Showing posts with label faith. Show all posts
Showing posts with label faith. Show all posts

3 Dec 2017

Advent: Our Long Watch

'Tis the season for frantic shopping, eye-popping light shows in suburban front yards, and Christmas television specials.

It's also the start of Advent.

This is a season when we look back at ancient hopes for a Messiah, and our Lord's first arrival. And look ahead to when Jesus will be back....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

26 Nov 2017

Seeing the Big Picture

Today's Mass is something new, introduced by Pius XI in 1925. We've had it on the last Sunday in Ordinary Time since 1970.

Focusing on who and what our Lord is seems like a good way to wrap up the Church calendar. That's how I see it.

Today's Gospel reading is Matthew 25:31-46. That's the one starting with "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him...."

It's an important part of the Gospels, and not what I'll be talking about today. I'd better explain that.

I'm okay with what the Church says about Mass, including how the annual schedule works. I'm not a religious scofflaw, disdaining the laws of God and man. But I don't try to coordinate these 'Sunday' posts with what happens in Mass.

I figure it's not a problem, since I'm a Catholic layman — and you're probably not here looking for a homily....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

24 Nov 2017

Visitor from the Stars

"Scientists thought ‘Oumuamua was a comet when they spotted it last month.

"Follow-up observations showed it was more like an asteroid: and going too fast to be from the solar system.

"‘Oumuamua is from interstellar space. It's the first object of its kind we've seen.

"What scientists are learning about ‘Oumuamua tells us a bit about other planetary systems, and raises intriguing new questions...."

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

21 Nov 2017

2 Major Events that Changed the World

Welcome Friend,




2 - Major Events to talk about with you today that changed the entire world:

  1. Birth of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

Going to keep this short, because there are many things I could write about Jesus.

5 Nov 2017

Science, Faith, and Me



This universe is bigger and older than some folks thought, a few centuries back.

I don't mind, at all. Besides, it's hardly new information. We've known that we live in a big world for a long time.
"4 Indeed, before you the whole universe is as a grain from a balance, or a drop of morning dew come down upon the earth." (Wisdom 11:22)
If that bit from Wisdom doesn't sound familiar, I'm not surprised. It's not in the Bibles many Americans have. The one I read and study frequently is the unexpurgated version....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

29 Oct 2017

Love. And Science



Pharisees and Sadducees had important roles in the Land of Israel for about two centuries by the time our Lord talked about love.

They agreed on quite a bit. Maybe more than they realized. But they didn't see assorted political, social, and philosophical points the same way.

Pharisees didn't like Helenization, adopting at least some foreign ideas. Sadducees thought Helenization was a generally good idea.

But Sadducees thought the written Torah was divine authority's only source.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

15 Oct 2017

New Windows


(Adoration chapel windows in Sauk Centre, Minnesota.)

I've spent an hour at the adoration chapel almost every week for a few years now. Signing up seemed like a good idea at the time.

It still does. But this sort of spiritual practice doesn't come naturally to me. That's not a criticism of anything or anyone.

We're "all one in Christ Jesus," as Galatians 3:28 says. And we're not all alike. This is a good thing, or should be....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

13 Oct 2017

Finding New Worlds

We could detect oxygen in Proxima Centauri b's atmosphere. It's a biosignature, but not proof of life.

Some extrasolar planets are like Earth, almost. Many are unlike anything in the Solar System.

I'll be looking at recently-discovered worlds; some almost familiar, others wonderfully unexpected. Also an informal 'top 10 best exoplanets' list.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

11 Oct 2017

A Question of faith of Fear

DO YOU HAVE FAITH?
WHY?
WHAT IS YOUR MOTIVATION TO HAVE FAITH?
DOES YOUR MOTIVATION REALLY MATTER? 
WHO GAVE YOU FAITH ANYWAY?
DID YOU TAKE THE FIRST STEP INTO FAITH?

8 Oct 2017

Anxiety Optional



Today's second reading from Philippians 4 says to have "no anxiety at all," praise God, and "your requests known to God." Then we'll have the "peace of God...."

I think that's a good idea: but it's not the whole picture.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

24 Sep 2017

Prayer Routine: Month Eight



Jesus said we should always pray. Our Lord gave us pointers about prayer, too: the parable of the persistent widow and another about the pharisee and the tax collector. That's in Luke 18:1-14.

Maybe someone's taken those verses and decided it means that Christians should be saying prayers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Or at least until our voices give out or we drop from exhaustion.

I'm pretty sure that's not what our Lord had in mind. Prayer is important, though.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

22 Sep 2017

An Ichthyosaur Tale

A nation's schools are returning to traditional values. Whether that's good or bad news depends partly on how you see what we've learned since about 1859.

I think we've learned more about how the universe works, and that this is good news. We haven't consistently made good use of the knowledge, but that's our problem.

We've made good and bad use of everything we've learned, from using fire to writing blogs. Whether it's good or bad depends on us, not fire or the Internet. And that's another topic.

Two scientists studied an ichthyosaur that had been used as a wall decoration. What they learned adds to what we're learning about those critters. I think that's worthwhile.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

30 Aug 2017

Emoji Virtues!? Guest Post: Cathy Gilmore from Virtue Works Media

Emoji Virtues in our emotions? Is that even possible?


When we encounter characters in the books we read, the movies and TV we watch, as well as in the ever-unfolding story we call real life, we can witness virtues. Virtue comes alive in people’s beliefs, perceptions, thoughts, decisions and actions. But, how often do we consider the way that virtue can operate in human feelings and emotions?

