Saturday, April 30, 2016

from: the rise of the machines

....issues in family culture & science....

We are living in an era of voluntarism; a period in which religion has been dying because it has been reduced to an act of the will, and thought has been subordinated to sentiment. The conversion of culture that is called for is a profound one, because part of the problem of our culture is that religious faith is assumed by both believers and non-believers to be a purely human act. Of course, faith is an “infused theological virtue”, a divinely inspired habit, and to that extent certainly also a matter of the will. But the created human will has been misunderstood in modernity as primarily active and generative. The deepest Christian tradition, by contrast, understands the will as primarily receptive—and that means turned towards the truth. A will turned in upon itself, upon the self, cannot give thanks, cannot receive grace. Such a will can believe only with blind faith. What we must affirm, against the false Gnosticism of atheistic reason, against even the rules of the club of professional philosophers and theologians, is the reality of a seeing faith.

                     Stratford  HUMANUM

....this blog deserves more attention......................................................


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Hans urs von Balthasar's girlfriend speaks

General responsibility for the Church and for all whom it must lead to the Lord must be given to someone.  The Mother, who had volunteered for every responsibility, will surely assume this one.  The Apostles have functions in the Church which are somehow divided and partial.  The Mother is responsible for the whole.  In her, the Apostles and their different missions have their unity, the unity of the whole catholic mission:  to bring together all those who have gone astray or who are seeking, all those who are to be redeemed.  It is starting from this Pentecost community of the Apostles – with the women and the Mother in their midst – that all the scattered are brought back to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

         Adrienne von Speyer


Sunday, November 22, 2015

fellow pilgrims

The credibility of the Christian message would be much
greater if Christians could overcome their divisions and
the Church could realize “the fullness of catholicity proper
to her in those of her children who, though joined to her
by baptism, are yet separated from full communion with
her.” We must never forget that we are pilgrims journeying
alongside one another. This means that we must have
sincere trust in our fellow pilgrims, putting aside all
suspicion or mistrust, and turn our gaze to what we are all
seeking: the radiant peace of God’s face.

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, 244

Ilia Delio on catholicity

A beautiful little book arrived in the mail to me the other day from  I am not sure if it was ordered for me by my Dad or by his friend Nelson.  The book is Making All Things New: Catholicity, Cosmology and Consciousness, by Franciscan sister, Ilia Delio.  Dr. Delio is Director of the Catholic Studies Program and Visiting Professor at Georgetown University.  She holds doctorates in pharmcology and historical theology.

So far I have only read the introduction, and I am thoroughly intrigued.  She presents the term catholicity as derived from the Greek work katholicos, meaning "of the whole," or "a sense of wholeness," describing attunement to the universe, in harmony with both the physical and spiritual order of the world.  Early Christians later adopted the word catholic to describe the Church as disciples gathered in the name of Christ.  Only over time did the emphasis of the word shift from wholeness to orthodoxy.  Delio states "Catholicity does not mean that everyone is to become Catholic;  rather to be catholic is to be aware of belonging  to a whole and to act according to the whole, including the galaxies, stars, earth, animals, plants and human life."

My favorite part of the introduction to the book is an extended quote from a letter from Pope John Paul II to Father George Coyne, S.J., Director of the Vatican Observatory.  Saint John Paul II wrote "Science develops best when its concepts and conclusions can be integrated into the wider human culture and its concerns for ultimate meaning and value."  Sister Delio adds to this, the observation that "Religion, too, develops best when its doctrines are not abstract and fixed in an ancient past, but integrated into the wider stream of life."

The quote from Pope John Paul II continues,
The church does not propose that science should become religion or religion science.  On the contrary, unity always presupposes the diversity and integrity of its elements.  Each of these elements should become not less itself but more itself in a dynamic interchange, for a unity in which one of the elements is reduced to the other is destructive, false in its promises of harmony, and ruinous of the integrity of its components.  We are asked to become one. We are not asked to become each other. ... Unity involves the drive of the human mind towards understanding and the desire of the human spirit for love. ... We move towards unity as we move towards meaning in our lives.  Unity is also the consequence of love.  If love is genuine, it moves not toward the assimilation of the other, but toward union with the other.  Human community begins in desire when that union has not been achieved, and it is completed in joy when those who have been apart are now united.

