Friday, September 30, 2011

"Catholicism is Not Strident"

And should never be.  This is an awesome post from the Anchoress--I'll be posting some other excerpts in the coming days.  Excerpts:
...One of the things I love about Catholicism is that it’s not strident. We have an enormous catechism, and we have a depository of faith, a duty to propagate the truth and a pope who gives excellent instruction and models the life of faith for us. We know that there is only one truth, the Word Incarnate, and all that flows from that Source — but we also have the humility to understand that, as we heard last weekend at Mass, “my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD.”

Which means that sometimes even things that strike us as infuriating, unjust or in all-ways-wrong are used by God for his purposes and glory.

The crucifix reminds us of that, everyday...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

On Father Pavone

A challenge to me, and to everyone.  Excerpts:
...Pope John Paul II taught us that authentic freedom consists in doing what one ought to do, and not what one wants to do.

For all of the immense good that Father Pavone has done, he was not ordained a pro-life activist. He was ordained a Roman Catholic Priest. I was at his ordination. I heard his vows. I saw the chalice and paten placed in his hands. I saw Cardinal O’Connor hand him the Book of the Gospels, signifying his priestly mandates to preach and teach the Gospel and to consecrate the Eucharist.

That blows away everything else on the planet, including the pro-life movement!...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Holy Zelie, Mother of Therese, Pray for Us

How do you become a saint?  Ask the saints, and the mothers of saints.  Excerpts:
...I couldn’t put down the biography of Blessed Zelie Martin, mother of St. Therese, which was full of vignettes from the saint’s mother’s life.  Every section of the book drew me further into the heart of Zelie, a most beautiful woman inside and out; a kind, devoted wife and mother who wanted nothing else except sainthood for her family; a mother I so wanted to become.  As I sped through the pages, I felt in turns both deeply inspired to multiply my efforts of guiding my family back to its heavenly home, as well as completely depressed as my life began to stand in stark contrast to Zelie’s with each page.  And yet, as I read, I felt Zelie and Therese’s encouragement, as if they were right next to me in Starbucks—what would they order, I wonder—insisting that holiness was within my reach as well, if I only gave myself to Christ as they had...

The Ghettoization of Everyday Life

People used to push back against "the Catholic ghetto."  Only now, we're all in our own little separate, virtual camps.  Excerpts:
...The increased Balkanization of our society — with everyone hanging out in echo chambers peopled primarily by those who agree with everyone else — is settling us into ghetto mentalities. I once had a Catholic Mom express concern to me that her kids admired a flamboyantly “g-a-y” singer, and she didn’t know what to think about that, or what to tell them, since “we don’t know any people like that.”

And in the ghetto next door, of course, there are gays who have nothing good to say about “Christian conservatives” because they don’t actually know any people like that. A family member once brought a gay friend to an Eagle Scout ceremony. He’d prepared to walk into a lion’s den of growling, spitting haters, and instead found himself told to get comfortable by a bunch of firefighters doing ceremonials and middle-aged moms fighting over the coffee urn, none of whom cared about his eyeliner.

It’s easy to simmer in the ghetto, easy to get comfortable with assumptions, stereotypes, paranoias and fears, because there is nothing to challenge them. Actually meeting the people we think we know all about (gay people; “illegal” immigrants who have been here for twenty years, the progressive blogger everyone told you was a meanie, but is just worried; the conservative who seems so terse but is just shy) getting to know them, working with them, agreeing on some things, disagreeing on others — when you do that, suddenly the “other” is a person struggling along, just like you, being battered in some ways, soaring in others. That’s when caricatures crumble.

And others, of course, culled from the same groups, are just miserable bastards you can’t do much about but kiss ‘em up to God, and move on...

Bishops, Catholic Charities Speak on HHS Rules

Well--I hope that if this passes, they actually hold their ground, otherwise this will have been much ado about nothing.

But when some of these people appear in the same story on the same side (they got the Archbishop for the Archdiocese of Military Services to speak publicly against rules proposed by a cabinet level department?  Sister Carol Keehan on the same side on healthcare as Franciscan University of Steubenville?) From NCRegister:
“Under the new rule our institutions would be free to act in accord with Catholic teaching on life and procreation only if they were to stop hiring and serving non-Catholics,” explained Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ pro-life committee.

