Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas mass review

Key points, including the ever important reminder never to use a church bathroom during Advent.

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Sad Christians and gay Christians

As Abbey-Road writes
The other day I closed comments because some people, convinced of their own self-righteousness, insisted upon denigrating others who disagreed with them. When the Catechism says gay people must be treated/accepted with respect, it doesn't stipulate - "yeah but, only those gay people who live chaste and celibate lives in accord with Catholic teaching."
Some excellent words about improving ourselves before trying to improve others, and the difficulties of leading a moral life.

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Monday, December 23, 2013

Public housing economically and religiously advantagous

But as Mark Shea points out, some elements of the right aren't too happy about this.
Oh, and also, of course, involving the state in *any* way to ensure the common good, even if it means getting people out of freezing Utah night is a crushing impingement on true Christian charity since any move by the state to ensure the common good renders Christians paralyzed to do their own works of mercy.

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Friday, December 20, 2013

Middle-Earth Midrash

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Esquire seems confused

They seem quite taken by PF, but not for the right reasons. Referring to the recent reshuffling of the Curia:
This is smiling Pope Francis's declaration of war against the legacies of the institutional theological reactionaries who preceded him in office. Both John Paul II and Benedict salted the world's dioceses with hardbars like Bishop Raymond Burke, guaranteeing that their ideas would plague us long after they died or, in Benedict's case, retired. Francis has wasted no time in rooting out these nasty walking land mines.
And even better, referring to Cardinal Burke:
Let me clear it up for you. Nobody cares what you think any more. John Kerry goes to communion with a clear conscience and you should go minister to lepers for the rest of your career.
I think the problem there is mostly on John Kerry's side, not Cardinal Burke's, and that Pope Francis himself would agree.

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Habits of Successful People

If you want to summarize the habits of successful people into one phrase, it’s this: successful people start before they feel ready.
I think this is important not only in business, but also in marriage. Even if "you're not ready", the act of doing makes it the case. If I was better at philosophy and linguistics, I'd probably use a word like "performative" here, but I don't think that's a word.



“When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.”
- Gilbert K. Chesterton
As found here.


Friday, December 06, 2013

Nelson Mandela RIP

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Thursday, December 05, 2013

The power of negative influence

We cannot bring someone down unless we are first on the ground ourselves. We cannot lift someone up if we are not already up in spirits. Likewise, we speak badly of others when we feel badly of ourselves. And we speak kindly of others when we value ourselves.
A beautiful article. Our love must be self-giving, but we must have a self to give, which distinguishes it from codependency, a distinction I often struggle with.

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Family planning in Kenya

The international community seems to be making a bit of a one-sided push.
The article was quite informative on a number of statistical issues. However, a reading of the article also reveals the unfortunate conflation of the terms “family planning” and “contraception.” Contraception is but one aspect of family planning, and the two terms should not be used interchangeably. Lest this view be seen as nitpicking, let us examine the implications of equating family planning with contraception.
I think the author is a Kenyan woman, for what it's worth.

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Pope remains Catholic

Well, that's a relief.
It turns out that the pope still teaches what anybody with an ounce of common sense knew he taught all along. The only people who managed to convince themselves otherwise were members of the MSM and hysterical Reactionaries who seriously believed the MSM hype that he was somehow abandoning the Church’s teaching on the sanctity of human life.

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Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Goodbye, Winamp

Not religion related, but a significant part of my youth is about to disappear.

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As a counterbalance to Justine's seriousness

I present this comic from "Mary is my homegirl", entitled "When someone I don't know well ask for my opinion on birth control".

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A little Mark Shea on Hell

Are many saved or are few saved? Both, I guess.
Now another aspect of Catholic tradition that has plagued simplifiers down through the ages is the question of hell: Will many (or all) be saved or few? And there have always been Catholics who emphasize either the fewness or the manyness of the saved—and who cite various authorities in the Tradition itself as backup for their views. That’s not hard to do since the Tradition has, in fact, two irreconcilable (for human intellect) strains of teaching, both originating in Jesus himself and both faithfully transmitted by the apostles.
And he quotes a little B16 in Spe Salvi, who notes something that I like to note:
Some recent theologians are of the opinion that the fire which both burns and saves is Christ himself, the Judge and Saviour. The encounter with him is the decisive act of judgement. Before his gaze all falsehood melts away. This encounter with him, as it burns us, transforms and frees us, allowing us to become truly ourselves. All that we build during our lives can prove to be mere straw, pure bluster, and it collapses. Yet in the pain of this encounter, when the impurity and sickness of our lives become evident to us, there lies salvation.
Which is what I always say to people who ask me how I could reconcile the idea of God's love with sending people to Hell. I don't think God "sends" anyone to Hell, per se. But they, through their free will, choose to experience this love as pain, and since free will is real, no one does anything to stop them, once they've made their decision. It's a bit harder to paint God as a monster from this perspective. IMHO, of course.

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Monday, December 02, 2013

Compassion outside of a church

From NPR:
A Mormon Bishop in Taylorsville, Utah, went to great lengths last Sunday to teach his congregation a lesson. David Musselman disguised himself as a homeless person and walked around outside before the service. Then, in character, he walked up to the pulpit and asked to deliver remarks. He tells Ari Shapiro what happened next.
Intense, and not very surprising. Some good, and a lot of bad.


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