September 29, 2009

Spanning the Globe to Bring You the Constant Variety of Posts

Reading is not life. But for some of us reading is more than a leisure-time activity. Reading is real work--it is part of the formative work that goes into writing and it is a form of shifting from the day-job mind into the relaxation/replenishing mind. The creative required by reading is of a different type than that exercised during a day of putting out fires. What I've discovered is that I receive less and less pleasure from things that do not present some form of challenge. I've spent a lifetime in "leisure" reading--absorbing all sorts of fun things that almost immediately slip out of my head and make no real difference in my understanding of the One Thing Necessary (soon to be trademarked). - Steven of Flos Carmeli

Like the devil “I will not serve.” If I give myself entirely to God, reject evil completely, he might ask me to serve people who are perfectly capable of serving themselves (my children, my husband), people who are not weak and helpless, but actually flawed. I do not wish to expend my energy, which could be spent on my interests or on garnering the undemanding love of other people. This is the failure of my love. “The closer a person is to God, the closer he is to people.” (Pope Benedict) - Betty Duffy

On our own we simply cannot be good, and whether we realize it or not we rely entirely on God’s grace for all that we do. And more than that, God desires for us the sort of happiness and joy, even here on this earth, that we cannot even fathom. That joy is experienced when we encounter the abundant love that God has for us, when we realized that not only are we created by Him, but indeed we are loved immensely by Him, so much so that He became like us and died for us, so that the divisions we have placed between ourselves and Him can be broken down for good. And the way that we encounter this love most profoundly is by developing a life of prayer... But my point is simply that lately I have not been disciplined in this prayer life, and with me this always has profoundly negative effects on my spiritual outlook. I become more irritable, less motivated, and so forth. I go into that spiritual and psychological “bad place,” and it takes a lot of hard work to get myself out. The beauty, though, is that this hard work is not done alone, but rather is done in cooperation with the grace of God. - Michael at Psalm 46:11

Someone whose only charitable activity is writing checks will usually have a more distant experience of charitable action than someone who volunteers in a food pantry or crisis pregnancy center on a weekly basis. It's going to be hard for someone who _only_ gives money to experience at a human level the fact that the money he's making for a couple hours during his workday is going to help a particular cause. At the same time, however, I think it's important to recognize that donating time is not the only legitimate form of charity. - Darwin Catholic

It is surely true that Christ's command to clothe, feed, house, etc. the poor are meant as much or more for our eternal benefit than for the temporal relief of those helped. - commenter Kate on above Darwin Catholic quote

For traditional Christians, Jews and Muslims, the most advanced being in the universe is one who remembers every sin and deals with it justly. For the post-Christian world, an advanced being is someone more like Klaatu, who doesn’t care what we’re fighting about so long as we don’t drag it into his space. - Camassia

I remember when we were planning to move to Ohio, my siblings and I carefully wrote out a list of what we wanted in a house: wood floors, a fireplace, a secret passageway, a laundry chute -- marks of a home that was built quality, built to last...It did not occur to me as a child that some people would not value a beautiful older house in a beautiful older neighborhood. Perhaps the term "Victorian" applied to architecture had a particular allure because it was so different from where I lived. The concept of upkeep or the desire to flee a crime-ridden neighborhood despite the original glory of the houses were completely alien ideas, as were "white flight", "urban decay", or "factory closing". But I did know that in 100 years our trailer would be rubble (as indeed will the suburban box I now inhabit), whereas even at their century, the gorgeous homes that were built for living and built to last still cast spells even through a heavy haze of neglect. - Mrs. Darwin

Reminds me of how I resisted joining the KofC for so long. I would just reply, "Nah, I don't want to help you run a gambling drinking joint". - Commenter on Darwin Catholic post

Perhaps we ought to separate asking God for things we want and thanking Him for things we get...we thank God for allowing us to ask Him for things, for the grace by which we've just asked for one particular thing, and for whatever good He does in our lives in answer to our prayer. But that's just a special case of the more general "Prayer of Thanksgiving" process, in which we thank God for everything He gives us. Breaking the supplication-obtaining-thanksgiving chain teaches us to be thankful, not just when we get what we ask for (like children), and not even when we don't get what we ask for (like philosophers), but when we get anything at all. - Tom of Disputations

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