Oh Lord, purify me, make me a chalice in which you dwell, offer your sacrifice in me and spread your love through me. Let me shine like gold, adorn me with the jewels of virtue that I may always be open to you. Fill me. Overflow me. Let me be like that most perfect vessel, the Singular Vessel of Devotion, She to whom I cry for protection against the Evil One. I ask this for your glory, for the vessel is nothing without the sustenance inside, the cup nothing unless it is filled. Oh Lord, purify me.

Give me a word, Abba

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Reflections on Newman's thought on Faith and Reason.

Hence a lot of it is based on what Newman said. For more information on Newman and his importance to me, see this blog.

Reason linearly shows us the truth as a beam of light and Faith, through Grace helps us to experience, internalize and personalize the truth. Because our sight is blurred from sin, light helps us to see, but we can not see it fully, merely that it is there. We must approach the Truth in Faith and experience it. On the other hand, if we experience Truth in the dark, without Reason, it becomes superstition, something sensual. It is something we can close our eyes and still experience as fully as with our eyes open. We can easily become attached to it. Putting the light of human reason blurs the Truth slightly, because our reason is itself dimmed. With the Grace of God, our reason is brightened and Truth becomes more clear. Furthermore, the closer we are to the truth in our journey called Faith, the better we can see the truth. With both a grace filled reason and a faith enervated with Grace, we will discover the Truth as well as we can on earth. How does the objectivity of Truth relate to this? I appeal to the old parable of the blind men and the elephant. We call all see Truth, but it is always a little bit different view for each even though it is one thing. One aspect is much different than another, but it is the same Truth. Especially when we see with reason, these beams of light will illuminate different parts of the Truth. Only if we can find some source of information about the full Truth will we be able to see more. One way is inference. In this way, we can take what we see illuminated and infer what is right next to that part of the Truth. Another way is for other people to tell us what they see. Of course in our Catholic Understanding, God is infinite and in fact Truth itself, thus He will know the Truth better than anyone. If He tells us, it bound to be right. This is where revelation comes in. If god tells us something, we’d better listen and then we’ll be able to know the parts of Truth we aren’t able to see clearly or see at all. As long as we see enough of the Truth to see that God exists and knows the Truth, we will be able to listen to him to find out the rest. Of course the knowledge of God’s existence and His Infiniteness is only possible through this discovery of the truth through faith and reason in His Grace. One way His Grace works is through other people. Because they see a different part of His Truth, they will be able to get us a bigger picture. This is one reason why a faithful and reasonable education is essential. Our parents as our first teachers help us to see Truth for the first time. Then other teacher, friends etc. How then can we learn the whole Truth? One common suggestion is to seek out different cultures and see and understand their take on the truth. Good and well, especially if it is the context of objective and not subjective Truth. Cultural Relativism only breaks our faith and reason if we try to embrace all cultural “truths” and it limits them if we only embrace one cultural “truth”. The correct way to understand different cultures is to see them as illuminating different parts of One United Truth. Now this seeking out of different cultures and perspectives is good, but we must not let it become a “spotted” understanding of the Truth. If we can not connect the two perspectives of Truth, we are merely dividing Truth, maybe to the point of contradiction. The unification of Truth is only possible through some sort of authority. There needs to be some sort of standard on which to base this unity. Thus we not only need a set of standards or law, but we need authority. Thirdly we need some place where God gives us the Truth. Here we have the basis for Scripture and Tradition (God’s Word, written and oral), The Magisterium (the teaching authority of the church), and The Ten Commandments, Canon Law, and Dogmatic Teachings (Set of standards). Thus if we are looking for Truth, this is where we should look. Not only does the Church have the structure needed for an inquiry into Truth, but it also teaches the co-operation of Faith and Reason as well as the objectivity of Truth.

I’m pretty sure there was a reason that Christ established a Church.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Alex O'Donnell and the Forty Cyberthieves

Catholic Teen author Regina Doman has released another book. It is a modern re-telling of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. It involves such awesome things as 1) Catholicism 2) Ninjas and Samurai 3) Computer Hacking 4) a beat up Red Toyota.

