Well, I wasn’t actually planning on doing the fall cleaning, prep house for winter until next week, but the co-op has pest control coming in, so I decided to move the deep clean up.I started with the upstairs.
Well, I wasn’t actually planning on doing the fall cleaning, prep house for winter until next week, but the co-op has pest control coming in, so I decided to move the deep clean up.I started with the upstairs.
photosourceAutumn Fires In the other gardensAnd all up the vale,From the autumn bonfiresSee the smoke trail!Pleasant summer overAnd all the summer flowers,The red fire blazes,The grey smoke towers.–Sing a song of seasons!Something bright in all!Flowers in the summer,Fires in the fall!
Did ya miss them, those spunky little Occupiers with their squatting in public parks, their assaults, drug use, rapes?
And that was just one camp.
Last fall across North America we saw this allegedly grassroots movement, funded by big labour and advocating international socialism, take up positions in city after city.
The consensus media told you that the demands of the protesters were vague, that we didn’t know what they were about. I told you differently because I read what they published, I listened to what they said.
At its core the Occupy movement is an attempt to resurrect the international socialist movement that largely fell apart after the fall of the Iron Curtain.
Do you think it’s a coincidence that they chose May 1st to come back?
May Day has been associated with the international socialist movement for more than a century. Same with the fist raised up in defiance that shows up on so much of their propaganda whether in Toronto or Vancouver, New York or Madrid.
Take a look at another piece of imagery, this one from the Ottawa rally. It shows the monopoly man, the symbol of bankers and capitalism being pulled down off his pedestal.
What on earth are they trying to say?
Do you think it’s that they don’t like monocles and top hats? Could that be it, because we all know bankers dress like this still. I passed four guys like this on my way to work today.
No – this is symbolism.
They want rid of capitalism, they want to yank it down, overthrow the system.
Well that’s my view but I’m just a crazy conspiracy theorist.
Occupy came from the bright minds at Adbusters, some truly smart people who know all about branding, marketing and tearing down the capitalist system. Here’s a quote from an article called The Fight Against Capitalism, it talks about the Occupy movement and it’s need to go further this spring than it did last fall.
“There can be no movement of communes if protest is merely an extracurricular activity of wage-earners: workers will have to choose whether they stand with the communes or with the bosses and administrators.” – Daniel Marcus
Stand with the communes or the bosses. Karl Marx couldn’t have said it better.
The folks at OccupyWallStreet.org have also looked to the past with their call for a general strike in 115 cities including several Canadian ones. They even link themselves to the Quebec tuition protesters.
Along with the protests these folks promised disruption and they have already delivered – banks and offices in Manhattan were shut down – even the uber-progressive Wells Fargo that funds all the right causes with big donations was targeted. Several banks received envelopes with threatening notes and white powder – which turnedout to be inert but not before scaring the workers in those banks and of course last night in Oakland and San Fransisco they celebrated May Day early by wrecking the place – smashing shop windows and cars.
Did you miss them?
I told you Occupy, backed by big labour and international socialism would be back. Well now they are here and you can expect them to stay throughout what could be a summer of great discontent.
And that’s the Byline.
Believing is not an act of the understanding alone, nor simply an act of the will, not just an act of feeling, but an act in which all the spiritual powers of man are at work together. Still more: man in his own self, or of himself, cannot bring about this believing at all; it has of its nature the character of a dialogue.
Pilgrim Fellowship of Faith, 24
Reflection – ‘I will believe in God when sufficient evidence is given to me to prove it is true.’ ‘I will make myself believe, even though I understand nothing and my emotions are nil.’ ‘I believe because I feel in my heart that God is real and Jesus is real.’
These are the three isolated approaches to faith that Ratzinger critiques here. Faith as strict intellectual assent to a credible hypothesis, or as a teeth-gritted, knuckles clenched act of will to what we neither understand nor feel to be true, or as a joyful plunging into a tide of emotionalism and enthusiasm.
All three fall short, and even any two of the three taken together fall short. And as he points out quite insightfully, even all three together fall short of the full reality of faith.
It may well be for most of us that we experience faith more in one or two of these aspects than the others. For me, faith is strongly an act of will with a heavy dose of intellectual understanding. My emotions play little role in my faith life, not because I don’t have them but because I know how unreliable they are!
