Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Let your light so shine before men
Fr Phillips:
What does it mean to “live our faith”?

Our Catholic faith is not simply an abstract system of beliefs, teaching us only to believe certain doctrines of the Church. No, on our faith rests a whole way of life. If we believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, then we are obliged to carry this truth over into life. If we believe that baptism makes us children of God, and that the Holy Spirit dwells in us, then we must live as children of God and allow our souls to be fit dwelling places for the Holy Spirit. Our faith demands that we live according to the precept of love: love for God and love for others, fulfilling the duties of our state in life, having patience in suffering, and seeking to be conformed to God’s will for us.

Christ imparted this to us in his words, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Yes of course – it’s part of a priest’s job to encourage striving toward that – but:
  • Mother church is so big and accommodating, not a perfectionistic cult (literally impossible in a big church: here comes everybody), as Arturo liked to point out before moving onto other subjects, that the nominal/Bad Catholics (hostile or indifferent to God and the church but they try to change neither because that’s impossible) aren’t really out in the cold. (BTW I first spelled ‘Pelón’ as ‘Pilón’ as in Café Pilón as you see on some store shelves here. You write what you know. LOL.) Sort of like the difference between traditional Catholics and trads (but trads have done much good; they’re why Pope Benedict is doing his thing now) if you get the drift (love the tradition, loathe the traddies as an English priest puts it).
  • Anti-sanctimony but believing Hilary has called out a lot of ‘spiritual’ writing: I have found that in many, if not most cases when a person engages in gratuitous God-talk, particularly in a public forum, the person is much more likely to be talking about himself.
There’s letting your light shine before men and then there’s the bad Pharisee (they weren’t all bad guys; some say Jesus was one) of the parables. A perennial problem; grace and maturity are the wisdom to know the difference. God’s light or my light?

Why I read cranky (LOL) bloggers like Owen (because he used to call bullshit on online Orthodoxy), venuleius, Hilary and Arturo and normally not convert-apologist/mom blogs (as Owen puts it). (There’s a place for instructional blogs like that but like with EWTN I’m not their audience. The Sacrament is the true Body and Blood. Got that.) For the most part the Orthodox you’d want to know don’t write blogs and probably have limited English (Yiayia’s family or outlier converts like Fr Anastassy: they’re out there). BTW Taki’s of course a born Orthodox: he claims the Assumption for his name day.

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