Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Sunday, December 14, 2014

side notes: the incarnation and the cross

In the medieval times there was a dispute between the Franciscans and the Dominicans. Would God have become man if man had not fell from God?

I admire the Franciscan way of thinking about the incarnation. From the beginning God planned to communicate his divine life to humanity, to enter into fellowship with us, and with all his creatures. Thus, the World of God would have become man even without the original sin. In a way, let's say, incarnation is the whole point of creation.

The Franciscan way is very appealing because it shows that God wants to be close to his creation.
And what a better way to bring humanity into divine life than God assuming human nature?

This is the first assumption, and it seems true to me. The second assumption, however, is that the original sin could have not happened. I have my doubts about that.

This is Metropolitan Anthony of Sourorzh quoting Archiprest Avvakum when he talks about the harmony of the Trinity:
God says to his Son, 'My Son, let us create Man!. And the Son replies, 'Yes, Father!' Then, revealing the future mystery, the Father says, 'Yes, but Man will sin and fall away from his calling, and his glory, and You will have to redeem him on the Cross.' And the Son says, 'So be it'.                                                                 (-- Encounter p70--)

So maybe this is true. Being human, entails the possibility of sin. Thus, from the beginning it was foreseen by the Father that the man will fall. In a way, it might have been too much to expect that the full human race, being made of imperfect rational beings, depending on the senses, would not ever have turned away from God.

At the end, the discussion between Franciscans and Dominicans may have been about an hypothetical that could not have been realised.

Could we conclude then the following? In the creation both the incarnation and the cross are included. All because God wants to be all in us.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Hourus Ruins Christmas

For a more serious approach to this tale of Hours is Christ see Jim Akin here

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

side notes: walking on the street

I came across a homeless women walking with a sleeping bag, unfolded, holding it with one dirty hand and, in the other, a can of beer.

She tries to get the attention of people by telling them how being ignored annoys her. Indeed, almost everybody is trying hard not to take notice.

I say: Hello. And she says: You are not like the other ones. You are nice. Do  you have some coins? She will play the same strategy with every one who sees her.

Later on, I see her again.  I know you, she tells me, while everybody else ignores her. You are the man with the hat. I say yes and I hold her hand for a second. 

I have seen her dirty hand but held it. I could have been days since she had any sort of human touch. Then I leave, and I wish I didn't feel like I needed to clean my hand immediately.

Poor woman, says someone in passing. And I feel, suddenly, all the strangeness of this sentence. I can't possess it. It asks for consent, but, even as I try, my whole self screams out against it. I can't own it and it blows up my mind. It is weird but it is related to the fact that I like her. I like her and I like the homeless I find.

René Girard may be right and this sentence means "I am lucky that I am not in her place". It is a way to gain our identity by placing ourselves over against someone else, trying to avoid the position of shame. But this is the position that Jesus have come to inhabit, the place from which he comes to us with his good news.

Of course I want her to be better off. But even so, I like her right now. In her see a shared humanity.   My desire of being regarded with love. The fragility of the human being. My fragility. The beauty of the creation. Our utter dependence on God.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

side notes: Bonaventure imagination

"Since imagination aids understanding, I have arranged in the form of an imaginary tree the few things I have collected among many [about the life, passion and glorification of Jesus]...
.... Picture in your mind, a three whose roots are watered by an ever-flowing fountain that becomes a great and living river with four channels to water the garden of the entire Church. From the trunk of this tree, imagine that there are growing twelve branches that are adorned with leaves, flowers and fruit. Imagine that the leaves are a most effective medicine to prevent and cure every kind of sickness, because the word of the cross is the power of salvation to everyone who believe. Let the flowers be beautiful with the radiance of every color and perfumed with the sweetness of every fragrance, awakening and attracting the anxious hearts of men of desire. Imagine that the tree has twelve fruits... 
About those fruits, which are twelve points of meditation on the live of Jesus, Bonaventure wrote to us with poetic language and spiritual insight.

Prologue: The Tree of Live, from The Classics of Western Spirituality, Paulist Press, 1978 (reprinted) p120 (emphasis from translator removed). 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Seven Quick Takes on Friday


Here some interesting things not (all) on theology.
For more takes you can go to ConversionDirary

------- Can you walk on a straight line? ----


---- What is depression----

From Hyperbole and a half.  Permission to post in FAQ      
Allie has made a very interesting cartoon explaining what is depression. Check it here.

------ Do you want to fold a letter medieval style? -----

"Letterfolds are the folds you make so that the contents of a letter cannot be seen. The simplest letterfold is to fold a sheet in half. A common letterfold is to fold a sheet into thirds so that it fits into a standard-size envelope. However, there2 are other clever ways to fold a letter to give it a touch of charm."
You can find some nice letter folds here. I like the Florentine one. 

--------- How to become a Catholic --------

WikiHow has a four part process cartoon description to become a Catholic.

Well, I'm missing three takes, but no-one is perfect. Come to visit next Friday and we'll see.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Science, evolution and God is not a being, in other words, standard theology from pope Francis

A translation from Francis speech, from a comment on here, in a discussion of science, evolution and God is not a being.

You are dealing with the highly complex theme of the
evolution of the concept of nature. I certainly won’t get into it – you know it
well – into the scientific complexity of this important and decisive question.
I only want to highlight that God and Christ journey with us and are present
even in nature, as the Apostle Paul affirmed in his speech at the Areopagus:
“for ‘in him we live and move and have our being.’” (Acts 17.28) When we read
in Genesis the creation account we run the risk of imagining that God is a
magician with a magic wand allowing him to do all kinds of things. But this is
not how it is. He created the beings and he let them develop according to the
internal laws which he gave each of them so that they would develop and come to
their proper fullness. He gave autonomy to the beings of the universe at the
same time in which he guaranteed their continuing presence, giving being to
every reality. This is how creation has gone on for centuries and centuries,
millennia upon millennia, until it became what we know today. This is precisely
because God is not a demiurge or a magician, but the Creator who gives being to
everything that is. The beginning of the world is not the work of chaos which
must have its origin elsewhere, but it derives directly from a supreme
Principle which creates through love. The Big Bang, which today is posited
as the origin of the world, does not contradict the divine creating action but
requires it. Evolution in nature is not at odds with the notion of creation
because evolution presupposes the creation of the beings that are evolving.

As regards man, on the other hand, there is both change and
newness. When, on the sixth day of the Genesis account, the creation of man
happens, God gives the human being a different autonomy, an autonomy different
from that of nature. This is freedom. And he tells man to name everything and
to move forward throughout the course of history. He makes man responsible for
creation, even to subdue creation, so that he might develop it until the end of
time. Therefore, to the scientist, and above all to the Christian scientist,
corresponds the attitude of questioning about the future of humanity on the
earth, and as a free and responsible being, contributing to it, preparing it,
and eliminating from it environmental risks, both natural and human. But, at
the same time, the scientist must be moved by the fidelity that nature hides in
her evolutionary mechanisms, by the ability of intelligence and freedom to
discover and actuate, to come to the development that is in the Creator’s
design. So, although limited, human action participates in God’s power and is
capable of building a world adapted to human life, which is both spiritual and corporeal.
This human action is capable of building a human world for all human beings and
not for one group or privileged class. This hope and trust in God, Author of
nature, and in the capacity of the human spirit, are able to give the
researcher a new energy and a deep serenity. But it is also true that human
action, when his freedom becomes autonomy – which is not freedom, but autonomy
– destroys creation, and man take the place of the Creator. And this is the
grave sin against God the Creator.