Posts tagged Catholic
Posts tagged Catholic
I often say that God is limitless, and thus undefinable, and that is why philosophers have so much trouble when they talk about Him. You can’t prove or disprove His existence because you cannot even define Him. You can’t actually say anything meaningful about Him.
But to say that He is limitless and undefinable is to limit and define Him.
Christianity solves this neatly. Of course He transcends even undefinability. He can be defined, and He did take on limits, in the Incarnation. He is somehow fully present in what appears to be a small piece of bread, and thus He defeats even our most noble attempt to understand Him with only our intellect.
So, I must reevaluate my earlier assumptions. Given that He can be defined, and thus can be understood in some way, can His divinity be proven or disproven? I don’t think so, because in what at first seems like a paradox but is actually quite necessary, His infinity appears to depend on His being limited, and vice versa.
Pornography is wrong not because it involves sex and human bodies, but because it is the exposure and commercialization of something that is meant to be intimate (between two people only) and holy (thus, cannot be bought,sold, or valued).
Pornography is a bit like taking the Host out of the tabernacle, putting it on a paper plate with some cream cheese, and selling it at a snack bar.
As per Chris’s suggestion, I would like to say a little bit about the University of Central Florida and its Catholic ministry. I’ve only been here a couple of months, but it’s pretty awesome. I am not an outgoing person, but the members of the Catholic group here accepted me immediately. There is something to do every day, from Rosary to Bible studies to tabling and of course Mass three times a week. There is also a retreat every semester. I just got back from my first one and it was awesome. The community is active and friendly and there are some ridiculously amazing people here (including a couple TC’s who shall remain nameless). People actually seek you out to make friends with you if you show up to an event, for reasons that I cannot fathom.
The school itself seems a bit intimidating because it is so big, but I’ve found that just means there are more options for finding where you fit in. UCF is also generous with the scholarships and offers a lot of services for students, most of them completely free. Almost every program you can think of is offered here (alas, not Theology, but there is Religious Studies, which is supposed to be pretty good). There is all the secular bull you’d expect to see at a public U: free condoms everywhere, a Communist organization, rampant “tolerance” in the worst sense of the word, but since the area is relatively conservative it’s not really that bad. I haven’t been bothered by parties in my dorm, for example. You aren’t supposed to smoke on campus, which for a prospect could be good or bad. Parking is terrible, but Disney World is close by so I guess it’s a trade off.
When I was applying to colleges, UCF was my last choice (I also applied and was accepted by Ave Maria and Stuebie). I got relatively good deals from all three schools, but because UCF’s was far and away the best offer, and they had a music program (at the time I was going to major in Jazz) I chose that school. I ended up changing from Jazz to History and Philosophy, the kinds of things I would have expected to do at a Catholic school. I am taking upper level courses, and so far I have been pleased by the quality and relative lack of anti-Catholicism in those programs. I was very afraid that I would be disconnected from other Catholics, but I have found that I can’t seem to get away from them here at UCF. Part of me still wishes I could have Scott Hahn as a prof, or have Gregorian Chant as a core class, but on the whole I don’t regret coming here one bit.
If you are a high school senior TC, I would encourage you to look into UCF.
There is no excuse for using human embryos for “research”, and the work of these two men shows a perfectly practical reason why: everything you can get from destroying an embryo, you can get without destroying an embryo.
in the midmorning as I walk along the green. In the sun, the words with which He comes down from heaven, “like the dewfall”, glitter on all the tongues of grass. Until then I had never understood those words. Did He descend like the rain, or condensate like the sweat on the back of a lover’s neck? With Him bathing my feet I see that it makes no difference, that it does not matter how He gets here, what matters is that He’s here. And I walk along the green with God’s words on my feet.
The next day, early class. While the sun is still a rumor I cross the green again. This time, the sprinklers, automatic ch-ch-ch-ch-ch, evenly spread the dew over the grass. Thinking back to the day before, I shake my head and head for the sidewalk. Still, when the sprinkler touches me with a drop of reclaimed water, I cross myself all the same.
