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Showing posts from December 9, 2018

A Night Of Rain

It's been raining often here for weeks. I had that semi-serious thought all semi-liberals and liberals have, that if it's raining this much this late into December, we've really done a number on our climate system. This isn't Florida; we have snow here. Anyway. While I usually love rain, because it reminds me of the waters of baptism, I'm getting a little sick of it. Last night, I thought it was starting to really get to me, and then I remembered the storms were in my soul. I went to Confession. Admittedly, I went to another priest, because although I can't quite figure out how not to break the heart of God, I didn't want to break Father's heart. Not yesterday. I had another image for rain that came to mind: tears. Heaven knows I have had enough of those. Rain is a plot device in many stories. Writers got together and decided that "It was a dark and stormy night" is a terribly ham-handed way to start a story, and a sloppy way to convey sa

In Praise Of Bernie Sanders (Again)

One of the things that we have to recognize at a minimum is that "real" socialism--where a central government controls all aspects of economic life--doesn't work. It doesn't work--and is morally defective--partly because it denies the existence of private property as such; that the prudential decisions of what one individual determines, up to and including his material needs, and those of his or her family, are not to be subordinated and denied for the sake of the State and its self-preservation. The first part of that, you'd get wide agreement, I'd imagine. One of the problems of various totalitarian regimes ostensibly devoted to socialism, especially in the last century, is that they acquired enough power that the rights and duties of individuals were ruthlessly crushed, and subsumed. As seems to happen, the regime apparatchiks never seem to struggle to find food, and frankly, a lavish lifestyle. Anyway, numerous people on the "Right" in countries

Clarity Time: You Have No "Church"

I know I shouldn't get frustrated. Evangelicals don't know the mess they're actually in. They can't. The imperatives of Sola Scriptura do what they do. You have to account and explain for the reality of visible Christian division, and conceiving of the church universal as invisible seems to solve the most pressing problem, which is how Christians could be united when their visible communities so obviously aren't. More than the apparent obvious division, which any snarky papist could use simply as a talking point, is the dogmatic uncertainty this push for a false unity tries to hide. The reality is this: Christians under the paradigm of Sola Scriptura do not agree on major  points of dogma and Christian practice. Just exactly how will you have a coherent Christian answer to any question? Some people within smaller "conservative" communities are doing yeoman work, rediscovering natural law, ancient creeds, and all manner of things, and for that, I'

Restore The Years

People often joke, and are flippant about so-called "trigger warnings." I'm not going to do that. In fact, I'm giving you one now. This post may be hard to read, for all manner of reasons. If you can't make it through, I understand. I have had a lot of opportunities to reflect upon death the past few months. I think one of the more difficult aspects of death, besides losing a particular person whom you love, is being reminded of all the others you have lost. We can be told a thousand times, "It really wasn't your fault," and we know the right answer; we can even say it. And still we find ourselves saying, "Did I do enough so that they knew how much I loved them?" The fragility of life confronts us ironically with our complacency, the knowledge that in many ways, we take our days for granted, as though they will never end. In another context, I identify strongly with Will Hunting, the brilliant, haunted, abused working-class kid from Bos

My Yoke Is Easy

Some people find it very difficult to go to Mass. Other than the logistics of having a disability, I never have. Jesus said, "And after I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to my myself." The Church teaches us that at the offertory, this is when we prepare to offer ourselves and our lives in union with Christ. And especially when the celebrant prays, "Through him, with him, in him..." In a typical morning offering, we pray, "O Lord, I offer You all my prayers, joys, works, and sufferings [in union with Christ offered in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass]." Everything flows from Calvary, from the cross of Christ. Not as though it isn't finished, but indeed, because it is. Jesus wants to bring the power of His Cross, indeed, His whole paschal mystery, into every corner of our lives. This is why we celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass over and over. The petition of the Our Father, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done" is a re