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Showing posts with the label being Catholic

Ghosts?

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Whether or not I believe in ghosts depends on what's meant by "believe in" and "ghosts." And how I see myself, for that matter. I'll be talking about ghosts and why I think seances are a bad idea. Also, briefly, superstition and metaphysics.

I don't fear that an ancestral banshee might come to the new world and find me. Or think spirit photographers were selling pictures of ghosts.

If that's 'believing in ghosts,' then I don't. On the other hand, I'm not a materialist. I think part of me won't die, no matter what happens to my body....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Gnosticism

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Some folks act as if they think physical reality is bad and having a body is icky. The notion's 'Biblical,' sort of.

Galatians 5:19 through 21 call bad ideas like licentiousness, hatreds and idolatry "works of the flesh." With a little paraphrasing, I could claim that 1 Corinthians 3:3 says jealousy and rivalry are "of the flesh." Romans 8:3 mentions "sinful flesh."

Taking those verses, ignoring Genesis 1:31, Psalms 84:3, Ecclesiastes 2:24-25 and two millennia of Catholic teaching, and I might see loathing physical reality as an option. But not, I think, a reasonable one....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Still More Mass Murder

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Fourteen high-profile murders are in the news. Four died at a Waffle House in Nashville, 10 were killed on Yonge Street in Toronto. The accused killers have been caught. I put links to BBC News and Wikipedia pages about the murders at the end of this post.1

I'll mostly be saying why I think murder is a bad idea, and how I see being human and making sense — or not, in some cases.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Materialism, Robots and Attitudes

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Robots are starting to look and act a lot like humans.

Wondering if robots can be people, or if humans are merely biological robots, involves assumptions about reality. I'll look at one of those assumptions in this post and why I believe there's more to me than chemicals.

Whether a robot could be a person is more of a philosophical question than a legal issue. So far. The question would be particularly interesting if a robot asked to be recognized as a person. Or disturbing, depending on how you look at it.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Spirit Photographs

The Best News Ever

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We remembered our Lord's execution on Friday.

After Jesus was dead, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body. He and another man wrapped the body of Jesus in a burial cloth and spices, placing it in a nearby tomb. The next day was a solemn sabbath, so they were pressed for time....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Murders, Life and Death

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Mass murder at a Florida high school is in the news again.

Someone has been accused of killing 17 students and staff on February 14, 2018. He's being tried and may be executed.

I'll be talking about him, one of the dead students and why I think human life matters. All human life....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Choosing Light or Darkness

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I will live forever. Whether that's good news or bad news is up to me.

I'd say 'it depends on me,' but that's not quite true. What I decide and do matters. But having an unending life in God's presence isn't something I achieve.

Today's Gospel reading, John 3:14-21, got me started. That's part of our Lord's conversation with Nicodemus. The fourth Sunday of Lent scrutinies Gospel for this year, John 9:1-41, is the "a man blind from birth" account. It's got a similar theme.

I'll be talking about believing, doing and sinning. That last may need explaining....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Being Evangelical

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I'm a Christian. I take my faith seriously. That's why I think part of my job is evangelizing. Which doesn't necessarily mean I'm an evangelist.

For some folks, an evangelist is someone like Saints Mark, Luke and John. "The Evangelist" often gets added to their name. Saint Matthew is an evangelist, too. So are Saints like Augustine of Hippo, Francis of Assisi, Francis Xavier and Thérèse of Lisieux.1

"Evangelist" has quite a few meanings. Merriam-Webster says it's a Protestant minister or someone who enthusiastically advocates something. Oxforddictionaries.com adds "...the writer of one of the four Gospels...."

I don't know about the 'enthusiastic' part, but I think sharing what I believe is a good idea.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

God, Love and Clouds

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Today's Gospel, Mark 9:2 through 10, describes the Transfiguration. I'll be talking about that. Partly. Also Peter, perceptions, and laundry detergent.

It seems like a better idea than getting upset that not everybody calls the second Sunday in Lent "Transfiguration Sunday."

Or that some folks read this part of the Gospel on a different Sunday. Or that we had a different second Sunday Gospel reading last year. Or that our Feast of the Transfiguration is August 6 this year. And is a Monday.

Occasions for angst abound. I'd rather look at what today's Gospel says and what's been said about it. Then think for a bit and see what happens.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Mass Murder: No Fast Fix

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This year's Ash Wednesday and Valentine's Day were the same day.

Folks exchanged greeting cards. Many got their foreheads marked with ashes. And 17 were killed at a high school.

