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Showing posts from October, 2012

Extreme Pacifism, Extreme Patriotism, Both Equally Bad

In this post I will speak briefly about pacifism and patriotism and the dangers of both extremes in the spiritual life.

Today there is much talk about war. There has always been.  The history of the world is the history of warfare. Usually when there is talk about war people usually fall into two camps; the pacifist camp which is always opposed to war and the patriotic camp which treats war as a necessary evil.  Both extremes are equally wrong.  Let me explain...

Pacifism.  On the surface pacifists get a better rep because who in their right mind would be for war and bloodshed?  Spoken from this angle no one can dispute this claim but spoken from the lens of daily living pacifism is a weakness for an extreme pacifist will not confront evil on the premise of being against war in general.  The problem with this is that it can foster an attitude of passivity ignoring the reality that evil does exist and sometimes the only way to defeat evil is through direct confrontation. (Think of World…

Being The Best at What You Do is The Best Way to Bring Others to Christ

"If you have an official position, you have also certain rights which arise from the practice of that office, and certain duties. You stray from your apostolic way if you use the opportunity — or the excuse — offered by a work of zeal to leave the duties of your position unfulfilled. For you will lose that professional prestige which is your 'bait' as a 'fisher of men." St. Josemaria Escriva from The Way (372) Often times I hear devout Christians asking this question, "How do I bring others to Christ if I am so busy with my work and personal responsibilities?" 

The great news is that the answer to this question is very simple: Be the best at what you do. Why?  Because through competence you will gain the respect of your coworkers.  By gaining the respect of your coworkers they will be more inclined to listen to you when you eventually speak about your faith.  I love Escriva's use of the word "bait."  Competence is the "bait" …

"I Don't Have To Think Hollywood Does It for Me."

"But seriously — we’re supposed to be a sign and a contradiction; if the culture was not telling us we were doing it wrong? We might well be doing it wrong! It’s okay. We’re Catholic. We can take it. And we’ll still be here, imperfect, and faulty, talking deeply about things others jeer at or want to skim over and settle in the easiest and “feelingliest” ways possible (and with as much name-calling as they can manage) long after the “tolerant” folks have passed. We’ve survived skinning and beheading and being crucified upside down; we’ve been thrown into death pits and survived decades-long imprisonment and isolation and exile and firing squads. Because the church survives by the grace of the Holy Spirit we know we will survive this, but we are in a long season of penance for sins of commission and omission. This stuff is going to keep coming. As John Paul II once said to his seminarians, “do not forget who you are.” And as he said to the rest of us, often, “do not be …

Do You Ever Get a Bad Song Stuck In Your Head and You Can't Get it Out?

Do you ever get a bad song stuck in your head?  That lingering, never dying tune that penetrates every conscious and subconscious thought.  That song that you swore you wouldn't sing again, but yet you find yourself singing it in the shower, at work, in the car, in the bed room, and at church.  It seems like everything in your environment reminds you of that song. You feel trapped. You have no where to turn. The only cure to this is to let the song run its course.  It's kind of like the flu once you get it you can't do anything about it until it passes your body.Well that is exactly what happened to me this past week.  Ever since I heard "True" by Spandau Ballet I have been singing it everywhere.

I have been singing it with a Bee Gees falsetto.  If you want to annoy your friends, family, or co workers I would suggest doing the same.  Here is another hilarious version of the song from The Wedding Singer.

Any suggestions on how I can get it out of my head? What'…

Was Jesus Really Powerful?

"Who do you think is powerful?"

I heard this question recently.

At first I thought of such people as; Theodore Roosevelt,  Gen. George Patton, George Washington, St. Augustine, Margaret Thatcher, and lastly.....Jesus.

I was uncomfortable by how easily I placed Jesus near the bottom of my powerful person totem pole.  But upon further inspection I realized that I was judging power by earthly standards alone. I realized that Jesus wasn't powerful by earthly standards.  He was poor, obscure, divisive, choose bad followers, and died in disgrace. I was sort of like the pharisees who expected a Messiah who would defeat the occupying Romans.  In my case I preferred a Jesus who was sort of like a spiritual superman, killing the bad guys while saving the good ones.

I was wrong.  This is why.

In one scene in the bible the disciples are debating among themselves about who was the most powerful.  Jesus' reply was stunning:

"And he sat down and called the twelve; and he said t…