The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will He harbor His anger forever;
He does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is His love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
My wife, Kathryn, returned from her day-long, business trip to West Palm Beach last night, Monday. Sunday previously, she had just returned from a four-day, business trip to Dallas. She loves her work. She is dedicated. Her immutable allegiance to what she “ought’ to do is immeasurable. She has the same dedication to her Lord, Jesus Christ, and her ministry work in the Catholic Church.
Last night, I filled her in on the latest, rising scandal in the Church; the assertion that Pope Francis was well aware of the horrific, disgusting behavior of Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick since at least 2013, and that Francis choose to protect and promote Cardinal McCarrick within the Church during that time to near-present. They (meaning a very unusual collection of individuals and groups) want the Pope’s head on a platter. Continue reading The Innocents
A few days back I memorized the Act of Contrition, a Catholic prayer of confession of sin. It is a beautiful prayer of repentance, intent, and hope that I will repeat daily throughout the remainder of my life. Recently I had the opportunity to look deep into this prayer’s meaning and use by modern man as I drove my car on an errand.
Turning on my radio, I found myself listening to a discussion on EWTN radio regarding the matter of sin in our American society. The protagonist speaker continually referred to those secular or atheist people who viewed sin as if it were a moral strength or virtue. He noted that our media, whether it be television entertainment programming or skewed journalism (I agreed with him that there is no unbiased news reporting anymore), has saturated our society’s essence with acts of sin – adultery for example – portrayed as justifiable behavior for an intelligent, caring human being. I agreed with him. It is the primary reason our family has no television in our household. There simply is no way to exclude such sanctions of illicit behavior when watching and listening to television programing.
As I listened, I knew one thing and then affirmed another. First, that I have heard this discourse many times before. The spiritual prophets are many who see our destruction through the corruption of our media – the great provider of knowledge, freedom, and television based upon some form of reality (supposedly) in people’s lives. That thought, in itself, did not urge me to change the channel, but it did lead me to an affirmation of a belief that I have long acknowledged and wish to discuss here.
This recurring theme, by our well-meaning, Christian prophets, of a call to our secular society to repentance and “to sin no more” – quoting the Act of Contrition – can be an exercise in futility. Not because the goal is unattainable. All men and women are loved by God, no matter what the quality of their nature, and they all have an equal opportunity to seek God, to find His grace and forgiveness, and to become justified through repentance and a sincere desire to lead a life in avoidance of temptation to sin. What makes the prophets’ call to repentance potentially unattainable is that they assume too much of their listening audience. Continue reading On the Pride of Self-Regard
“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” Augustine of Hippo, Confessions
In my last blog, I suggested three purposes for this blog; to witness, to evangelize, and to have discourse in both theology and philosophy. This blog is to offer up the reason for “Why now, this blog”? Why this particular time? After all, I have now been a certified Christian for three years, plus 326 days. Could I not have gotten to this endeavor as my new life unfolded; a blow-by-blow journaling of events as they happened?
Well, in truth, I did write quite a bit. Daily diary entries quickly became letters to family and friends, which gradually grew into compulsive note-taking of the books I read on Gnosticism, early Christianity and philosophy. By the way, it must really sounds crazy that a born-again would dive into Elaine Pagel’s, The Gnostic Gospels, and Sean Martin’s, The Gnostics; let alone venture about in the Nag Hammadi library. Reading the Gospel of John is heady enough on the spiritual level, without choosing to dance with the devil and his deceptions. But I did.
I also choose to read a few books and listen to an audiobook or two on the subject of God’s existence in the dawning light of man’s science. There are a slew of good books and good writers on this subject. Coming into mind are authors John C. Polkinghorne, a physicist and Anglican priest, as well as Willem B. Drees, Keith Ward, and Nancy Frankenberry. Also, the list of Christian scientists is quite lengthy and quite soothing to those who listen to the constant babble and silliness that somehow man learning about the ways of God is in itself a statement of the non-existence of God. Well, I did read and listen. Continue reading The Manual for My Life