Saturday, August 16, 2014

5 Thoughts For Tonight

5. Are you sure that was the Novus Ordo? That was so...otherworldly that I don't even know what to say.

4. Pius X would have cried with joy. He probably is, right now.

3. Am I dead?

2. Ain't no penance today! #meatforMary

1. I need to sleep. Goodnight, Neverland!

Friday, August 15, 2014

CCC, 776

You're supposed to see God's love for you and all of us. When it says, "actualizing the mystery of God's love for men," it means especially the Eucharist. As long as we are not one people sharing one Eucharist, Christians are failing to be salt and light in the world.

5 Thoughts For Today

5. I'm not "OK" "waiting for marriage"; I enthusiastically endorse the idea. Why? Because if my degree of stupidity produces this kind of emotional roller-coaster, unimpeded unchastity would kill me.

4. I actually do not want to spend the next 50 years arguing about Vatican II.

3. No, I do not believe Pope Francis is a modernist. Nor do I believe the Council's pastoral directives reflect it. Anyone who says differently is just a bad theologian.

2. Is it a danger? Yes, absolutely. That's why the Council was called in the first place. If you are too lazy to help rebuild a Christian anthropology, get out of the way. The "good old days" never existed.

1. Church Latin sounds like bad Italian to me.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

CCC, 393

I just read this the other day. Isn't that interesting? Angels have perfect knowledge, and thus, their choice is definitive in a way ours aren't. We reason discursively; that is, by a process, and they do not. Our finitude actually grants us the opportunity for repentance. Far better to live in the grace of God, making a series of choices for the good than to wait for the end. Once the end comes, there is no more opportunity.

Are You Kidding?

No, I don't watch Game Of Thrones, or anything close to it. Why? It's porn. I'm a man like any other man, and frankly, not many understand moments of weakness as well as I do. But consider it in the abstract, of itself, in this moment, under no unique duress: "Do I really want to see other people naked, having sex?" No, man.

Let's be frank, though: If you counted the moments in a day where you had a thought, or even half a thought about sex, you might begin to feel embarrassed. We are human, after all. And disordered, at that. But if I'm completely honest, I don't want sex, per se; I want love. Granted, those things are not mutually exclusive, by the mercy of God. In marriage, ordained by God, a smorgasbord of good things come together under this one thing, elevated by Christ to the dignity of a sacrament of the New Covenant.

I think some Christians like to believe they can watch edgier stuff, just so they can say, "I can watch the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show without lusting; what's your problem" as if there's bonus points for being a flippin' idiot, and (somehow) not killing your soul. It's not a spiritual frat-party, Johhny-Bob, and you're being dumb and prideful.

St. Josemaria Escriva wouldn't even stay in the same house where a woman was staying, because he knew his own potential for weakness. When we mess with these "near occasions of sin," we just hurt ourselves, and sin against God.

In the end, it's Jesus you have to look in the eye. Don't do things to put yourself in harm's way intentionally. Let's try to do that.

5 Thoughts For The Night

5. I'm waiting for the inevitable "Get over it, already!" backlash. Not going to happen.

4. I don't watch The Tonight Show, but how did Jimmy get through that segment? I can't watch it again, that's for sure.

3. Could I go a day without hearing about Matt Walsh? Please and thank you.

2. I still don't like Aladdin.

1. I believe in the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

5 Thoughts For Today

5. This seemingly mundane moment brought to you by God.

4. This guy wins again.

3. Metaphysics: Thinking abstractly about thinking abstractly?

2. The paint on my left "Shift" key is almost gone; the right one is pristine.

1. Still a huge fan of separating the sexes for certain spiritual activities. Girls are pretty. Pretty distracting!

5 Thoughts For Tonight

5. This is one of those weeks where you go, "Alright, Moratorium On Death! Seriously, let's make this happen!"

4. Not fit for the Sacrifice of the Mass, but I do love this song.

3. If George Michael sang that song, it'd make eleventy billion dollars.

2. If that woman sang it to me, I'd ask her out. [There's almost no way she's not Protestant.--ed.] It's cool; I'll take her to RCIA for our first date. [You are a sad little man.--ed.]

1. Bob: Dude! We lost 3-0, even with Wainwright!

Me: That's terrible!

Bob: He's supposed to be our stopper.

Me: Dude, if you score zero, no one is a stopper.

Bob: That's actually a really good point.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Reminder

I watched Hook last night. Not because I was sad, per se. But it seemed right to remember. I checked Netflix, and there it was. Maybe it was there in the background, though, because I was more emotional than I wanted to be.