If you are well and able, excuse my bluntness, but get over yourself and kneel. Do you think Jesus was comfortable when they pounded nails through the flesh of his skin and hoisted Him up onto the Cross? NO. He did not even complain. He did it for us. For you! And you’re complaining that kneeling…
Jess, check out this link.
While I agree that discomfort is a silly reason not to kneel, no one is required to do so either, and I would hesitate to assign a theological reason for doing so.
Furthermore, we generally kneel before a tabernacle. once we have received Christ, we ARE a tabernacle. The angels are kneeling in adoration around us! Personally, I think it is unnecessary to kneel after communion, since you can’t exactly kneel before yourself. Jesus is inside your very being. I prefer to sit not because of discomfort but because sitting expresses acknowledgement that in that moment Jesus is not something to be adored from the outside, but something within. Also, sitting is the posture to assume when being instructed- and the Eucharist is a lesson in love. Of course, there are good reasons for kneeling as well, and far be it from me to say not to do it, but for many people sitting is the superior posture.
Today I went to a discernment group led by my diocese’s vocations director. Discussion, followed by Mass, Adoration, and lunch. During the discussion, the vocations director told a story:
“Tell me who acted correctly in this story. In a medieval city, two Bishops exit the cathedral to find a raucous procession going on in the streets. They decide to see what the commotion is about, and to their dismay there is a nude prostitute being paraded around at the front of the procession. The first bishop immediately covers his eyes, but the second just stares at the woman. The first bishop says, “Quickly, brother! Cover your eyes or you will be led into sin!”, but his companion continues to stare. Finally the first bishop looks up to see why the other is still looking, and he’s shocked to see tears running down his face. The second bishop says at last, “I don’t understand why someone so beautiful would act as if she was so cheap.”
The point of the story is that both bishops acted correctly according to their holiness. The first bishop knew that if he looked, he would sin. Therefor he covered his eyes and tried to protect his friend as well. However, the second bishop, possessing an even greater amount of grace in this instance, did not sin in looking at the woman because he saw her as Jesus did.
In our own journey (specifically in discernment, but applicable to life in general), we should do the same. If we have to grace to overcome sin and be like Jesus as the second bishop did, then we should use it. If we lack that grace, we should do what we must to avoid sin as the first bishop did.
For me, this means cutting back on time spent on the internet. While often I am doing good things such as writing, schoolwork, keeping in touch with people I care about, or even keeping up correspondence with the various religious orders I’m considering, more often I’m not doing much of anything. I need to spend more time with books and face to face contact with people.
”I am a Catholic who supports gay marriage, married priests as well as female priests. I believe confession is nothing more than nice way to receive spiritual guidance and not the only way to receive forgiveness. Again I will say… . The Holy Eucharist is the most important thing in my life. I love my Church and it’s worth fixing. That’s what Jesus in Blue Jeans is all about. Bringing Christ back into Christianity. Finding answers and exposing the truths. I hope you’re with me!”
From the description of a new blog, jesusinbluejeans.
While I find such devotion to the Blessed Sacrament beautiful, and I have no problem with trying to make Jesus seem “cool” (my own blog title proclaims Him as the Heppest of Hepcats), I must take issue with a few things, particularly the author’s view of Confession. If “Bringing Christ back into Christianity” is the goal (which of course begs the questions of when He left, where He went, and why), then it makes little sense to cut Him out of a Sacrament by reducing it to mere “spiritual guidance”. Few educated Catholics would claim that Reconciliation is the “only way to receive forgiveness”; the relevant Catechism sections (1422-1484) make it clear that interior penance and daily conversion is necessary, but that the Sacrament itself is a liturgical expression of one’s contrition that is needed for forgiveness of mortal sin. This is possible because of the presence of the priest, acting as an alter Christus. To deny the Sacrament’s power is to remove Christ from it, deny Christ’s ability to act through His priests, and thus removes Him from the Eucharist as well. If we can no longer see Jesus in Christianity, perhaps it is because we the faithful have attempted to remove Him, and we should change ourselves rather than the Holy Church that He instituted. This goes, of course, for all manner of sinful behavior as well as any doctrinal unorthodoxy that so denies the power of Christ.