Someone's already called last Wednesday's mass murder the 'Valentine's Day Massacre of 2018.' The famous Valentine's Day Massacre was in 1929. It happened when a Chicago gang tried resolving a disagreement over bootleg booze. It didn't succeed. Not quite....

...I'm quite sure the 17 folks killed at Stoneman Douglas High School will be missed by their families, friends, and acquaintances....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Lent: Not Doing Too Much

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Quite a bit happened this week.

We started Lent's 40-day stay with our Lord in the desert. Not literally. That's mentioned in today's Gospel: Mark 1:12-15. I've talked about deserts and Deuteronomy, penance and porridge, before. (February 11, 2018; February 26, 2017)

There's a more technical — and more useful, probably — discussion in Catechism of the Catholic Church 538-540....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Skydiving and Lent

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Lent is fast approaching. How I see it and what I do is up to me. Ash Wednesday is next week, so I don't have much time to decide.

Christians, Catholic and otherwise, in my culture generally change what we eat for this season. I'm a Catholic, so I've got rules.

But not all that many. Mostly they're guidelines. I put a link to my territory's rules about diet under 'Fast & Abstinence' near the end of this post....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Changing Rules

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Today's tech and social norms aren't what they were in my youth. It's exciting. Or bewildering. Or unstable. Or dynamic. or any of a myriad other options.

Change happens, even if I don't approve. What matters is making good choices. More about that later.

These are the 'Good Old Days'
I'll indulge in nostalgia. Occasionally. Parts of my past are nice places to visit. But I wouldn't like living there.

Taking a stroll down memory lane lets me see the best times places, people and experiences. It's a 'best-of' selection.

But I certainly don't yearn for the days before social media, smart appliances, and online search software.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Remembering Wisdom

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I'm a Christian. So why, one might ask, am I not denouncing something most folks enjoy: like demon rum or Bingo? Or playing the Grinch for Halloween?

Or enjoying a friendly pint with the boys, but adding my voice to the ensemble 'prophesying' the purported perils of fantasy and imagination?

Or at least stalwartly refusing to learn anything we didn't know before the 18th century....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

God Doesn't Make Junk

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We live in a material world. I like it, a lot. Quite a few folks have felt the same way.
"You adorn the year with your bounty; your paths drip with fruitful rain.
"The meadows of the wilderness also drip; the hills are robed with joy." (Psalms 65:12-13) Some get overly impressed. Others apparently think it's icky.

Earnest folks have celebrated and condemned it. Not necessarily the same folks, and probably not at the same time. Not usually. That'd be a problem by itself.

Plato thought about the reality we live in, artists have been inspired by it.

That's given us a theory of forms, George Harrison's "Living in the Material World" and Madonna's "Like a Virgin" albums, and the "Material World" 1990s sitcom.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

"Imagine All the People"

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Someone's 'Tweet' about sin and how someone responded showed up in my Twitter feed Sunday. I noticed an unusually goofy item in my Google news feed that evening.

Instead of expressing outrage and (self?)-righteous indignation over either or both, I made a few notes and went on with my day.

That's no great virtue on my part. I'm no fan of emotional outbursts. I like them even less when I'm the one melting down. Avoiding that sort of eruption is much easier now....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

"Do Not be Afraid"

4th Sunday of Advent, 2017

By Deacon Lawrence N. Kaas December 24, 2017

Good! Now try to imagine yourself describing the scene in which the Angel Gabriel seeks and speaks to Mary as one that could be played out spectacularly on film or a TV program, it would begin with the panoramic vision or an overall view of the world that solemnly zooms in and spotlights in one tiny little place. We could imagine the overview from the film score to the mission behind Google Earth....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

The Magi, Meds and Me

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It's Epiphany Sunday. It's not about the magi, wise men from the east. Not exactly. They're involved; along with King Herod, religious experts, Mary and Jesus. But they're not what this is all about.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Presenting the Holy Family

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Today's official name is the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

That's a mouthful, so folks around here generally call it Holy Family Sunday.

We don't see much of the Holy Family in the Gospels, or anywhere else in the Bible. Luke 2:22-40 — The Presentation in the Temple1 — is one of the exceptions.

It's today's Gospel reading. The others are Sirach 2:2-6; and Colossians 3:12-21.

There's a lot to say about all three, but I'll leave nearly all of that for another day. Just the first two verses from Luke are more than enough for a post.... More at A Catholic Citizen in America.