Credo: Brutal Honesty and UnBrutish Reason

Yes, I am still trying to find time to write about the election (my first reactions are here) but until I do here is one thought and links to two must-reads:

Thought: I need to go to confession this Saturday, because just looking at Harry Reid was bad for my soul this morning. I wonder if going to confession and unloading all of our negative feelings into the sacrament isn’t a very good idea for many of us? Just wanted to put that out there. But if you do it, bless the poor priest who has to receive it all — both the one in the confessional, and the High Priest in heaven!

Meanwhile, the Year of Faith has inspired both Tim Muldoon and Melanie Bettinelli to closely examine our creed. Melanie has invited a whole slew of writers to take it on, line by line, while Tim is doing it on his own, and this morning they both offer up winners.

For Melanie, our own Calah Alexander has taken up Of all things visible and invisible”, and as she is still postpartum, she goes brutally honest and takes it to a profound place:

God seems lost to me. I feel like I’m praying to a void, and I’m having trouble convincing myself that I ever felt otherwise. Hope, faith, belief, they all seem to have slipped out of my grasp, in such a way that I can’t remember what life was like when things were different. I look at my children, all conceived through the mysterious non-workings of NFP, and I love them, but I wonder, “why am I doing this? Why am I following these teachings, why do I believe these things?” I can’t remember the faith and conviction I once had, and worst of all, I don’t really care much anymore. I’ve skipped Mass on several Sundays, telling the Ogre that I don’t feel well enough to go, that the baby is too cranky, that I’m still post-partum so I get a dispensation, when really I just don’t care. It seems unimportant and irrelevant, God and Christ and praying and all that. None of it seems to have any connection to my life, nor does any of it seem real to me anymore. It’s all just invisible.

But following the strictures of the Church, the wishes of my husband, and plain old habit, we had Lincoln baptized two weekends ago. Baptisms take place in a church, and usually after a Mass, so I bit the bullet and went.

Read it all, particularly if you’re feeling laid low by recent events. Read what a little bit of discipline, born more of obedience than anything else, and a little bit of willingness, can bring forth. God only ever asks for our willingness.

Then, after the heart-feeding that is Calah’s piece, you can feed the head with Muldoon, who is looking at “maker of heaven and earth and taking on the “Creationism vs Science” argument:

To profess faith that God created heaven and earth is emphatically not about professing ignorance of particle physics or indifference to billions of years of evolution, both cosmic and terrestrial. It is to profess that everything that is knowable through science—from Higgs boson to hominid evolution—has meaning. The researcher in theoretical physics, no less than the professor of Divinity, performs a loving work of meaning-making, and in so doing cooperates in the ever-unfolding work of divine creativity. In such work, the original sin is falsehood: the unwillingness to pursue one’s questions fully, to stop at partial explanations.

Great stuff from two of my favorite writers. Enjoy!

And yes, that is a beautiful crucifix; it’s hanging on the wall of my office right now. You can find it here.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Gerry

    I certainly understand the Harry Reid dilemma. I know that I am not supposed to wish eternal damnation on anyone. I know. I know.

  • Adam

    I, too, feel a mighty urge to see our opponents fail, just so I can lord it over them when they’re down. Then I need to quickly retract those thoughts and remember that I’m just perpetuating the cycle of hate when I think that way.

    I think it’s time for a healthy re-read of the Good Samaritan parable. Let’s remember that the story wasn’t just about one nice guy out of three who stopped to do the right thing. The Samaritans and the Jews hated each other, probably with a greater fervor than Democrats and Republicans do today. Sure, we’d like to think that we’d all be the “nice guy” who helps his fallen neighbor in charity, but Jesus challenges us with the story: can you show equal charity to your enemy? If you’re a Republican, can you be charitable to a Democrat? Conservative to a liberal? Pro-life to a pro-choicer? Family values advocate to a homosexual advocate? Replace the Jew and the Samaritan with your favorite diametrically opposed political positions and see if you still agree with the story–me, I find it a lot harder this week.

  • Manny

    I don’t wish Harry Reid or even Barrack Obama any ill will. I just want them out of the government. And while we’re at it, Nancy Pelosi was the biggest failure as a Speaker that I have ever seen. Begone. What a trio we have had at the reins of our country. No wonder we are where we are.

  • Diane Peske

    Peter Kreeft last year wrote an amazing article about Christian America’s flabby state. He reminded us to view all people who need Jesus, and yes, the ones we find as most unloveable, as our patients, not our enemies. Good advice

  • Victor

    (((I wonder if going to confession and unloading all of our negative feelings into the sacrament isn’t a very good idea for many of us? Just wanted to put that out there. But if you do it, bless the poor priest who has to receive it all — both the one in the confessional, and the High Priest in heaven!)))

    There was a time during my mid life when “I” use to blame myself for going to confession and always getting absolution for a few Hale Maries. In my early twenties and while seriously searching for GOD (Good Old Dad) “IT” really stuck on occasion how some priest whom I knew later got charged for sexual abuse. I could see that some of them needed help because of their so called believes and for example, when I was younger, I was told that every first born carried the original sin and “IT” was removed by “Baptism” at least as far as the Catholic Church was concerned. Anyway when I mentioned that to a priest in my mid late years because on occasions I would spiritually make “Faces” in reality to them and one day at church, I told a certain priest about children being in sin when they were born. I guess he didn’t understand what “I” was talking about and got angry with me, myself and i.

    Long story short, this priest later got charged for sexually abusing children and “I’M” still not sure if he was truly guilty NOW!?

    I hear ya folks! Are you ever truly short about any of your writing nowadays Victor?

    Maybe we should all check with sinner vic cause NOW, after your U>S (usual sinners) election, “I’M” not really sure about anything any more NOW! :)

    Hey Anchoress, you will keep praying for all of my spiritual reallity cells. Won’t ya Please?


  • Janice

    RE: Creationism vs Science
    I went back to college in my late 50′s and my Astronomy course was the most profound religious experience of my life. Learning about quantum physics and watching Hubble telescope videos kept me in a state of awe every day. “How Great Thou Art” was the refrain that ran through my mind all semester.

  • Algiers

    “The Catholic Church: resisting oppressive government since 33 A.D.”

  • Alex

    I found great consolation in this quote which a friend of mine posted on facebook the other morning:
    “You say the times are evil, then improve yourselves and the times will be better: you are the times.” St Augustine

    Yes, some sins are worse than others, but there are no good sins. So if times are hard, let us strive even harder for our own holiness.

  • Marilyn Crawford

    I have been to confession several time during this election cycle and have started carrying around the Litany of the Blessed Name of Jesus (very useful). Mostly, stay away from the TV. That way lies complete madness. For some strange reason, Wednesday morning when I rolled out of bed, the first thought that went through my head is: “but, we are Easter people.” I have NO idea why I thought that but it has completely changed my outlook. I have voted all my life, and each time been told “this is the most important…blah blah blah.” No – the most important thing is “but, we are Easter people.” Adoration, Rosary, confession – and leave the TV off!

  • TerryC

    “The Catholic Church: resisting oppressive government since 33 A.D.”

    I love that Algiers. Got to get that on a T shirt.