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Showing posts from January 19, 2014

CCC, 2352

I am not certain that God is in fact calling me to write about this section , but it's one of the citations that I have memorized. You probably don't do it, but maybe you know a guy or girl. A friend who happens to be an atheist asked me where Jesus talks about this, and this was my answer, with apologies to those brethren of ours that wouldn't cite the Catechism per se as the words of Jesus, even indirectly. Lots of things seem good, or at least neutral, but they are not. In fact, part of the allure of sin is that it involves choosing an apparent good instead of the true Good, which is God. Very few things are entirely devoid of goodness in any way, and that's why the Fall was awful; we desire goodness, but now we are inclined to flee from it, and we're fairly adept at choosing the wrong thing, or the right thing at the wrong time, left to ourselves. Anyway, God doesn't want us to do it, because He loves us, and there are no trick questions on God's exam

A P.S. To The Last

I wanted to openly say in my last post that the part about Jesus wanting to perpetuate the sacrifice of the Cross really does trip the Reformation antennae that I still have, and God-willing, will never lose. When I stated the objection previously, I don't do it for the easy pickings; I want you to understand that I think the "once for all" objection to the theology of our Eucharistic faith is a good objection, one that I myself made. Let me belabor the point: I'm sympathetic to that objection; frankly, I'm sympathetic to the whole bloody Reformed faith, if you will pardon the pun. I do not consider myself to have renounced having been Reformed, insofar as it is true. In fact, if you are Reformed, everything we could disagree about is in that "insofar." You are talking to a man who loved and still loves everything about it...insofar. I'm sure Bouyer was the same way. Are you kidding me? I've loved so deeply, it's a wonder that I haven't

CCC, 1323

Wait, what ? I'm not gonna go word-by-word this time, frankly, because I'm not that good of a theologian. On the other hand, considering the depth of the riches of the mystery* of the Eucharist, who is? Are you kidding? Question 1: Wait a minute, Sparky. (And yes, I will answer to this. When the time comes, I will also answer to "Dr. Sparky.") How is this celebration/sacrament/ordinance a sacrifice, when Christ has died once-for-all, as the Scripture teaches (Hebrews 9:11-13, 26)? Great question. In layman's terms, there is no time. In the sacrifice of our redemption, Christ is both Victim and Priest. That which is true of that sacrifice is true of this one. Christ would not, and cannot, consent to dying again without denigrating what has already been accomplished. So, whatever the person who is acting in the person of Christ the Head is doing, he can't deny Calvary, because Christ is ever-obedient to the Father; he'd be the last to deny it! But this is th

Actually, Jesus Does Bend To Our Will

Because all the promises of the New Covenant, especially the sacraments, are sworn with an oath, an oath God swore to Himself. Yes, I understand that it may seem "mechanistic" to you, but not to us. We only see Love. I sympathize with those who deny the sacramental system even exists, but once more, disputes between Christians concerning  this are not chiefly over the content of revelation, but its meaning. That is, it is a liturgical dispute. This is why the Catholic brings the discussion back to authority, because all are agreed in general that the fullness of revelation is in Christ. What is authority, but the power to determine--under Christ--what the proper response to what God has revealed is and will be? In a word, liturgy. You are troubled that we dare say a man is able to call Christ down from Heaven in the Eucharist? Good! Perhaps the boldness with which we say it will cause you to question your own authority to believe and teach otherwise, especially in the very

Galatians 2:15

This is the verse that will mess with your paradigm. One verse, and it basically vindicates the heart of what we used to call the "New Perspective On Paul": A good first century Jew was no sort of legalist. To the text! I'm going to include verse 16, and comment on other verses, as well: "We ourselves, who are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners,  16  yet who know that a man is not justified [ a ]  by works of the law [ b ]  but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ, and not by works of the law, because by works of the law shall no one be justified." (Gal. 2:15-16, RSV)  He's talking to his fellow Jews here, and he's synthesizing what he knows from the Old Testament with what Christ gave him. Jesus must have believed it was graciously possible for anyone who read or heard the Scriptures up to that point to receive Him; otherwise, why come at all? To say nothing of his frust

Snark Bite!

