Did I happen to mention that things are absurdly busy around here? I’m having a great deal of difficulty keeping up. I want very much to respond to Rick, and his comments in this thread, and I also have other things I want to write, including a review of a terrific book you need to buy, but today is going to be “one of those days” – not least because I have an opportunity to go to Adoration this afternoon and I won’t miss it, but it will eat up lots of hours.
I have to say that since my retreat, and in the subsequent days of prayer, what I am coming to see is that Christianity, and in particular the Roman Catholic Church is the centering pole of the world; diminish the teachings of Christ, and the whole world is diminished. Knock down the pole, and the whole tent collapses on top of us, and we are left buried under a formless weight of fabrication, smothered and blinded by it all.
For this reason, I am hoping and praying that this blog can refocus itself as a tool of integration, a means of bringing the Catholic perspective more fully focused on the times, rather than simply going off on political rants. Political rants are good, and they’re fun, but they are weightier and I think more meaningful, when viewed from the foot of the cross.
But while I’m at Adoration, here are a few interesting things you may want to nibble at.
Is Jesus the Messiah? Spengler wonders about it:
So where does the generally held claim that Jesus “was the messiah” arise? The “spiritualized” Christ was the standard view through the Protestant confessions. So when does it become “de-spiritualized”? The short answer appears to be in English empiricism, beginning with Thomas Hobbes and John Locke.
Jesus the Buddhist: I see it alleged from time-to-time that Jesus’ “lost” years were spent studying Buddhism. This lady addresses the notion, and I’m figuring our friend Joseph, who finds me pernicious, lately, will enjoy discussing it. None of it is really new, though.
Why America needs Thomas Aquinas: Fr. Robert Barron writes:
Thomas Aquinas was a deep humanist, precisely because he was a Christian. He saw that since God became human in Christ, the destiny of the human being is divinization, participation in the inner life of God. No other religion or philosophy or social theory has ever held out so exalted a sense of human dignity and purpose. And this is why, Aquinas intuited, there is something inviolable about the human person. How indispensably important that teaching is in our era of stem-cell research, euthanasia, legalized abortion, and pre-emptive war, practices that turn persons into means.
Thomas’s bones lie in that golden casket in Toulouse, but his mind and his spirit, thank God, still inform the counter-cultural voice of the church
Obamacare: Building on the Aquinas idea, I link you to Wesley J. Smith says of O-care, it’s “all about rationing”. He also presents evidence that end-of-life counseling could be directed toward death. You think? And on your own dime, too.
Deatheater resistance: That would be the 51% of Americans who say they are pro-life.
Speaking of Life: Before the 2000 elections, Pope John Paul II went to Mexico City and named Our Lady of Guadalupe the “Patroness of the Americas” and the “Patroness of the Unborn.” Back in March, Hillary Clinton, visiting the Basilica, was shown the 478 year-old tilma of Juan Diago, on which the image the Guadalupe appears, and told the Mexicans, “you have a marvelous virgin.” Now, a report that science cannot explain the image of Guadalupe:
Dr. Orozco then discussed the Tilma’s fabric. He noted that “one of the most bizarre characteristics of the cloth is that the back side is rough and coarse, but the front side is ‘as soft as the most pure silk, as noted by painters and scientists in 1666, and confirmed one century later in 1751 by the Mexican painter, Miguel Cabrera.”
The Art of Manliness: How to apologize like a man…good read for all sexes. “Social constructs” or not, what we used to refer to as “manly” values (before political correctness hushed our mouths) were values that worked, they created useful boundaries and rules that -when followed- allowed people to keep their heads up in dignity.
O Magnum Mysterium: How a 17th century still-life inspired a 20th century choral piece, both exploring the mystery of the Incarnation. This is a great piece, don’t miss it. H/T to American Digest.
“I will not be silenced!”: Angry priest fights for women’s ordination; angry nun (of whom I have written previously) is somewhat more nuanced. Both redefining “violence” and “humility” along the way.
Africa and George W. Bush: Rewards in heaven, pally, not on earth.
MadMen and Ann-Margaret: Fr. James Martin discusses last night’s episode. I don’t watch the show, but I know many do, and his piece is interesting.
Julie and Julia: Bookworm is tired of Hollywood’s gratiutous insults, while Deacon Greg found the film to be a homily about how humanity co-operates with acts of creation. I’ll wait for the video, I think.
Speaking of video: Robert Cheeks reviews Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto and desides he likes it a lot. I liked it very much, too, although it was not easy viewing.
She always wanted to live in a theater or a church: She chose to buy an unused church because, “…you see, a theater is frightening at night.”
I’m off to Adoration. Time and matters will all collide in the fullness of time. Till then, Don’t stop believing!