Happy Cinco de Mayo!
In the face of a man’s death, a Christian never rejoices, but reflects on the serious responsibilities of each person before God and before men, and hopes and works so that every event may be the occasion for the further growth of peace and not of hatred.
My favorite part of spring is here! Hello, lovely lovely lilacs!
Ever wonder what the priest is thinking before he absolves you of your sins and give you one Our Father and three Hail Marys as a penance?
Fr. Shane reveals all: click here! And it’s very very good.
A thoughtful and thought-provoking piece on fasting, gluttony and desire.
So if you do decide to worry about the end of the world, here’s a handy tip, straight form Jesus to us:
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. (Matt 5:7)
Msgr. Charles Pope wrote a great little blog post about it on the Archdiocese of Washington website this week.
Only for today, I will seek to live the livelong day positively without wishing to solve the problems of my life all at once.
The Daily Decalogue of Pope John XXIII
The Rapture is coming! The Rapture is coming! May 21st is the day, and just in case you don’t get swept up, you might want to stock up on canned goods and water, because God is going to destroy the world five months later on the 21st of October, according to www.WeCanKnow.com.
This group claims that we can know the date of the Rapture because in the Old Testament, God gave fair warning of any drastic action He was about to take. He sent Moses to the Egyptians, He sent Jonah to the city of Nineveh, He warned Noah of the Flood, etc. He does it again and again - He’s very specific and clear.
What they’re missing is the fact that He only does this in the Old Testament. The relationship of God to His people changes drastically between the Old Testament and the New.
In the Old Testament, God is the parent, and we, His people, are young children. We have to be warned very clearly and specifically of what not to do (hence the Ten Commandments). If we disobey, there must be clear consequences so that we learn from our mistakes and develop good habits which keep us healthy and strong (hence the Israelites wandering the desert after they disobeyed God and worshiped the golden calf soon after being brought out of Egypt). As young children, we may not understand why God (or our parent) does what He does and we may become angry. However, as we grow older, we mature in our relationship with God. We come to know Him better and ourselves better, and the things which angered or upset us in the past make more sense. We understand that they were done out of a deep and true love for us and our well-being.
In the New Testament, God is establishing a new covenant with His people, with His Church. We are no longer little children. We are called beyond simple “do this, not this” rules. We are called to know and love God with our hearts. He’s calling us to enter into a real relationship with Him, where we learn how to listen to Him, and we learn how to speak to Him. As an adult, I wouldn’t expect my dad to give me a curfew. Neither do I expect God to put a curfew on how long the world has to party while He’s away. He’s coming back, and we are old enough to decide whether we’re going to be the kids scurrying to clean up the house before He finds out or if we’re going to be loving child who says, “I’m so glad to see you. I love you! Welcome back!”
In the end, it doesn’t matter if the date of the Rapture/Second Coming/End of the World/Tribulation/What-Have-You is May 21, 2011 or May 21, 4040. What matters is how we are living. Are we growing closer to God? Are we loving those in our lives? Are we seeking to conform our lives and our hearts to the will of our Father?
We don’t need to know a date. We need to know God.
End Note (heh heh): A good explanation of Rapture theology and the Catholic position can be found here.
Additional End Note: The myth of a Rapture on May 21 has been created by a man named Harold Camping. This website lists resources which can be used to understand where his theology has gone wrong.
Marriage, in what is evidently its most popular version, is now on the one hand an intimate “relationship” involving (ideally) two successful careerists in the same bed, and on the other hand a sort of private political system in which rights and interests must be constantly asserted and defended. Marriage, in other words, has now taken the form of divorce: a prolonged and impassioned negotiation as to how things shall be divided. During their understandably temporary association, the “married” couple will typically consume a large quantity of merchandise and a large portion of each other….
There are, however, still some married couples who understand themselves as belonging to their marriage, to each other, and to their children. What they have they have in common, and so, to them, helping each other does not seem merely to damage their ability to compete against each other. To them, “mine” is not so powerful or necessary a pronoun as “ours.”
“Feminism, the Body and the Machine” in The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry