On ToleranceOn Tolerance in Philosophical More Like This
You'll have to stick with me for a bit, but I'll begin with a jarring statement to most readers: it seems to me that the Catholic Church is really the most tolerant of anyone or anything.
This is because the Catholic Church has rightfully questioned everything and accepted what it must. It is derived from the fact that we see creation as good and, as such, there is nothing that exists separated from goodnessno matter how hopeless. We are tolerant precisely because we call things evil and because we call things good. These are like the actions of a wise gardener who prunes leaves and branches, allowing the good to grow properly and the bad to fall lifelessly.
Indeed, the history and hagiographies [lives of the saints] of the Church attest to this attitude. St. Martin of Tours, though he had the mighty pine tree cut he erected an altar in its place. He removed the worship of something false with the worship of something truehe did not remove worship.
St. Catherine of S
In Praise of Weakness (Lit.)In Praise of Weakness (Lit.) in Philosophical More Like This
Those who do not share in the weaknesses of the body have no share in the body itself. For what body in this life is free from corruption and limitedness? Even the great Body of Christ is subject to weakness precisely because he subjected Himself to our weakness since “he took the form of a slave” (Phil 2:7) and “was of human estate.” Even after the Resurrection His resplendent and transformed body still bore the wounds of his glorious crucifixion (cf. Jn 20:20). It should be noted even more that Jesus identifies Himself with the weak and broken for “what you have done for the least of these you have done for me” (Mt:25:40). Likewise Jesus identified Himself with those who were persecuted, ridiculed, and killed in His name. This is why He said “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” (cf. Acts 9:4, 5).
Paul said that “Christ is the head of the body the church.” (Col 1:18). We have seen, albeit br
Mary Most Holy (Literature)Mary Most Holy (Literature) in Philosophical More Like This
When I debate with others about the Genesis narratives of creation (Gen 1 and 2) one comment that emerges is how similar both of those narratives are to other creation narratives, most notably the Enuma Elish in Babylonian mythology. This similarity for some is proof enough that the Biblical account is merely 'one among many' or that the author(s) simply stole from their captors but made minor changes (n.b., the Enuma Elish predates the written Biblical account).
Many Christian and non-Christian scholars now believe that the similarity in construction is intentional and that the Genesis account is structured close to the Babylonian myth in order to act as a theological polemic. When one puts both accounts side by side it seems as if the syntax is nearly identical—for the undiscerning mind. The slight changes of both tone and process reveals a delicate construction on the part of both authors, Babylonian and Hebrew. Contained in simple mythological language are commen
The Body of Christ: Concerning ProtestantsThe Body of Christ: Concerning Protestants in Historical More Like This
[I have employed parenthetical citations. In them I list the primary text and cite by letter the book I used. This can be viewed at the end of the piece. -M]
The Body of Christ: On Protestants, Christians, and their Ideologies
The weaknesses and failings on the Catholic Church are well focused on. Far be it from me to deny or cover up the faults of my Body. Rather I recognize them and yet, through it all, love it. Though I would like to reflect on this I would rather like my reader to consider two things: 1) that same Body which we call the Church, specifically what that means, and 2) the general view(s) of my Protestant brothers and sisters regarding this issue. If we, believers in Christ, are also called the Body of Christ, do you know what that Body looks like? Below I shall examine those communities known as Protestant and Christian as well as those people who call themselves followers of Christ. I ask my readers, Catholic and Protestant alike, to examine their own communit
On ForgivenessOn Forgiveness in Philosophical More Like This
After I went to Confession this morning I began to consider forgiveness. As I did, I returned again and again to myselfbut I don't mean egotistically. I reflected on when we sin, especially when it's that embarrassing, stupid, every-time sin, and how we tend to get upset with ourselves, feel ashamed, and many other things. For the one who has faith, he looks to Christ to forgive him. This in itself is not bad at all.
