Friday, August 29, 2014

Love can exist only when people are free

"Prayer, as I learned, is a relationship between two persons, God and man, who move towards each other. Thus, the swiftness or slowness with which a person advances in prayer depends on both the human and divine wills. Neither the freedom of God in His sovereignty nor the freedom of man in his free choice are violated. For his part, man offers his good intentions, his labors, and his desires to draw near to God. God, in turn, offers His grace.

No matter how great a man's ascetic labors may appear before the eyes of men, his offerings are infinitesimal in contrast with what God offers. Man takes one step, and God responds with a thousand in order to bridge the gap. Nevertheless, man's small and significant step in God's direction is absolutely crucial, because it reveals man's intentions and good disposition, giving God the 'right' to approach him, without infringing his spiritual freedom. Unlike the hate-filled, tyrannical devil, God deeply respects human freedom and never violates it, because He loves man. He desires a relationship of love with man, and love can exist only when people are free." - Dionysios Farasiotis in The Gurus, the Young Man, and Elder Paisios, pgs 276-77

The Chicago Debate on Calvinism - with a Soldier's Review of Zahnd's (nonviolent) 'victory'

Clarion - Journal of Spirituality and The Justice: Chicago Debate on Calvinism - with a Soldier's Review of Zahnd's (nonviolent) 'victory'

Review by Lt. Col. David L Jones - a soldier's analysis of Brian Zahnd's [nonviolent] 'victory'

Christ is in our midst!

Brian Zahnd is a poet. Brian is a song-writer. I am proud to call Brian my friend. A few nights ago Brian participated in a team debate against two Calvinist pastors.

Strategically he owned the ground of the discussion. Tactically Brian held the higher ground as you will see. His arguments were clearly the most reasonable to follow and believe.

Brian and his partner kept the heat to the Calvinists' feet about predestination of the damned/reprobate. The essence or center of the target is not that the God predestines some for glory (or for grace which is another topic) but that He predestines most to Hell. That view is actually a formally declared heresy of the Early Church called Predestinarianism... TO READ MORE CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Jim Forest's new book - Loving Our Enemies: Reflections on the Hardest Commandment

Here is the first chapter of Loving Our Enemies: Reflections on the Hardest Commandment by Jim Forest.

Be Still and Know God

Glory to God for All Things - Be Still and Know God by Fr. Stephen Freeman

Fr. Barron on four “pivotal players" - St. Irenaeus, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, and St. Ignatius of Loyola


Patrick Deneen on The Neo-Conservative Imagination

EP
The Neo-Conservative Imagination: An Interview with Patrick Deneen

The Neo-Conservative Imagination: An Interview with Patrick Deneen, Part II

Related Post - A Catholic Showdown Worth Watching - Whig Thomists vs. Augustinian Thomists UPDATED

Why I Said No to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Catholic Online - Why I Said No to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Embryonic Stem Cell Research Is Deadly by Deacon Keith Fournier
We must insist on the recognition of human rights for all human persons, no matter what stage of life's development continuum. Human embryonic stem cell research kills embryonic human persons...

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

“Ressourcement,” “Aggiornamento,” and Vatican II in Ecumenical Perspective

HPR - “Ressourcement,” “Aggiornamento,” and Vatican II in Ecumenical Perspective by Eduardo Echeverria
(S)ome interpreters of Vatican II took renewal to be merely a matter of the Church’s adaptation or accommodation to the standards of the modern world … they took aggiornamento as an “isolated motive for renewal” … simply adapting to the culture of modernity.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Balthasar on Soloviev

Soloviev's skill in the technique of integrating all partial truths in one vision makes him perhaps second only to Thomas Aquinas as the greatest artist of order and organization in the history of thought. - Balthasar's The Glory of the Lord, A Theological Aesthetics, III: Studies in Theological Style: Lay Styles
Soloviev
1. Vision and Form of Work... 279
2. Logic and Metaphyics... 300
3. Ethics and Ecclesiology... 325
4. Aethestics and Apocalyptic... 338

Pope Francis and Henri de Lubac S.J., Part Two

Highly Centralizing and Hardly Collegial.
That's How the Bishops See Him


In spite of the promises to strengthen their role, for the episcopal conferences these are difficult times. Francis decides by his own lights. The Jesuit De Lubac is his instructor of ecclesiology

by Sandro Magister

Related Post  - Pope Francis and Henri de Lubac, SJ

Friday, November 22, 2013

Fr. Robert Barron on C.S. Lewis



Michael Voris is Just Wrong...



First, to equate Schillebeeckx to Balthasar is pure comedy.

Second, I am surprised he didn't mention Rahner or Kung as well. He fails to understand the Concilium vs. Communio divide post-Council. Wojtyła, Ratzinger, Balthasar, Giussani, and others in the Communio camp battled these folks in the Concilium camp and won.

