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Showing posts from November 22, 2015

Things That Don't Matter

I don't care what shape Reese's Peanut Butter Cups come in. I don't care about Starbucks. The biggest War On Christmas is in our souls, yours and mine. Which is not to say that rampant secularism is good. It is to say, rather, that the front lines are closer than we think. Ghandi and President Obama are right about one thing: be the change you want to see in the world. We Christians know you can't just do that; you need help. Lord, help us to be your peace in the world. Amen. Pretty sure I don't even know how the Spurs did last night. I'm absolutely certain that I won't also say, "Man, I didn't play enough video games while I was here!" Will I die if I fail to get current on Grey's Anatomy? Tell me seriously if you actually think St. Peter will check your Netflix queue. Which is not to say, "Let's all live in a cave, and forsake the world!" No. It means that as I watch Timmy dunk a basketball, or I behold the beauty of a


For what am I most thankful? I am completely surrounded by people who love more than they expect to be loved. It truly puts me to shame. Communion with God is always before me as the highest goal, and all I need to do is decide whether to go along. And that this quest for holiness takes place in relative ease is no small gift. I will spare you the schoolmarmish tributes to soldiers who can't go home, but suffice to say, I have no excuse for failing to praise God. Not that anyone does. I guess today is like every day: learn what matters, and how not to waste your life. I'll keep trying.

Don't Give Me What I Want

Have you ever been watching a show, or heard a song where someone said, "God Bless America" or something similar? It should make the pious heart uncomfortable, but not because there is anything wrong with a certain patriotism. Instead, we are made uncomfortable because we know that God is bigger than whatever we imagine to be truly majestic, noble, or otherwise worth preserving. God is Being as such. If you perfectly understand that which you worship, it is not God you worship. If God perfectly agrees with you on every matter, you're not talking with God. I get the sense from some people that God is more like a powerful, benevolent pet dog, instead of the Almighty. As for us, we don't make sense to ourselves. You might be hung up some way, and lamenting that you'll never get out of some situation, or stop doing x,  but it's not really about that thing, is it? We need to open up to God, tell him what we fear, because that's what's really holding us

What Is "The Gospel"?

I see it all the time: "Now that's the gospel!" Or the reverse. It seems like people know what they are talking about, but I noticed earlier in my Christian life that "the gospel" happened to correspond to whatever moral sense of self a person wanted to project. We should say that the gospel is that which pertains to the revelation of Jesus Christ. That seems reasonable. It however becomes important for us to know the difference between revelation and human opinion, and to know the means by which we receive revelation. So long as Christians--Catholic and non-Catholic alike--disagree on the content of revelation, and on the means of receiving it, it is profitable and urgent to engage in ecumenical dialogue concerning those matters where we differ. Ecumenism is dialogue for the purpose of reaching agreement in matters of revealed truth, whether faith or morals. It is not merely a celebration of those areas where we already agree, nor is it the act of pretendin

Now Hear This!

Under the heading, "Separated Or Divorced Persons Who Have Not Remarried," I give you Familiaris Consortio, 83 in its entirety: "Various reasons can unfortunately lead to the irreparable breakdown of valid marriages. These include mutual lack of understanding and the inability to enter into interpersonal relationships. Obviously, separation must be considered as a last resort, after all other reasonable attempts at reconciliation have proved vain. Loneliness and other difficulties are often the lot of separated spouses, especially when they are the innocent parties. The ecclesial community must support such people more than ever. It must give them much respect, solidarity, understanding and practical help, so that they can preserve their fidelity even in their difficult situation; and it must help them to cultivate the need to forgive which is inherent in Christian love, and to be ready perhaps to return to their former married life. The situation is similar for p

Christ The King

There are hundreds of would-be claimants to the throne of Jesus Christ the King. Maybe even in our own hearts. I used to worry more than a Christian should. I would never appear to be a worrier; I'm much too practiced at piety for that. And I realized that the besetting sin of my life had (and has) its root in control. That is, pride. If we want to be saints, we must surrender. The Lamb will make us kings and queens to our God, if we will stop trying to do it ourselves. Think of all the kings of the earth, who have no use for Jesus, and the humble handmaiden who birthed Him. And people are looking around at these mighty men, crying, "Save us!" and they can't. Or they won't. Enter Jesus. More power than we possibly imagine, but he still has no beauty or majesty that we should regard him. But something underneath the anxiety, almost like a whisper, calls out to us. This is peace. We hear His voice, and follow, as we were destined to do. The world is full of no