Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Today I am grateful that my bed is so soft. Today I am hoping that I someday learn to stop using the snooze button. Today I am discerning nothing in particular...that's probably not a good thing. Today in my prayer life I will pray the Rosary.
Today my friendships will grow because I will be honest Today my mind will be fed by Peter Kreeft's book A Refutation of Moral Relativism (This is probably my favorite book by him.Today I will celebrate the joy and happiness of little children! Today I will be a better daughter because I will offer my cleaning services. Today I will be a better student because I will practice the drums...maybe... Today I will live Catholicism by participating in the source and summit of our faith!!
Monday, May 25, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Today I am grateful that (so far) I can breathe through my nose. Today I am hoping that I use my time well. Today I am discerning how God is calling me to use my time this summer. Today in my prayer life I will try to do better than yesterday ;)
Today my friendships will grow because I have little to distract me from them. Today my mind will be fed by being given time to rest.Today I will celebrate beautiful weather. Today I will be a better daughter because I will take care of my health. Today I will be a better student ...oh wait, first I'm going to enjoy the fact that it is summer... Today I will live Catholicism by spending time in adoration.
Monday, May 11, 2009
But, in fact, they live in a different world from most American Catholics. Opposition to abortion doesn't stand at the center of Catholic theology. It doesn't even stand at the center of Catholic faith. It does stand, however, at the center of Catholic culture in this country. Opposition to abortion is the signpost at the intersection of Catholicism and American public life. And those who--by inclination or politics--fail to grasp this fact will all eventually find themselves in the situation that Fr. Jenkins has now created for himself. Culturally out of touch, they rail that the antagonism must derive from politics. But it doesn't. It derives from the sense of the faithful that abortion is important. It derives from the feeling of many ordinary Catholics that the Church ought to stand for something in public life--and that something is opposition to abortion.
Fr. Himes went on to tell the Boston Globe, "Some people have simply reduced Catholicism to the abortion issue, and, consequently, they have simply launched a crusade to bar anything from Catholic institutions that smacks of any sort of open conversation." (I cut out the remainder of this paragraph)
Still, in a peculiar way, Himes is right that "some people have simply reduced Catholicism to the abortion issue." It is a horrifying fact, in many ways, that Roe v. Wade has done more to provide Catholic identity than any other event of the last 50 years. Still, for American Catholics, the Church is a refuge and bulwark against an ambient culture that erodes morality and undermines families. Catholic culture is their counterculture, their means of upholding the dignity of the human person and the integrity of family--and, in that context, the centrality of abortion for American Catholic culture seems much less arbitrary than it first appeared.
This is what the leaders of Notre Dame need to grasp. They do not necessarily have bad theology when they equate the life issues with other concerns. They do not necessarily have bad faith just because they say that war and capital punishment outweigh the million babies killed every year in this country by abortion. But they lack the cultural marker that would make them Catholic in the minds of other Catholics. Abortion is not the only life issue, but it is the one that bears most directly on the lives of ordinary Catholics as they swim against the current to preserve family life. And until Catholic universities understand this, they will not be Catholic--in a very real, existential sense."
I've never given much thought to the role that the culture plays in Catholicism. As I ramble through some of the things I have been thinking on this topic, I want to make one point very clear. I know that abortion is wrong. I know that Church is opposed to it. I know that it is a fundamental issue because it is intrinsically evil and violates the dignity of human life. Nothing that I say here is meant, in any way, to detract from that Truth.
It is interesting to think about how the tide of popularity manifests itself in the Church. It does seem true that abortion is the "popular" issue in Catholic culture (in America) today. In a lot of ways, it also seems to be the issue that "makes or breaks" one's reputation as a "good" Catholic. Is it impossible for a whole slew of other Catholic issues to combine to be enough to override a pro-choice stance? We've all seen the bumper stickers "you can't be Catholic and Pro-Life." Does his invitation to Obama and his special recognizing of Obama with an honorary degree (ignore for a second the disobedience to the bishops) make Fr. Jenkins a bad Catholic?
At this point people are probably thinking right Melissa but here's the thing, you can't ignore the disobedience of the bishops, and you can't pretend that abortion isn't genuinely a big deal. - Fine. But the point I'm trying to make here (for which abortion is probably not the best example) is that the culture interacts with the Church in a way that gives a certain degree of power to the culture.I frequently find myself annoyed (that is an understatement) with the Education system in the U.S. and its tendency to cater to the needs of a society that is debased and disillusioned. I would not say that the Church does the same thing. However, I would say that it has become clear to me that the world, the culture, chooses for the Church what She will battle. I'm neither saying that this is a bad thing, nor a good thing. I'm simply stating what I have come to observe. So, what does this mean for the Church? I will not propose an extended response. However, I do think, at the most basic level, it means that She must find ways to promote the wider compilation of the Catholic vision (faith and theology), because there is a real danger of Catholicism being reduced to merely its parts (in this case, it has possibly become abortion).
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Today I am grateful for finals treats from home. Today I am hoping that I'm doing God's will. Today I am discerning the practical implications of my knowledge. Today in my prayer life I will take a break from meditation. I need some time to just talk to God.
Today my friendships will grow because I will not worry so much about talking. I will listen. Today my mind will be fed as I cram information into it. (Finals time!)Today I will celebrate the colors of Spring. (Even though I prefer the colors of fall) Today I will be a better daughter because I will call home and express gratitude. Today I will be a better student because I will focus on my studies. Today I will live Catholicism by participating in mass.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Today I am grateful that I have weekend that will not be full of minute after minute of homework. This is a nice calm before the storm of finals. Today I am hoping that I have the prudence to know the difference between rest and sloth. Today I am discerning the role that God has planned certain people to play in my life. Today in my prayer life I'm noticing that a lot of the intense drama and struggle that used to be part of my prayer life is gone now. I'm wondering if that is blessed peace or a lack of true personal contact with my God. Today my friendships will grow because I will invest in them through quality time. Today my mind will be feed by (most likely) finishing Every Young Woman's Battle.Today I will celebrate Springfest in a fun, virtuous way. I may even go the FOCUS party tonight. Today I will be a better daughter because I will call home with plenty of time to listen. Today I will be a better student by starting to organize schoolwork for the week, even though there is nothing pressing to do. Today I will be a better Catholic because I will take time to beg for Our Mother's intercession.