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Post no. 116 (Apocalypse now … or perhaps not)

I came across a video in which an author “blurbs” his own book. It’s a book about how the popes in the last century have become more apocalyptic. How they have been increasingly exhorting us to repent because the end is nigh. The Second Coming is imminent.

Duh!

The Catholic Church can’t wait for the Second Coming. It is the duty of every Catholic to repent of his or her sins. Jesus himself told us he was coming again to judge the living and the dead. But he didn’t say when. There’s one sign (which in my opinion is difficult to miss) between now and the Second Coming that still hasn’t materialised viz the “corporate” conversion of the Jews to Catholicism  (Romans 11:25). And I don’t think that this means that the Jews will convert on a Saturday and the Second Coming will be the following Sunday.

I really don’t care for the “Discovery Channelization” of faith. Educate yes, but don’t sensationalise.

Christ is coming again. Definitely. But our house still needs a thorough cleaning before we can let Him in.

Toodle-oo.

Post No 115 (Ironies of Life 05)

 

A plan so cunning you could stick a tail on it and call it a weasel :D

As they said on that show … “A plan so cunning you could stick a tail on it and call it a weasel.”

Post No. 114

Our sense of the person as an image of God has been eroded by the Cult of the Disposable Commodity. The marketing was focused yet imperceptible, sliding in like a wedge. You only realise what happened when you look back.

I greatly admire the Bishop of Gozo, Mgr Mario Grech. In this day and age he is the perfect antidote to the sly and underhanded deceit of the Devil.

He is a regular candidate for media ridicule. To my knowledge, his career as a media target blossomed in the run up to the divorce referendum, when he quoted Christ, when he said Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.(Mt7:15)

The rest is history as they say. Whatever he says attracts flak from all (or nearly all) the local media.

I have another quote for him (And for all those who strive to do the right thing.)

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.(Mt 5:10)

Toodle-oo

Post No. 113

This makes for worrisome reading. This must be one of the weirder bits:

It is not the competence of the court to decree if frequenting such places is good or not, that decision has to be faced by each individual according to his conscience

Other than the fact that this is a convenient piece of misinterpretative sophistry – of course it is the law’s remit to establish what is right and what is wrong; why should it “punish” people if it can’t tell whether their actions are right or wrong? – it sends out a very dangerous message. It leaves you with the impression that you can decide for yourself what is good and what is wrong.

The magistrate then drops another bomb:

There is no way someone can be surprised or scandalised by what they see inside as one would have entered such a place in full knowledge of what is inside

In other words, over and above the “abolition of absolutes” implied in the first gem, the issue is muddled further by allowing us to factor in “context” when deciding what is good and what isn’t.

This is further illustration of Benedict XVI’s  point about relativism.

Meanwhile, for something completely different, you may want to dip into this.

God help us 😦

 

Toodle-oo.

Post no. 112 (Of Doubt and Transport)

Just started reading Life of Pi (I know, I know I’m not exactly at the cutting edge of new publications…)

Pi was thinking about believers, non-believers and agnostics. He comes up with this gem:

It is not atheists who get stuck in my craw, but agnostics. […] To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.

Good, innit? 😀

 

Toodle-oo.

 

Post no. 111

I am subscribed to a Catholic news portal called New Advent. The website is http://www.newadvent.org, but I can’t remember where I’ve clicked to subscribe, still you can do worse than click around and discover the little treasures hidden all over the place. I find the Catholic Encyclopaedia particularly edifying 🙂 .

Anyway, through their newsletter I get to read the pope’s Wednesday audience quite a bit. I don’t know exactly what a ‘Wednesday audience’ is, I must admit, but it makes for interesting reading most of the time – especially with Pope Francis delivering it. I have been struck with the frequency he seems to talk about eschatological issues (then again, perhaps I read the text because it discusses echatology, so I’m under the impression that he gives the topic special treatment when in fact he doesn’t).

Death, Judgement, Heaven and Hell (Novissimi in Maltese; I don’t know the English term) happen to feature prominently in St Gorg Preca’s booklet Is-sena tas-Sinjur. (SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT: I translate – try to translate, rather – the thought for the day here)

San Gorg Preca’s thoughts are very hard-hitting, and to be honest, can be quite “disturbing” at times. They drag you screaming and kicking out of your comfort zone. Same thing with some of the Pope’s Wednesday audiences ; this is from the 24th April 2013), e.g.

Human history begins with the creation of man and woman in the image and likeness of God and ends with the final judgment of Christ. Often these two poles of history are forgotten, and, above all, faith in the return of Christ and the last judgment sometimes is not so clear and steadfast in the hearts of Christians. Jesus, during his public life, often focused on the reality of his last coming.

I mean, really … how often do we think of that? We are products of the Life-is-now brigade, our life is a blur of smiles, happiness, perfect bodies and perennial beauty. No yesterday, no tomorrow.

See what I mean? We don’t even have time to think about what really matters.

I don’t quite agree with most people who say that Pope Francis is your nice, avuncular pope. I think he’s a thorn in our flabby, toneless sides. The pea underneath the princess’s mattress, looking to make us uncomfortable to wake us from our slumber.

Toodle-oo.

 

Post no. 110 (Why God is unforgiving)

I have a little project going on here. In a nutshell, it’s a thought for the day thing by St George Preca. I translate the contemplation and upload it daily. On the 2nd May I uploaded this:

Only those who have suffered with me will enter my kingdom; before she entered, even my Virgin Mother had to suffer because of me. Worldly pleasures will pass and become eternal torments; worldly suffering will also pass and it will be transformed into eternal joy. This is a law that cannot be changed for those who want to enter heaven: patience or hell. Suffer with me by shunning sin and by carrying your cross every day, that you may please God.

One of the major stumbling blocks with Catholic faith is God’s apparent intransigence  – which may be very easily misconstrued for “unforgiveness”.

It’s there in black on white, see? Even St George Preca said so. It troubled me, in the sense that it could easily scare away somebody who passes by for a look, if you know what I mean.  You obviously can’t not include it, that would have defeated the whole WYSIWYG idea with being a Catholic. We’re not used car salesmen, after all.

Some of you may or may not remember that I was trudging along Pope Benedict XVI’s volume 2 of Jesus of Nazareth. (I say trudging because I don’t have the intellectual capacity for it, not because it’s boring – far from it.)

At one point he too mentions the apparent contradiction between the expiatory dimension of Jesus’ ministry and God’s “unconditional love and forgiveness”. He really does your head in, pointing out “inconsistencies” and planting new questions about stuff you’d never even thought could be questioned. After all the ruminations and twists and turns he comes up with this gem:

God cannot simply ignore man’s disobedience and all the evil of history; he cannot treat it as if it were inconsequential or meaningless. Such “mercy”, such “unconditional forgiveness” would be that “cheap grace” to which Deitrich Bonhoeffer rightly objected in the face of the appalling evil encountered in his day. That which is wrong, the reality of evil, cannot be simply ignored; it cannot just be left to stand. It must be dealt with; it must be overcome. Only this counts as true mercy.

(Through this we also get a feel of the magnitude of the Crucifixion. At work someone screws up and the boss comes charging at us, foaming at the mouth “How did this happen?” Our first reaction is “He acted against instructions”, you know trying to deflect the blame. And here’s this man (Jesus) who not only does not try to deflect the blame, but actually takes the blame for other people’s screw ups, but that’s by the by.)

Toodle-oo.

P.S. The title got you, didn’t it 🙂 ?

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