“Although this new rule gives the agency the discretion to authorize a ‘religious’ exemption, it is so narrow as to exclude most Catholic social-service agencies and health-care providers,” he warned...

“The administration’s brazen attempt to attach the binding strings of its secularist agenda to something as basic as health insurance constitutes an unprecedented threat to individual and institutional religious freedom,” Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Military Archdiocese said on Sept. 23...

“Unintended or not, this mandate is an attack on Catholic beliefs and on the religious liberty of Catholics to adhere to their beliefs as they serve the community in which they live,” Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh wrote in a Sept. 15 letter to Sebelius.

The bishop noted that Catholic Charities in his diocese alone has served more than 80,000 people last year “without regard to the religious belief” of those they ministered to.

But “under this mandate, Catholic Charities of Pittsburgh would either be forced to cease to exist or restrict its employees and its wide-ranging social services to practicing Catholics alone...”

The Catholic Health Association was also critical of the exemptions, with executive director Sister Carol Keehan saying that she is “very concerned about the inadequacy of the conscience protections with respect to the coverage of contraception.”

“As it stands, the language is not broad enough to protect our Catholic health providers,” Sister Carol added.

“Catholic hospitals are a significant part of this nation’s health care, especially in the care of the most vulnerable. It is critical that we be allowed to serve our nation without compromising our conscience...”
And CWNews:
“Recent history demonstrates that many religious employers will exit from the marketplace rather than abandon their mission to offer faithful witness in the course of providing service,” they write. “Those behind the new regulations must be willing to accept this effect, and perhaps even desire it. This is revolutionary. Never before in American history has any administration—state or federal—been so willing to force religious institutions out of business...”

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Elder Brother in the Faith...Msgr. Georg Ratzinger

Heh. Best lines:
...He said he has never had an elder-brother attitude with his younger sibling, having to keep him in line. “That was never the case with us,” he said. “I know that he is reasonable and responsible, and I also try to be so. It was always like this.”

And despite the loftiness and awesome responsibility of his little brother being Pope, Msgr. Georg still calls him “Joseph.” “Anything else” he said, “would be abnormal and awkward.”

Monday, September 26, 2011

Looks like Jesus to Me!

So a couple of friends were talking about Platonic ideals and so on and so forth, and we came round to the question of the ideal man.

"Plato would say it's a spiritual reality entirely," commented Philosopher Friend.

"But it's Jesus!" responded Writer Friend.

And they were both right.

The Son of the Father is a spiritual being from all eternity.  With the Incarnation, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity is Jesus Christ, Son of God, Son of Mary, true God, true Man.  With the Incarnation, Jesus becomes the ultimate Everyman, the ultimate Man, opening the way for all of humanity to share in God's grace and glory.  He saved us by taking on humanity, and thereby making it the means for our salvation, opening the way for grace to well up as streams of living water from within our hearts.  By his sacred humanity, the fact that his human heart becomes capable of serving as the seat of his divine personhood, our hearts then become capable of providing a home for the Trinity, as well.

The heart is the core of the person, according to Scripture.  And the person is necessary for covenants to be sworn, as Dr. Hahn has repeatedly declared.  By the exchange of persons, sacred kinship bonds are formed.  Law takes force, ordered to love, and as the Holy Father has pointed out in his Letter to Seminarians written during the Year of the Priest, there is no love without law.  There can be no exchange of persons without constancy, without stability, and no deification without a true self-gift.  God comes and dwells in the hearts of men when men love God.  We are made capable of loving God by the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit, by prevenient grace, by God's loving us into life and love, so that his life and love can come and dwell with us, pouring forth from us into the world as Jesus came from Mary's womb, as Jesus came from his burial tomb.

Jesus became man so that men might become other Christs, sons of God, mediating the face, the person of the Father into the world and consecrating the world into the heart of the divine life and love at the heart of the Trinity till God be all in all.

Love, True Love

From an expert on the subject.  Excerpts:
The objective aspect of love is much more than a psychological experience happening inside of me. It is "an interpersonal fact." It considers what is really happening in the relationship, not just the good feelings I experience when I'm with the other person. The objective aspect of love involves a mutual commitment of the will to what is best for the other person and the virtue to be able to help the other person pursue what is best for them. Even more, love in this fullest sense involves self-giving — a surrendering of one's will, a decision to limit one's autonomy in order to serve the other more freely.

