Friday, September 30, 2011

Founders Friday, Friday, September 30, 2011 – Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin FranklinImage via Wikipedia

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!"

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Too Orthodox?

St. Thomas Aquinas (c. 1225-1274), the eponym ...Image via Wikipedia
One thing that happened over the weekend that I didn’t note down yesterday, is that I searched the web (I hate the verb Google) for some material on lectio divina, for no particular reason, and came across a website by obviously zealous Catholics. On there they included a little write up on Bible versions to use for lectio. In that discussion, they wrote that the NAB Bible was heretical, citing the example of the translation of 1 Corinthians 9:5. This verse reads, in the NAB, “Do we not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles and the brothers of the Lord and cCephas? The reason they say that passage is heretically translated is that it seems influenced by “Catholics” who are attacking celibacy, the word used for wife is translated “sister” in the Douey Rheims version. Well, a couple of obvious problems with that idea. One is that the notes to the NAB fully acknowledge that it’s possible to translate the word as “sister”, rather than wife. Another is that heresy is defined by St Thomas Aquinas thus, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia:
". . . a species of infidelity in men who, having professed the faith of Christ, corrupt its dogmas". "The right Christian faith consists in giving one's voluntary assent to Christ in all that truly belongs to His teaching. There are, therefore, two ways of deviating from Christianity: the one by refusing to believe in Christ Himself, which is the way of infidelity, common to Pagans and Jews; the other by restricting belief to certain points of Christ's doctrine selected and fashioned at pleasure, which is the way of heretics.”

Further, the Catholic Encyclopedia goes on to say,
"Before turning to the history of this observance it will be convenient to deal in the first place with certain general principles involved. The law of celibacy has repeatedly been made the object of attack, especially of recent years, and it is important at the outset to correct certain prejudices thus created.”
The practice of celibacy is not a doctrine, it is a law, or regulation of the Church, it can, quite legitimately be overturned at any time. I’m not saying that is a good idea, but to clarify that I think we should be careful flinging about the term “heresy”, where none can be found. I also don’t say the NAB is my preferred text of the Scriptures, it isn’t, although the NABRE does represent a considerable improvement over the old version. No, it’s a bad translation, but it’s not heretical. 

Also, I sometimes wonder, even though I wish to be a very orthodox Catholic, if orthodoxy can’t be taken too far, at the expense of charity. We don’t after all place our faith in the Church, rather in the person of Christ. I firmly believe doctrine must be protected, but not in a way that becomes judgmental and lacks charity and patience.  As St Paul says, we are to speak the truth in love.

Oh, by the way, I think any translation accepted by the Church can be used for lectio, including the NIV. My favorite is the Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition. It translates the verse in question this way, Do we not have the right to be accompanied by a wife, as the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Word on Wednesday, Wednesday, September 28, 2011 – St John Bosco

Don BoscoImage via Wikipedia
When tempted, invoke your Angel. he is more eager to help you than you are to be helped! Ignore the devil and do not be afraid of him: He trembles and flees at the sight of your Guardian Angel.
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Monday, September 26, 2011

It's the Little Things

My father-in-law, Bill McGaw was many things, including an actor in a movie with Clark Gable and Barbara Stanwyck, no less, but he always considered himself a newspaperman first and foremost. In the 1970’s in El Paso he started a weekly newspaper dedicated to getting at the truth of many stories that seemed to always go unreported in towns with a very strong and closely knit power structure. One thing that he always said was that, for many powerful people, it was usually some small and very trivial mistake that tripped them up, something they never considered important at the time. As an example, think of Al Capone and the failure to file tax returns in a timely manner. 

It turns out this is good advice in the Christian life also. Here’s a good quote from Blessed Peter Favre, SJ (no I don’t think he was a quarterback long ago).

"Seek grace for the smallest things, and you will also find grace to accomplish, to believe in, and to hope for the greatest things. Attend to the smallest things, examine them, think about putting them into effect, and the Lord will grant you greater. Many seek anxiously for grace to perform good works of a more general kind while neglecting in the meantime particular tasks for which it would have been easy to find grace. "

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Desert Fathers, Sunday, September 25, 2011 – St Sebastian of Optina

“What is more precious than anything in the world? Time! And what do we waste uselessly and without being sorry? Time! What do we not value and what do we disregard more than anything? Time! When we waste time, we lose ourselves… Time is given by God to use correctly for the salvation of the soul and the acquisition of the life to come… The Lord will call us to account for having stolen time for our own whims, and for not using it for God and our souls.”
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Friday, September 23, 2011

Founders Friday, Friday, September 23, 2011 – Charles Carroll

NEW YORK - JULY 03: A page from the Declaratio...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure (and) which insures to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments."