I have read all of her other books in the series and while they're not Tolkien, they are quite a read. Specifically Waking Rose and Midnight Dancers , which Regina Doman edited for the stage for our homeschool group.

Alex seems to be one of the better ones. Mostly because it involves Techie-ness and real life drama!

I've only read the first two chapters, but I'm thinking that I approve.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Official Legit Week

I hereby proclaim this week to be Official Legit Week wherein the Band Known As Legit will practice and practice until it is crazy in preparation for its concert on Saturday. We will be singing something like 10 original song,

We are not ready.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Eucharist: A Participation in the Eternal Sacrifice and Eternal Life.

Today in our homily at St. Anthony's, Fr. Cliff Ermatinger, our new pastor, our new pastor gave a homily about hope. The reading were, of course all about the vanity of riches etc. and how they will pass away. The way we stay detached from earthly possessions is if we have hope in Christ and our heavenly possessions. He gave us the promise of Eternal Life (Through his sacrifice) and we hope in that. Fr. Ermatinger said that the Eucharist is the connection between The Promise and The Fulfillment as it is both the Sacrifice and a taste of the Fulfillment (which is perfect communion with God). As the Catholic Church teaches, it is the SAME Sacrifice as the one on Calvary. It is our way of uniting ourselves not only to the Sacrifice in a very literal way, but also uniting to the Person of Christ. Communion with the Sacrifice and the Fulfillment. It is truly a Sacrament of hope.

However, I was also thinking of the Eucharist as specifically and literally a foretaste of our Life in Heaven. St. Augustine says (I like quoting him) "How great shall be that felicity, which shall be tainted with no evil, which shall lack no good, and which shall afford leisure for the praises of God, who shall be all in all! For I know not what other employment there can be where no lassitude shall slacken activity, nor any want stimulate to labor." Our life in heaven will be one of action and rest. At the same time. Nothing will weary us, in fact the praise of God will fulfill our need to rest. I was noticing at the Consecration that it is truly the culmination and climax of the Mass. Any other time that there is silence, it is usually when the Priest is sitting. No action, just rest, or contemplation. However at the Consecration, the priest is acting in persona Christi to offer a Sacrifice to the Father. It is of course silent during the whole thing in the Tridentine Mass, but even in the Novus Ordo there is the silence at the Elevation and it is a silence of action, but also of resting in His Presence. It is active and contemplative. It is in fact a foretaste of heaven.

The Eucharist is truly awesome. Many thanks to Fr. Ermatinger and all priests for giving their lives to be God's instruments in bringing us this Greatest of Gifts.

Reposted: Knowledge, Truth, and Love

Quid Veritas est? What is Truth? It's what Pilate asked, and I don't know that the answer is very easy to come up with. Of course, it depends on what you mean by truth. Relativism being rampant in the current age, truth has sort of been pushed to the wings by the stage-stealer Personal Opinion. Well, truth hasn't flown away quite yet. Reality isn't really possible without it.

Knowledge is an internalization of Truth. To know something is to see its Truth. If 2+2=4, then when we know it, we are participating in its truth. To teach then is to give the Truth.

"I am the way, the Truth and the Life." Jesus is that Truth. He is also Rabboni, Teacher. He is what he gives. To know him then is to know the Truth. "Know love and serve God in this world and the next", right? It's one of the amazing things about there being a personal God. You can know him. He can give his life for you, you can give your life for him. He is a friend, a Father, a brother, a King. But whatever he is, he IS, and that's what matters. He is the Truth.

If he is the Truth, we can Know him. If we can Know him, we can Love him. You can't love what you don't know. Similarly, St. Augustine said at the end of the City of God: "[In heaven] we shall rest and see, see and love, love and praise." Yes, when we SEE God we shall surely know him and we shall love him. But Jesus himself said "Blessed are they who have not seen and still believe. We are all in that position, and if we believe The Truth (for he himself IS the Truth), we are blessed if we believe in him, strive to know him and subsequently love him without seeing him. Of course our Knowledge and Love will be fulfilled in Heaven and we shall truly praise him, but why not start now, as soon as possible?