Friday, July 30, 2010

Warren Harding-- say what??

Not my usual fare, but the Center for Visions & Values has an interesting article on Warren Harding, 29th President of the United States. You'll find lots of facts you probably weren't taught in school. The center for Visions & Values is at Grove City College, a Christian Liberal Arts College associated with the the Presbyterian Church.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Why avoid the buffet?

Over the years I have been blogging I have done many posts about Cafeteria Catholicism. As a blog which more or less specializes in catechisis and catechists one might wonder why I spend so much time pointing out dissidence.
The answer is that truth matters. Even if it is inconvenient, difficult and carries personal costs, truth matters. One of the greatest problems with the modern world is the rejection of truth. This can most easily be seen by taking a look at classic literature of drama. Often in the best literature the story turns upon the personal conflict of the protagonist, not against an enemy, but against the truth, that is against the Right Thing. The protagonist knows what the Right Thing to do is, but the circumstances make doing the Right Thing inconvenient, difficult and full of personal cost. The dramatic tension comes from the fact that the protagonist knows what should be done, and the story revolves around the cost of either doing the Right Thing or failing to do the Right Thing.
One of the basic premises of such a story is that there is no question of what the Right Thing is. If the Right Thing did not exist, that is if there were no Truth, i.e. truth was relative, there would be no story. Indeed, one of the things that makes most modern movies and novels so forgettable and ultimately will prevent them from ever being classics is that they reject the concept of truth. That makes their stories at a deeper level uninteresting, and their characters undifferentiated.
Another aspect of this kind of story is the truth that there is not a world without consequence. That doesn't mean that doing the Right Thing is consequence free, it just means that doing something else has ultimate consequences which are even worse.
The consequence of death for standing up for the truth is a lesser consequence than eternal damnation for failing to stand up for the truth.
Cafeteria Catholics pretend they don't know the truth. They are not new or cutting edge or daring for challenging the Church. They are actually following one who is very old, doing something the first recalcitrant fallen angel did before mankind was even formed, rejecting the Truth, challenging the One who is Truth.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


One reason posts have been light lately (though not the only one) is that I have been away doing domestic mission work. My parish has set up a domestic mission program in an economically depressed area of our diocese. We have been doing this for over a decade and have finally broken out, so to speak, into the wider world. This year we are also supporting an international mission trip for our young adult group, as well as helping other parishes set up their own domestic missions.
The reason I say we have broken out is because when a parish queried the diocese on setting up a domestic mission they we told we were th go to guys in the diocese for domestic mission programs. Interestingly enough, at our mission location we work closely with the local county social services office. The office in a neighboring county has also asked us how to get a similar group to work there.
A lot of hard work goes into the weeks we are actually working. We start planning six to nine months ahead of the first group going. We just got back and we are not truly finished for this year until we do our post trip debrief meeting next week.
God's hand is always in our midst. Weather has never interrupted our work, not even when the forecast has been for huge storms. They always seem to hold off until nightfall, or happen on Sunday (which we, of course, take as a day of rest.) We usually plan each job well ahead of time, often visiting the sites a month before we do our work. This year we received a call with a request to put in a ramp the day we arrived. This ramp allowed a man who has not been able to leave his home for two years to join us for dinner at a local church the night before we left for home. Days before we got the call he didn't even know we existed. Coincidence? The result of a lot of hard work and marketing? Rather I would say that we have simply gotten out of the way and let God work.

Upon Peter

When Christ at a symbolic moment was establishing His great society, He chose for its comer-stone neither the brilliant Paul nor the mystic John, but a shuffler, a snob a coward—in a word, a man. And upon this rock He has built His Church, and the gates of Hell have not prevailed against it. All the empires and the kingdoms have failed, because of this inherent and continual weakness, that they were founded by strong men and upon strong men. But this one thing, the historic Christian Church, was founded on a weak man, and for that reason it is indestructible. For no chain is stronger than its weakest link.

Heretics -- G. K. Chesterton