instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

The one who has hope lives differently; the one who hopes has been granted the gift of a new life. 
-- Benedictus PP. XVI


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Prayer request

We've just learned that a friend of my son has died. She was a high school senior,  killed in a crash last night. Prayers for the repose of her soul are requested --  as well as prayers for her family and friends, and all affected by the accident.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Notes from a retreat

Our parish RCIA program had a retreat today. Some talks about prayer, some prayer (including Mass and Exposition with Benediction), and a fabulous lunch.

A few random notes from what others said:
  • In prayer, we are beggars before God; we have nothing and we need everything. But how does our attitude toward the beggars who beg from us affect our attitude toward our own beggarhood?

  • In the fight against evil, the Christian's weapon is love. The good news: there's an infinite source of love. The bad news: in this world, the weapon of love is the cross.

  • Faith becomes real faith when we lean on God so far, we would fall over if He weren't there.

  • We are not all given the charism of healing, but we are all called to bring Jesus to others, and when we bring Jesus we bring healing. 



Sunday, December 02, 2012

Happy All-Things-New Year!

The homilist today said, "We are waiting for a Person, not a thing."

This led to an exhortation for parents to teach their children that Advent isn't about getting ready to receive gifts, but getting ready to receive the Presence of Christ. If what the Church sets aside as a penitential season is experienced only as a build-up to getting stuff, then kids will be empty on December 26 -- not to mention at age 26, when they will be disappointed in God for not living up to their expectations.

For my part, I heard "we are waiting for a Person, not a thing" in the context of today's Gospel reading. The  mini-Apocalypse of the Synoptics (Mt 24, Mk 13, Lk 21) is introduced by people asking when the destruction of the Temple, which Jesus foretold, would happen. (Matthew records the disciples asking a more expansive question -- ‚ÄúTell us, when will this happen, and what sign will there be of your coming, and of the end of the age?" -- which may just reflect the idea that the destruction of the Temple signifies the end of the age.) What is anticipated is the destruction of a thing, not the arrival of a Person.

But even if the end of the world is coincident with, and inseparable from, the Second Coming of Christ, I'd say that "waiting for the end of the world" constitutes a different, and inferior, state than "waiting for the return of Jesus."


Quotable Newman: Not the nature of Christian knowledge

And in matter of fact there have been very grievous mistakes respecting the nature of Christian knowledge. There have been at all times men so ignorant of the object of Christ's coming, as to consider mysteries inconsistent with the light of the Gospel. They have thought the darkness of Judaism, of which Scripture speaks, to be a state of intellectual ignorance; and Christianity to be, what they term, a "rational religion." And hence they have argued, that no doctrine which was mysterious, i.e. too deep for human reason, or inconsistent with their self-devised notions, could be contained in Scripture; as if it were honouring Christ to maintain that when He said a thing, He could not have meant what He said, because they would not have said it. -- Parochial and Plain Sermons, i, 16
From The Quotable Newman, edited by Dave Armstrong.