I knew a guy in high school who took his own life. We were friends, though I have to use that term loosely. As you might expect, he didn't let many people in. He was my lab partner in the 7th grade, and again junior year in chemistry. He carried me, and I blamed myself for a long time. He was on my heart as I tried to sleep.

I think it's true we take people and things for granted. In this way, we're like children. Perhaps that's an odd thing to say. I know what I mean by it.

I could only manage one sentence of a prayer last night. It wasn't about Robin Williams; it's the weight of what that loss teaches us, simple things that we mock too often. It's not a Sunday School answer or the payoff to an after-school special unless it's true.

Alan is right today. Do me a favor: Even if getting out of bed is like winning the Tour de France, do that one little thing. Make it an act of joyous defiance, a rebuke to death and hell. Give it to God.

Monday, August 11, 2014

I'll Miss You, Robin

As I write this, I've just learned that the great comedian and actor, Robin Williams, has died. It was an effort just to type that. There is something about him, the way that he understood suffering, that has always resonated with me. The funniest people understand it at a different depth.

On the other hand, perhaps the way things have ended, he didn't understand it as well as it appeared. Lord, have mercy!

I only know that I can encapsulate the fondness I feel for him, and my great respect for his human insight, in four performances he gave. My generation reveres Dead Poets' Society, and rightly so. Even if we realize after repeated viewings that the nihilistic Epicureanism on offer doesn't help much. Also, the hope of eternal life is too easily dismissed.

Later, he had a well-regarded supporting role in Good Will Hunting. Suffice to say that I understand Will's wounds better than I'd like, and I wish that someone like Williams' character had been there for me.

It's a trend that comedians--especially crass ones--do "family films" almost as penance when they get older. But when Robin turned dramatic, he didn't do it to make up for things; he did it because there isn't much difference between the bitter laughter of disappointment, and the longing that fuels it. He was teaching us. Sometimes the best teachers fail to teach themselves.

I've never seen a more underrated movie than Hook. Spielberg disavowed the thing, and he's a buffoon. The only performance better than Robin's was Hoffman's, and the film gets better the more you watch it. Some call it sentimental, and that's fine. Some of us have been through enough that earnestness isn't dismissed, as is the fashion today.

What Dreams May Come. The funeral scene. The theology of the film is dodgy, but at least there is theology. It's a deeply human film. Maybe that's the best way to describe Robin Williams: human. I never felt like he was doing something for a buck; he wanted to say something important, and he did, even as he made us laugh.

I have no idea what brought this tragedy about, but I pray for mercy, and I give thanks for my friend, though we never met. I do feel like I knew him through his art, and I don't think he'd mind that.

5 Thoughts For Today

5. I'm heavily in favor of "Save The Date"s coming in the form of refrigerator magnets. I can't believe I didn't think of that.

4. Dear Miami Marlins: Please play bad baseball for the next 3 days. Thanks a bunch.


3. This. [Is it even possible to dislike this song?--ed.] If it is, someone will try.

2. No reason. I just like this song.

1. What was it with these two, anyway?

Not All Ad Hoc Is Created Equal

It's the height of ad hockery to appeal to an authority in one case, and reject it in another, for no other reason than disagreeing with its conclusions. Like ecumenical councils, for example. Thus, the question of orthodoxy hinges, it seems to me, on jurisdiction, and only secondarily on the content. Or better said, we can only identify orthodox doctrine once we identify the Church in a non-question begging way, and then the rule of faith she uses.

I focused in like a laser on how putative Christian visible communities function, because frankly, only the visible communities have any pretense of real authority over the individual. But that's just it: a purely invisible "Church" is wide open; you can believe anything you want, and still also believe you  are part of the "Church" of the Lord Jesus Christ. Another added benefit is that you don't have to ultimately claim any of those nasty conclusions from those "imperfect" visible communions, unless of course, they aid you in distancing yourself from another doctrine that you dislike. But you can seem brilliantly above the fray, while you wait for the "pure Church" to emerge.

The Voice Of Humility: Wait a minute, dude! The Lord God is not waiting for me to determine what constitutes His Church, and what it believes! I'm not that smart. Who did I receive the gospel from? Who'd he get it from? Are those guys the Church?

As soon as you can picture an Arian or Monophysite saying, "Hey, man. Take it easy. We all love Jesus, right?" your indifferentism will die.

The Thing That Bothers Me

About this Michael Brown killing by the police is that when there is a questionable use of lethal force, the victim is always black. I'm not inclined to believe that every black teenager is innocent and pure, but I'm not inclined to believe the opposite, either. Why was he shot multiple times? Why use lethal force if he was unarmed? And if there were multiple officers at the scene, why discharge your weapons at all?

Obviously, the rioting and the looting doesn't help anything.

Lord, have mercy!