We are pleased to present below all posts archived in 'January 2012'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.
Is living a rural lifestyle as a Catholic family on the land, providing safe, healthy meats and produce to families who are unable to do so for themselves intrinsically valuable? Yes.
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I'm old enough to remember the Latin Mass. I too served at the Latin Mass and, as I reflect on the new Roman Missal changes, these changes are more true to that version.
Basilian Father Jack Gallagher has written an important book that challenges both Church and society (Pages 10 and 11). The challenge to society is to overcome its individualistic approach to sexual morality that has separated procreation from marriage. The challenge to the Church is to be more forthright in presenting its teaching on sexuality and marriage that is the only real hope for society to avoid collapse and ruin.
Gallagher doesn't mince words in his book, Human Sexuality and Christian Marriage: An Ethical Study. Evidence abounds, he says, indicating that the direction in which society is moving regarding sex and marriage is disastrous for both individuals and society itself.
Few people have ever written as penetrating a critique of faith and religion as have Friedrich Nietzsche and Ludwig Feuerbach. "God is dead," Nietzsche declared, "and we are his murderers." We murder God, he contends, in subtle ways to which we are entirely blind.
In a vast over-simplification, their critique might read as follows: Faith and religion are, in the end, human projections. We believe in God because we need to, pure and simple. We create God to serve our own needs. We need to believe in God because without a belief in God, we cannot deal with the pain, brokenness, inadequacy and limits within our own lives.
I love the readings of this Sunday. They are like three wholesome dishes that need to be tasted separately, yet they form one wonderful meal.
First, Jonah, my favourite prophet, warns the people of Nineveh of impending doom and the need for penance. He has little love for the people to whom he brings this message, but he obeys God's command.
Hard stuff isn't it?
Because if we really listen it means we must filter out as much of the extraneous world as we possibly can and concentrate on the sound/words being made or said.
I have, over the years, playfully accused some of my atheist interlocutors of being "secret Herods." The biblical Herod arrested John the Baptist but nevertheless took pleasure in listening to John preach from his prison cell.
So, I've suggested, the atheists who come to my website and comment so acerbically and so frequently on my Internet videos are, despite themselves, secretly seeking out the things of God. I will confess to having a certain Herod syndrome in reverse in regard to Christopher Hitchens (who died Dec. 15).
Mental illnesses are a barrier to so many things in life.
We lost a good friend at Christmas. She was one of the first people in my parish to make friends with my wife when she came to Canada. We've watched her youngest son grow up, and I have tried to be a positive male role model for him. She was a single mom with nine children.
Things designed for good can be used for bad purposes. Art in its proper context captures images of beauty in the world or perverted to promote evil such as pornography. Books can teach and enlighten while others promote falsehoods or hatred.
Sometimes that which is life affirming in one context can be life denying if misused in another context. A drug originally intended to try to save life can also be used to kill.
For philosophers, life is full of coincidences. But for us Christians, life is providential. While the philosopher talks of coincidence because of chance, we Christians talk about providence because we believe there is a God in charge of our lives and human history.
What is more evident than God's in-breaking into human history in Jesus Christ? Christmas offered the opportunity to welcome God among us and into our history: human history is being divinized because Immanuel became historical, the highest act of God's providential love.