Therefore, the real questions in love are not the subjective ones: "Do I have strong feelings and desire for my beloved? Does he or she have strong feelings and sensual desire for me?" Anyone can have feelings and desire for another person. But not everyone has the virtue and commitment to make self-giving love possible.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

How to Pray, the Carmelite Way

Interesting article.  Excerpts:
...To Carmelites, prayer is relationship. It is time spent with Someone you love. It is that coming to know Another in a deeper way – to pray is to speak and then to listen; to communicate on a more personal and profound level and to grow in understanding, respect and appreciation of the other. St. Teresa of Avila puts it this way. “Prayer is nothing else than an intimate friendship, a frequent heart-to-heart conversation with Him, Who we know loves us” (Life, viii).

Not good enough or holy enough? Not long enough or intense enough? It is one way of looking at it, but it makes me think of asking you a question. What does love look like? Does it not have a thousand faces? The face of love can sit quietly in sorrow, sympathy and compassion. Or it can radiate with joy and laughter and grimace in steadfast, faithful determination. When someone truly falls in love, I don’t think there should be, or are, such questions. They minimize and actually detract from the power of loving. To be with, to share with, to companion the One you love is love. Love is more than an experience. Well, love is love.

This same concept can be applied to prayer. God and I, as impossible as it seems and as unworthy as I see myself, can be in relationship – just as any person to another. It is mind-boggling to think about. It is actually THE relationship for which I was created...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

New Evangelization in Action

Coolness abounding.  Excerpts:
...Two generations without God are a lot, to the memory of men. But when, one day, some of Professor Rebeggiani's children began to sing from the balcony of their home – for the pure joy of it – the ancient song "Non nobis Domine sed nomini tuo da gloriam," the neighbors came to the windows to listen. And a widow asked the young people to sing the same song at the cemetery, in memory of her dead husband. They did, and one of those present approached them at the end: "It's been such a long time," he said, "since I heard anything that gave me some hope."

Who knows, you ask yourself, if it didn't begin the same way for the handful of Benedictine monks and laypeople who arrived here in 1136: with the astonishment of men who glimpsed something beautiful in them, and felt a mysterious longing for it...

Friday, September 23, 2011

Chesterton Makes the Chronicle of Higher Ed!

Libations and carols all around!  Excerpts:
It has been over half a century since Maisie Ward's major biography of G.K Chesterton (1874-1936) appeared in 1943. Since then, Chesterton has largely been a darling of Anglophiles, conservatives, and orthodox Roman Catholics, the sort of writer often invoked in the pages of the National Review. And oh, yes, read by mystery-story lovers everywhere for his Father Brown series.

More recently, however, he has begun to find a sympathetic audience in wider literary circles, as evidenced by G.K. Chesterton, Ian Ker's detailed and compelling new biography from Oxford University Press, and a generous collection of his writings this year from Everyman's Library, selected by Ker, a senior research fellow at St. Benet's Hall, Oxford University. From my viewpoint, it's time Chesterton was taken seriously as a major critic and biographer, a thinker of sharp wit and deep learning...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Weigel on Barron's "Catholicism"

An interesting review.  Excerpts:
...Over the next four decades, I wondered whether someone, somewhere, at some point, would do a “Civilization”-like series on Catholicism itself: a Grand Tour of the Catholic world that explored the Church as a culture through its teaching, its art, its music, its architecture—and above all, through the lives it shaped. That has now happened. The result is the most important media initiative in the history of the Catholic Church in the United States.

The man responsible for this feat is Father Robert Barron, a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago and a faculty member at Mundelein Seminary. Father Barron is an old friend (and a colleague on NBC’s Vatican coverage), but I’ll risk the charge of special pleading by stating unequivocally that Father Barron’s “Catholicism”, a 10-part series premiering on public television stations around the country this fall, is a master work by a master teacher. In 10 episodes that take the viewer around the Catholic world, from Chartres to the slums of Calcutta and dozens of points in-between, Father Barron lays out the Catholic proposal in a visually stunning and engaging series of presentations that invites everyone into the heart of the faith, which is friendship with Jesus Christ...

Reasons to be Pro-Life

From a great mind. Excerpts:
...Are there "public arguments"-reasons that can be given that do not presuppose agreement on religious grounds or common religious commitments-that can guide our thoughts and actions, as well as our laws and public policies?

