Fr. Barron Comes to Los Angeles!

If you're reading this blog you're probably already aware that Fr. Robert Barron of Word On Fire has been appointed one of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles' three new auxiliary bishops. I didn't hear anything in Archbishop Gomez' press conference today about how they would be serving, but I have some speculations.The Archidiocese of Los Angeles is immense, the largest in the United States in terms of population. It has historically been divided into five pastoral regions, each with its own … [Read more...]

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How Can There Be No Suffering in Heaven?

In a previous post I argued that free will allows the making of poor choices, and that poor choices* lead to suffering for one's self and for others, yet God valued that free will enough to allow suffering to follow from it.  This led many people to ask the obvious question: what happens in Heaven?  There's no suffering in Heaven, yet presumably we still have free will.  How I can square my claim with that point of doctrine?It's a tricky question, because our knowledge of Heaven is so li … [Read more...]

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Today’s Aquinas: Consubwhatsis with the Father?

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here.This chapter is surprisingly topical given last year’s new English translation of the Roman Missal.  In the Profession of Faith the phrase that had been translated “of one being with the Father” is now translated “consubstantial with the Father”.  This is a difficult phrase, to be sure, but it has the advantage that at least it isn’t deceptively clear.  Thomas has … [Read more...]

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Sing, Sing, Sing!

One of my favorite pieces from the Swing era is Benny Goodman's epic version of "Sing, Sing, Sing", which to my surprise I heard playing over the loudspeakers while in line for the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland a few days ago. It's long, so start it going and let it play in the background while you read your e-mail or something:Of course, Goodman wasn't the original composer; that credit goes to Louis Prima, who not only plays a mean trumpet but also sings:And finally, here's a … [Read more...]

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The Dogmat Saw Litigation, Minecraft Cathedrals, and Absurd Optimism

The Dogmat saw the usual range of stuff, including a couple of thought-provoking pieces and some absurd and touching faith in the power of technology and technological thinking.The Cathedral of Our Lady of Amiens in Minecraft: Be sure to click through and watch the video; it's truly an amazing accomplishment. (Link courtesy of Tom McDonald.)What's the Point of Pointless Suffering?: We've been discussing suffering recently, chez Dogmat; here's one of Jennifer Fitz' recent posts on the … [Read more...]

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We Suffer Because We Are Human

In my previous post I ended by suggesting that God couldn’t remove all suffering in the world without changing humanity: without making human beings something they are not.  In this post I’m going to explain why I say that.  It comes down to free will, which leads to some surprising places.We human beings have free will in a sense that other animals do not seem to.*  We can choose from among many choices; and though we always choose from among the things that seem good to us, we know we can c … [Read more...]

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Why Doesn’t God Prevent Suffering?

My atheist interlocutors have presented me with a vast number of questions on my post “Which Monotheistic God is God”, a rich lode that I suspect I could continue to mine for a very long time indeed.  Many of the questions have to do with the question of suffering: if God is truly good, and truly all powerful, why didn’t He create a world without suffering?  Why doesn’t He prevent suffering before it happens?This is one of the truly great questions, naturally, and as entire books have been wr … [Read more...]

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Today’s Aquinas: The Son and the Father are One

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here.Having explained just how the Word, the Second Person of the Trinity, is generated from the Father from all eternity, Thomas goes on to explain that, in John the Evangelist’s words, “the Word was God.” Since natural existence and the action of understanding are distinct in us, we should note that a word conceived in our intellect, having only intellectual existen … [Read more...]

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The Dogmat Saw The Beauty

The Dogmat has seen a lot of neat and beautiful stuff over the last couple of weeks, amid everything else. Being doggy rather than catty, the Dogmat prefers to focus on the beautiful stuff.How to Express Admiration: Scott Meyer explains (in cartoon form) how to express admiration for another; and specifically how to express admiration for Walt Disney because "he's the closest thing we've ever had to a Bond movie villain." After all, did build "an immense complex in the middle of a swamp, … [Read more...]

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