Choosing a Prudent (not a ‘Tough’) Advent Fast

In 2014, I’m reading and blogging through Pope Francis/Cardinal Bergoglio’s Open Mind, Faithful Heart: Reflections on Following Jesus.  Every Monday, I’ll be writing about the next meditation in the book, so you’re welcome to peruse them all and/or read along.In this week's reading, Pope Francis's discussion of Christ's preparation for death nicely parallels Joseph Pieper's chapter on Fortitude in The Four Cardinal Virtues.Here's Francis: Jesus took his death seriously, as he did his … [Read more...]

“It is Not Good for Man to be Alone” – a review of Gay and Catholic

A few weeks ago, our Dominican-run Adult Sunday School tackled the topic of "Deadly Sins and Lively Virtues" and the brother teaching walked us through St. Thomas Aquinas's classification of sins and their progeny (i.e. clamor (speaking so intemperately so as to lose the ability to say actual words) is one of the offspring of wrath).  As our Dominican friar kept expanding the flow chart of faults, the most surprising branch turned out to be the cluster of sins rooted in Sloth.(Editorial … [Read more...]

Standing Naked Before God [Pope Francis Bookclub]

In 2014, I’m reading and blogging through Pope Francis/Cardinal Bergoglio’s Open Mind, Faithful Heart: Reflections on Following Jesus.  Every Monday, I’ll be writing about the next meditation in the book, so you’re welcome to peruse them all and/or read along.When I read this week's chapter of Pope Francis's book, I was quickly drawn down a wikipedia rabbithole by one particular word Francis chose to use as he discussed how we speak with God in prayer: By intercession, we gain access to … [Read more...]

Going Beyond Commandments of No to Vocations of Yes

I had the privilege of being the lector for the second reading at Mass today, which is from the Letter to the Romans: Brothers and sisters: Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery; you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not covet, ” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love do … [Read more...]

Not A Gotcha God

Less than an hour after I wrote yesterday's post on patience, I was at Daily Mass, and, during the prayers of the people (a moment in the liturgy when the whole church prays for specific, spoken intentions, and people meditate on their own, private petitions), I had a particularly uncharitable kind of prayer come into my mind.It was, in fact, an unpleasant enough thought, that I almost expected Anya (the wish granting demon from Buffy the Vampire Slayer pictured above) to appear and say … [Read more...]

Does Univeralism Create a World Without Consequences?

A couple weeks ago, PEG replied to my post on objections to universalism with a post of his own titled "Struggling With Apocatastasis."  In my original post, I wasn't affirming universal salvation, but replying to a common attempt to prove it impossible or unjust.  In his reply, PEG raised another objection that I'd like to take a crack at.  (I'm excerpting pretty briefly, so go check the whole thing). I think Leah is looking at human freedom only through the lens of choice... I think there is a … [Read more...]

Universal Salvation without Undue Coercion

Richard Beck has a great post up today explaining how we can believe that, ultimately, everyone will be reconciled to God and join him in Heaven without casting God as the Great Brainwasher in the Sky, merrily crushing our ability to resist.  I'm excerpting the post below, but I recommend reading the whole thing. For a lot of Christians salvation is basically the process of posing an ultimatum to the human will: Choose Christ and live or deny Christ and go to hell. Basically, evangelism is a t … [Read more...]


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