Sunday, April 21, 2013

Life, Death, and a Sore Wrist

It's been quite a week. Three people were killed Monday afternoon, when two young men planted bombs at the Boston Marathon. At least 14 died when a fertilizer plant in Texas exploded Wednesday night.

On Thursday, someone said that hope is a good idea.

I think he's right.

The op-ed quoted John 14:1. It's part of a longer statement:
"1 2 'Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me.

"In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?

"3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.

"Where (I) am going you know the way.' 4"
(John 14:1-4)
That was about two thousand years back. Jesus told us to have hope: not that everything would be just fine if we're nice people, or if we say the right things.

"Follow Me"

Jesus said "follow me." Then my Lord marched through Hell. (November 14, 2012, particularly footnote 1)

What Jesus did on Golgotha broke the power of sin and death. (1 Corinthians 15:21-22, Philippians 2:8, Romans 5:19-20)

Looking at the big picture, I think it's okay to be hopeful: even if bad things happen.

Pain and Decisions

I won't spout platitudes about everything working out fine for folks who love God.

Two brothers decided to cause death and pain at the Boston Marathon, acted on that decision, then killed a police officer. One of the perpetrators was killed.

Lu Lingzi, Krystal Campbell, Martin Richard, Sean Collier and Tamerlan Tsarnaev are dead. We have lost everything they might have done with their lives. This is not good.

God is In Control, We Have Orders

I believe that "all things work for good for those who love God," but that has to do with being conformed to the image of God:
"5 We know that all things work for good for those who love God, 6 who are called according to his purpose."
(Romans 8:28)
It is, I think, part of an assurance that God is in control: not a promise that if I say "Jesus, Jesus," I'll have a trouble-free life.

We're not expected to just sit back and let God make everything better. The general orders to 'love God, love your neighbor' are still in effect, and we've got a mandate to improve the human condition. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1928-1942)

Giving in to despair or hate,by the way, would be a very bad idea. It's also against the rules. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1033, 2091)

"...Neither Death, Nor Life..."

Nothing particularly bad happened to me this week.

I'm tired, my left wrist and hand hurt, and I'm probably catching a cold: but compared to cleaning up after a fertilizer plant explosion, and coping with death and pain at the Boston Marathon, that's trivial.

I could, presumably, decide that God doesn't care any more and turn my back on the Almighty. I've occasionally felt like there's no hope, but so far have had the good sense to wait until my emotions changed. Rejecting God would, in my considered opinion, be a very bad idea.

Particularly since I agree with Paul:
"For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, 9 nor future things, nor powers,

"nor height, nor depth, 10 nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."
(Romans 8:38-39)
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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.