Others may have very little intellectual capacity for theological understanding, but have strong emotional attachments to God and to Jesus, and deep will to believe. I suppose some may have strong emotional and intellectual faith, but have to battle against their weak will, although I have never encountered that particular configuration.
Our whole humanity, though, is taken up into the act of faith. It is our whole person that is engaged in the task of belief. We will to accept what we have been given; our minds seek to understand it as best we can; our emotions dance in and out of this relationship of faith; and even our bodies are called to faith, as what we believe is lived out in concrete actions of worship and charity, and this commitment to action strengthens and builds the faith we have.
But as Ratzinger points out, there is something more here. Rather, there is Someone Else involved in this faith dynamic. The very nature of faith is not ‘I believe this,’ but rather ‘I believe you.’ There is this strange and mysterious Other who we encounter… how? Where? Those who do not have faith begin to suspect the mental health of us who do have faith at this juncture. Do we have an invisible friend? Are we hearing voices? What is this Other who we have chosen to believe?
Well, there is Scripture and the strange Presence we encounter there. And there is Sacrament and the mysterious Action done to us thereby. And there is personal prayer—not a matter of hearing voices, but for me at least of insight being given, understanding and direction received, not achieved. Something that happens that I, anyhow, cannot account for by my own human capacities.
There is this… Other. For those who don’t have faith, this will always sound like mystagogy or madness. For those who do have faith, you probably know exactly what I’m talking about. For those who don’t have faith, but maybe would like to have it, I recommend a simple course of action: every day for the next six months, ask ‘God’ (if He, you know, exists) to show Himself to you in some way you can receive it, and every day for the next six months, read a short passage from the Gospels.
In six months, you will have faith. Will it come on a cloud of emotion, a piercing moment of intellectual insight, or simply a shift in your will? Or will this Other simply communicate to you that He is Real, and that He is Present? Any and all—faith is a total meeting of the total you and Totality Itself. And it is ours for the asking, ours for the seeking.
I have worked hard all day on housework and preparing for the women’s retreat in Krakow, so I am allowing myself the treat of responding to a controversy that showed up in yesterday’s combox.
I know we love to talk about “our type” with our girlfriends, and perhaps we watch with mingled amusement and chagrin when we find ourselves and our friends getting crushes on the same “types” again and again.
However, feelings of attraction and crushes are not the same thing as friendship and romantic relationships.
Now, I am a big fan of “spark.” A friendship without “spark” may be a wonderful thing, but it is not the basis for a happy, fruitful marriage. “Spark” without friendship might be incredibly thrilling and the plot of several French films, but it also is not the basis for a happy, fruitful marriage. For a happy, fruitful marriage, you need spark and then friendship, or friendship and then spark. You must have both.
In light of yesterday’s post, I state nobody can tell anyone else who they should be attracted to, although someone might–if very close friends indeed–suggest that a friend keep an open mind in terms of friendship. Friendship can indeed precede spark. So often, a woman meets a man, and doesn’t know how she feels about him at first, and then comes to the conclusion that he is actually the most attractive man she knows and she will simply DIE if he doesn’t call soon.
But I am talking here of the concrete. You can say until you are blue in the face that you aren’t attracted to, say, blue-eyed men, and then a blue-eyed man might march into your life and make you eat those words, Missy. Personally, I always thought the Perfect Man for Me, should he ever turn up, would be over six-feet tall, dark-eyed, solemn, blah blah blah, and here I am with Pict-sized, blue-eyed, punster B.A. As Lonergan so frequently said, “Only the concrete is good.”
Theories are just that–theories. And attraction is just that–attraction. It describes the present, and it may describe the past, but it does not accurately predict the future. And thank heavens for that because quite often we’re attracted to the wrong stuff, thanks to the Fall or our own weird psyches or what have you.
It took me until I was 32 to realize that for some time I had become attracted to men who behaved erratically. The crazier they acted, the more I cared. But through sheer force of will, spiritual direction and a lot of prayer,I made myself stop being attracted to men who behave bizarrely. Or maybe it wasn’t I who made me stop, but God.
I will repeat my two ideas. The first idea is that you are attracted to the men to whom you are attracted, but this is not necessarily a blueprint for the future. The second idea is that attraction should never be mistaken for a relationship. You can only be in a relationship with a real, live, concrete man, and there is no use worrying about whether or not you are attracted to him until you have actually met him and he has actually asked you out.
