January 08, 2010

Various & Sundry

The artistic mentality seeks beauty, the singular, that which is pleasing to ear, eye or touch. And yet we learn in the Bible of the value of the common, of bread that becomes the Bread of Life, of a baby in a manger becoming the king of kings, and of the presence of God in our neighbor.

As Dylan well-described it: "it's the sacramentality of the commonplace, not of the lofty. Or of what was thought to be beautiful ... before Our Blessed Lord pitched his tent and dwelt among us."

I've never quite figured out how to reconcile the artistic mentality given how God sees so differently, sees value in what doesn't appear to be singular or particularly beautiful. (Like, say, a mosquito.)

And yet beauty is also a path to God. My betters say that beauty is more persuasive than apologetics and that which is precisely what is lacking today.

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Yesterday's moment of light occurred during praying Ps 81, "You called in distress and I saved you. I answered, concealed in the storm cloud." How often we think He is not present in the storm! And no less so in today's mysterious gospel reading, where Jesus nonchalantly walks on the water despite a terrific headwind. He was, quite literally, in the storm. And then he calmed it, fulfilling Ps 81.

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I wonder sometimes if the status of my spiritual life is signified by my reaction to prayer requests found on the 'net. Sometimes I come across one, even from those I know, and I feel...very numb to it. And yet I think of Padre Pio and the millions of requests he got when he was alive and... Well anyway this at least spurs me on to pray; my lack of fervor can sometimes paradoxically be a proximate cause of greater fervor. In other words, I have fervor concerning my lack of fervor.

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Heard Jimmy Akin recently talk about the different graces God gives and how He gives everyone "sufficient" grace for salvation but not necessarily "efficacious" grace. There are some things I'd prefer not to know, and the whole grace controversy is one I prefer not to dwell on.

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