Signs of Summer

July 13, 2009

Summer time is when-

  • you spend as much time as possible outdoors
  • callousses from working on the house and yard
  • bug bites that scab over
  • skin is no longer translucent
  • you spend 5 hours helping a friend on a project outdoors and don’t even notice the time
  • the smell of cut grass, the woods, barbeque, and summecr ales
  • the only proper response to a middleAmerica afternoon is a nap outside
  • everyone and their uncle is outside
  • lemonade
  • TV hits reruns, so get off your butt and go outside!
  • Vacations
  • Did I mention being outside?

What are your signs of summer?

Switch to WP

July 8, 2009

Our move from blogspot caused all posts to be authored by ‘drewbiedoo’, when in reality, Christopher wrote “And yet…“, “America of 51 Flags“, “Intelligence and Multiple Intelligences” and “Family

I think people tend to associate random illness or physical pain with their past sins. In olden days (see: the Bible), it was commonly thought that sinfulness led to physical infirmity as seen in John 9 when people asked Jesus if the man born blind was in such a state because of his sin or his parent’s. Matthew 9 shows Jesus seeing a paralytic lying on a stretcher and telling the person “Courage child, your sins are forgiven.”

Ok. I’m the paralytic thinking, “AND???”

Yeah, the guy is healed in the end, but Christ shows quite vividly that spiritual sins do not cause physical infirmity. At least not paralysis…

But getting back to my point, it seems to be within human nature to look for a cause of a poor physical condition. Many faithful people who fall ill with one disease or another question God and many unfaithful people remain as such because they see that a believer’s God won’t save them.

But what if God did save faithful people from physical infirmity? Only the mafia would get Parkinson’s disease. The pope wouldn’t get Parkinson’s disease. Atheists would get tuberculosis. St. Therese wouldn’t get tuberculosis. And so people believe and worship God, not out of love, but out of a desire to avoid illness.

Exit question: If all things come from God, why is it that one is thought to be ‘blessed with good health,’ but not ‘blessed with poor health?’

Introduction

June 30, 2009

Well, since Drewbie decided to give me some authorship in his blog, let me say a few words about myself:

  • I’m a 20-something living in Middle-America, but born and raised in the Mitten.
  • GK Chesterton has had a profound influence on how I think & see the world.
  • I am entering a Benedictine monastery in August.

Some previous thoughts on:
Discernment I & Discernment II
My backstory

Much of my writing will have little to do with politics– D is much better at such discourse than I. My hope is to contribute more on reflections & maybe share insights and syntheses that strike me. Also count on some thoughts on the works of GK Chesterton, Tolkien, & Lewis. I’ll likely sign off in August, but until then will gladly share my thoughts with y’all out there.

Pax
C

I picked up Matisyahu’s Youth reggae CD the other day. A friend had introduced me to his music a couple of years ago but it didn’t take hold until this past spring when I touched on Hasidic Judaism in my world religions class.

While teaching Orthodox and Hasidic Judaism, I found myself drawn to their life of community and prayer – joking with my wife that if I ever became Jewish, we’d have to move to a major city with a large Orthodox Jewish population. The idea that Jewish men are called to prayer three times a day as a matter of maintaining their faith drew my attention in a way similar to that of the monastery – a life of communal and regulated prayer.

Sure, within Catholicism we have the liturgy of the hours, rosary, chaplet, novenas, and endless other methods of prayer, but are any required for assuming the faith? And are communities prevalent or even existent outside of the liturgy? Sacrosancum Concilium (#12) notes first that the spiritual life is not limited to participation in the liturgy. This statement is immediately followed by the assertion that the Christian is called to pray with his brethren, then mentioning secret prayer to the Father.

Boom. Okay, when was the last time you prayed with your brethren outside of the liturgy? Last night at dinner doesn’t count. Your spouse is a good start. Beyond that?

Is there a reason why Catholics have little or no communal life? It’s easy to settle into the idea that Catholic community is like-minded people that sit next to you in mass – maybe even asking for a prayer or two. But praying with? Gathering for the purpose of prayer?

Politically, I imagine how the founding fathers would react to the state of our country today. Religiously, I can’t bring myself to imagine the reaction of St. Paul upon hearing of the lack of everyday Catholic community. Probably a lot of yelling. Then tears.

Spiritually, we need one another. God exists in community (ala Trinity) and made us in His image. Limiting our prayer lives to one-on-one with God does not reflect the condition in which we were designed. It’s like eating breakfast for every meal; good in and of itself, but not exactly what I’d call balance.

Maybe it’s time to start a balance.

Exit thought: On one hand, healthy and regular prayer is helpful because then I don’t have to worry about enough prayer… which allows me to worry about other things. On the other hand, if I worried about prayer like I should, perhaps I wouldn’t be worrying about anything else.