On the other hand, the video - David Casper and The Catholic Pickup Line Song - embedded in it is a wonderful change of pace from the topic of my last post here.
- "The Catholic Pick-up Line Song"
Christopher's Apologies! (September 28, 2010)
"Pop Quiz: Survey Tests Americans on Religion"
ABC News (September 28, 2010)
"Atheists and Agnostics Scored the Most Right Answers
"America is one of the most religious nations on Earth, but a new poll finds that many Americans struggle to answer basic questions about faith, even their own.
"The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released the results of a survey today that tested respondents on 32 questions about a variety of faiths. The questions ranged in complexity from the name of the Islamic holy book to the century that the Mormon religion was founded. Americans, on average, got only 16 answers right.
"Americans Quizzed on Religion
"Here's a few of the questions:
"Can you name the four gospels?
"If you said, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, you're among only 45 percent of Americans who got it right.
"Click here to take the Pew's 'Religious Knowledge Quiz.'
"Another question: Is the Golden Rule one of the Ten Commandments?
"If you said no, you're among 55 percent of Americans who got it right.
"The results of the survey showed that those who knew the most about Christianity were Mormons. They averaged eight correct answers out of the 12 that were asked about the Christian faith. White Evangelicals were second in their knowledge of Christianity according to the study.
"Atheists Knew Most About Religion
"Agnostics and atheists did particularly well on questions about world religions like what religion is the Dalai Lama and the meaning of Ramadan. Overall, atheists and agnostics answered the most questions correctly, an average of 21 right answers...."
"Hear this, you who trample upon the needy and destroy the poor of the land! 1 'When will the new moon be over,' you ask, 'that we may sell our grain, and the sabbath, that we may display the wheat? We will diminish the ephah, add to the shekel, and fix our scales for cheating! We will buy the lowly man for silver, and the poor man for a pair of sandals; even the refuse of the wheat we will sell!' 2 The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob: Never will I forget a thing they have done!"
"For the love of money is the root of all evils, and some people in their desire for it have strayed from the faith and have pierced themselves with many pains."
(1 Timothy 6:10)
"If we say, 'We are without sin,' we deceive ourselves, 3 and the truth is not in us. If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing. If we say, 'We have not sinned,' we make him a liar, and his word is not in us."Me? I haven't been brought to trial on felony charges, and started driving sensibly several decades ago. And I make a point of going to "confession" - as the Sacrament of Reconciliation is called in America.
(1 John 1:8-10)
"...the Church's mission is not an addition to that of Christ and the Holy Spirit, but is its sacrament: in her whole being and in all her members, the Church is sent to announce, bear witness, make present, and spread the mystery of the communion of the Holy Trinity..."Or, as my Lord put it, after he'd been tortured to death - and came back, alive:
"11 Then Jesus approached and said to them, 'All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, 12 and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. 13 And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.' "Sort-of-related posts:
"Creation has its own goodness and proper perfection, but it did not spring forth complete from the hands of the Creator. The universe was created 'in a state of journeying' (in statu viae) toward an ultimate perfection yet to be attained, to which God has destined it. We call 'divine providence' the dispositions by which God guides his creation toward this perfection:The way I've put the idea sometimes is that "God is large and in charge.""By his providence God protects and governs all things which he has made, 'reaching mightily from one end of the earth to the other, and ordering all things well.' For 'all are open and laid bare to his eyes,' even those things which are yet to come into existence through the free action of creatures.161"The witness of Scripture is unanimous that the solicitude of divine providence is concrete and immediate; God cares for all, from the least things to the great events of the world and its history. The sacred books powerfully affirm God's absolute sovereignty over the course of events: 'Our God is in the heavens; he does whatever he pleases.'162 And so it is with Christ, 'who opens and no one shall shut, who shuts and no one opens.'163 As the book of Proverbs states: 'Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will be established.'164"
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 302, 303)
Creature:Since I'm a Catholic, for me a "creature" is anything that isn't God. Which covers quite a lot of ground. One of the mistakes folks can make is to assume that any creature that's more powerful than themselves is equivalent to God. That's a big mistake.
- A created thing, whether animate or inanimate.
- Anything created or not self-existent.
- A living being that moves of its own volition.
- An animal or human.
- A being subservient to or dependent upon another.
