Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

When God becomes a math problem

Here's a hymn of Kim Fabricius which addresses this issue of trying to work out a theodicy only as a theoretical problem (you'll find this him in his Paddling by the Shore, Wipf & Stock, 2015) [suggested tune: "Scarlet Ribbons", reproduced with permission]:


Children die from drought and earthquake,
children die by hand of man.
What on earth, and what for God's sake,
can be made of such a plan?
Nothing -- no such plan's been plotted;
nothing -- no such plan exists:
if such suffering were allotted,
God would be an atheist.

Into ovens men drive "others,"
into buildings men fly planes;
history's losers are the mothers,
history's winners are the Cains.
Asking where was God in Auschwitz,
or among the Taliban:
God himself was on the gibbet --
thus the question: Where was man?

God of love and God of power --
attributes in Christ are squared.
Faith can face the final hour,
doubt and anger can be aired.
Answers aren't in explanation,
answers come at quite a cost:
only wonder at creation,
and the practice of the cross.

Saturday, January 9, 2016



Leah Libresco, conversion to Catholicism from the moral argument. I quite like her move from stoicism to virtue ethics and then to the need of as platonic form of The Good who is reaches towards as, this is God. Leach is always worth listening. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Christianity and Stoicism: do Stoics have more fun?

– Some Christian thinkers have regarded Stoicism as a kind of delusion; others –Simone Weil, for instance – see it as expressing a deep piety which makes it the closest of all philosophies to Christianity. Who’s right?
It depends on which aspects of Stoicism you’re concentrating on. There’s definitely a very profound piety in traditional Stoicism, and to a large degree Stoicism and Christianity are very sympatico. Both seek to situate the human person within a larger, divinely ordained context. Both promote the cultivation of virtue — and identify a lot of the same behaviours as virtuous or vicious. Both seek to free the person from enslavement to appetites and passions. And there does seem to have been a certain amount of mutual respect between Christians and Stoics, at least for a while. Epictetus, for example, speaks with great admiration for the “Galilean” martyrs, and uses them as an example of how it’s possible to have interior freedom even in the face of death. And of course the notion of apatheia was very important in a lot of the writings of the Church Fathers, especially in the East.
But then, there were significant persecutions of Christians under the Stoic emperor Marcus Aurelius — basically because Stoicism sees the social order in this world as the higher good towards which individual human life is ordered, whereas Christianity looks towards the eschatological transformation of society in the Communion of Saints. Also, God in Stoicism is imminent, whereas God in Christianity is a transcendent Being who becomes immanent through the Incarnation. And Stoicism posits human perfection through moral effort and self-discipline, whereas Christianity promises salvation through grace. So there are these very fundamental differences as well.

Read all here in Catholic Authenticity

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Francis: True defenders of doctrine are not those who uphold its letter

From Pope Francis address to the synod of the family
The Synod experience also made us better realize that the true defenders of doctrine are not those who uphold its letter, but its spirit; not ideas but people; not formulae but the gratuitousness of God’s love and forgiveness. This is in no way to detract from the importance of formulae, laws and divine commandments, but raather to exalt the greatness of the true God, who does not treat us according to our merits or even according to our works but solely according to the boundless generosity of his Mercy (cf. Rom 3:21-30; Ps 129; Lk 11:37-54). It does have to do with overcoming the recurring temptations of the elder brother (cf. Lk 15:25-32) and the jealous labourers (cf. Mt 20:1-16). Indeed, it means upholding all the more the laws and commandments which were made for man and not vice versa (cf. Mk 2:27).

Saturday, October 24, 2015

As bishops of the church we ask people for forgiveness

From the German speaking group of bishops report on the third part of the working document in the synod:
Here, a confession was important to us: wrongly understood efforts to uphold the Church’s  teachings time and again led to hard and merciless attitudes, which hurt people, especially single mothers and children born out of wedlock, people living together before or in place of marriage, homosexually oriented people and divorced and remarried people. As bishops of our Church we ask these people for forgiveness.