Sunday, March 21, 2010

Weekend Musings

I used this verse in a debate the other day and I found it interesting.

"So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord" - Ephesians 2:19-21

It's an interesting idea that Cardinal Newman suggested, that while the deposit of faith is the same, the 'unpacking' or development of doctrine is still happening. This verse struck me the other day. Mainly because it says that the Church is build upon apostles. Calvin said that meant 'apostolic teaching' by which he meant the Bible, by which he meant the Protestant canon. I personally think that it means apostolic succession, but I would say that wouldn't I. I like this verse though, as well as the preceding chapter.

On Ash Wednesday I met a deacon who is a professor of neuroscience at my university and he found out I was a convert and he told me a story about Mother Teresa. A reporter once asked her why she was Catholic, she said because she hadn't found a better religion yet.

Today I was driving to get my haircut and there was a brilliant English Monsignor who was preaching, and I really enjoyed his sermon, so I sat and listened to it for a while. By the time I walked up to the barber shop it was closing for the day. Typical Andrew haha. But I wasn't angry, it was worth it, I'll get my hair cut later.

I started reading Dietrich Von Hildebrand's book that a friend sent me the other day. It's about St. Francis (of Assisi's) message to laymen today. As a 20th century Philosopher von Hildebrand is fascinating and attacks relativism greatly. St. Francis' story was a big influence in his conversion to the Church. It's really great and I'm learning a ton about St. Francis. I have a picture of him and a small figure my mom got me in Assisi as devotional aids in my room, and it's embarrassing how little I knew about him until recently. When I read that he called his order the minores fratres 'lesser brethren', it immediately made me want to join, it felt like the religious order invented for me.

I'm really excited to go to Mass tonight again. I'm trying to figure out a Catholic definition of love, and I think I've almost got it. I think the locus classicus for understanding it is Jesus' statement in St. John's Gospel "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." I feel like love might be defined in a Catholic sense as 'self-giving'. Christ gave himself for us to the Father on the Cross, to merit the grace which makes us able to be offered to the Father by Christ. Something like that maybe? The Evangeli-speak would be 'give your life to Christ'. That sort of thing.

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