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

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.

9 Jun 2017

GSLV, Rocket Lab: Looking Good

India's 'monster rocket,' the GSLV Mark III, successfully put the GSAT-19E satellite in orbit this week.

BBC News called some coverage of ISRO's launch "euphoric."

That's understandable. India is like America in the late 20th century, where spaceflight is involved: and is rapidly catching up. I'm not euphoric, quite, but I see what's happening as very good news for everyone.

Rocket Lab's Electron test launch wasn't entirely successful. But the company thinks they can get the system working, and plan to start commercial launches later this year.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

4 Jun 2017

London: Death, Hope, and Love

This is bad, but could have been much worse. Yesterday evening, starting around 10:00, three people in a van drove across London Bridge, deliberately running down pedestrians.1

After crossing the bridge, they left the van and attacked folks out for an evening with friends and family near Borough Market.

A few minutes later, they were dead; shot by police. They had killed seven folks by then, 48, were taken to hospitals, 36 are still hospitalized, 21 in critical condition, as I write this....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

21 May 2017

7 May 2017

Truth and Love



I take God very seriously. I also think people matter. I care deeply about truth and love.

By some standards this isn't a particularly "religious" blog.

For one thing, I keep saying that loving my neighbor and seeing everybody as my neighbor is a good idea. I'll get back to that.

For another, I write about science each Friday; real science. And I don't see it as a threat.

I don't 'believe in' science, in the sense that I expect it to replace God. That would be as silly as trying to find life's meaning in the second law of thermodynamics. It would also be a very bad idea....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

5 May 2017

First Americans?

Scientists used new DNA screening tech to study caves in Belgium, Croatia, France, Russia, and Spain. What they found wasn't a big surprise. What's exciting about the news is that we now have another tool for unraveling our family history.

We've been pretty sure that nobody lived in North America until about two dozen millennia back. That may change, if scientists who say they found 130,000-year-old tools in San Diego County, California. Quite a few other scientists are dubious, understandably.

I took a longer look at what we've been learning about Homo naledi. They're folks who don't look like humanity's current model. We found their remains in a cave they probably used as a crypt.

Since you may be reading my stuff for the first time, I'll review why I think truth is important. All truth, not just the bits I grew up knowing about. Also why I take the Bible seriously, but not 'creation science.'...

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

28 Apr 2017

Repeatable Results That Aren’t

I'll be talking about scientific research that may not be "fake:" but isn't reliable, either. The good news is that many scientists want to fix the problem.

I'll also take a look at truth, beauty, Copernicus, and how a science editor sees faith and science.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

23 Apr 2017

Looking for Life: Enceladus and Gliese 1132 b

We haven't found life on — or in — Enceladus. But we've found organic compounds in the Saturnian moon's salt-water geysers.

Scientists detected an atmosphere around Gliese 1132 b, a planet about 39 light-years away. It's Earth-like, in terms of size; but too hot for life as we know it. We'll almost certainly learn a great deal, though, by studying its atmosphere....

...Abraham, Moses, and Minnesota


I take the Bible, Sacred Scripture, very seriously. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 101-133)

I don't, however, insist on believing only what I find in the Bible. That's just as well, since I live near the center of North America.

I'm pretty sure that Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Saint Peter, and the rest, didn't know that the land I live on exists. But I'm quite sure that the State of Minnesota is real: even if it's not "Biblical."...

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

19 Apr 2017

Flee Your Road to Emmaus; Turn Your Sights on Jesus

Today’s Gospel reading from Luke 24:13-35 speaks to us of Jesus’ walk with two men on the Road to Emmaus. We begin with two men departing Jerusalem, saddened in the realization that Jesus was not who they thought him to be. They were disappointed, for they thought He was their savior; yet He died. So much for being a savior! How often can we say that we are like the two men on the Road to Emmaus? Do we give up on Jesus when He does not do what we wish, or what we think is right?  These men wanted Jesus to rise to the level of King, but He died, and with that their belief in Him.

Road to Emmaus: Signs of Faith


As the men were walking, Jesus approached them. However, Jesus disguised Himself, disabling them to “see” Jesus as the Risen Lord. While walking with the men, Jesus asked them what they were discussing. The two men informed Jesus about the events of recent days: Jesus’ arrest, humiliation, crucifixion and death. They had hoped that “he would be the one to redeem Israel” (Luke 24: 21). Even with the declaration from the women who visited the tomb, that the tomb was empty and that the Lord had risen, these two men were walking away from Jerusalem, downcast; their faith shattered. How often do we see signs of faith, but choose to ignore them? Read more...

1 Mar 2017

Lent Does Not Have to be a Dreary Time! Want Some Positive Ideas?


Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Many of us look at this period on the Church calendar as a time of suffering and deprivation. Lent has historically been synonymous with a desert experience of dryness; a sense of loneliness, as if God is on vacation somewhere else. This connotes a sense of negativity. Yet, Lent affords us so much more, if we are willing to open our minds, hearts and souls to the various opportunities that make the Lenten season special in a positive way.

Lent, a Season of Faith, Hope and Love


Lent can be a time of renewal and personal growth; a time for getting to know Our Savior much better by... Read more... 

Let Christ Rip The Rug Up From Under You

When Jesus invites us to die to ourselves, He is not referring to some pious act of self-sacrifice which will make us look or feel holy....