Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Building Yard of Time

"Pilgrims and exiles, we now live under tents; in the world to come, the Lord will build us permanent dwelling places. The fool, who has no understanding of [this] destiny and our hopes, accuses the Creator of injustice, pointing out signs of imperfection in the designs of the divine wisdom.

He is like an inhabitant of a remote island who one day goes into our building yards. There he sees stones scattered about, materials lying on top of one another, workmen carving metals and cutting away marble; and in the spectacle presented by this activity, he sees only confusion and ruin. He does not know that the apparent disorder will one day engender an order of admirable perfection.

In the same way, we err in our judgments on the conduct of God toward men; we see nothing more than a pointless harshness in the mystery of suffering; we bear the burden of life without courage or dignity, because we do not know how to raise our eyes and our hopes above the limited sights and perspectives of the present life, and because we do not reflect upon their destiny and end...

Heaven: this is the torch before which the vivid appeal of earthly things fades, the light that, by transforming our judgments makes us cherish [our own personal] poverty, sickness, and the insignificance of our state of life as a good, and makes us regard riches, the glamor of honors, the favor and praise of the world as an evil" hindrance.

--- Fr. Charles Arminjon (1824-1885), The End of the Present World and the Mysteries of the Future Life

"A Catholic may sin and sin as badly as anyone else, but no genuine Catholic ever denies he is a sinner. A Catholic wants his sins forgiven, not excused or sublimated." ---Archbishop Fulton Sheen

--->Fairness. Benedict's Statement on Condoms: Regarding his answer to Peter Seewald on the matter, I would formulate the question about implications along this line: Q: Did the pope in his hypothetical say that a man who is infected with AIDS and living as a male prostitute, but who wears a condom, is not by his gravely sinful choices nevertheless risking the loss of his soul, even as he seeks to protect others from his own sickness and possible death? A: No, the Pope never said such a one was not living in grave sin with all that this risks spiritually (ending in the possible loss of one's soul), despite an altruistic decision to prevent risk to the lives of others who are also involved in grave sins. Therefore Benedict did not in any way overturn or even question Catholic principles in this matter. Moreover he explicitly denied the false deductions some are drawing from his statement to make mischievous hay. A lot of people (Catholics among them) however will be making a lot more books and money precisely by stirring up this hay...For more see here...

A really legitimate controversial question is why Benedict does not excommunicate more dissidents (click) in our time. And while there are no shortage of answers to the complicated question, it has not received the level of attention it deserves in my opinion and would be worth the ratcheted up global discussion; and also worth agitating for reconsiderations.

--->Even the bad are rewarded by God in this life...

Ancient controversy: The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. But the Sabbath was no less holy on that account. All of this riled the Temple in Our Lord's time. A tension within the Church has always revolved around strictness and mercy, law and grace... And only Catholic magisterial teachings interpreting principles can resolve the matter, though even then it seldom keeps camps from forming along one tendency or the other. Personalities also must figure in, to be sure. Even whole religious Orders developed along these tendencies and tensions, which the Church kept within bounds.

--->The Syllabus of Pius IX and Vatican II...

--->From New Liturgical Movement Site: Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz
on Vatican II, Continuity vs. Rupture, Summorum Pontificum and the New Translation...

Trivia: Q: Who was the first Pope to break with (small 't') tradition and write a Memoir? Hint: "Pii II Commentarii rerum memorabilium, quae temporibus suis contigerunt". ...More

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