The thing about music is you never know the shape of anyone's desire.from Orfeo, by Richard Powers
Friday, March 07, 2014
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
This is from A Song For Nagasaki by Paul Glynn, S.M. Takashi Nagaii is writing to his two young children:
"My death will leave you orphans, vulnerable and alone in the world. You will weep. Yes, you might even weep your hearts out, and that will be good--provided you weep before your father in heaven. We have it on the authority of his Son, and I have experienced the truth of it personally: 'Happy are those who weep, for they shall be comforted.' Spill your tears before him, and he will always dry them."Dr. Nagaii was a pioneer in Japan in the use of X-rays, a convert to Catholicism, a survivor the the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, and revered in Japan as Gandhi is in India. The story is fascinating.
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
This quote came in an email from Loome Theological Booksellers. It is from Romano Guardini, who more often than not challenges me. The book is titled "The Last Things".
“The central position of man in Christianity confers on the Sacraments, especially on the Eucharist, a meaning wholly new. What did Christ mean when He said, ‘He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath everlasting life, and I will raise him up on the last day’? (John 6:55). Why did He not say, He that attaches his spirit to My spirit, who undertakes to do My will? Because what matters is not ‘spirit,’ but the living, human-divine reality of Christ, which has its point of decision precisely in that which any spiritualizing tendency first relinquishes – namely, the body, or, in the precise language of St. John, ‘the flesh.’ Because in man it is the living whole that matters, not the soul. The point of decision is the physical act of ‘eating’ and ‘drinking,’ in contrast to any attempts at vaporizing this solid reality. The fruit of this sacred ‘eating’ and ‘drinking’ is the resurrection on the last day. Truly a ‘hard’ saying, for it involves the end and purpose of the Christian life. The doctrine of the Eucharist is guaranteed by the doctrine of the resurrection”.I think I'll have to chew on this for a while.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
This is worth reading> Here's a snippet:
Women won’t be liberated by “freedom” from children, for two reasons: children aren’t the problem, and self-centeredness isn’t freeing. The only liberator is Jesus Christ, who frees us from our prisons of selfishness through the love that He is. When our horizons are contracted to the limits of pleasure-seeking and comfort, He opens us up to the wide expanse of the Father’s plan of loving goodness.and
Here’s the irony. The world thinks it’s cornered the market on sexual pleasure. But as Aquinas and Augustine both make a point of saying, sexual pleasure would have been far more intense before the Fall than it is now. Why? Because the sexiest thing of all is losing yourself in the intimate interiority of reality. And to get inside reality, we have to use our intellects: pay attention, ask questions, be ready to wonder. Intellect gives rise to the most intense delight.and, finally,
For that, in the end, is what all that sexual desire in us is for. Why is it so strong? Because the Father just loves babies, billions and billions and billions of them. It’s that yearning for more persons, for more knowing and loving, for more wonder in the world that is the truth of the human sex drive. What an awesome Father we have!
Monday, November 18, 2013
In honor of Dr. Graham's birthday, The Anchoress has a nice little column that includes a few nice aphorisms, Here's a sample:
“Christ not only died for all: He died for each.”and
Right now, Calah Alexander is giving a feisty, well-written smackdown to the phrase “God never gives you more than you can handle” but Graham says it differently: “The will of God will not take us where the grace of God cannot sustain us.”and
he was the fellow, after all, who — when asked why he would attend a dinner for Bill Clinton after the Lewinsky story broke — said, “It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge, and my job to love.”It's worth reading.
There is a thought-provoking little article over at CatholicCulture.org. Here's a taste:
When we think of the transcendentals—of the good, the true, and the beautiful—we find that the intellect is profoundly engaged by the true, the will is profoundly engaged by the good, and the imagination is profoundly engaged by the beautiful. All three are party to our personal redemption, but too often in our particular culture, the imagination is associated merely with entertainment, and ignored as a very special conduit of, or connection with, being itself.I am convinced that the art of Michelangelo and the music of Bach, for example, are time-release capsules that can touch many hearts who would not listen to any Christian speaker or read any Christian book under any circumstances.
Friday, November 01, 2013
As she does so often, Julie Davis at Happy Catholic gets to the heart of the matter with this quote from Thomas Merton:
“What you should say”– he told me — ”what you should say is that you want to be a saint.” A saint! The thought struck me as a little weird. I said: “How do you expect me to become a saint?” “By wanting to,” said Lax, simply. “I can’t be a saint,” I said, “I can’t be a saint.” And my mind darkened with a confusion of realities and unrealities: the knowledge of my own sins, and the false humility which makes men say that they cannot do the things that they must do, cannot reach the level that they must reach: the cowardice that says: “I am satisfied to save my soul, to keep out of mortal sin,” but which means, by those words: “I do not want to give up my sins and my attachments.” Lax said: “All that is necessary to be a saint is to want to be one. Don’t you believe that God will make you what He created you to be, if you will consent to let him do it? [emphasis mine] All you have to do is desire it.” Thomas Merton, The Seven Storey MountainRead the whole thing here.
Sunday, October 27, 2013
This quote from Pope Francis hit home:
He tells the prison chaplains to deliver this message as well: “You can tell them this: The Lord is inside with them; He too is one imprisoned, even today, imprisoned by our selfishness, by our systems, by so many injustices. Because it is easy to punish the weakest ones, but the big fish swim freely in the water.”This was from Gregorian Institute email newsletter. You can read the whole thing here.