Friday, March 20, 2015

Top 10 St John Paul II sayings

Courtesy of Roaming Romans (and through them, Dr. Taylor Marshall) on Facebook:

Top 10 St John Paul II
Quotes of All Time by Dr Taylor Marshall
Here are my all-time top ten favorite quotes from Saint John Paul II:
1. “Faith and Reason are like two wings of the human spirit by which is soars to the truth.” ( my personal favorite JP2 quote!--present in FB original)
2. “Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and Alleluia is our song.”
3. “Do not be afraid. Do not be satisfied with mediocrity. Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”
4. “I plead with you! Never, ever give up on hope, never doubt,
never tire, and never become discouraged. Be not afraid.”

5. “The worst prison would be a closed heart.”
6. “A person’s rightful due is to be treated as an object of love, not as an object for use.”
7. “As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.”
8. “It is the duty of every man to uphold the dignity of every woman.” (this is a great one, gentlemen!--present in FB original)
9. “If He asks much of you, it is because He knows you can give much.”
10. “Love between man and woman cannot be built without sacrifices and self-denial.”


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Thursday, March 12, 2015

art and comedy

OK, so today's a THURSDAY which means....the LUMINOUS mysteries of the Rosary. St. John Paul II receives so much recognition, and rightfully so, for his theological anthropology (not just sexual ethics) called the "Theology of the Body."  Great stuff, of course.  However, his addition of these mysteries to the Rosary might constitute an equally (or more?) revolutionary contribution to Catholic life. The Rosary, after all, is the Catholic prayer.  Like many, perhaps, it took me a while to acclimate to the new mysteries.  Helping me, though, was the fourth--The Transfiguration of Christ.  The Renaissance painter Raphael produced perhaps the best-known (and certainly one of the most beautiful) paintings of it, a replica of which graces the Altar of the Transfiguration in St. Peter's Basilica.

The true, the good, and the beautiful came to mind again last week when I saw this rendering of St. Katherine Drexel  by Marian Stokes (H/T Father David Abernathy, CO, via Google+).  A different style, to be sure, but conveys the spiritual beauty and truth through the physical form.  And isn't that thus a good?  The depiction of St. Katherine at prayer provides a model and goal for our own spiritual practice.  We might not achieve the quietude and peace she found (and in that painting, is finding), but grace reaches us through (not because of) our imitation.  Thus the great and significant, like Raphael's fresco or St. Peter's basilica, need not be the only places and things through which we find that God endeavors to me us. 


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Who Said This Was Going To Be Easy?

My latest over at the SJCME theology blog.  Which everybody should follow, if not already.  The contributions there run the spectrum of theological topics, but rest assured the theology is rock-solid Roman Catholic.  It is an honor to work with my colleagues there.

Although I am, admittedly, the one who always pulls pop culture into the discussions.  If you're looking for an answer to the blog post's question, here's a video (warning:  with some racy scenes--SFW but some might not like it anyway) that provides the same answer (i.e., NO ONE) in a slightly different key.


The Gospel call is unique and all-encompassing, and we are told it won't be easy.  That being said, there's a gritty realism shared by the Gospel and other walks of life. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

never thought I'd see the day

over 5, 000 hits on this blog!

Thank you very much for reading--whether you agree or disagree.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

that long arm has hair and the occasional wart

an awkward way of saying...the law, while an objective good for the common good (Catechism #1951), is policed and adjudicated by real live human beings.  I.e., it will not always be perfect.  Real people make real mistakes, and some times real people willfully commit really wrong acts and will use that same law to cover their tracks. 

See Judges 21:25In those days there was no king in Israel; all the people did what was right in their own eyes.

and then Catechism #1953:  "The moral law finds its fullness and its unity in Christ.  Jesus Christ in in person the way of perfection.  He is the end of the law, for only he teaches and bestows the justice of God: "For Christ is the end of the law, that every one who has faith may be justified." (citing Leo XIII's Libertas praestantissimum)

St. Paul the apostle and St. Augustine had a few things to say about this, too.  

Keeping all this mind might help given recent headlines about policing and justice.  America Magazine sees the difficulty:  everybody falls short of the law, but then those charged with upholding and policing the law are people, too.  In our protests for a more just society we cannot ignore or violate the humanity and dignity of the police;  they're just as human as we are.  The Jesuit editors:

With the legitimacy that only an insider can bring to bear, Mr. Comey said that he and many of his fellow officers “develop different flavors of cynicism that we work hard to resist because they can be lazy mental shortcuts.” The antidote to such prejudice in police work, he suggests, is empathy: “We must better understand the people we serve and protect—by trying to know, deep in our gut, what it feels like to be a law-abiding young black man walking on the street and encountering law enforcement.”

Mr. Comey did not, however, let the rest of society off the hook. Police officers work courageously in challenging communities “that most citizens are able to drive around” literally and figuratively by ignoring social ills that incentivize criminal behavior. In the national conversation on race, sparked by the events in Ferguson last summer, people have too often spoken past each other. We must all take up Mr. Comey’s challenge to confront our own latent biases and see the humanity of police and civilians alike.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

current internet blog-crush...

...is "Karl Barth for Dummies".

The beauty that is the Internet has managed, perhaps miraculously, to combine the twentieth-century's most important Protestant theologian** with the 140 character limit of Twitter.  Voila!  Little Barth snippets, almost like theological Molotov cocktails, to lob at unsuspecting friends, co-workers, and fellow bloggernistas.

[I would warn against lobbing too many Barth quotations at family members.  Potentially disruptive]

E.g.,

In the Church of Jesus Christ there can and should be no non-theologians. Karl

or
is the closest thing to the of God. Karl

or
There are no courageous deeds in theology without the knowledge that by our power alone nothing at all can be done. Karl