A lifetime of research by a Catholic spiritual psychology pioneer, Richard Johnson, PhD. revealed that we  have special spiritual strengths, otherwise known as virtues; which specifically operate in the part of our personality whose function is emotion. He identifies Joyfulness, Trust, Devotion, Empathy and Gratitude as personality traits that we can cultivate as holy habits of virtue in a unique way in our emotions. Often, we think of emotions as something reactive; triggered by some new situation, or a recalled memory. However, through the miracle of virtue, aided by God’s grace, we can be INTENTIONAL about our every thought and action. Surprisingly, this intentionality applies equally to our emotions also. So, in short, yes, there are Emoji Virtues. We can make them a priority in the internal routine of our lives!

Do You Let Pride and Fear Rule Your Life?


It is interesting to note that our media and entertainment often portrays lives that ricochet between emotional extremes. We are led to believe that... Read more... 

27 Aug 2017

Hurricane Harvey



Harvey was still a tropical storm when it went over the eastern Caribbean. That was a little over a week ago.

Folks in Barbados were without power for a while. At least one house was destroyed, and more folks had to evacuate their homes.

Pretty much the same thing happened in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Suriname and Guyana had wind and rain: enough to kill at least one person, a woman whose house collapsed with her inside.

Harvey was a category 4 hurricane when it reached the Texas coast, between Port Aransas and Port O'Connor. That was around 10:00 p.m. Friday....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

23 Aug 2017

Expectations



Danae's odd view of Papal infallibility isn't accurate. (July 30, 2017)

But I'm not upset by Non Sequitur's 'Church of Danae,' particularly since I see the funny side of the cultural quirks Wiley Miller highlights.

I do, however, occasionally use Danae's distinctive theology and Eddie's "Biblical Prophecies" as a contrast to my faith.

I'm a Christian, and a Catholic.

I have well-defined views on social and legal issues: but I am not conservative or liberal. I'm Catholic.

That means acting as if Jesus, love, and people matter....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

20 Aug 2017

Taking God Seriously



We live in a big world. We've known that for a long time, and have been impressed.
"How great are your works, LORD! How profound your designs!" (Psalms 92:6)
But impressive as what we see is, God is greater: almighty, infinite, eternal. Ineffable, beyond what can be expressed in words.

That's pretty much what God told Moses in the 'burning bush' interview:
"'But,' said Moses to God, 'if I go to the Israelites and say to them, "The God of your ancestors has sent me to you," and they ask me, "What is his name?" what do I tell them?' "God replied to Moses: I am who I am. Then he added: This is what you will tell the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you." (Exodus 3:13-14)
Moses said "but" three times before their talk was over. I've talked about him before, and other prophets. Mary also asked a question: a sensible one. I get the impression that her reaction was calmer than theirs.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

13 Aug 2017

Miracles



I'll be talking about miracles today. Also religious art and kitsch, the Mayan apocalypse, and why folks occasionally see faces that aren't there. Even by my standards, this post rambles a bit.

Quite a few folks act as if they think faith and reason, religion and science, have about as much to do with each other as cheese and Wednesday.

Some go a step further, and blame the world's woes on religion.

The antics of loudly-religious folks don't help make faith look like a reasonable, or safe, part of today's world.

I think faith isn't reason, but that it's reasonable. I also think that an honest search for truth doesn't threaten faith. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 31-35, 159; "Fides et Ratio;" "Gaudium et Spes," 36)

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

6 Aug 2017

Navel-Gazing in August



Someone said "write what you know." It was definitely Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, Nathan Englander, or somebody else.

I've mostly seen the quote applied to writing fiction.

Apparently some folks assume that it means authors should only write stories about events they've experienced. That may help explain why fantasy and science fiction stories aren't taken seriously in some circles, and entirely too seriously in others.

Others, including John Briggs, Diablo Cody/Brook Busey-Maurio and Jason Gots, say it means using the author's emotional memories when telling stories. They're professional writers, so I figure they know what they're talking about.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

30 Jul 2017

Infallibility?



The "most disturbing image" gag in Wiley Miller's Non Sequitur comic depends on a fairly common misunderstanding of Catholic belief. The important word in that sentence is misunderstanding. Papal infallibility doesn't mean that.

I'm none too pleased that Catholic beliefs are misunderstood by non-Catholics: and by some Catholics. But I can't fault a cartoonist for poking fun at cultural quirks I see as silly. Not reasonably.

Besides, strips featuring the Church of Danae's "so-called holy scriptures" have given me pretty good illustrations of what I don't believe....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

23 Jul 2017

Adam and the Animals



I think pursuing knowledge and truth is a good idea. That's probably why Tennyson's "Ulysses" is one of my favorite poems.

It's the source of my Google Plus tagline: "To follow knowledge like a sinking star, Beyond the utmost bound of human thought." (March 26, 2017)

I'll be talking about science, faith, and why I see no problem with admiring God's work. Also the Flat Earth Society's origin, and my own silly notion: a doughnut-shaped Earth.

But first, an excerpt from Apollodorus that reminded me of the pottery metaphor in Genesis 2:7:
"...Prometheus moulded men out of water and earth and gave them also fire...." (Apollodorus, The Library, Book 1, 1.7.1; via The Theoi Classical Texts Library)
Bible translations I grew up with often called the material in Genesis 2:7 "clay." The Hebrew the word is אדמה, adamah/adama. It means ground, land, or earth — dirt.

I use the The New American Bible these days, where Genesis 2:7 says that God formed Adam "out of the dust of the ground." The meaning seems clear enough. We're made from the stuff of this world and God's breath....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

My Affinity for Saint Lucy and My Battle with Fuchs Corneal Dystrophy

Saint Lucy was born in 283 A.D. in Syracuse, Italy, what we refer to today as Sicily. Little is known about this Saint, except that she d...