5. I can't stand people who speak provocatively just to stir things up. Oh, wait. 4. I can understand that faith is not the end result of the cumulative probabilities. On the other hand, in deciding to submit to the Catholic Church, faith seemed to scoff at the exceedingly improbable alternatives. Careful and prudent investigation is in order. 3. Is it funny that candy has nutrition facts on the side, or do I define the word too narrowly for cheap laughs? 2. I don't really care that foot-long subs are 5 dollars at Subway, or that their food gets kudos from doctors; I eat it because it tastes good. On the other hand, I think Nastia Liukin can sell me anything. 1. I was going to say that I love sports, but that isn't fully accurate. If two sides are competing for anything, I'm very likely to watch it.

I Think Dr. King Would Like The Huxtables

Actually, he'd have liked a good chunk of mainstream black TV. Some person with a grudge, or who has a passionate need to defend progressivism, AKA institutionalized bitterness, will point out that they were fictional, and besides, they were upper-middle class. Fine. But they couldn't be portrayed unless people like them existed somewhere. I don't recall ever thinking they were fabulously wealthy, anyway. With a lawyer and a doctor, you could figure, but it appeared to be New York. That isn't the cheapest place to live. In fact, their house looked a lot like the ones I grew up in. It's beside the point, though. The point is, Dr. King would have loved that all kinds of people embraced this fictional family who happened to be black. They were us, in all the ways that are good. You say there is much work to be done, and that colorblindness isn't necessarily possible, and may not be desirable. I agree, as far as it goes. But he had a good dream, a dream worth fighti

P.S. What?

I may be an idiot, but not only is it false to say the Church teaches that an atheist can get into Heaven, but it should be absurd on its face. Heaven is Heaven because God is there. Well, it's not a place; it's the Beatific Vision, seeing the face of God, and resting in His Divine presence. If you didn't believe He existed, you wouldn't want Heaven, because Heaven presupposes that which you deny. Why I needed to state that blindingly obvious point, Ben Carmack and Tim Dukeman, I have no idea. Even if Pope Francis actually said that atheists could go to Heaven, he'd be obviously incorrect, and we could at least quietly chortle at him, no?

CCC, 847

Wait, what ? Let's define terms, shall we? "through no fault of their own"=their ignorance is not culpable. "Gospel of Christ"=the catholic (or Catholic) and apostolic faith in its entirety, concerning Christ the Savior of all mankind. "or "His Church"=Catholic Church. "nevertheless seek God"--let me humbly suggest that someone who knowingly seeks God is not is in any way an atheist. I don't need to define "atheist" for you, I trust, but just in atheist is a person who denies that God exists. Hebrews 11:6. "sincere heart"=a good disposition of the will, which will be a difficult definition to accept, if one has accepted that contrary proposition that a person prior to justification is capable of having a good will, but there we are. "moved by grace"--I told you we weren't Pelagians. "try in their actions to do his will as they know it"=responding to the promptings of grace. "

And Then I Laugh

Sometimes you hear less than observant Catholics who want to attempt to live in mortal sin complain about their "Catholic guilt". I say what every ex-Reformed person is thinking automatically: "You don't know what 'guilt' means, brother." We used to make stuff up to feel bad about. I don't care if you think that's unfair; it's true. I'm a real sinner, not just a theoretical one, but even so, I actually understand why Jesus said his yoke was easy, much better now as a son of the Church. The reason I get into firm discussions with a good buddy over sanctification is because our definition of what the average Christian would think and do is so different. Our catechesis has been so poor in some places that I'm still stunned by how wrong people can go. It doesn't seem reasonable to me. My buddy seems like a rigorist at times, but the truth is that the members of the Church have gained no comparative advantage over others, and I may

Beauty And Brutality

Perhaps "brutality" is a strong word here, but football is a tough game. It's gritty and costly, and usually painful. On the other hand, there is a big-picture artistry about it that few sports match. I've always said that people who say football players and fans are stupid are short-sighted; there is an underlying logic to the game that some of the nation's keenest minds have mastered. The great Peyton Manning has led his team to the Super Bowl once more. When this legend finally steps aside from the quarterback position, it will likely be only because his body has betrayed him. Today, we actually saw two legends in the same game, and both have reached the second half of their 30s. Tom Brady, a golden boy who led his Patriots to a Super Bowl victory in his rookie season in 2001--and was victorious in two others, while losing in 2 Super Bowls also--always seems to be knocking at the door. At 36, there are more sporting days behind than ahead, but even the casual