Although the late pope was speaking of science and religion, my mind turns toward the application of his words to Christian unity.  Ever since I began thinking about requesting reception into the Catholic Church, I have struggled with a sense of how to embrace the goal of wholeness represented by the word "catholic", without compromising the integrity of my existing Christian life, formed in a variety of Protestant Churches.  There is not yet a path, as far as I can tell, for a Protestant Christian to become united to the Catholic Church without becoming Catholic, that is without "becoming the other,"  which Pope John Paul II describes as ruinous.  I did, in fact, experience a sense of ruin in my spiritual life--a disconnectedness from my true self, from that part of myself that was able to pray.  My goal was not to "convert" to a different strand of Christianity but to broaden my understanding of what it means to be Christian.  My motivation was very much like what John Paul II describes as "the drive of the human mind towards understanding and the desire of the human spirit for love."  As John Paul II explains, genuine love moves toward union rather than assimilation.  My experience of the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) in the Catholic Church was that it was designed for assimilation rather than for union.  I wonder what a program designed for growth in mutual understanding and love would look like?  Could there be a ritual by which Protestant Christians who desire greater unity with the Catholic Church could be formally recognized and welcomed by that Church while continuing their ongoing conversion to Christ both within the context of their original church, and also in communion with the Catholic Church?

Monday, September 28, 2015

ontology lends itself to theology

The “Theology of the Body” is St. John Paul II's integrated vision of the human person. The human body has a specific meaning, making visible an invisible reality, and is capable of revealing answers regarding fundamental questions about us and our lives:
  1. Is there a real purpose to life and if so, what is it?
  2. What does it mean that we were created in the image of God?
  3. Why were we created male and female? Does it really matter if we are one sex or another?
  4. What does the marital union of a man and woman say to us about God and his plan for our lives?
  5. What is the purpose of the married and celibate vocations?
  6. What exactly is "Love"?
  7. Is it truly possible to be pure of heart?


Friday, September 25, 2015

from the horses' mouth...boker yom kippur


[PHOENIX, 23 MAY 2015]


Brothers and sisters, may the peace of Christ be with you.
Forgive me if I speak in Spanish, but my English isn’t good enough for me to express myself properly. I speak in Spanish but, above all, I speak in the language of the heart.
[in Spanish:]
I have the invitation you sent me for this celebration of Christian Unity, this day of reconciliation. And I wish to join you from here. “Father, may we be one so that the world may believe you sent me”. This is the slogan, the theme of the meeting: Christ’s prayer to the Father for the grace of unity.
Today, Saturday May 23rd, from 9 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon, I will be with you spiritually and with all my heart. We will search together, we will pray together, for the grace of unity. The unity that is budding among us is that unity which begins under the seal of the one Baptism we have all received. It is the unity we are seeking along a common path. It is the spiritual unity of prayer for one another. It is the unity of our common labour on behalf of our brothers and sisters, and all those who believe in the sovereignty of Christ.
Dear brothers and sisters, division is a wound in the body of the Church of Christ. And we do not want this wound to remain open. Division is the work of the Father of Lies, the Father of Discord, who does everything possible to keep us divided.
Together today, I here in Rome and you over there, we will ask our Father to send the Spirit of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and to give us the grace to be one, “so that the world may believe”. I feel like saying something that may sound controversial, or even heretical, perhaps. But there is someone who “knows” that, despite our differences, we are one. It is he who is persecuting us. It is he who is persecuting Christians today, he who is anointing us with (the blood of) martyrdom. He knows that Christians are disciples of Christ: that they are one, that they are brothers! He doesn’t care if they are Evangelicals, or Orthodox, Lutherans, Catholics or Apostolic…he doesn’t care! They are Christians. And that blood (of martyrdom) unites. Today, dear brothers and sisters, we are living an “ecumenism of blood”. This must encourage us to do what we are doing today: to pray, to dialogue together, to shorten the distance between us, to strengthen our bonds of brotherhood.
I am convinced it won’t be theologians who bring about unity among us. Theologians help us, the science of the theologians will assist us, but if we hope that theologians will agree with one another, we will reach unity the day after Judgement Day. The Holy Spirit brings about unity. Theologians are helpful, but most helpful is the goodwill of us all who are on this journey with our hearts open to the Holy Spirit!
In all humility, I join you as just another participant on this day of prayer, friendship, closeness and reflection. In the certainty that we have one Lord: Jesus is the Lord. In the certainty that this Lord is alive: Jesus is alive, the Lord lives in each one of us. In the certainty that He has sent the Spirit He promised us so that this “harmony” among all His disciples might be realised.
Dear brothers and sisters, I greet you warmly, with an embrace. I pray for you. I pray with you.
And I ask you, please, to pray for me. Because I need your prayers in order to be faithful to what the Lord wants from my Ministry.
God bless you. May God bless us all.

      ....sans video