Sunday, October 21, 2012

Living With Imperfection

Halloween is a little over a week away.

Folks with a flair for outdoor decor set out artistically altered pumpkins, like the vegetable R2D2 someone showed on Google+. Villafane Studios takes jack-o-lantern carving to a whole new level; and, in one arboretum, folks can visit a patch of glass pumpkins.

Our catacorner neighbors have inflatable holiday decorations out again this year: including an improbably balanced pile of jack-o-lanterns and a huge purple spider.

Values: Halloween DVD, Addams Family, and Otherwise

Halloween-related discussions I've seen online this year have been fairly tame. One post showed a store's display of "Halloween DVD Values," questioning "...what kind of values a Halloween DVD has...."

The fellow who shared that may have been enjoying a play on words. I've done the same sort of thing, in somewhat snarkier tone:
What I haven't seen, yet, is a rant about the Satanic horrors of pumpkins, black cats, and kids asking for candy.

Engaging the Culture?

Maybe that's because I've found niches in online communities where most of the folks aren't particularly rabid. Maybe I'm not trying hard enough to "engage the present-day culture:"
Or maybe it's not close enough to Halloween yet.

The Usual Complaints

On the other hand, some online discussion did include folks with the usual complaints about the Catholic Church:
  1. Priests molested kids
  2. The Church
    • Is against women's right to chose
    • Isn't against the death penalty
  3. We're hypocrites
There's some truth behind those attitudes:
  1. Priests molested kids
  2. The Church
  3. We're hypocrites

Hypocrisy: Not Approved

A dictionary says hypocrisy is:
  • An expression of agreement that is not supported by real conviction
  • Insincerity by virtue of pretending to have qualities or beliefs that you do not really have
    (Princeton's WordNet)
The Catholic Church says we should be "living in truth." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2465-2470) The idea is to be truthful - which is inconsistent with practicing hypocrisy:
"Truth as uprightness in human action and speech is called truthfulness, sincerity, or candor. Truth or truthfulness is the virtue which consists in showing oneself true in deeds and truthful in words, and in guarding against duplicity, dissimulation, and hypocrisy."
(Catechism, 2468)
So, does this mean that all Catholics are perfect people, unsullied by naughty thoughts and nasty deeds? Hardly. I've posted about original sin before. (July 25, 2012)

I'm one of the billion or so living Catholics who could say 'God's not done with me yet.' Which isn't the same as hating myself, or putting on a show of being 'a great sinner who is now SAVED, and that's another topic. Topics. (October 26, 2011, August 8, 2010)

Life: Sacred

Like I've said before, life is sacred. (Catechism, 2258) Since I'm a practicing Catholic, I can't let that be a lovely thought and nothing more. I have to act as if it's true. Yet more topics.

Change Happens

I didn't expect the 21st century to be quite like this: but I didn't expect it to be just like 1950s America, either. This post was going to be about change, stress, and all that: but it got out of hand. I'll settle for linking to sort-of-related posts:

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Marian Apparition: Champion, Wisconsin

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What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.