This is something great I heard him say during his episode on “The Journey Home”…
“An authority is only as good as its ability to resolve a conflict” – Brent Stubbs
Okay, now go listen to his new podcast with Devin!
Earlier this week it was the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. It reminded me of a conversation I had with a member of the Eastern Catholic parish I often visit. I mentioned the fact that I always feel more comfortable with Mary when I’m praying in the Eastern Rite, but I wasn’t sure why…
He then made the observation that in Eastern Christianity, when Mary is mentioned, Christ is almost always mentioned explicitly in the next breath, whereas in the West He is more often implied. I realised he was right! That’s exactly why I found it so much easier when praying in the Eastern liturgy! For example, this is the Eastern form of the Hail Mary:
“Theotokos (God-Bearer) and Virgin, rejoice, Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, for thou hast given birth to the Saviour of our souls“
I have often thought that if we (Western) Catholics allowed our Christology to be seen more clearly in our Mariology, fewer non-Catholics to get upset by the honour we give to Mary. Just a thought.
Honour the art and you honour The Artist
As I was driving home last night I was thinking about the parable of the talents which we heard at Mass, where Jesus teaches us about using our God-given gifts in service of His Kingdom.
This parable’s message was certainly taken to heart by my former Protestant communities. In fact, I think this is one of the many things which we Catholics can really learn from our separated brethren. In those churches the question isn’t “Will you serve?” but “How will you serve?”.
In those congregations, the various ministries were regularly advertised and they were often mentioned in the pastors’ Sunday sermons. There was a very clear understanding that to be a part of the faith community meant to be joined with others in service. I remember in one parish’s bulletin, in the section listing the Church Staff, under the final entry of “Ministers” it simply read “Everyone!”
Service is also a really powerful evangelistic witness. Seeing people live out their faith by serving others stirs up far more interest and questions in unbelievers than any car fish sticker ever has. Service is also a great way to grow in your faith, grow in holiness and to encounter Jesus Christ in a really concrete way. As we will hear in next week’s Gospel:
“I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me” - Matthew 25:36
The other night I went to see the movie Courageous with a bunch of other guys on a “man trip” . I’ve written about this movie before, but over the next few weeks I’d like to mention a few other thoughts which came to mind while watching the film…
In the story, a group of four men decide to sign a Resolution, a statement of conduct (derived from Scripture) which they promise to follow as both men and as fathers.
In a certain scene, one of the men shows a copy of the Resolution to his wife. She gets really excited and then starts asking him lots of questions. What will the final Resolution look like? What is he going to wear when he signs it? etc. The man gives his wife a look of complete incomprehension and confusion. It’s clear that he hadn’t even considered these things. To this she responds:
“If you’re gonna do this, then do it right. Something like this requires…ceremony!”
I had to smile at this, since, to my Catholic ears, I heard:
“If you’re gonna do this, then do it right. Something like this requires…liturgy“
About a month ago I received my copy of Devin Rose‘s new book “If Protestantism Is True”. I’ve been a subscriber to Devin’s blog for some time, distributed some of his podcasts at the JP2 Group and occasionally interacted with him over the Internet.
I was therefore looking forward to read his book. Unfortunately, I had Vocation Director prescribed reading this month and that had to be done first! Last week I finally completed my reading assignments and so I finally got started on Devin’s book and, since it’s nice and compact at 162 pages, I read it from cover-to-cover this weekend.
I’ve written quite a bit lately about my recent period of discernment. I’m sure I will write some more on this subject sometime in the future, but for now I would just like to mention one other thing that has come up during this time.
When I began in earnest to pray about my vocation, I contacted a handful of friends, explained the situation and asked them to pray for me. Also, during this time, when friends asked me “What’s new?” I told them about my discernment (with varying levels of detail) and some of my thoughts about my vocation.
Apart from a few notable exceptions, I noticed a consistent trend among my non-Catholic Christian friends. Whenever I mentioned the word “celibacy”, I almost immediately encountered some resistance, regardless of whether I was talking about celibate life as a layman, priest or monk.