January 17, 2006

         

Who gets to meet with the Pope these days[?] Answer: hardly anyone...(And to be honest, I find this totally understandable. The Pope is almost 79 years old and he knows it. Can you imagine being elected Pope when you're 79? Can you even conceive of it? This is a man who knows his gifts, seems to be intent on honestly discerning how God can best use him in the time he has, and knows how to reserve his energy. I think it also shows, to the haters of various types, how this Pope understand the office - as being, essentially, not about him, but about Christ, and that indeed, the business of the Church, while it finds an important unifying anchor in the Papacy, is broadly based. I like it.) - Amy Welborn

This morning I was talking with a friend and it occurred to me that she had been spending too much time with the "heady" saints--the Dominicans, Benedictines, and Jesuits. Now, to say that these are "heady" Saints is to in no way demean them or to suggest that they are somehow inferior to those I'll call the "hearty" Saints. Rather it is to imply an initial focus and predominant means of access. St. Thomas Aquinas loved God very much, there can be no doubt. He loved God primarily through the work of his mind and the assent of his will to what intellect told it. I mentioned to her that she needed to read the "hearty" Saints. In my mind, the Carmelites and the Franciscans (of the major Orders). [These] writings tend not to be treatises and arguments, a la Summa, but rather distillations of personal experience and encounters with God. - Steven of "Flos Carmeli"

Jesus said to me, "my daughter you have not offered Me that which is really yours." I probed deeply within myself...unable to see what it was that I had not given to the Lord. I said, "Jesus tell me what it is and I will give it to You at once with a generous heart." Jesus said to me with kindness "Daughter give Me your misery, because it is your exclusive property." At that moment, a ray of light illuminated my soul and I saw the whole abyss of my misery. In the same moment I nestled close to the Sacred Heart of Jesus with so much trust that even if I had the sins of all the damned weighing on my conscience, I would not have doubted God's mercy but, with a heart crushed to dust, I would have thrown myself into the abyss of Your mercy. I believe, O Jesus, that you would not reject me, but would absolve me through the hand of your representative. - St. Faustina of Heaven, where misery=sin

Prayer purifies us, reading instructs us. Both are good when both are possible. Otherwise, prayer is better than reading. - St. Isidore via Gregg the Obscure

"I lift up my eyes to the hills./From whence does my help come?" We've seen it, seemingly millions of times, decorating greeting cards that invariably have pictures of Judean hills bathed in the warm glow of sunset. The sentiment seems to be that we can "draw strength" from contemplating the beauty of nature in the mountains etc. etc. That is a lovely sentiment and a perfect reflection of the notions of Romantic poets like Wordsworth or John Denver. Unfortunately, it has less than nothing to do with the actual meaning of Psalm 121. In fact, it is close to the opposite of what the Psalmist intended. For him, the hills were not sources of strength but sites of idolatry. When he lifted up his eyes to the hills he saw "high places" where idols to Baal, Asherah, or Moloch were erected and their rites of worship were carried out. Thus, today's verse, so far from being an expression of squishy sentimentality, is an act of brazen defiance against the culture of death that surrounded the ancient Israelite faithful to the LORD. - Catholic Exchange, via Julie of Happy Catholic

I have no idea what goes on in hell. Maybe Atta was sent to 'time-out.' - Bill Luse, speculating on terrorist Muhammed Atta's afterlife

While I'm away, the guests' Douay - Terrence Berres, who quoted the Douay Rheims copiously before leaving

Read the old Catholic Encyclopedia article on limbo at newadvent.org. It seems clear to me that the concept of Limbo arose as an amelioration of the doctrine that all the unbaptized are damned. It was seen as a *merciful* doctrine. The Church seems to have moved from saying that all are damned unless saved by baptism to saying that all are saved unless damned by actual mortal sin. - commenter on Amy's blog

My first posting on a blog was November 1, 2002. Since then I've posted on things big and small, wrote many silly things, often made a grammatical fool of myself, angered more than a few readers, encouraged others, and hammered out ideas and opinions that sometimes turned into articles or columns (a big benefit of blogs, IMHO). At times I tired of blogging, but I noticed that it was usually because (pick one) 1) I was too anxious to get dozens of comments and was depressed when I kept seeing "0 Comments", 2) too concerned about the number of visitors to the blog, or 3) someone had carefully and thoroughly demolished one of my perfectly written, cogently argued, and utterly balanced posts. Put another way, pride not only goes before the fall, it often goes public on the blog. Which is not to say I no longer struggle with those problems, but I'm far more mellow (no, really!) about blogging than I once was just three years ago (which, in computer time, is 285 years). - Carl Olson of "Ignatius Insight"

When you find a good mortification let me know. I've been looking for a harsh mortification that will help bring me mastery over my body and passions but not really hurt. - Rick Lugari

Saw a bumper sticker that said "Exercising my right to piss off the religious right!" and got really annoyed. I guess her bumper sticker certainly worked. - Pansy of "Peony & Pansy"

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