Tuesday, May 23, 2006

"Bless those who persecute you."

I liked the quote from St. Francis in today's Saint of the Day e-mail. It seems especially relevant considerly all the hoopla over DaVinci Code:

"And let us refer all good to the most high and supreme lord God, and acknowledge that every good is His, and thank Him for everything, [He] from Whom all good things come. And may He, the Highest and Supreme, Who alone is true God, have and be given and receive every honor and reverence, every praise and blessing, every thanks and glory, for every good is His, He Who alone is good. And when we see or hear an evil [person] speak or act or blaspheme God, let us speak well and act well and praise God (cf. Rm 12:21), Who is blessed forever (Rm 1:25)" (St. Francis, Rule of 1221, Ch. 17).

Romans 12:21 says, "Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good."

So if Dan Brown is our enemy, I suppose we should bless and pray for him. And maybe go see the movie too, although I personally believe he intentionally pushes buttons to compensate for a story lacking in plot. But I haven't seen the movie yet, so I'll let you know.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

ooo... I'm a Calvinist.

So, does this make me a bad Catholic?

You scored as Anselm. Anselm is the outstanding theologian of the medieval period.He sees man's primary problem as having failed to render unto God what we owe him, so God becomes man in Christ and gives God what he is due. You should read 'Cur Deus Homo?'

Anselm

67%

John Calvin

60%

J?Moltmann

53%

Jonathan Edwards

53%

Karl Barth

53%

Martin Luther

33%

Charles Finney

33%

Friedrich Schleiermacher

33%

Augustine

33%

Paul Tillich

0%

Which theologian are you?
created with QuizFarm.com

Well, I disagreed with almost every statement in that thing, so maybe they just default everyone to Anselm (whoever that is) when you don't fit in any other category.

Of course, Augustine is in the list and most people assume he was Catholic, but depending on who else you happen to ask, he might have been Orthodox, Baptist, Lutheran, Free Will Baptist, Calvinist, Presbyterian, Anglican, Buddhist, yogaist, Shintoist, Amish, the first President of the United States, the pre-incarnation of Joseph Smith, an alcoholic, Jewish, the founder of Southeast Christian, or something really weird. I personally believe Augustine was a ghost. Speaking of ghosts, isn't it interesting how many times Jesus was mistaken for a ghost? I guess when you're one in being with the Holy Ghost, it's an easy mistake to make... ha ha.

Anyway, I don't really have anything worthwhile to say on this beautiful day in Louisville, Kentucky, but thanks for reading and next time I'll try to think of something halfway intelligent (I can only promise to be halfway intelligent, and I don't promise to keep my promises). Otherwise, I'll just plagiarize something off the Internets.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Silence

One of my favorite devotional-type things to do is just getting away from life to be in nature while actively listening to God for two or three hours, if not a whole day. We used to do this at InterVarsity chapter camp every year by spending three hours in total silence and I always found it to be some of the most productive time as far as my walk with God. We just never sit and listen... I often have trouble even thinking to pray, and when I'm praying, I'm not really listening. And if I try to listen, there's always a song running through my head, like "Welcome to the Jungle." It seems to take between an hour or two of just sitting and trying to listen before all those thoughts, worries, and whatever else is cluttering the mind are finally cleared to where God can just speak, when the thoughts entering your mind are from God and not from the distractions from the rest of your life.

So last Friday I spent the day at Mount St. Francis, attended Mass at 11:45, just chilled out by the lake and did some reading in the hermitage, which is basically a little cabin that's just about as nice as my own apartment (not exactly roughin' it at all). I didn't eat much and, in fact, I could have fasted from food completely seeing as it was only 24 hours and my only physical activity was walking around the place. I slept there in the cabin and drove home the next morning. The only bummer was that it rained all day Friday, so I couldn't explore the trails around the Mount like I hoped to, but I'll just go up there sometime during the day and do some hiking.

Anyway, basically all I want to say is that silence is awesome :) It's difficult, but once you get in that "zone," it's definitely worth the time it takes to get there.

Saturday, May 6, 2006

Psalm 116

I've been diggin' the Verbum Domini podcast lately... it's just a 3-5 minute recording of each day's Scripture readings, which I think is pretty genius. Today's Psalm reading is from 116 and I liked it, so I'm gonna post part of it here since this is my blog and I can do whatever I want with it. Booya.


I love the Lord because he has heard my voice and my supplications.
Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
The snares of death encompassed me;
the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;
I suffered distress and anguish.

Return, O my soul, to your rest;
for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

For thou hast delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling;
I walk before the Lord in the land of the living.

What shall I render to the Lord for all his bounty to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.
O Lord, I am thy servant;
I am thy servant, the son of thy handmaid.

I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the Lord.

Praise the Lord!

I've just been thinking about how nobody becomes a Christian until they've faced their sins and admitted their need for redemption. Usually when we look into our past and remember the stupid crap we've done (or maybe stuff we don't remember at all...), we regret it and almost wish we could somehow go back and change what's already happened. Of course, I'll probably never grasp how God can forget all our sins like snapping your fingers, but I don't necessarily wish I could change anything in the past. Not because I'm proud of those things, but because I wonder if I would've truly humbled myself before Christ otherwise.

One part of the Lutheran liturgy that I always enjoyed was the Hymn of Praise. I've never heard it in a Catholic church, but the words are beautiful. Best I remember, the liturgy begins with a confession of sins and this hymn follows it after the pastor pronounces the forgiveness of everyone's sins (it's very similar to the Sacrament of Confession, but it's not sacramental):

This is the feast of victory for our God. Alleluia.
Worthy is Christ, the Lamb who was slain,
Whose blood set us free to be people of God.
Power, riches, wisdom, and strength,
And honor and blessing and glory are his.

This is the feast of victory for our God. Alleluia.
Sing with the people of God
And join in the hymn of all creation;
Blessing and honor and glory and might
Be to God and the Lamb forever. Amen.

This is the feast of victory for our God.
For the Lamb who was slain has begun his reign. Alleluia. Alleluia!