Welcome to the Great Fast

Today, for those who aren't aware, is the beginning of Lent for Eastern Christians.  Unlike the formal Ash Wednesday services of the West, the Great Fast in the East comes up quietly and with much lounging.  That's right, lounging.  It's a day of fasting, but one of happy fasting, picnics in the park, kite flying, and generally keeping with Christ's command to "anoint your head and wash your face," rather than bearing the unhappy countenance of the hypocrites.So, since today is Clean Monday, … [Read more...]

The Disservice We Do Our Saints

Along with Papal infallibility, priestly celibacy, and Marian Dogmas, the veneration of saints is probably one of the most well known (and controversial) facets of the Catholic faith.  Everyone knows that Catholic's have saints, people who did the will of God in times past.  We know their names, we venerate their images, celebrate their feast days, but have we missed something?  Certainly we haven't missed their lives, we know the lives of at least a few saints very well; the Apostles, St. Fran … [Read more...]

Revising a Revaluation

After being bombarded in the wake of my earlier post on Hell, I decided that it was necessary to take a moment to explain myself.  So, I shall list off the valid critiques I have received and try in earnest to respond to them, and thus clarify what was said in my earlier post.1.  Hell as separation from God.I think it's fair to begin by saying that all of us understand that this is not to be understood as a physical or ontological (of the being) separation from God, as this is simply … [Read more...]

Merry Christmas!

I know what you're all thinking, "Is he joking, or just a moron who doesn't know what day it is."  And while I refuse to comment on whether or not I'm a moron, I will say with abject certainty that I do indeed know what today is.  And yes, it's Christmas.  Now that we're clear that I do, in fact, know that today is January the sixth, let us move on to why I'm saying this.For Eastern Catholics today is the feast of the Theophany, that is, the Baptism of Christ in the Jordan.  This is the last … [Read more...]

A Revaluation of Hell

Hell is one of those topics that makes people uncomfortable, like the female reproductive system, prostate exams, or being asked personal questions by complete strangers.  However, unlike these other uncomfortable things, many people don't believe in Hell.  Many Christians in fact don't believe in Hell.  But I'm a little confused by this rejection.  So, in an attempt to understand, I think  it might be necessary to address the evil elephant cloud in the room and finally ask the question; what is … [Read more...]

The Miracle of St. Paul

The Scriptures are filled with miracles, stories of great deeds being done for Israel and the early followers of Christ.  Miracles in the Bible can be said to fit into two categories: ones everyone talks about, and ones no one's thought about.  Sure, everyone knows the parting of the Red Sea, the water to wine, and the virgin birth; but how much time do we spend discussing the teaching of St. Paul?To understand this truly bizarre miracle we first need to understand who St. Paul is, in r … [Read more...]

Kierkegaard, Chrysostom and Christmas Boredom

In the technological age, we have a horrendous tendency towards boredom.  This is unfortunately true even of Christmas.  You see the same people, sing the same songs, hear the same homilies, and eat the same food, year after year.  For some, this boredom even stretches beyond the social and religious artifacts of Christmas, into the commercial aspects.  They stare blankly at shiny new gadgets that cost more than many developing countries GDPs.  They were ecstatic about it just one day previous, b … [Read more...]

What Friedrich Nietzsche Can Tell Us About Heaven

Nineteenth Century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche is renowned by atheists everywhere for his (usually taken out of context) axiom of the era, "God is dead."  This misuse of this quote can perhaps in some way shed light on what I mean when I say that we have anything to learn about Heaven, the place where we live with God for eternity, from the man who said that "God is dead."  When Nietzsche proclaims that "God is dead," he does not do so in the way that the quote out of context may make … [Read more...]