"The power of Satan is, nonetheless, not infinite. He is only a creature, powerful from the fact that he is pure spirit, but still a creature. He cannot prevent the building up of God's reign. Although Satan may act in the world out of hatred for God and his kingdom in Christ Jesus, and although his action may cause grave injuries—of a spiritual nature and, indirectly, even of a physical nature—to each man and to society, the action is permitted by divine providence which with strength and gentleness guides human and cosmic history. It is a great mystery that providence should permit diabolical activity, but 'we know that in everything God works for good with those who love him.'275"
"The Lord grieves over the rich, because they find their consolation in the abundance of goods.341 'Let the proud seek and love earthly kingdoms, but blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.'342 Abandonment to the providence of the Father in heaven frees us from anxiety about tomorrow.343 Trust in God is a preparation for the blessedness of the poor. They shall see God."I'm not rich - but I do have possessions, and maybe it was time for me to get reminded that they're part of an impermanent world.
"Was it the best of times or the worst of times? As Rome celebrated Monday its 140th anniversary as the capital of Italy, the Church and the city came together to forget old wounds and look to an ever brighter future.
"On Sept. 20, 1870, the forces of the Risorgimento, the movement to unify the Italian states, were bombarding the northeastern gate of Rome, the Porta Pia. Inside the walls, the papal forces defended what had been the realm of the pontiff for over 1,000 years. As king of Rome, the pope had beautified the city, given it aqueducts, trains, museums, and hospitals, and had made the Eternal City one of the great sites of the world.
"But the papal kingdom was only a small part of the mosaic of the Italian peninsula. The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, the republic of Venice and many other unstable pieces formed the political landscape of Italy. France and Austria claimed large pieces of Northern Italy while the southern region was under control of the Spain Bourbon kings. In the middle of these superpowers stood the Papal States.
"Italians, weary of foreign rule, began to reclaim their peninsula. Region by region, Italians reconquered their own land and history, until 1866 when the only territory remaining outside the Italian fold was Rome...."
"...The Italian army arrived at the gates of Rome, on Sept. 19, 1870, and began the siege. On Sept. 20, three hours of cannon fire tore open the Porta Pia, the elegant gate designed by Michelangelo for Pope Pius IV in 1565, and the Italian army entered the city. Pope Pius IX's orders were to lay down arms as soon as the city was breached, so as to protect the population of Rome. He escaped, smuggled out of the Quirinal palace into the Vatican walls where he died eight years later.
"But this sad day opened another new era of the Church, always aware that her 'kingdom was not of this world.' All the Church needed was, in the words of St. Francis, 'enough body to keep the soul together.' Seventy-nine years later, papal sovereignty over the Vatican area was recognized and Italy and the Holy See made peace.
"No longer responsible for upkeep, administration and protection of the city, the papacy could turn more completely to its role as universal pastor...."
"We firmly believe that God is master of the world and of its history. But the ways of his providence are often unknown to us. Only at the end, when our partial knowledge ceases, when we see God 'face to face,'184 will we fully know the ways by which—even through the dramas of evil and sin—God has guided his creation to that definitive sabbath rest185 for which he created heaven and earth."Still: I'm not a particularly bad person. Why would God let that water pipe burst?
"...Sacred Scripture assures us that: 'against wisdom evil does not prevail' (Wis 7:30). This strengthens our conviction that in the Creator's providential plan in regard to the world, in the last analysis evil is subordinated to good. Moreover, in the context of the integral truth about divine Providence, one is helped to better understand the two statements: 'God does not will evil as such' and 'God permits evil.' In regard to the first it is opportune to recall the words of the Book of Wisdom: 'God did not make death, and he does not delight in the death of the living. For he created all things that they may exist' (Wis 1:13-14). As regards the permission of evil in the physical order, e.g., the fact that material beings (among them also the human body) are corruptible and undergo death, it must be said that this belongs to the very structure of the being of these creatures. In the present state of the material world, it would be difficult to think of the unlimited existence of every individual corporeal being. We can therefore understand that, if 'God did not make death,' as the Book of Wisdom states, he nonetheless permitted it in view of the overall good of the material cosmos...."
("The Presence of Evil and Suffering in the World," Pope John Paul II, General Audience (June 4, 1986))
"In America, you have watches: Here, we have time."