Charles Carroll, signer of the Declaration of Independence
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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Word on Wednesday, Wednesday, September 21, 2011 – St Francis of Assisi

Saint Francis of Assisi with Al-Kamil, 15th Ce...Image via Wikipedia

It would be considered a theft on our part if we didn't give to someone in greater need than we are.
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Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Desert Fathers, Sunday, September 18, 2011 – Isaac the Syrian

St. Isaac the Syrian (ortodox icon)Image via Wikipedia
Burden the soul with the labor of reading the Scriptures which make known the narrow ways of ascetic life and of contemplation, as well as the stories of the saints; that you may exchange one habit for another even if in the beginning your soul does not feel the pleasure because of the thick darkness and confusion of present memories. Then when you arise for prayer and for the office, instead of musing upon the things of the world, ideas from Scripture will be imprinted in the mind. And wih these, the memory of what it already has seen and heard will be erased from it. In this way your mind will come to purity.”
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Friday, September 16, 2011

Founders Friday, Friday, September 16, 2011 – John Adams

Oil painting of John Adams by John Trumbull.Image via Wikipedia
We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

John Adams (The Works of John Adams, ed. C. F. Adams, Boston: Little, Brown Co., 1851, 4:31)
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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Word on Wednesday, Wednesday, September 14, 2011 – Pope St Gregory the Great

Gregory I became pope in 590 and effected grea...Image via Wikipedia

The only true riches are those that make us rich in virtue. Therefore, if you want to be rich, beloved, love true riches. If you aspire to the heights of real honor, strive to reach the kingdom of Heaven. If you value rank and renown, hasten to be enrolled in the heavenly court of the Angels.
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Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Early Church Fathers, Sunday, September 11, 2011 – St. Augustine

The earliest portrait of Saint Augustine in a ...Image via Wikipedia

I promised you [new Christians], who have now been baptized, a sermon in which I would explain the sacrament of the Lord's table, which you now look upon and of which you last night were made participants. You ought to know that you have received what you are going to receive, and what you ought to receive daily. That bread which you see on the altar having been sanctified by the word of God is the body of Christ, That chalice, or rather, what is in that chalice, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the blood of Christ (Sermons 227 [A.D. 411]).
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Friday, September 9, 2011

Founders Friday, Friday, September 9, 2011 – Alexander Hamilton

A portrait of Alexander Hamilton shortly after...Image via Wikipedia

To grant that there is a supreme intelligence who rules the world and has established laws to regulate the actions of his creatures; and still to assert that man, in a state of nature, may be considered as perfectly free from all restraints of law and government, appears to a common understanding altogether irreconcilable. Good and wise men, in all ages, have embraced a very dissimilar theory. They have supposed that the deity, from the relations we stand in to himself and to each other, has constituted an eternal and immutable law, which is indispensably obligatory upon all mankind, prior to any human institution whatever. This is what is called the law of nature....Upon this law depend the natural rights of mankind.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Word on Wednesday, Wednesday, September 7, 2011 – Fulton J. Sheen

Fulton J. Sheen, Roman Catholic Bishop and ear...Image via Wikipedia
"The Rosary is the best therapy for these distraught, unhappy, fearful, and frustrated souls, precisely because it involves the simultaneous use of three powers: the physical, the vocal, and the spiritual, and in that order."

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Early Church Fathers, Sunday, September 4, 2011 – St Ignatius of Antioch

Ignatius of AntiochieImage via Wikipedia

Follow your bishop, every one of you, as obediently as Jesus Christ followed the Father. Obey your clergy too as you would the apostles; give your deacons the same reverence that you would to a command of God. Make sure that no step affecting the Church is ever taken by anyone without the bishop’s sanction. The sole Eucharist you should consider valid is one that is celebrated by the bishop himself, or by some person authorized by him. Where the bishop is to be seen, there let all his people be; just as, wherever Jesus Christ is present, there is the Catholic Church (Letter to the Smyrneans 8:2 [A.D. 110]).

Saturday, September 3, 2011

New Blogger SUCKS


After I posted this, I noticed the option to switch back to the old format, which I have done.  Now everything seems back to normal.  I hope they don't make the new version mandatory at some time or other.

Blogger has come out with a new version, which, quite honestly, sucks.  It's unstable, difficult to work with and may necessitate my looking for some new outlet with which to publish this blog.  Or may spell the end of it, I don't know which,  In any case, they either need to fix this thing or I'm history.  There are some things that just aren't worth putting up with a lot of frustration, this is one of them.

I began to blog because it was fun and something of an outlet, and also as an avenue for exploration of all the myriad of things that go through my mind from day to day.  Mostly because it was somewhat fun and entertaining.  This version is NOT fun.

So, there's one rant for today.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Founders Friday, Friday, September 02, 2011 – Elbridge Gerry

Elbridge Gerry (1744–1814), American statesmanImage via Wikipedia

Whenever governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins.