This setting for human action is changed when the world is seen as created and God is appreciated as creator. The steady anonymity of the world, in and against which action occurs, is now seen as the effect of a choice, and the unforced generosity behind that choice is seen as what most truly exists. Human action, correspondingly, is now obligated in a new way: it must not only bring itself forward in virtue in order to become itself; it must also respond to the generosity of creation and to the still greater generosity of the incarnation and redemption. This can be a disorienting demand.
Monday, January 29, 2007
Sunday, January 28, 2007
40 degrees in Chicago felt positively balmy around this time of year, and now 60 degrees in southwest florida feels downright chilly.
but i’m not complaining, reminds me of california…
Update: 50 degrees with down to the 30’s forcasted feels even chillier. Must be all that
global warming climate change…
which by the way, is a funny way to try to doctor the environmental crisis racket now that nasa and others are forcasting a global cooling trend, since change is pretty much the definition of climate in the first frickin’ place. but predicting the obvious and unstoppable isn’t a very tapable government grant chest. so there you have it.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
The sacraments could not do what Christians believe they accomplish if their special sacramental activity were just one more mundane kind of representation or depiction or symbolization added to the ways in which other signs function in the world. Unless the Christian sense of the divine is differentiated from anything and everything in the being of the world, unless the Christian God is differentiated from what philosphers have called the whole, all the Christian mysteries cease to be mysteries. Either they become impossibilities, or they become accommodated to natural necessities, or they are made to compete with what is natural and to obfuscate the way things have to be. The Christian distinction between God and the world allows the formulations of the other mysteries to say something and prevents them from shattering as statements.
the debate continues in Dr. Long’s class about whether or not Christianity alone really made (or can make) the critical distinction, “the unusual movement” regarding the radical otherness of God with respect to what is created (without destroying the real relation we have to Him), can have an adequate account of creation at all - but i in my 40-60% intellectualism find his case very well made. naturally speaking, why would man conceive of such radical, and yet accesible, otherness, when what his natural, earth-bound sensation fed rationality conveys to him has no access to what preceded and supercedes the sensible as such.
many days i judge myself to be a deplorable, sins of omission saturated whiskey priest strain of catholic, but what never fails to bend my stick back towards the mean, awakens and reawakens the better angels of my nature, lifts me out of all the bs and catastrophizingly constricting tendencies gravitated towards, are the sweet, mysterious kisses of the sacraments. when i bring myself regularly to those beckoning gates for the senses which humbly reach their hands out to draw us into the reality that formed the sensible realm, though i don’t fully comprehend what i do, it is an anchor (and ladder) i cannot deny.
i can see how some could argue that rather than an anchor, it is a crutch, an interesting, poetic hypothesis attractive to the weak ones who seek to cling to something substantive in the chaos of existence they find themselves alone unable to cope with. i wonder that myself sometimes. but with sebastian i too would say to charles that i do believe it because (though not only) it is such a beautiful idea, is so deliciously other than all other thoughts brewed up by man about the veiled reality and relation of eternal, uncreated, subsistent divinity and temporal, created, dependent beings.
the sacramental road the church opens up to man has been termed the “ordinary means of salvation”. there may very well be other disembodied or fully bodied means of stretching forth to fill the God sized hole we all have and attempt to satisfy with various and sundry appetites and inclinations. but none that so humanly meets us where we are and yet draws us beyond to what we are not yet, but most wish to be: truly satisfied, truly integrated in spirit, body and Source, fed and heard, cleansed and annointed, bound and set free by means of familiar sensibles which draw the sensing soul beyond itself while not denying the integrity of its nature.
Sokolowski’s emphasis on the point that the Creator of all that has being, of all natures, must necessarily transcend the non-contradiction principle which disallows all unions constrained by the distinction inherent in the very notion of what is by nature this kind of a thing, and not that, as contradistinguised to that which is confessed to take place in the uncreated/created union of Christ Himself, and thus the sacraments, is incredibly sweet fodder for reflection. a sacramental sense of reality is ultimately dependent on a gifted faith capable of stretching past what is presently seen; but the rational insights of preceding faithful, which by solid philosophical steps from revealed principles can nudge us into the mystery and expand our horizons towards the full sight we strain for, is a great consolation to the hungry mind. in the sacraments we are given to touch the source of all creatity reality through a veil which when rightly understood, does not violate the mind’s ordering principles, but would elevate and harmonize our created infinite desire with an uncreated infinitely diffusive love, drawing us into Itself by means of “otherness” infused matter.
i think that’s more babbly than i originally intended. the short version is just yay sacraments! yay doctrine of creation! yay philosophic distinctions which shed light on what we believe by faith!
