Saturday, March 26, 2022

Thanksgiving after Communion

I.                 For creation

a.      The amazing expansive universe

b.      The earth

c.      All plants and animals

d.      Human nature

                                                    i.     Will

                                                   ii.     Intellect

                                                  iii.     Emotions

                                                  iv.     Body

                                                   v.     Family

                                                  vi.     Societies

e.      Human beings

                                                    i.     Family

                                                   ii.     Friends

                                                  iii.     Neighbors and coworkers

                                                  iv.     The poor and suffering

II.                For the Church

a.      The Word of God

b.      Tradition

c.      The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

d.      The Sacraments

e.      The Saints and Doctors of the Church

f.       The Blessed Virgin Mary

g.      The Pope

III.              For the Redemption and all it brings

a.      Salvation

b.      Justification

c.      The outpouring of the Holy Spirit

d.      The indwelling of the Trinity

e.      Sanctifying grace

f.       Communion

                                                    i.     With the Triune God

                                                   ii.     With Jesus, the Spouse of the Church

                                                  iii.     With the Communion of Saints

1.      In heaven

2.      On earth

3.      In Purgatory

g.      The resurrection of the body

h.      Eternal life

Sunday, January 09, 2022

Life is a dance, not a race

Life isn't a race, it's a dance. Every step forward and every step backwards, stepping sideways and twirling in circles, are all part of the dance we call life.

Great dancers are never in a hurry. They relax into the rhythm, becoming one with their partners, and experience the exhilaration of the dance.  --Matthew Kelly, Life is Messy, p. 38.

This is a good criterion for discernment. 

One of the attractions of St. Francis of Assisi is the lyrical quality of his approach to life in Christ. Life is a poem, a dance. Joy comes from that. Of course, the dance is centered on the Cross. It makes me think of the song, "The Lord of the Dance." (I know, people don't like that song, but it says something important, I think.)

I danced on a Friday when the sky turned black;
It's hard to dance with the devil on your back.
They buried my body and they thought I'd gone;
But I am the dance, and I still go on:

My wife and I once wrote a song with a similar theme, that focused on the Resurrection:

Mary, Peter, James and John,
Have you seen the Risen Lord?
Yes, He's dancing by the sea;
Dancing feet proclaim the Song.

Chorus: Alleluia!  Alleluia! Alleluia!
Alleluia!  Alleluia! Alleluia!

Come, my friends, and let's make haste
To the sea and join the dance.
Raise our hands in joyful praise;
We will sing forever more.


Coming from the hills and plains,
Deserts, cities, slums and farms,
Dancing when the sun goes down;
Sun comes up, the Dance goes on.


Not a theological treatise.


Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Cluny Media

 I've been hearing a lot about Cluny Media lately. They republish old Catholic classics. They look like the real deal. Here is an article in First Things called, "Why we need Cluny Media," by Sohrab Ahmari. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

True Poetry and Philosophy

True poetry is not just about emotions, but about deep meaning. Philosophy is not just about ideas, but about deep meaning—the connectedness and hierarchical relationship of all things in God in the hearts of men. 

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary

Devotion to the Blessed Virgin is not a sentimental thing, although it involves sentiment. It is not just for those who have some kind of unmet emotional need. It is theological. It is intimately tied up with the faith.

At the foot of the cross Jesus gave us Mary as mother. All of us. Because we need her metaphysically.

I'd wager that the main problems in Protestantism stem from their rejection of devotion to the Blessed Mother. And even among Catholics. 

Even Islam venerates her!

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Universal truths

There are universal truths that apply to all, no matter what their circumstances or background. What McIntyre was saying about good citizenship in the video by Gregory B. Sadler is simply true. It is valuable, indeed imperative, to speak at such an abstract level so we can better understand the concrete. Of course, Newman is right about real assent. The abstract articulation of principles is not usually very compelling. But, it provides a boundary. A good citizen must be thinking in terms of the common good. Virtue requires a consideration of the dignity of the human person made in the image and likeness of God.

Whatever the defects of the western tradition, such as latent or blatant racism, it is the place where the human race has reflected critically on the universals. And it contains within itself the resources to overcome its defects, just as Catholicism has within itself the resources to overcome the tendency to a dualistic denigration of the body.

Of course, sometimes the impetus to overcome the defects comes from a critique from outside. The Great Conversation. And, genuine insight that may be as valuable may come from outside as well.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

A prayer for the heart

"If today you hear his voice harden not your hearts."

I frequently pray that my heart be softened--that my stoney heart be replaced by a heart of flesh. 

Recently, though, I have begun to also pray that my heart be strengthened as well as softened. A human heart is sensitive but also strong. We need courage, or fortitude, to be truly tender. Fear makes us tighten up and become hard and defensive. We cease displaying the vulnerability that is necessary for genuine love 

I would love to do a thorough study of "the heart."

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

After a visit to the Indiana Dunes

The yellow, wind-swept dunes
     Against the deep blue sky
Are marked with man-made wounds
     That make the seagulls cry.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Brubeck Take Five

Just for.

I loved the comment: "Those are the coolest accountants I've ever seen man."

Monday, July 20, 2020


At work I receive a magazine called In Trust. Its target audience is CEOs and board members of theological seminaries. The following quote is from one recent article by Anna M. Robbins, "The mission of seminary in an age of nostalgia" (Summer, 2020, pp. 14-17):
The Ghanaian concept of sankofa is one example of [the reminder that we can only go forward]--bringing the wisdom of the past to bear on the present in order to face the future. And it is important to look back so we can understand how we got to where were are now.
I think it is interesting that the author, whom I presume is a Christian, needed to look to Ghana for a word to describe what has traditionally been called "tradition." I suppose we sometimes need to look at things from an unusual angle to see them rightly--like Chesterton's use of the grotesque. Or, the usual word has become dead to so many people, or turns them off. The need to distance themselves from standard, classical expressions is endemic. 

I don't, however, see how you can keep the bridge with the past intact while distancing yourself from it at the same time. 

She should have easily said:
The Christian concept of tradition is one example of [the reminder that we can only go forward]--bringing the wisdom of the past to bear on the present in order to face the future. And it is important to look back so we can understand how we got to where were are now.