Skip to main content


Showing posts from April 12, 2020

Most At Home

I feel most at home in the Bible. That's not an odd thing for a Christian to say, I hope. And this is not to say that I have some great training or special insight into it, though I do have some training. Nor is it to say that I am this great prayer warrior, who always applies the Scripture to my life in the proper way, at the proper time. It is to say that I'm continually thankful for the Magisterium. We Catholics don't have to sit around arguing about what the Bible says. We can start getting into its spiritual meaning, and really letting God speak to us personally, without doubting anything about its literal sense. I tell people all the time how lucky we are, because we are freed up to be doers of the word, and not only hearers. Then again, that freedom is in the context of widespread ignorance concerning the Scriptures among American Catholics. Certain clergy have probably been responsible for this ignorance of Scripture, and perhaps some lapses in morality and pi

The Gift Of Self-Sacrificial Love

I'll spare you the usual Catholic speaker platitudes that jump right to, "We should have that same sacrificial love for each other!" No, we need to think about the Cross, before we try to apply it to our lives. The Protestant and Reformed error is to say that the Father is pouring out wrath upon his Son. I'm simply not going to waste any time refuting that on this occasion. On the other hand, all of us should rightly fear the idea proclaimed in some quarters that Jesus did not die for our sins, or that there is no hell. We do need forgiveness of sins, and the sacrifice of the Cross was the means by which it was accomplished. It is a picture of the Father's love, but it is not only a picture. There is also wide agreement--though it does not appear so at first--that we are not only saved by Jesus's death, but by his life. Jesus made the enduring sin offering, and the reason the treasury of merits is inexhaustible is because Jesus is well-pleasing to the Father

The Dark Truth

This is a fair warning: this post will contain extremely bitter thoughts. Sometimes, we know goodness from its opposite. It seems to me that most people, if given a choice between suffering with you, and inflicting suffering upon you, will take the latter. Some more intentionally than others. I confess that I have been tempted to say that I don't want to love or trust anyone. Or at some level, it is more than a temptation. This pandemic has given me cover to get away from people, and frankly, to not feel bad about it. On the other hand, I suppose that if I am buffeted by all these emotions, I haven't given up. I can't say that I don't care what people say and do, because that's obviously not true. Still, I want not to care. It seems like it would be a great grace to me if I did not. On another hand still, the recognized experts in not caring are sociopaths. I'm fairly certain I don't want to be a sociopath. And then there's forgiveness, of course.

I May Well Be "Tedious"

I could read 30 columns all criticizing Donald Trump. He doesn't become more acceptable to me as time passes. In fact, one of the things I promised to myself is that I would never stop being angry in some form about the things which ought to make a person of good conscience angry. That's the danger in the politics game: you've got your side, and as long as either your side is winning, or the other side is as appallingly bad as they've always been, you feel the pressure to ignore or overlook wrong things from your own side. The grisly reality of abortion, and the damage of the sexual revolution still doesn't go away. I can't join the opposition, because the opposition believes in the tenets of the sexual revolution. It's difficult, because I do believe the government is supposed to be a force for good, to actually regulate the exchange of goods and services for the sake of the common good. I'm not on the Right, precisely because I believe the common goo

I Have To Say Something (Liberal Jesus Meme Edition)

You know, if anyone is currently in a position to criticize right-wing American fused religiosity, it's me. I have the ability, the willingness, and the inclination. I just saw a meme from John Fugelsang, a man who was a minor comedian-actor in the '90s, and as much as I'd love to pile on the president and his wacky supporters, I gotta deal with this meme instead. You know how they go: re-cast Jesus as a rebel and a revolutionary, and point out how non-judgy he was, mention the outcasts and sinners, take a couple jabs at political opponents and current issues, and we're done.  Now understand this, my friends: I constitutionally despise reductionism in political thinking. The reason I am where I am politically is because I don't like taking shortcuts through ideas for short-term political expediency. I left the Republican Party because of Donald Trump. I also began to see the weaknesses in the conservative movement with respect to economics because of the smalles

The Raw And Real Easter Post

Happy Easter, everyone. To tell you the truth, I haven't felt much like celebrating. These feelings have gone on for many months. It was the worst day of my life. Seven months ago. Never mind the details. I reached out for help, and I heard in effect, "You're not good enough. You're not being your true self. Many people are disappointed in you." I have been frozen in that day since it happened. But you see, no one is actually harder on me than myself. The outward confidence, the outgoing gregarious nature, all that is the fruit of overcoming the internal struggle, the negative self talk that by definition must be false. I give all of you the good stuff, and I keep the bad stuff between God and me. It had brought me so much joy to see the good work that God was doing in so many other people. I was once called "The Encourager" in college, and it sort of internally stuck. This is who I am; this is what I do. And it's not happy-clappy or fake. If you