Posts Tagged ‘ Church ’

Readings 2/10/14

1 Kings 8:1-7; 9-13

This reading reminds me of the grace that the Lord deigns to give me.  The ark of the covenant, the law of God, given out of love and compassion, is like the spiritual gifts the Lord gives.  The Lord gives virtues; He sends His Holy Spirit; he gives Himself in the Eucharist.

Solomon, full of wisdom rightly led his people in sacrifice of thanksgiving before receiving and putting in its place the ark of the covenant.  They sacrificed “too many sheep and oxen to number and count.”  Solomon knew that the gifts of redemption were worth more than any material good he had been given.  Moreover, though Israel did not earn the gift of the ark of the covenant, God gave his gift freely.  In thanksgiving for the gifts, Solomon sacrificed.

How infrequently I sacrifice in thanksgiving!  How infrequently do I come close to comprehending the wondrous graces that the Lord bestows upon me!   Would that I imitated Solomon who, in his right reason, gave thanks and praise of a great magnitude, like the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with expensive oil, like the widow who gave to the poor with her last coin.  Like the simple congregation which praises the Lord with fine vessels in which to places His most Precious Body and Blood.

Lord, give me the wisdom and grace to honor you with a pure sacrifice of thanks and praise.  May I give you of my bounty, so that, upon detaching from finite things, I may cling ever more securely to the infinite love you wish to give me.

Mark 6:53-56

The Lord did marvelous things in the midst of his people.  They were astonished and comforted.  They were surprised and hopeful.  They traveled to him for the chance to be healed.  They saw the Glory of God and the works o the Lord.  They experienced the power of the Spirit.  Everywhere Jesus went people flocked to Him.  He healed their bodies and their souls.

The people sought healing.  Though he came to be known for his power, they did not seek power.  They sought healing.  They did not wish to be affirmed in their state.  They sought healing.  They didn’t approach him so that he could judge which form of religion is greatest.  They sought healing.  Deep, penetrating, soul-cleansing healing.

How often I turn to Jesus, not as a sinner who needs healing, but as a prideful son who seeks affirmation in my own judgments and ideology.  Who would rather be affirmed by Jesus, hearing, “son you are right,” rather than, “son, be healed.”

Lord Jesus, grant me the humility to uncover my sins and to turn to you for healing and forgiveness.  Open my heart to receive your healing and grace.

Top 10: a postmodern deconstruction of the Francis interview

The pope’s recent progressive manifesto is still fresh.  Soon, leading academics will use their scalpels and deconstruct the meta-narrative of the Real Faith–you know, the one graciously bestowed on those who could read the Vatican 2 documents like tarot cards and intuit the “spirit of Vatican 2.” Well, you saw it here first. Here are the top 10 axioms we can read from Francis’s interview, if we tilt our heads just right and squint:

1. The church (actually, just the hierarchy) has, until this interview, taught with strict moral authority that only those who can read, understand, and follow arcane and old-fashioned rules can be a member of the church.

2. Said individuals, the elect, were said to have a basic, God-given right to disparage and publicly humiliate anyone who didn’t follow said arcane rules.

3. Henceforth, from last Thursday until the end of eternity, issues deemed by elite academics to be sensitive, such as abortion, are to receive the status similar to usury–yes, it’s technically a sin, but we can retire from speaking about it, cause it’s not that big of a deal.

4. Pope Francis, progressive though he may be, is not perfect. He did in fact break his own guideline about staying quiet about abortion by speaking out vehemently against the “throw away culture,” which so easily discards its most vulnerable members.

5. The Church really doesn’t have any business talking about imperatives any more than it has business maintaining traditions of the past.  The Church of now is the Church of reform.  It’s time to get going and get with the times.  The Church doesn’t know exactly where it’s going, but there is sure to be plenty of poor people to patronize…er…help.

6. Magisterium is out.  Collaboration and personal intuition is in.  Francis rejects the idea that there can be a governing body of the Church which, with the authority bestowed by Jesus Christ, teach the world about the human condition and its relationship to God.

7. Similarly, Francis teaches (infallibly) that the Church does not have any authority to teach about morals.  The Church may have some strong “opinions,” but really, whatever suits you is fine, man.

8. The Pope cares more about poverty than religion.  He claims to be a “son of the Church,” when it comes to religious-based  moral teachings, but really, that’s just a cop-out.  He’s not that in to religion, just like you and me!

9.  God is not in the past, but in the future.  We need to look at the signs of the times and read the theology of the now, rather than old, tattered pages from some ancient book.

10. Most importantly, the Catholic Church, especially with regards to its teaching, is malleable because it made mistakes.  Once it starts reading more Slate and less First Things, it will see how despicably counter-cultural and radical it has been for the past 2000+ years.