And I stand by my advice of yesterday: if people assume out loud that you wish to date only people who share your ethnic or racial background, and you don’t, in fact, wish to date only people who share your ethnic or racial background, then it is up to you to correct them.
Meanwhile, I would never tell a woman that she SHOULD date a man of her own racial or ethnic background if she doesn’t want to. The most I would say is, “Don’t confuse the theoretical with the concrete.” If it turns out that the real, live, concrete Perfect Man for You shares your own racial or ethnic background, then don’t allow some once firmly-grasped-but-now-completely-out-of-date notion about “your type” stand between you.
Be friendly to those who are friendly to you, and associate with those who are actually around.
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truth is that lots of people stop practicing their faith. Fervor, gusto, and warm
emotions indicating God’s presence disappear, and so people call it quits
(ironically, these are the same people who keep saying that they desperately want
to find the perfect person to marry, forgetting that at some point in the
marriage, they will inevitably wake up one morning and instead of feeling
butterflies in their stomach, will feel a tinge of weariness because their
spouse has been being annoying – do they call it quits then? But I digress). When
these sentimental feelings disappear, the worst thing that a person could do would
be to do away with religious feelings and actions altogether, and become
apathetic. This is the real danger zone. Christ said that if we are “…lukewarm,
and neither cold nor hot, [He will] spit [us] out of [his] mouth” (Revelation
3:16). The “who cares?” attitude does absolutely nothing to help us in our
lives here on earth. It is better to have a strong opinion about the faith,
either way – it shows passion and a hunger for truth. People who lack a
conviction show that they aren’t applying themselves. So don’t think that I rejoice
when I find out that someone has left the Church because of anger, or confusion,
or resentment. It is truly sad. But I do thank God that this person is still
trying to interact with the world. And one of the ways I’ve seen people
interact with the world after turning their back on Christ is through fear.
In his first
epistle, St. John tells us that “perfect love casts out fear [because]…fear has
to do with punishment. Whoever fears has not reached perfection in love” (1
John 4:18). Makes sense, for what is love? Wanting what is Good and True and
Beautiful for another, regardless of what that means for us; it is a completely
selfless self-gift. And to some extent, all of us are afraid of that. We’re
afraid to get hurt, afraid that we won’t be noticed, afraid to sacrifice – and
all of these things may happen when we love. All these things are in some sense
a punishment. St. John is describing all of us who have not allowed God, who is
Love, to fully envelop us.
people who are afraid, and I mean REALLY afraid. Not just afraid of God, but of
facing problems, of being in a car, or of going to the doctor. They’re afraid
of tackling the unknown, because that would mean leaving the familiar. And I
think that’s one of the reasons that some people are afraid of the Church – it’s
because they are afraid of what God can do in their lives; of what new things
He could show them.
God wants to
show us who we can become if we let Him work in us. And that’s scary. God wants
to perfect us, and that would entail us being selfless. It would mean (among
many other more prominent things) not watching certain movies, thinking in
certain ways, doing certain things. And for some, that’s already too much for
them to take, so they become afraid and cling to what they already are. But if
what St. John tells us is true, then with perfect love, not only would we
eradicate fear, but our faith would be perfected as well. It would allow us to
face problems and be selfless, without constantly thinking of pain or death.
goes back to my first point, that fear is better than nothing. If apathy is
someone getting pushed out of a plane, who then says “whatever” on his way
down, then fear is someone getting pushed out of a plane and then bursting into
tears while frantically grasping for anything in the air to slow his fall. People
who are truly afraid will probably
end up coming back to their faith on their deathbed.
who is fully afraid of God and all that trust in Him would entail, would grasp
at Him while they are dying. On their deathbed, this fear of Becoming More
would throw caution to the wind and – ironically, out of fear – call out to the
God they once knew in a last-ditch attempt for him to take them back. This
person would be so afraid of missing out on even the possibility that there is something Good after this life, they’d take
the chance. And as long as this sorrow and yearning is genuine, God would receive
them into His open arms without a moment’s hesitation.
