“I AM” is not “Is”: Nihilism

“Nihilism stands at the door: whence comes this uncanniest of all guests?”-Nietzsche (The Will to Power) This puzzling and frightening question which marks the onset of the last of Nietzsche’s works requires an answer, and this answer explains much about ontotheology.  As such it would appear that there are two different conceptions of nihilism at work in this quote, however, they are not completely unrelated.Nihilism as History (or, The “god” of Ontotheology is Dead)It is often over … [Read more...]

Saved from Sin or From God

I have written before on the typical Protestant concept of “Life Boat” salvation.  However, upon more in depth consideration of this erroneous notion of “once and then you’re good” salvation there appears to be a much more flawed ideal at the base of it all.The Bleak Background of a Well Meaning Notion:Those who espouse the notion of “life boat” salvation do so out of a sincere kindness.  Their concern for the salvation of those around them is nothing short of admirable, and it shows a tr … [Read more...]

Upholding the Sabbath

We’re all aware of the commandment to “remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”  Most of us know that this is why we’re expected to be at the Liturgy (Mass, service, etc.) each week, and on Holy days.  And in our snarky, self-amused manner we stand boldly (those of us who do go when we’re “supposed to”) and proclaim, “Look how good I am, having upheld the command of the Lord.”But is it enough?  Is that hour (or two and a half, if you’re an Easterner) of your week enough to claim that y … [Read more...]

Some Wisdom From Optina

The following is a letter from Elder Macarius of the Optina monastery in Russia to one of his spiritual children on the topic of death and suffering.  Enjoy.On the 20th of January, the letter announcing to me the sad news of my esteemed grandmother, A.P., reached my hand. Thanks be to the merciful God, Who allowed her to leave this world when she had reached her declining years, in the white garments of sincere repentance and confession of her sins, bearing the seal of Holy Unction upon … [Read more...]

“I AM” is Not “Is”: An Introduction to Ontotheology

I would be hard pressed to find someone who wouldn’t agree that there is something at least a little off with Western thought.  I mean, just look at its results. Some people would likely argue either that Western thought is completely irrelevant (as it’s far too chauvinistic and focuses only on old, white men who’ve been dead for at least a century); however I believe more people would argue that the issues came from “outside” or “began because of a degradation of values.”  This might be true, bu … [Read more...]

How Your Work-Out Might Be Destroying Your Destiny

Work-out mania has always disturbed me.  Perhaps it is my inherent fear of people too buff to touch their face, or my annoyance with some people's incessant need to post pictures of "the results" via every form of social media imaginable.  Whatever the root of my disturbance, the fitness frenzy contains a  much more concerning issue; not only is it making you thin, healthy, and obnoxious, it might also be destroying your life.This may sound like a pretty serious claim to raise against so … [Read more...]

Subjectivity, Truth-Relation, and Learning to Be Charitable

There is a problem I have found within the climate of American Catholics (I'm sure it's not just us, but still).  It's everywhere.  Sooner or later, anywhere there has been a discussion, it will appear.  It shows up in articles and comboxes, lurking in the dark underside of the comment thread, where few care to continue reading, waiting to pounce on it's prey like a pit viper.  It's prey: the unsuspecting reader. It's venom: cruel and unbridled absence of charity.  This is a real issue, since the … [Read more...]

The Despair of Greeting Cards

I have what one may describe as an aversion to cards.  I never know quite what to do with them.Keeping them around seems to be hording.  Getting rid of them; an impersonal display of disregard for the sender.  But, what is it about these clever little pieces of folded card-stock that makes any sort of dilemma?Why We Feel Uncomfortable Getting Rid of Them: Whenever we look at the pile of cards after any "card holiday," be it Christmas, birthdays, or whatever, there's a certain sort of … [Read more...]