In Ten Universal Principles: A Brief Philosophy of the Life Issues, Jesuit Father Robert Spitzer sets out, in a brief, yet highly-readable and lucid style, ten basic principles that must govern the reasonable person's thinking and acting about life issues. A highly-regarded philosopher, Father Spitzer provides an intelligent outline for thinking and talking about human life. This book is a powerful tool for persuasively articulating and effectively inculturating a prolife philosophy...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Challenge to Priests and Bishops

An interesting challenge.  Excerpts:
...In these days of often anemic homilies, our bishops and priests need to do a serious, collective self-examination on why they cannot bring themselves to talk about things like those mentioned above. We don't need them thrown in jail for carrying graphic pictures of abortions; we need them to understand what it is that must die within the self for them to begin preaching about the fullness of the faith, rather than just parts of it. They ought not worry about the handful that are going to walk out of Church on account of pride when they discuss difficult topics. If someone starts shouting from the pews, stop preaching, stand there humbly and wait for them to leave, which they usually do. Consider that an entire town told Our Lord to stay away because they didn't want to know the truth. Don't yield to these types who are sitting in the pews and thus refrain to teach the rest of us the fullness of the faith. There is way too much concern for the self-esteem of a few and not enough concern for the eternal souls of the many. In these times, there is no room for such false charity and spineless reserve.

For our part, we need to do a serious, collective examination on how much time we spend on our knees praying for the sanctification of bishops and priests, and for them to get the holy boldness they need. Perhaps we in the pew, through lack of prayer for them, have earned the banalities we have been lamenting for so long. We would do well to start spending no less than one hour per week in a holy hour for this purpose, most especially on Thursday evenings - meditating on Our Lord's passion, asking for vocations, and praying for the sanctification of the priesthood. Don't let the lack of an adoration chapel in your area stop you; just shut the TV off, get off the internet, and do it in the home if it is all that is available...
For a role-model, see here:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Some Animals Are More Equal

An interesting glimpse into the atheist's mind.  Excerpts:
...many of my Catholic friends are baffled by how someone could hold both of those views simultaneously: How can you respect animal life but not human life? they wonder. To me, it makes sense. In fact, I used to be a pro-choice vegetarian. And while I now vehemently disagree with at least the pro-choice part of it, I still find the vegetarian/pro-choice position to be an intellectually consistent—if chilling—part of the atheist-materialist worldview...

While I donated money to PETA and other animal rights organizations to help save pigs and cows, I also donated money to Planned Parenthood to support the abortion industry. I had not the slightest qualm about the idea of an early-stage abortion. On my spectrum of worthiness of life, adult humans were on the far right side; fetuses were on the left. Unborn humans were somewhere around shrimp and worms in terms of value, because they could not display any intelligence. And so it seemed unfair to ask women to turn their lives upside down for a lifeform that had all the value of a crustacean.

Even though it would be years before I would come to see that this entire understanding of human life was founded on a lie, I would occasionally get a glimpse of the chilling implications of this view...

What’s troubling, however, is that this idea of intelligence = value is increasingly prevalent in our culture. It might make a certain amount of sense when applying it to other animals, but when we evaluate people by this standard, throwing out the millennia-old concept of the inherent value of human life, the results are chilling indeed.
In other words: moderns are basically gnostics, believers that the enlightened are the worthy, the holy, that the Brahmins are superior to the Dalits.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Faith Through Suffering

An intense story of conversion.  Excerpts:
...I've noticed that, from my childhood, when faced with frightening or worrying experiences I seek solace in books, and this was no exception. As Peter and I launched into this new experience of home schooling, I buried myself in the works of authors I have long loved, including C. S. Lewis, in my spare time. Though Peter was calmer, his symptoms continued unabated. I retreated even further into quiet despair.

An insight from Lewis' book The Problem of Pain had a profound impact on me: "Pain removes the veil. It plants the flag of truth within the fortress of a rebel soul." As I sat one day at our dining room table, reading and absorbing those words with my twitching, barking son beside me working on his math lesson, it did indeed feel as if a veil was being ripped off my old perceptions of myself, of God and of the world. I knew I needed to go deeper, to find a new way to live with our reality, to cope with the hopelessness and bitterness I felt, to make sense of the suffering my son was enduring, and to find the strength of spirit to help him rise above his challenges.

