Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Catholic Life: A life of Dialog And Witness, Rightly Understood

"He that answereth before he heareth sheweth himself to be a fool, and worthy of confusion"---Prov 18:13

The post-conciliar abuses and confusions need not prejudice us against the need for dialog with others. In the Lucan account of the life and ministry of Jesus (ch. 9) we see a remarkable early tension between Jesus and His disciples as the latter struggled toward spiritual maturity and vision:

Who Will Be the Greatest?

"An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. Then he said to them, "Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all--he is the greatest."

"Master," said John, "we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us." "Do not stop him," Jesus said, "for whoever is not against you is for you.
"

Samaritan Opposition

"As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, "Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them[3]?" But Jesus turned and rebuked them, "You do not know what spirit you are made of. The Son of man came not to destroy but to save them;" and they went to another village. "Do not stop him," Jesus said, "for whoever is not against you is for you."

There is something in human nature, a certain covetousness or stinginess, which even intrudes itself into spiritual areas. Like the Pelagians of old, we want to think we became spiritual by our own wits and intellectual lights---and too bad for the other fellow.

It pleases our vanity, feeds our egos, and, if not checked, issues in what the Church fathers called "spiritual gluttony" and pride which is a contradiction of the heart of the Gospel itself, and indeed becomes a mockery of it. And just as a fish is said to rot from the head down, we end up like the Pharisees of old who thank God that they are not like all the other sinners. The Kingdom then becomes a private pass, a membership stamp for the Exclusive...Continue

--->The Sacred Heart of the Universe and Healing Compassion...

--->The Joy of a Pilgrim People...

--->"Chris Matthews: Why Doesn't Obama Just Release The Birth Certificate?" ...Video report

--->Professor Francis A. Boyle: 2011: Prospects for Humanity? "The First and Second World Wars currently hover like the Sword of Damocles over the heads of all humanity....

--->Christopher Hitchens Asks, Mr. Kissinger, Have You No Shame? "Ignore the recent excuses. Henry Kissinger's entire career was a series of massacres and outrages."...Read at Slate

--->God have mercy. Elton John and, er, 'husband' have just 'had' a baby...

--->Venezuela's Chavez makes first use of new powers... Note: That he needed to usurp unconsitutional power because of terrible torrential rains strain credulity.

--->Swiss men with CIA links face nuclear secrets trial...

--->Several European countries mulling independent funding institution...

--->The Muslim population has grown from 1.65 million to 2.87 million since 2001, say researchers. What does this mean for liberal Britain...?

--->Chief Rabbis in Israel Oppose "Abortion Epidemic"..."costing the lives of dozens of Jewish souls" every year; say it delays coming of "messiah".

Away from the difficult news for a moment...

Every winter here in New England I am awestruck at these little Snowbirds who return year after year. It is really something to see them fly in rapid elegant arcs to the bird feeder, or to the bread we leave them early every morning. How do they survive a night as bitterly cold as it was last night? I know there must be a "simple" biological explanation, but as I peer out the door-curtain each morning before my first cup of coffee, my jaw drops to see them alive, despite the verrry cold air and winds that wrap the house all night; and despite all the biology which explains it. Not to be remiss, I tip my hat too in wonder at the remnant of beautiful sparrows who seem to remain behind for the heavy snows each year. The football size crows or ravens (is there a difference?) such as we saw again yesterday deserve a mention too. But I'm a sucker for the little guys and gals.

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