an injustice to him who has little; 3. soci

The Realness And The Tension

This is rather interesting. Jon Stogsdill, thy wife posted this on Facebook, so I assume you'll read it, one way or the other. You made the blog again! WOO! I bet you're wondering why I said, "thy." Because it sounds awesome, that's why. I digress. There's no accounting for taste, really, but my favorite Jesus music by a landslide if we're talking pop is Rich Mullins. And this essay tells us why. He was unflinchingly real. I hope he made it to the Big Show, because he seems like my kind of guy. I promise you, if you didn't know he was a Jesus freak, the music will not give it away by itself, like this guy says. And when you sing to me, I have to believe you. If I don't, who cares what it's about? This is your official Digression Warning. I have been on a Kenny Loggins kick for a week now. Leap Of Faith. Remember when I said I'd listen to it multiple times? Yeah, about that...I'm obsessed. I am on a quest to figure out why. This is

The Opposites

I had this coming together in my mind before the wise priest confirmed it all for us, but the two most opposite things in the entire universe--besides God and the devil, which is fittingly obvious--are prayer and sin. That itself is fitting, I suppose, because I have great difficulty in praying at times. Some people are aided by formal prayers, and that is good. But I very well could be one of those people who can pray without really praying, to paraphrase Pope Francis. I will always need the freedom to simply talk to God. Maybe the greatest challenge is honesty with God and ourselves. If you're anything like me, (yikes!) you find within yourself that you don't really want the things you ought to want. But if you do in the smallest measure, start with that. Ask God to increase that desire. One thing that never stops is our smallness. One truth that will never fade is our need for Him. I keep stupidly waiting for this to change, and I am reminded--usually after I make a huge m

A Good Way To Irritate Me

Start pronouncing heresy on everyone who does not agree with you. Better still, remain blissfully unaware, not only that this is the most blatantly obvious violation of the "arbiter/receiver" rule that could be conceived, but that, frankly, you don't have anything close to the credibility to actually pull this off. Leithart may be in Catholic denial; he may be, with respect to the arbiter/receiver rule, "Rob Bell with a bigger bookshelf," but say this for him: he actually has things on that bookshelf. With what do you come? A Coke and a smile? You're young and passionate; I get that. I like that about you. But wisdom is counter-intuitive; it actually consists in knowing when you're in too deep, rather than in knowing what you know. Every single day, I meet people who know more about what I claim to know than I do. That's humbling. The question is, do you have the courage to recognize it, and become a learner and a listener, rather than a talker? We

I'm Not "Winsome." And You Know What? I Don't Care.

I'm a pretty easy-going guy. I get along with most people. I've even been hilariously described as "patient." Ha! The truth is, though, I get annoyed. Even angry. I couldn't deny it. I'm issuing a blanket statement here: I've probably said a mean thing or 5 to some of you. If we know it, you know what I intend to do to make it right. The internet is a cruel partner. It amplifies personality. I've been told variously that my online personality comes off kind of strong. Fair enough. Some of that is intentional. Would you believe, if you are not like other people, they ignore you? If they don't like what you say, they put you on the outside of the circle, even if they are nice outwardly? I hate that I notice this now. I both love and hate my Christian formation from the time before I was Catholic. I loved learning about Jesus, and learning to love Him. I loved all the wonderful people who poured themselves into me. I loved that so many of them wer

5 Thoughts For Today

5. Peyton, throw it to Wes! Honestly. 4. Baseball. Old pizza. Clint Eastwood. America's best gifts to the world? 3. The Aflac commercial is still sexist. I used to think it was no big deal to shame men by calling them "ladies," but woman is not the negation of man; she completes him. True, it's a little thing, but a lot of little things makes a big thing. Rape culture is made of things like this. Let me once again remind you that I'm as anti-feminist as one can get. That said, let's tell the truth. 2. More than once this week, someone apologized for the "drama." Don't. "Drama" is something on The Real Housewives. People who need help are not being dramatic; they are being human. If you need help, you have nothing for which to apologize. 1. Happy Advent!