So no blogging today folks. Get outdoors and enjoy Autumn before it disappears. The beautiful painting above, done by my favorite Jesuit, doesn’t do justice to the beauty beckoning us from Appalachia. So that’s where my family and I are heading. You should do something similar! Enjoy the handiwork of Our Lord.
That’s sort of how I felt after I was Confirmed. The “backstage pass effect”, see, ushered me into the inner sanctum. Once inside, I started getting schooled in surprising ways, much like how Alice Cooper’s knowledge of Milwaukee, and the Algonquin native culture blows away Wayne & Garth. Whoa. And then, after the 15 seconds of an audience I was expecting, I was invited to hang out too? What a feeling! When that happened, that is where all of my preconceived notions about the Church fell away, and left me hitting the floor sort of like the boys here. [Read more…]
Just a few days ago, I asked if it was arrogant or audacious to seek objective truth during our sojourn here on Planet Earth. A few tried to paint me into a corner (that I was both, and probably idiotic, if not psychotic) for my belief to having claimed to find the elusive truth through Christ and the Catholic Church.
Yes, I’m well aware that it is all the rage to love Jesus, but not the Church. Problem is, to do the one, you have to do the other. I mean, he himself said,
And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Again Jesus mentions this word “church” when a question on conflict resolution is raised,
“If your brother sins [against you], go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that ‘every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector. Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
so whether we like it, or not, Jesus, the God-Man, the Christ, built the Church, and evidently he wants it to be around.
The apostles got this message, and as a result, the word, “church,” occurs many times throughout the New Testament to describe the assembly of the faithful. In fact, St. Paul calls the Church the Body of Christ, remembering getting knocked down on the road to Damascas and having Jesus ask him, “why do you persecute me?”
For the past few days, I’ve had my nose buried in some very good books. I found a wee treasure written by a fellow named W. J. Williams that includes the names “Newman” and “Pascal” in the title, and as Blaise is one of my favorites, and Newman recently became a Blessed, I had to give it a look.
The book is entitled Newman, Pascal, Loisy and the Catholic Church. It turns out that Loisy was excommunicated in 1909, but he doesn’t figure prominently in the book so I’m mystified as to why his name is included in the title. Maybe it was for “sizzle” back when it was published. Controversy sells, right? [Read more…]
My favorite Old Testament book is Ecclesiastes. The inspired writer goes by the name of Qoheleth, which means “teacher” or “preacher.” I like Qoheleth because he has seen it all, and he isn’t afraid to tell us that we aren’t as great as we think we are. You may recall that he is the one who reported that “there is nothing new under the sun.” [Read more…]