C. S. Lewis led me to one of his favorite authors, G. K. Chesterton, whose books I ate up with an eagerness that alarmed my husband. Hugely intrigued by Chesterton's conversion to Catholicism, I started reading the works of other notable converts – Cardinal John Henry Newman, Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, Scott Hahn, Richard John Neuhaus and Thomas Howard. I joined in an experience common to almost all of these authors, a letting-go of my perception of how I thought God works. It became increasingly clear to me that I was in love with God's blessings, but not with God. I had long been worshipping a deity of my own construction that conveniently propped up my own ideas and plans. Needless to say, my life was now looking much different than I'd ever imagined...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

"The Book Weighs Almost as Much as Chesterton Himself."

A line for the ages.  I want one.  Excerpts:
...The lovers love Chesterton, of course. The haters claim not to hate him but are very anxious to see him dismissed. They are desperately worried that he is suddenly being taken seriously. After all, this is the third major biography to appear in less than two years, and two of them have come from one of the most respected publishers in the world. In other words, the reactions have been to Chesterton, and not to the book...

Ker had not really begun to read Chesterton in earnest until just over a decade ago. What especially struck him as he got deeper into his subject was Chesterton’s importance as a literary critic, which has been sadly overlooked by the academic community. But he also gained an appreciation of Chesterton’s humor. We find, says Ker, a mini-philosophy, even a mini-theology, of laughter. Chesterton’s writing shakes with laughter, but it is not random. It is pointed. It has an eternal orientation. It turns out to be Catholic...

Books for Life

A reading list from a friend, posted by another friend.

This is a list that a friend gave me. Enjoy:

1. The Razor's Edge by Somerset Maugham
2. The Moon and the Sixpence by Somerset Maugham
3. That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis
4. Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins
5. Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins
6. Any other book by Tom Robbins (except Villa Incognito)
7. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig
8. Lila by Robert Pirsig
9. The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton
10. Knowledge of Higher Worlds and Its Attainment by Rudolf Steiner
11. Airborne by William F. Buckley
12. The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis
13. The Inner Chapters by Chuang Zi
14. The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis
15. The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac
16. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
17. Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats
18. Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton
19. Earth House Hold by Gary Snyder
20. Archaic Revival by Terence McKenna
21. Lost in the Cosmos by Walker Percy
22. My Big TOE by Thomas Campbell
23. Meditations on the Tarot by "Anonymous" (Valentine Tomberg)
24. Humboldt's Gift by Saul Bellow
25. What is Necessary in these Urgent Times by Rudolf Steiner
26. Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco
27. Consolation of the Heart of Jesus by Fr. Michael Gaitley
28. Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Why Do You Believe In God?

Some answers just make better stories than others.  Excerpts:
...Upon concluding through a torturous and decades-long and remorseless process of logic that all my fellow atheists were horribly comically wrong about every basic point of philosophy, ethics and logic, and my hated enemies the Christians were right, I wondered how this could be. The data did not match the model.

Being a philosopher and not a poseur, I put the matter to an empirical test.

For the first time in my life, I prayed, and said. “Dear God. There is no logical way you could possibly exist, and even if you appeared before me in the flesh, I would call it an hallucination. So I can think of no possible way, no matter what the evidence and no matter how clear it was, that you could prove your existence to me. But the Christians claim you are benevolent, and that my failure to believe in you inevitably will damn me. If, as they claim, you care whether or not I am damned, and if, as they claim, you are all wise and all powerful, you can prove to me that you exist even though I am confident such a thing is logically impossible. Thanking you in advance for your cooperation in this matter, John C. Wright.” — and then my mind was at rest. I had done all I needed to do honestly to maintain my stature as someone, not who claimed to be logical, objective and openminded, but who was logical, objective, and openminded.

Three days later, with no warning, I had a heart attack, and was lying on the floor, screaming and dying.

-Then I was saved from certain death by faith-healing, after which–

-I felt the Holy Spirit enter my body, after which–

-became immediately aware of my soul, a part of myself which, until that time, I reasoned and thought did not exist-

-I was visited by the Virgin Mary, her son, and His Father-

-not to mention various other spirits and ghosts over a period of several days–

-including periods of divine ecstasy, and an awareness of the mystical oneness of the universe-

-And a week or so after that I had a religious experience where I entered the mind of God and saw the indescribable simplicity and complexity, love, humor and majesty of His thought, and I understood the joy beyond understanding and comprehended the underlying unity of all things, and the paradox of determinism and free will was made clear to me, as was the symphonic nature of prophecy. I was shown the structure of time and space.

