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

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.

2 Jul 2017

Still Rejoicing



My father reminded me of this good advice when I was in my teens: "...whatever is true, ... whatever is lovely, ... think about these things." My response was something like '...because they won't last.'

I wasn't happy about saying that at the time. I still regret it.

I can't, of course, undo what was done. And the time for telling my father "I'm sorry" has long since passed. In any case, I said "I'm sorry" too often, and that's almost another topic.

The quote is from Philippians 4:6-9. I'll get back to that.

Following the advice from Philippians isn't easy for me.

But it's been getting easier as I work though a massive backlog of bad habits. Nothing unusual there, since we're all dealing with consequences of a bad choice described in Genesis 3:1-13.1...

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

30 Jun 2017

Exoplanet Frontier

We wouldn't expect to find life on 51 Eridani b, even if were the size of Earth and at the right distance from its star.

The planet is only a bit over 20,000,000 years old.

At that point in our home's long story, the earliest critters wouldn't appear for at least another several million years.

We've discovered thousands of new worlds so far, some a bit like Earth, most not; and many not like anything in our Solar System.

Scientists are starting to make sense of what's being found, and discovering that we have a very great deal left to learn.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

18 Jun 2017

Respecting Everyone



Gay/LGBT Pride Month will be over in about two weeks. Wanting respect is reasonable, but I don't agree with much of what's said on this issue.

Don't worry, I won't be spitting venom. Even if I felt like it, which I don't, that kind of trouble I don't need.

First, I'd better talk about love and respect, and why I think both are important....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

16 Jun 2017

Oldest Human Fossils?

Humanity's current model may be a whole lot older than we thought.

A team of scientists say that remains found in Morocco are human, Homo sapiens. The scientists also say these folks lived about 300,000 years ago.

If that's confirmed, they were around 100,000 years earlier and about 2,000 miles away from where we thought Homo sapiens showed up.

Other scientists say T. rex may not have been fluffy. It looks like the big dinosaur lost its feathers somewhere along the line.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

13 Jun 2017

How my Faith Helps Me with Grieving

I gave my condolences to a young friend after his great-grandfather passed away by saying "I'm sorry", which sparked a conversation between the 2 of us. We spoke of what part our faith plays in our grieving.
Read more here.

11 Jun 2017

Prayer Routine: Month Four



It's about four months since I started a new daily prayer routine. (February 19, 2017)

I sometimes forget the morning set, but not often. Having a printout of both sets next to my keyboard helps.

The evening prayers are another matter. Happily, I remember the gist of what's between the Lord's prayer and "glory be." That lets me catch up: if I remember before falling asleep, which doesn't always happen.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Day 1 Quitting Smoking

So as of 3pm it will have been 24 hours without a cigarette! Everyone has been so encouraging and because of that I want to document my ex...