Sunday, August 24, 2008

On the Catholic thing
  • ‘Just what are you?’ As usual Arturo understands a lot: Theology is something we should not take lightly. Again, the question: what flavor is this blog? The cop-out answer is, “I am Catholic, period, without labels or other allegiances”. Of course, there is the right-wing solution, one that is affectionately known by those who like it about as much as a toothache as “rad-tradism”. I guess in a lot of ways, I am more squarely in this category, if only by formation. [But] to go to my designated “liturgical watering hole” to get my liturgy of choice... I just feel it far from natural. And an answer, an opinion and school of spirituality not out of place in orthodoxy but possibly surprising to those who don’t really know orthodoxy: So in reflecting on this, I came to the conclusion that my Catholicism, indeed my entire system of seeing the divine, is viewed through the prism of the feminine... Marian. I think if there were more devotion to the Mother of God, everything else would fall into place. I don’t consider my Mass-and-office Catholicism particularly Marian but I agree. If that element’s not there something’s wrong because again the veneration of the Mother of God ‘is inherently about Jesus and that without paying proper attention to Mary, Christ is being short-changed and not fully understood’. Of course, that is the great thing about Byzantine worship: it is Marian par excellence. Of course! It’s o/Orthodox.
  • From the same entry: To tell the truth, I am most proud of my non-Catholic readers, since that means I am writing something that transcends the party line.
  • Arturo’s friend A. Guillory on the communion and cultus of the saints (not a cult in the modern sense of mind control and something that’s a false, rival god), which I think answers Derek: I think we Catholics salivate over those “say this prayer (this way) and (such-and-such) will happen” the way others must pick out their lottery numbers for the jackpot. But it’s not really that it’s works-based — it’s how we know that they are holding our hands. In the same way someone is just an acquaintance until they give you a true gift, a sincere gift from their heart. It’s how God and the saints become our intimates. We have saints that always knew they were going to be saints (St. Maria Goretti) and saints who got there initially kicking and screaming (St. Francis of Assisi). Saints who refused to fight (St. Martin of Tours) and ones who led armies (St. Joan of Arc). Saints that levitated during Mass (St. Joseph of Cupertino), and saints that fell asleep (St. Therese of Lisieux). Ones who were kings (St. Louis) and ones who did without great possessions (St. Anthony the Great). Ones who founded religious orders (St. Madeleine-Sophie Barat) and ones who did great things in existing ones (St. Bernard of Clairvaux). Ones whose lives are concealed behind myth and legend (St. Dymphna) and ones who kept diaries (St. Maria Faustina Kowalska). And on it goes.
  • From the same entry: Maybe my children will finally figure out how Calvinists can believe in unconditional election and irresistible grace and yet care so much about what others do.

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