(Father Bernard, Kenya)
"[1-8a] The parable of the dishonest steward has to be understood in the light of the Palestinian custom of agents acting on behalf of their masters and the usurious practices common to such agents. The dishonesty of the steward consisted in the squandering of his master's property (Luke 16:1) and not in any subsequent graft. The master commends the dishonest steward who has forgone his own usurious commission on the business transaction by having the debtors write new notes that reflected only the real amount owed the master (i.e., minus the steward's profit). The dishonest steward acts in this way in order to ingratiate himself with the debtors because he knows he is being dismissed from his position (Luke 16:3). The parable, then, teaches the prudent use of one's material goods in light of an imminent crisis."Human nature may not have changed in the last 2,000 years: but we've seen a few cultural shifts. For starters, Palestine didn't have dishonest car salesmen, and we don't have 'stewards' quite the same way folks did back then. I think out-of-control CEOs might be a vague equivalent.
(footnote 1 of Luke 16)
" Dishonest wealth: literally, 'mammon of iniquity.' Mammon is the Greek transliteration of a Hebrew or Aramaic word that is usually explained as meaning 'that in which one trusts.' The characterization of this wealth as dishonest expresses a tendency of wealth to lead one to dishonesty. Eternal dwellings: or, 'eternal tents,' i.e., heaven."
(footnote 6 of Luke 16)
"...most of Article 12 [of the Catechism of the Catholic Church] is rather sobering. I'm very glad that my Lord made it possible (1026) for me to enter 'the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings' - I rely on my Lord's death and resurrection for entry into God's kingdom: and I'm expected to do something about what I say that I believe. (1021, 1032, 1039, for starters)If I kicking in a little to help out folks now and again - without expecting to get a dollar-for-dollar return on my 'investment' - I'm being 'altruistic' in one sense. I'm passing along some of the worldly goods I received, without expecting a short-term benefit.
"I can't say that I'm looking forward to giving an accounting of what I've done with the life I was given. Still, like it or not: that's the way it works...."
(August 8, 2010)
"In the United Kingdom, the Pope warned students in all Catholic schools about science: 'a scientific outlook becomes dangerously narrow'."The quote is accurately copied from Pope Benedict XVI's statement. The sound bite-size quote does not, however, tell the whole story.
"Pope: Science becomes 'dangerously narrow' when religion, ethics ignored"About that phrase, "especially sexual ethics?" Don't I know about the pedophile priests?! Yes, I do. I've written about that matter before, too. Quite often. Moving on.
Catholic News Agency (September 17 2010)
"Benedict XVI stressed the need for open minds in science on Friday, adding that researchers must be ready to consider religious and ethical perspectives. His words came as the U.K. prepares to pass provisions protecting sex changes next month.
"The Holy Father told students in a live broadcast that reached every Catholic school in the U.K. that they must 'always remember' to maintain sight of the 'bigger picture' in their studies. 'Never allow yourselves to become narrow,' he told them.
" 'The world needs good scientists, but a scientific outlook becomes dangerously narrow if it ignores the religious and ethical dimension of life, just as religion becomes narrow if it rejects the legitimate contribution of science to our understanding.'
"Ethics, especially sexual ethics, have been on Catholics' minds lately as the U.K.'s Equality Act will enact new provisions on Oct. 1. Among other proposals that seek to protect the disabled and breastfeeding mothers are others concerning sexual themes...."
"...'...a scientific outlook becomes dangerously narrow if it ignores the religious and ethical dimension of life, just as religion becomes narrow if it rejects the legitimate contribution of science to our understanding.'..."Science without ethics isn't, sadly, limited to B-movie mad scientists. That's something I take personally - and, again, have written about before. (February 3, 2009)
(Pope Benedict XVI, via Catholic News Agency (September 17 2010)
"...'I guess because he thought my mom was suffering because the surgery wasn't successful and she probably wouldn't be able to walk again,' he said about a possible reason for Pardus' actions. 'She was a dear, sweet lady.'..."Apparently surgery last week hadn't helped her arthritis and rheumatism.
Associated Press, via FOXNews (September 16, 2010)
"We should not despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have taken their own lives. By ways known to him alone, God can provide the opportunity for salutary repentance. The Church prays for persons who have taken their own lives." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2283)Related posts:
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