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
the proximity of Christ’s blessing and subsequent condemnation of Peter struck me in a recent read of Matthew’s gospel:
Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
followed just three verses later with:
Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me; for you are not on the side of God, but of men.
Sunday, January 21, 2007
…the gods, deeming the front part of man to be more honorable and more fit to command than the hinder part, made us to move mostly in a forward direction.
(rereading for a metaphysics class i’m auditing, finding it a very enjoyable, kindling 2007 endeavor)
God invented and gave us sight to the end that we might behold the courses of intelligence in the heaven, and apply them to the courses of our own intelligence which are akin to them, the unperturbed to the perturbed, and that we, learning them and partaking of the natural truth of reason, might imitate the absolutely unerring courses of God and regulate our own vagaries.
listening to drudge tonight crystallized for me why politics has grown so exceptionally distasteful this cycle (which shouldn’t even be beginning for at least (at least!) another 6 months).
it has devolved faster and farther into the most putrid reality tv politics - hold the real reality, principle shadows on the side - than is worth giving any time to (hence its appeal in our times), though i still find myself drawn to peek at it like the most gruesome and tragic of wrecks that it is. he/she with the most consultant savy image posturing and fully, shamelessly financed, coldly calculated triangulation, is the only horse in the race that has any chance of riding the multi, multi media wave. i know this has been developing for some time now, but its intensity and accelerated faux hyped hype somehow still saddens me (guess i still have some dregs of naive idealism left to be slain). sadly there doesn’t appear to be any room left for statesmanship (nor would a true statesman, if we had him, know where to begin a viable campaign in such an atmosphere) in the age of utube and ever accelerated, ever debased and dumbed down, attention deficited reality tv entertainment appetites.
more citizens will tune into american idol tuesday night than the state of the union address given in a time of war.
and it would seem that the politicians posturing on our horizon are prepared to do or sell out whatever it takes to competatively vie for the attentions of just such a demographic. they’ve got that going for them, which is… bleh.
Saturday, January 20, 2007
the national geographic channel just began airing multiples in the womb highlighting among other things that unborn siblings begin to poke, explore and what can only be described as play with one another (if i remember correctly) at 16-18 weeks. highly recommend it if you are a cable/satellite creature, check your local listings etc.
getting this kind of visual info out there into the public consciousness seems to me to be the most effective pro-life activism that can be done, and while i wouldn’t expect that is how the ng society is considering it, i do appreciate their timing…
Monday, January 15, 2007
only the simple gift of orange blossoms
blooming in the middle of winter
jasmine blending into the small spaces of scent
their heavy pillows tropically made room for in the night;
just turning a corner
where their scented murmur has been surprising me
in the last few days
reminding again that surprise
can still descend with a gracious caress
dismissing the other senses’ concerns
with unbeckoned authority
which dotes but will not be seized
which lingers but eludes capture
and yet tonight i circled around again
just so i could walk into it once more
(trying to pretend i expected nothing)
so that the embrace
would come with the same sweetness
bearing wings to the mind
softness to sharp corners of concern
to again dismiss sufficient evils
prospecting relentlessly on the wrong day
to savor what had come and passed
with reckless joy
without warning or word or goodbye
but they seemed to have folded their tents
or held their breath for a moment
as i passed by a second time
or maybe i was able to breathe in
only anticipation, desire
and the faint almost present
memory of what had offered itself
in overwhelming sufficience
only minutes before
a return sought it out
now biding time with its siblings
awaiting the vacancy for surprise
Saturday, January 13, 2007
chavez of venezuela is going to make a move for cuba once castro finally fades.
he has an all cuban praetorian guard of sorts as his body men, has been showering largess on the cuban people for some time now, is methodically synching his country’s infrastructure to cuba’s socialized/communist pattern, visits with castro often and has a play date this week with ahmadinejad of iran, with whom he has gotten snuggly through their shared dreams of bringing down the american ‘empire’ (both of which made time in their busy schedules to visit north korea when they were testing their nukes a few months back)
hopefully i have no idea what i’m talking about.