Third, to throw Phenomenology under the bus as he did but then dodge the facts that both St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) and Blessed (soon-to-be St.) JPII were world-class phenomenolgists. Notice how he fails to engage their thought. JPII's thought, his life work/his corpus, shows how Thomism and Phenemeology complement each other. The leading Thomists today are doing good work in that regard.

Fourth, Karl Barth was one of the greatest Christian thinkers of the 20th Century and really of all time. To discount his thought as he does without even seriously engaging it (as Balthasar did) shows how clueless Voris is.

Fifth, mark my words - Michael Voris is going to get spanked liked Christopher West but I doubt he will listen. He appears to be quite arrogant who isn't as smart as he thinks he is. He lacks the humility that West did by taking a leave of absence to learn about what folks much smarter than he is was telling him. Micheal Voris has a S.T.B., which is ONLY an undergraduate degree in theology. He knows just enough to sound smart but in reality he is really, really shallow to those who really know the topics on which he is pontificating about.

Related Posts - Voris vs. Barron on Hell

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

The Russians are coming

The Moynihan Letters - Letter #94: “The Russians are coming” by Robert Moynihan, PhD.

We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.
—Russian President Vladimir Putin, open letter to the American people, September 11

In the countries of the former Soviet Union, in particular in Russia, Ukraine, Belorussia and Moldavia, an unprecedented religious revival is underway. In the Russian Orthodox Church over the past 25 years there have been built or restored from ruins more than 25,000 churches. This means that a thousand churches a year have been opened, i.e., three churches a day.
—Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, October 30

Pope Francis has said before that he likes Dostoevsky, and we would like to think that he might also like the spiritual tradition of the Russian Orthodox Church.
—Dimitry Sizonenko, Secretary of the Department of Inter-Christian Relations in the Russian Orthodox Church, March 22, 2013, just after the election of Pope Francis

In the Orthodox Churches they have kept that pristine liturgy, so beautiful. We have lost a bit the sense of adoration. They keep, they praise God, they adore God, they sing, time doesn’t count. God is the center, and this is a richness that I would like to say on this occasion in which you ask me this question. Once, speaking of the Western Church, of Western Europe, especially the Church that has grown most, they said this phrase to me: “Lux ex oriente, ex occidente luxus.” Consumerism, wellbeing, have done us so much harm. Instead you keep this beauty of God at the center, the reference. When one reads Dostoyevsky – I believe that for us all he must be an author to read and reread, because he has wisdom – one perceives what the Russian spirit is, the Eastern spirit. It’s something that will do us so much good. We are in need of this renewal, of this fresh air of the East, of this light of the East.
—Pope Francis, July 28, interview with press on flight back from Brazil

When it was the heart of the Soviet Union, Russia embraced a communist ideology that denied the existence of God and the eternity of the human soul, calling such beliefs socially harmful mystifications. Today, in 2013, Russia is quite dramatically preaching traditional Christian faith and values — to the consternation of many secular thinkers in the once-Christian West... TO READ MORE CLICK HERE.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Danielou's Prayer as a Political Problem

Br. Bonaventure Chapman, O.P. states that Jean Cardinal Danielou S.J. is not calling for some reactionary model of politics and prayer, a neo-Constantinianism, especially in the context of a post written by a man wearing a medieval habit. This would be a nostalgic impossibility. There is no hope for a "Benedictine escapism" from the world; rather, in an Augustinian register Danielou declares:
The reader might be surprised by the title given to this chapter and this book. Public policy and prayer are two realities not usually brought together in this way. I have chosen the heading deliberately, because it seems to me essential to make it clear—perhaps somewhat provocatively—that there can be no radical division between civilization and what belongs to the interior being of man; that there must be a dialogue between prayer and the pursuit and realization of public policy; that both the one and the other are necessary and in a sense complementary... In other words, there can be no civilization where prayer is not its representative expression. Correlatively, prayer depends on civilization.

A city which does not possess churches as well as factories is not fit for men. It is inhuman. The task of politics is to assure to men a city in which it will be possible for them to fulfill themselves completely, to have a full material, fraternal, and spiritual life...

We ought never to forget that the Church is the Church of Everyman. The salvation which Jesus Christ comes to offer, the life which he comes to give, are salvation and life offered to the poor—to all—and what is offered to all must be within the reach of all. Yet today, for most men, given the circumstances in which they find themselves, the realization of a life of prayer is practically impossible… A world which had built up its culture without reference to God, a humanism from which adoration was completely absent, would make the maintenance of a positive religious point of view impossible for the great majority of men...

