Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Word on Wednesday, Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Statue of St. Edith Stein, BrocktonImage by WBUR via Flickr
As for what concerns our relations with our fellow men, the anguish in our neighbor's soul must break all precept. All that we do is a means to an end, but love is an end in itself, because God is love.


Edith Stein



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Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Desert Fathers, Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Lord's Day is a mystery of the knowledge of the truth that is not received by flesh and blood, and it transcends speculations. In this age there is no eighth day, nor is there a true Sabbath. For he who said that `God rested on the seventh day,' signified the rest [of our nature] from the course of this life, since the grave is also of a bodily nature and belongs to this world. Six days are accomplished in the husbandry of life by means of keeping the commandments; the seventh is spent entirely in the grave; and the eighth is the departure from it.


St. Isaac of Syria, The Ascetical Homilies.I

Friday, August 26, 2011

Founders Friday, Friday, August 26, 2011 – Joseph Story

Joseph StoryImage via Wikipedia
"We have also as a Physician the Lord our God Jesus the Christ the only-begotten Son and Word, before time began, but who afterwards became also man, of Mary the virgin. For ‘the Word was made flesh.' Being incorporeal, He was in the body; being impassible, He was in a passable body; being immortal, He was in a mortal body; being life, He became subject to corruption, that He might free our souls from death and corruption, and heal them, and might restore them to health, when they were diseased with ungodliness and wicked lusts."


Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Word on Wednesday, Wednesday, August 24, 2011 – St Thomas Aquinas

The Glory of St. Thomas Aquinas, detail. Paris...Image via WikipediaTo love God is something greater than to know Him. -- St. Thomas Aquinas


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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Busyness and What Is

I feel guilty for not posting much except quotes from other sources this summer, adding nothing of a personal touch.  So, this is a brief attempt to correct that situation, since I think a blog should reflect personal reflections from its purveyor from time to time.  (Let me know if you don't agree!)

The problem has been that I’ve had a busy summer, not a good busy but so busy I hardly feel like I have time to think busy.  I can’t put my finger on any particular reason for this, nothing has greatly changed for us over the last 12 – 18 months, except that we’re another 12-18 months older.  That may slow down our response to all that is going on.

If I haven 't been productive, the Spirit has.  There are times when I believe the Spirit leads us in directions we would never think of ourselves to go.  This has happened to me this summer, beginning with the accidental ordering of a book by Fr James Schall, S.J. briefly titled, Another Sort of Learning.  I was browsing on my Kindle for something concerning the Jesuits and this book popped up.  I was going to navigate away to something else, but instead navigated the “Buy” button.  I figured, since I’d bought the thing, I might as well read it, so I did.

Fr Schall is a philosophy professor at Georgetown (political philosophy) and this book is, I think, about the philosophy of learning and what it is we should learn.  Heavy stuff, yet he has a light touch.  The book starts out this way:

“Several years ago, almost thirty now, I ran across the following passage in a book called Self-Made Mad, which, of course, is nothing less than the famous Mad Magazine. Let me cite it here: ‘Did you ever stop to wonder about how recent historical events will be reported in elementary school history books 100 years from now? We hate to think so, but in the year 2060, say, elementary school history books will probably be exactly the way they are now. Which means they will be simply written so that children who study them can find easy answers to everything, even things that college professors and historians won’t fully understand. For instance, every historical figure will be either good or bad, with nobody a little good and a little bad, the way most people really are.’”

Schall, James (2011-05-12). Another Sort of Learning (p. 9). Ignatius Press. Kindle Edition.

While I have my doubts that history books in the year 2060 will be the same as they were in 1960, that is with at least a modest attempt to objectively present the historical facts under consideration, I believe that any book of philosophy that begins with a quote from Mad Magazine, perhaps the greatest philosophical endeavor of all time, can’t be all bad.  So, I continued reading.  This was over a month ago, and I’m still at it, an indication of both my “busyness” and the wonderful things presented in this book, things I’d felt and wanted to articulate, but didn’t have the words for.  Fr Schall is giving me the words. 