clear though. Living a life of fear only to come back to love at life’s end is
not the ideal. If loving God and others is a way to reach perfection, which
even after a lifetime of selflessness may still need purification, then living
in fear is definitely further down on the scale. You’ve heard of Imperfect
Contrition: going to confession, being sorry for your sins, and calling out to
God because you are afraid that you might damn yourself to hell, or that you’d
incur God’s wrath. Well then, grasping at God on the deathbed must be
“Imperfect Imperfect Contrition”: being sorry for your sins and calling out to
God because you are afraid that there might not even be a heaven or hell. And
from the way I understand it, coming back to God this way would need a very
long “time” of purification in Purgatory…and truth be told, that purification
would be a tad painful.
feel a bit downtrodden thinking about all those who have left the Church because
they are afraid. With Christ, there is nothing to be afraid of! All we need to
do is “open wide the doors to Christ” (Blessed Pope John Paul II), and He will
take us in. It is comforting for me to know that even for people who live and
hide in fear, if they grasp at Him like a child (what else are we?), God is
always willing to receive again what was already His.
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Our next monthly meeting will be held on Friday, February 10th from 3:00pm to 4:30pm at Notre Dame Hall (St. Louis Church, 53 Allen Street East, Waterloo). We will discuss Roch Kereszty’s “The Infallibility of the Church: A Marian Mystery” from the Fall 2011 issue of Communio. It can be downloaded from the Communio Web site here.
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Set sometime after the fall of Jerusalem around 582 BC, the opening chapters of the prophet Baruch begins with a confession and prayer which addresses the reasons for the Israelite’s exile. Their failure to heed and respond to Gods voice and to accept and obediently observe God’s gift of the law is the sin that they commit. For this author believes if the Israelites had been obedient to the law of Moses they would have received prosperity, rather than receiving the calamities and strife that now had stricken the chosen people. What the writer calls for, later on in these writings, is a renewal and response to the word of God and God’s law in hopes of restoring the broken covenant.
Obedience to the law and heeding God’s voice, however, are only part of the package. Throughout Jesus’ ministry, he invites us to have a conversion of heart, a change in attitude and a willingness to be in relationship with God in a real and lived out way. Essentially, God does not just want us to follow him, but God wants us to know Him through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
Luke’s gospel speaks about how the people in the Galilean cities failed to respond to God’s invitation to be in an intimate relationship with him. Even when Christ had given great deeds and power to the people of Chorazin and Bethsaida, they failed to accept the reality that Jesus had set before them.
In fact, these cities had rejected and became a witness against Jesus Christ and the God who had sent him. It is a rejection that Luke, cleverly, parallels with the rejection of Jesus on the cross–the difference being that even the majority of his faithful disciples had all but abandoned him.
And, yet, we are left with a great hope in what seems to be an apparent paradox concerning salvation. Despite, the grim picture Jesus paints concerning the reality of human imperfection when it comes to responding and knowing our God, Christ has offered through his suffering, death and resurrection an open invitation to receive God’s inexhaustible love which redeems us to the Creator of all that is good. The challenge for us, then, is to allow God’s love to refine us so that we can bring forth love’s fruits by sharing it with others through our words and deeds. When we allow this conversion to take place, we begin to really know our God in Jesus Christ the same way God was open to know us through taking on and fulfilling our humanity in Christ.
Peace and joy
Given at today’s Eucharist (readings Bar. 1.15-22 and Luke 10. 13-16)
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“There are not a hundred people in America who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions of people who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church, which is, of course, quite a different thing.”
~Bishop Fulton Sheen~
I look forward to viewing this positive and brilliant masterpiece, set to be released this Fall. Father Barron is a very intelligent man of faith. An acclaimed author, speaker, and theologian. I wait to be inspired, enriched and enlightened by his words and the beauty that will unfold in this 10 part series. Considering the Church is 2,000 years old, there is, I am sure, a lot of info and footage jammed into only 10 parts. I understand that being a world wide church, they traveled and filmed in over 20 countries.
I agree with Father Barron, that the Catholic story has been told by the wrong people and it is time to set the story right.
Thank you Father Barron and the Word on Fire team for your years of hard work and dedication to a great project. With my hubby, children, the big flat screen TV, and our bowls of buttery popcorn we will enjoy this epic cinematic experience in the near future.We are proud to be Catholic, the oldest Christian faith in existence. This film will bring that reality to new heights.