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Showing posts from October, 2020

Zealots and Lost Causes (not political!)

Today is the feast of Sts. Simon and Jude. That's "Simon the Zealot," and "Jude, the Patron Saint of Lost Causes." Both of them were among the original 12 apostles chosen by Jesus. I'm going to take a minute for some basic catechism on the communion of saints in general and patron saints in particular, and another minute on these two saints celebrated today. But if you will keep reading, after that I want to say something about our own personal "lost causes," and reflect on "zealotry" as one of the ways we respond to them. I am NOT here to talk about zealotry in public causes, not a week before an election. In any case, I hope  everyone reading this has already voted! So first of all, some basic catechism on patron saints for the non-Catholics out there. What is a patron saint? Why do Catholics pray to saints, and why isn't this idolatry? So ... Catholics pray to saints, but not because they themselves have power, as if they were min

Toxic

So in case y'all haven't noticed, Election Day in the USA will be this coming November 3, two Tuesdays from now. And you know what? It can't be over soon enough. I mean, I'm really glad I live in a democracy, but man, is it toxic ! I don't watch or read or listen to the news. I'm not on social media. I'm aware that it's really ugly out there, but -- well, that's exactly why I don't partake of it. It's too toxic. I'm not an undecided voter, in fact I already voted. I don't need to see and hear all the nastiness. When I am not sure which way to vote, in a primary or on some local issue, I look it up on the internet. Preferably on some non-partisan voter education website that can give me the information on the issues straight up, without all the hype and hysteria.  I'm not going to rant on and on about this, just -- I miss my monks! I watched Mass livestreamed from the monastery this morning, but then I also went to Mass at a local

Theology

I have learned that the place wherein You are found unveiled is girt round with the coincidence of contradictories, and this is the wall of Paradise wherein You abide! The door is guarded by the most proud spirit of reason, and unless he be vanquished, the way will not lie open. -- Nicolas of Cusa, Vision of God (15th century) I am a contemplative, not a theologian. I am distrustful of "theology," and generally opposed to "doctrine." I am a Christian, and it is through the story of the Incarnation that I relate to God. I find great riches and depth in Christianity. It has to be admitted, though, that there's also an awful lot of garbage encrusted around it. Neither do I believe that Christianity's sacred Scripture and Tradition together, even at their best, give me any more than an obscure view "as through a glass, darkly" of God. I object to theology, to the definition of doctrine, because it treats  God  as an object, or some kind of mechanistic

The pandemic is not the wrath of God

After posting to this blog two Sundays in a row, I was feeling very pleased with myself and thought that that would be a good schedule, and I meant to post again last Sunday. I started a post on Saturday, riffing off the Sunday Mass readings, but going again into my favorite theme of self-knowledge and self-actualization. I thought I'd finish and post it on Sunday. And then I went to Mass. I hadn't heard this pastor much before, but I had a good superficial impression of him. But when he started to preach, I was appalled! I was so shocked that I just pulled my cowl down over my eyes and shut him out with a private meditation until the homily was over.  The man was comparing this coronavirus pandemic with Noah's flood, and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the horrific conquests of the kingdoms of Israel by Assyria and Judah by Babylon. He said that when the world, or some part of the world, is irredeemably saturated in sin, God sends some cataclysmic event to "