Anyway, this book is one of the few pure re-creational activities I’ve been able to pursue this summer and I'm grateful for it.  I can truly say that I believe my finding it was the work of the Spirit, so the summer hasn’t been a total waste after all.

More to follow, if I don’t get too busy.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Early Church Fathers, Sunday, August 21, 2011 –Ignatius of Antioch

Ss Polycarp & IgnatiusImage by Lawrence OP via Flickr
"We have also as a Physician the Lord our God Jesus the Christ the only-begotten Son and Word, before time began, but who afterwards became also man, of Mary the virgin. For ‘the Word was made flesh.' Being incorporeal, He was in the body; being impassible, He was in a passable body; being immortal, He was in a mortal body; being life, He became subject to corruption, that He might free our souls from death and corruption, and heal them, and might restore them to health, when they were diseased with ungodliness and wicked lusts."
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Friday, August 19, 2011

Founders Friday, Friday, August 19, 2011 – James Madison

Secretary of State James Madison, who won Marb...Image via Wikipedia
Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. What is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?

James Madison, Federalist No. 51, February 8, 1788
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Word on Wednesday, Wednesday, August 17, 2011 – St Aloysius Gonzaga

Carlo Francesco Nuvolone, St. Aloysius Gonzaga...Image via Wikipedia
It is better to be the child of God than king of the whole world. -- St. Aloysius Gonzaga


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The Early Church Fathers, Sunday, August 14, 2011 – St Jerome

VictorinusImage via Wikipedia
But as regards Victorinus, I assert what has already been proven from the gospel—that he [Victorinus] spoke of the brethren of the Lord not as being sons of Mary but brethren in the sense I have explained, that is to say, brethren in point of kinship, not by nature.

(Against Helvidius: The Perpetual Virginity of Mary 19 [A.D. 383]).
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Friday, August 12, 2011

Founders Friday, Friday, August 12, 2011 – Samuel Adams

Samuel AdamsImage via WikipediaA general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.

Samuel Adams, letter to James Warren, February 12, 1779
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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Word on Wednesday, Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Apparently Ailred of Rievaulx in a medieval ma...Image via Wikipedia

"Charity may be a very short word, but with its tremendous meaning of pure love, it sums up man's entire relation to God and to his neighbor." -- St Aelred of Rievaulx
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Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Early Church Fathers, Sunday, August 7, 2011 – Origen

Origen, a 3rd century proponent of Universal R...Image via Wikipedia
If a man departs this life with lighter faults, he is condemned to fire which burns away the lighter materials, and prepares the soul for the kingdom of God, where nothing defiled may enter. For if on the foundation of Christ you have built not only gold and silver and precious stones (I Cor., 3); but also wood and hay and stubble, what do you expect when the soul shall be separated from the body? Would you enter into heaven with your wood and hay and stubble and thus defile the kingdom of God; or on account of these hindrances would you remain without and receive no reward for your gold and silver and precious stones? Neither is this just. It remains then that you be committed to the fire which will burn the light materials; for our God to those who can comprehend heavenly things is called a cleansing fire. But this fire consumes not the creature, but what the creature has himself built, wood, and hay and stubble. It is manifest that the fire destroys the wood of our transgressions and then returns to us the reward of our great works. (Patres Groeci. XIII, col. 445, 448 [A.D. 185-232]).


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Friday, August 5, 2011

Founders Friday, Friday, August 5, 2011 – James Madison

A universal peace, it is to be feared, is in the catalogue of events, which will never exist but in the imaginations of visionary philosophers, or in the breasts of benevolent enthusiasts.

James Madison, essay in the National Gazette, February 2, 1792

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Wacky Wednesday, Wednesday, August 3, 2011

It's Wednesday, we've made it half way through the week, it's time to sit back and enjoy a few laughs with Rodney Dangerfield.