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Showing posts from March 13, 2016

The Lights Are On

Perhaps spiritual progress is actually measured by what you do when you realize, "Hey, this is real!" Prior to that moment, or, we might say, the ever more conscious appreciation of that reality, we will have done numerous spiritual practices, either out of duty, or out of some small awareness of faith or hope. But once the lights come on, so to speak, we do those things with the desire that our love would increase. Such is the prayer that is always answered. I could have leapt on the altar today. What an impious scene that would be! I didn't leave my apartment that way. There's just something about Jesus, as they say. I can hear him, almost as if he's talking, in the Gospels this week. As Jesus approaches Jerusalem anew in a sense, we are reminded that there is no middle ground. We either have ears to hear, or we don't. Lord, give us as much love as we are able to receive, and give us grace to receive more. Amen.

Angry All The Time

There's a song I love by that name. Bruce Robison wrote it; it's a song about the heartbreak and loss of a divorce. It's quite possibly the saddest song I've ever heard. But it has a humorous second life for me, sort of teasing somebody who really should lighten up. You just sing the last line of the chorus, in the general direction of the sourpuss: "I don't know why you gotta be/Angry all the time." (This is definitely another one of those country songs Confirmation Sponsor Guy should listen to, and appreciate.) Country superstar Tim McGraw recorded the song as well, but his voice is too clean to really make you believe him. Bruce Robison sounds like he's been crushed by life, and that's what you need for a song like this. Kelly Willis sings the background vocals, and you can almost believe she is the wife. Truly haunting stuff. Anyway, I've alternately wanted to sing the last line of the chorus in the general direction of the angry electo

Calling My Name

I remember the day Jesus called out to me from the altar. It is possible in theory to believe that every attempt to celebrate the Supper is a valid and equally fruitful one, at least until Jesus, in a Catholic church, tells you in fact you are wrong. But that's another story. A non-practicing Catholic friend has gone to Mass with me the past several days. How bad is our catechesis? Well, when the Church's children think that the state of grace and keeping the commandments is something only priests and nuns do, we have a problem. More than that, though, who is Jesus? To our great detriment, it is possible to know exactly who Jesus is, and why that's important, but make a gravely sinful choice, from weakness or other fault. Yet it must be said that knowing who Jesus is--having faith, in other words--makes everything easier. My brethren, why do we start with the stuff that doesn't matter? The first and best answer to the question, "Why do you do what you do?&quo

I Don't Criticize Pope Francis, Continued

I realize every time I see Dr. Bryan Cross interacting on the internet about some papal statement or document, whether I agree with Dr. Cross's analysis or not, there is a very good chance that I do not understand all the nuances of whatever has been said. That is to say, there are 3 things that go into apprehending whatever is being said: 1. The true teachings of the Catholic Church on any matter touching faith and morals (to which the universal catechism provides the most ready access for even the educated layperson) 2. The specific context into which the pope is speaking, and the purpose for which he has spoken and 3. The judgments of prudence which led to the pastoral decision to speak, rather than not. I have a Master's degree in Catholic theology; if anyone should at least begin to say that he could speak intelligently in interpreting Pope Francis, it would be someone like me. The reality is this, however: I can't remember the last time I could say that I understood