-And then Christ in a vision told me that He would be my judge, and that God judges no man. I mentioned this event to my wife. Then about a month later, when I was reading the Bible for the first time beyond the unavoidable minimum assigned in school, I came across the passage in the book of John, a passage I had never seen before, and to which no Christian in my hearing had ever made reference, which said the same thing in the same words.

-And then I have had perhaps a dozen or two dozen prayers miraculously answered, so much so that I now regard it as a normal routine rather than some extraordinary act of faith.

So I would say my snide little prayer was answered with much more than I had asked, and I was given not just evidence, and not just overwhelming evidence, but joy unspeakable and life eternal...
This is, of course, the conversion story of the inimitable John C. Wright, Science Fiction Author Extraordinaire and Junior Under-Assassin (Albino Division) in the Opus Dei Leet Squad of D&D Geeks (Motto:  "We Have Dice, Hear Them Roll!").  Rumor has it he's really handy with a rosary.  Be afraid.  Be very afraid.

I've got to share one more bit of his story.  Excerpts:
...I am not a Deist because Deism is not a satisfactory model for my experience. I did not meet a generic god, the god of the philosophers, or some nondenominational new age Being of Light. I met the three persons of the Trinity, one after another.

And Mary. I spoke with her. I wish I could tell you of her kindness, her simple, unaffected goodness of heart. She is more celebrated now than any queen, and lives where joy lives forever, and bright spirits like votive candles surround her, but I wish I could do something, anything to undo the sorrows she knew in life. Poor woman. Poor, poor woman.

If this was all hallucination, if this was all madness, I tell you truthfully that I would believe it nonetheless, just on the smallest chance I might see her again in heaven, and hold her hand again. Hers was the callused hand of a working woman.

Friday, September 9, 2011

How to Pray

(Charles de Foucauld) loved.  "To pray is to think of God with thoughts of love."  "The best prayer is the one in which there is the most love.  It is so much better because it is loving," he wrote to Marie de Bondy.--Jean-Jacques Antier, Charles de Foucauld, pg. 154

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Center of Life is Love

Charles knew that from experience: the center of his life was not penance but love, which he found in contemplation, in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and in (receiving) the Eucharist.  His faith in the Real Presence was total:  "You are there, my Lord Jesus, in the Holy Eucharist.  You are there but a few feet from me, in the tabernacle.  Your body, your soul, your humanity, your divinity, your entire being is there in its double nature!  How close you are, God!"--Jean Jacques Antier, Charles de Foucauld, pg 154

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Love and Suffering

When we love, what is sweeter than giving to the one we love?  Especially if we give something with which we do not want to part, then what is sweeter than suffering for love, than giving all the blood in our heart to the one we love?--Charles de Foucauld, pg., 144

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

One Thing Eternal

One passage in particular (from Bossuet's Elevations sur les mysteres) vibrated in the deepest fibers of his being: "Let us form in ourselves the Holy Trinity, unity with God, knowledge of God, love for God. And since our knowledge, which for now is imperfect and obscure, will depart, and since the love in us is the sole thing that will never depart, let us love, let us love. Let us do without end what we shall do without end. Let us do without end in the temporal world what we shall do without end in eternity."--Jean-Jacques Antier, Charles de Foucauld (Charles of Jesus), pg. 94

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Universe is A Many-Splendored Thing

Why shouldn't Christ be able to rise from the dead?  Of course, when I myself determine what is allowed to exist and what isn't, then of course phenomena like these have to be excluded.  It is an act of intellectual arrogance for us to declare that they are internally contradictory or absurd and, for that reason alone, impossible.  But it is not our business to decide how many possibilities are latent in the cosmos, how many possibilities are hidden above and in it...--Pope Benedict XVI in Peter Seewald's Light of the World, pg. 168.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Themes of Benedict XVI's Life

Two themes have always accompanied me in my life, then: on the one hand, the theme of Christ, as the living, present God, the God who loves us and heals us through suffering, and, on the other hand, the theme of love, which for its part occupies a central place in Johannine theology--because I knew that love is the key to Christianity, that love is the angle from which it has to be approached.  Which is why I also wrote the first encyclical from the point of view of this key--Pope Benedict XVI in Peter Seewald's Light of the World, pg. 102


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...