I then began to wonder: We reach out to be forgiven and we entreat God with sighs and tears. But the truest fruit of that forgiveness (and mercy) is a conversion, a change of heart. But I think there is another aspect, namely that we have to allow ourselves to be forgiven as well. If there is a gift that someone gives it must also be received. And how do we receive a gift? With gratitude, of course.
The gift of forgiveness, however, is no mere gift. It is one of the greatest gifts.
We should consider how the Lord sees us when He forgives us: he is like the bridegroom
Obedience Restores CreationObedience Restores Creation in Philosophical More Like This
Adam and Eve
“In the beginning God created heavens and the earth. … God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light” (Gen 1:1, 3). God spoke and it was made. There was no resistance, no struggle. All of creation was obedient to His word.
“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; … So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created them. Male and female he created them” (1:26, 27). Man is created in the image of God—man is a reflection of the divine image. Man, like all things, came to be without struggle. His intelligence reflected divine intelligence, his power the divine power, and his love divine love.
Man sinned; he did not obey God. He saw what was forbidden him as “a delight to the eyes” (3:6). The woman took the fruit without struggle, the man did too. “You cannot serve God and mammon” (Mt 6:24b). They obeyed desire without resistance. Both man and woman transgres
On Reading Scripture: the BeginningOn Reading Scripture: the Beginning in Philosophical More Like This
Often when I read discussions, arguments, or biblical-based critiques/attacks of my theology I find that there is both a sad simplification and, at times, an ignorance of Scripture. Many of us, especially Christians, would like to disagree that we are members of this category but the reality is that all the zeal and good (or bad) intention in the world doesn't translate to wisdom (let alone an understanding of Scripture). In order to remedy this situation I would like to offer some ideas on reading Scripture more effectively and some pitfalls to avoid in the process.
Reading Scripture can seem like a daunting taskmany aren't sure where to begin or try to muscle their way through right from the beginning. This isn't a bad approach but we can get weighed down in a sea of details. Keep reading and I'll try and put it in a different light.
Many people make comments about a number of subjects while using Scripture such as gay marriage, abortion, sex outside of marriageand the li
A Tree is Known by its FruitA Tree Known by its FruitA Tree is Known by its Fruit in Philosophical More Like This
When I look at the world, and I look at myself, I see both good and bad. Among all the Christians, homosexuals, atheists, Muslims, countries, and peoples there is a mixture of the good and the bad. Some are judged on various rubrics and some are judged by themselves, but the universal experience, it seems to me, is that everyone sees in all things an admixture of the good and bad.
Now, as a Catholic, I sometimes think of this phenomenon as a matter of the 'wheat and the weeds' (cf. Mt 13:25-30, 36-43) But such a metaphor is also connected with 'knowing a tree by its own fruit' (cf Lk 6:43-45) as well.
I was prompted by these wise words written by St. Augustine in his treatise "On Faith and Works":
"When we discover that there are evil men in the Church whom the Church cannot reform or restrain, no matter how they gained entrance, whether through negligence on the part of the rulers of the Church or because of some excusable necessity, or by conceali
PerfectionDoes sight exist not to see, or hearing not to hear?Perfection in Philosophical More Like This
So too does existence not exist to achieve imperfection but rather perfection. More still, existence tends towards perfection and not imperfection.
This idea is scoffed at in many ways, one being this: reality cannot be anything other than 'it is.' I.e., nature's imperfections is reality's perfection. We cannot speak of ideal perfection for we do not know it. We cannot know it. Nothing exists beyond 'it is.'
What these ones do not recognize is that every motion is a motion "for" or "towards" some end. Every motion either does not achieve that end or achieves that end in degrees of perfection.
Unconscious, we may feel like we act with no purpose or that all happens around us without purpose. Yet, this is where we must look inward at ourselves: who do I want to become? In what manner am I becomming that person?
We may be surprised that the end we desire is not the one we are moving towards. We may, at times, be surprised by the low, im