Righteously Bad Theology

As the Anchoress noted a couple of days ago, a server in Overland Park, Kansas went to pick up a check after restaurant patrons had eaten, and found this message on the bill:Thank you for your service, it was excellent. That being said, we cannot in good conscience tip you, for your homosexual lifestyle is an affront to GOD. Queers do not share in the wealth of GOD, and you will not share in ours. We hope you will see the tip your fag choices made you lose out on, and plan accordingly. It is … [Read more...]

Bootstrapping the Interior Life: Grace

Pursuing the interior life—a life of holiness—is not easy, but fortunately God doesn't leave us to our own resources. As I noted a couple of weeks ago, when we think of God that means that God's calling us. More than that, He gives us the help we need in the form of grace...which term basically means "the help that we need that God gives us."To put it another way, you can't get to know God on your own; He's got to be part of the process.God is free to give grace to anyone He pleases, an … [Read more...]

Just What Is a Sin, Anyway?

We Christians interested in evangelization are in the business of explaining to people how they can gain salvation from sin. And this is a problem, because it seems that few people in our culture have a robust sense of sin, or a robust notion of what sin is. It's like trying to sell Propainex 21, the miracle cure for galldanders. It might effect a cure in a matter of seconds, leaving the sufferer free of the heartbreak of galldanders forever, but if no one in your sales region has ever had or … [Read more...]

As Catholic as the Pope

Some while back I told one of my sisters in the Dominican Laity that I wanted to be "as Catholic as the Pope: no more and no less." And she, getting entirely the wrong idea, lauded me for having such a worthy goal. She thought I meant to be as devoted, as loving, and as holy as the Pope. And that is a worthy goal (assuming that the pope is indeed devoted, loving, and holy, which has not always been the case), and in line with the Church's universal call to holiness, but that's not what I … [Read more...]

Bootstrapping the Interior Life: Hunger

I do not often resemble the following scriptures:Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. — Matt 5:6O God, thou art my God, I seek thee, my soul thirsts for thee; my flesh faints for thee, as in a dry and weary land where no water is. — Ps 63:1And this is a problem for the interior life, because the interior life is a life of learning to love God more than anything else, to put God before all else. And since we cannot really ach … [Read more...]

Bootstrapping the Interior Life: Respond

Reprinted from my old blog.The first thing to do in pursuing the interior life might also be the easiest, and that is simply to respond. If you find yourself thinking about God, for any reason, that's a sign that God's calling you to attend to Him. So do that.I'm not suggesting that every time you think about God, you drop everything and rush off to some private place to pray. St. Paul tells us to pray constantly (1 Thess 5:17), but one has to eat and work and so forth. If we are to … [Read more...]

Religion *Is* a Relationship

Leah Libresco says that time spent on religious activities isn't time taken away from your primary relationships; rather, religion is a relationship:I certainly spend some Sunday mornings grumping about in bed, not wanting to get up and schlep for a forty minute walk to Church. Or having to get up at 6am to get to the very early Mass, so I can make it to work when I’m needed. And I’ll admit that, in the moment, it feels a bit like a privation.But I’m not having my time or energy stolen … [Read more...]

Fumbly, Stumbly, Wooly-headed, Thick-tongued Prayers

Prayer is a massive, wonderful, frightening thing. God is there and wants to hear from us and to help us. Hard for a low-down no-good sinner to accept. Massively hard. But it’s the Truth. He has given me This Day.So saith The Fat Guy, Scott Chaffin.I've been distantly acquainted with Scott for many years, more or less since the dawn of the Blogosphere. I've read his blog off and on, and every so often he's left a comment on mine, reminding me that he's still around. He's always w … [Read more...]

Wisdom and Knowledge

Mr. Magundi says,“The difference is simple,” Mr. Magundi replied. “Knowledge is progressive, and wisdom is static. We improve in knowledge with every passing generation, and indeed with every passing day; but we have not improved in wisdom since the first man thought it might be a fine idea to eat that fruit after all. We pass our knowledge on to the next generation, by oral tradition or in writing. On the other hand, an individual can grow in wisdom, but for some paradoxical reason, no matte … [Read more...]