I have no liking for Christians who will not touch the facts of human existence for fear of soiling their hands… I love that Church which plunges into the thickets of human history and is not afraid of compromising itself by getting mixed up with men’s affairs, with their political conflicts and their cultural disputes.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

There Were No Priests - Catherine Doherty

Sts. Isaac Jogues and John de Brebeuf, North American Martyrs

There Were No Priests
I remember the day when there were no priests in St. Petersburg. It was in the early days of the Russian Revolution, when things were so unsettled and priests were shot on sight, as were many other people. The Jewish rabbis, the Protestant ministers, the Orthodox priests, all were shot or “disposed of” in some way.  
A little Roman Catholic parish was still surviving, and those of us who knew about it participated in the middle of the night in the Mass. It was a very short Mass, but still a Mass. One night when the priest had just consecrated the Host, the door opened, a rifle was thrust through; a shot was fired, and the priest fell dead. The consecrated Host rolled off the altar onto the floor. Two soldiers came up then, ground the Host under their heels, and turning to us said, “Where is your God? Under our heel!”  
An old man answered, “Lord, forgive them, even if they know what they do.” Shamed or embarrassed, the two soldiers left the church. The old man gave us Communion with the remnants of the Host. He washed the desecrated floor with holy water, and we buried the priest.  
And then there were no priests! No one to hear confession. No one to give us Viaticum and the last rites (as they were called then). No one to offer Mass. Anyone who has gone through such a tragedy knows what it means to be without a priest. - Servant of God Catherine Doherty in Grace in Every Season: Through the Year With Catherine Doherty

Dr. Peter Flint on The Works of the Law

Listen to what Dr. Peter Flint has to say about the Works of the Law. Dr. Flint is one of foremost experts in the world on the Dead Sea Scrolls. Specifically watch Exploring the Dead Sea Scrolls - Dr. Peter Flint - 2/2 where he directly addresses this topic.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Archbishop Chaput - Fire Upon the Earth

Fire Upon the Earth by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
My goal tonight is to speak about personal conversion and the new evangelization, through the lens of the Year of Faith. And I’d like to do that in three steps. First, I’ll revisit what a “year of faith” is, and why Pope Benedict felt we needed one. Second, I’ll talk about Pope Francis and the new spirit he brings to witnessing our faith as a Church. And third and most important, I’ll speak about what we need to do, and how we need to live, going forward–in other words, how we might share our faith so fully and joyfully that we truly become God’s lumen gentium, God’s “light to the nations”... TO READ MORE CLICK ABOVE.

Bishop Conley - Ecclesia Semper Reformanda Est

Catholic Pulse - Ecclesia Semper Reformanda Est by Bishop James D. Conley
In the wake of the Council, one of Europe’s greatest bishops wrote that the Catholic Church had become like a naval battle, in which “the ships are driven to and fro by a raging tempest, while thick darkness falls from the clouds and blackens all the scene, so that watchwords are indistinguishable in confusion, and all distinction between friend and foe is lost.”[1]  
There are not a few who would agree with this assessment and appreciate the imagery. By many accounts, the Church today is in a state of crisis. Increasing secularism and disregard for basic and fundamental doctrines, we’re told, runs rampant.  
There is real truth to these accounts. In the past 50 years, the Church has seen significant battles — and considerable confusion — about even the most basic understanding of the Gospel mission. But the bishop who wrote about the Church in the raging tempest, waging a great naval battle, wasn’t talking about a skirmish that began in 1965, with the close of the Second Vatican Council. The bishop was St. Basil the Great, and he was writing about the Council of Nicaea, which ended in AD 325... TO READ MORE CLICK THE LINK ABOVE.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Catherine Doherty - Everything he made is good including yourself...

CERC - Everything he made is good including yourself by SERVANT OF GOD CATHERINE DE HUECK DOHERTY
Anyone of us that passes through God's mind, anyone of us that God touched, cannot be this horrible person we think we are...
Releated Posts:
Catherine Doherty and the Madonna House

Catherine Doherty and the East

Evangelical theologian lauds "Christocentric legacy" of Benedict XVI

CWR - Evangelical theologian lauds "Christocentric legacy" of Benedict XVI
Also, three Evangelical NT scholars from North America will participate in symposium sponsored by Joseph Ratzinger Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation by Carl E. Olson
The "legacy of Pope Benedict," Beorsma concludes, "is the witness of a thorough-going Christological focus. This Christocentrism should warm the heart of evangelical believers, for it is the centrality of Christ that enables us to overcome the narrow-mindedness of a culture whose only remaining norms are those of the flattened horizons of this world." He encourages Evangelicals to really listen to Catholics and consider carefully the Catholic emphasis on "real presence." He recognizes that serious disagreements still exist and so he does not appeal to a spirit of indifferentism, but to a shared belief in Christ, one that is radically opposed to the "relativism of a flat culture"...