The Least of These July 17, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 9:35 pm

Today My Charming and Patient Husband and I were discussing the Church, and where people with learning disabilities feel comfortable and welcomed, and a thought occurred to me: that in many venues, they might be thought of as “the least.” But if you think about it at all, if you have any value for humanity, every human being is — must be — of equal worth. How can we judge one person as less than another because he or she is less intelligent? Is there a smaller place in heaven for those who can’t analyze equations or understand theology?

Unfortunately, we live in a world that seems to worship not God or goodness, but intelligence. It is a sad offshoot of self-worship. If “I think therefore I am” is true, then “I think better therefore I am better” is a natural extension. But is it true? Is it fair? Is it kind?

Intelligence is a gift, and I believe that we should use every gift God has given us, and treasure it. But the ability to think deeply is not superior to the capacity to love, or a generosity of spirit, or an attitude of humility. And if I had to choose between my intelligence and my salvation, I would choose salvation. I pray that I never have to make such a choice, but goodness trumps brains in the virtue department every time.

I like that the Catholic Church is welcoming to people of all levels of intelligence and development. You don’t have to be an adult or a thinker to come to the fountain of living water. You don’t even have to understand the sacraments. Babies, adults, people with disabilities… all are welcome, and one doesn’t need to know or understand to receive God’s blessing.

 
 

Catechism Highlights October 9, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 10:36 am

Some teaching worth reflecting upon as those of us in the United States prepare to vote:

1867 The catechetical tradition also recalls that there are “sins that cry to heaven”: the blood of Abel,[139] the sin of the Sodomites,[140] the cry of the people oppressed in Egypt,[141] the cry of the foreigner, the widow, and the orphan,[142] injustice to the wage earner.[143]

1868 Sin is a personal act. Moreover, we have a responsibility for the sins committed by others when we cooperate in them:
– by participating directly and voluntarily in them;
– by ordering, advising, praising, or approving them;
– by not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation to do so;
– by protecting evil-doers.

 
 

A Reason for Reading February 25, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 11:18 am

Ok, I have a confession to make: I haven’t been blogging much lately. I’m averaging 6 hours of sleep a night for the past six weeks, and spending most of the rest of my time holding a baby, nursing, directing housework and schoolwork (or attempting to do so), and trying to catch up on the many tasks I couldn’t do during the end of pregnancy and recovery. But mostly it’s the lack of sleep. Anyway, my apologies and gratitude to anyone who is still checking here for new posts.

Today I come to you with another confession: I’ve been keeping a dream of mine secret for some time, because I worried that it would look pompous, and also that it would never come true. But I think it’s time to share, and let you offer some of your wisdom to help me along. What I’ve wanted for years is to get a Masters Degree in Theology, and if the opportunity ever becomes available, a Licentiate in Sacred Theology. I know that the two are years off, but maybe it is God keeping them at arms’ distance because I am not prepared. Maybe, just maybe, if I make myself ready He will provide the opportunity. So I am going to try to prepare for these studies, and I am asking you for input. What do you think would be the best way to prepare, long term, for those goals?

I’ll be honest. I don’t know if these desires will ever come to pass. But I do know that studying the faith is always a good thing, so even if I never get to the “goal,” the journey will be worth the effort.

 
 

Habemus Papam! April 19, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 9:44 am

Long live Pope Benedict XVI.

I am curious to see what the papacy of Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict, will hold. I must admit it’s with a bit of a bittersweet feeling that I see a Carmelite Pope replaced by one who takes the name Benedict. And I will admit that I felt absolutely certain that Cardinal Ratzinger would not be the new Pope.

But God, and the Cardinals, know better than I. I’ve worried some over whether John Paul’s legacy of building bridges will continue under a Pope who was inquisitor. I wonder if Pope Benedict’s history of what I perceived as extreme conservatism is a thread he will continue, or if perhaps it was simply an expression of the role he held. Time will tell, but above all I know that the Holy Spirit is still in charge.

For those who might see the above statements and worry that I’m a closet liberal, hush and calm your fears. By the standards of most of the world, I’d be considered a staunch conservative. But one of the things I loved about Pope John Paul the Great was the way he strove to bring people back to the fold. I dearly hope that our new Pope will not take such a hard line against heresy that he drives those wavering away, instead of helping to heal them of their misconceptions.

I’m blathering, I realize. My mind is full of a rush of thoughts and emotions right now. One thing I can tell you without reservation, though: I am prepared to love our new Pope. I believe he will be a blessing to our Church.

May God bless Pope Benedict XVI with long life, good health, and above all, wisdom.

 
 

Words are slow to come. April 6, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 5:57 pm

It is Wednesday evening, and the Holy Father, John Paul II, died last Saturday evening. Not that I’m telling you anything you haven’t already picked up from innumerable other sources, but then I’m not a journalist. I’m merely hoping to express some of the conflicting thoughts and emotions, some as yet unnamed, that have gone through me; and to try to explain in some small part why my reaction to the most momentous event so far this century has been so slow.

The tardiness isn’t difficult to explain. It took me time to process the loss of a man I never met yet considered a loved one. It took me time for the reality to set in that we are a Church without a Pontiff. And it took me time to find just what I could say that hasn’t already been said. I’m not sure I’ve found the answer to that one yet, but I’ll try.

It’s been an emotionally harrowing week. First, my father was diagnosed with cancer, and underwent surgery. The surgery was successful, I’m told, and all cancer is gone; yet the prospect of losing my father is not one I know how to meet, and the mere thought chilled me.

Second, Michael Schiavo once again got permission to starve his wife to death, and once again I followed the fight in the news. A very large part of me was half convinced that once again there would be a reprieve. With so many people praying to a loving God, it was hard to imagine that He would not take action; yet for reasons known to Him and not to me, He did not. Undefiled evil is even harder for me to imagine, and that, I fear, is what we have encountered in Michael Schiavo. I did not, and still do not, know how to process that. All I can respond is that, as a Christian, I must love him, and hope and pray for his conversion and salvation. That is not an easy thing to do, when my emotions want to hate him.

It doesn’t help, either, that my faith in the Father Who hears prayers has been tested, and I’ve only barely squeaked through passing. I still believe, but right now it is more an act of will than anything else. I know that the Lord loves us, and even loves me, even when I have trouble seeing the signs of that love. I am needing, more and more, to draw lessons from St. John of the Cross, and his explanations of the Dark Night of the Soul. God allows us to stumble along in dark faith when we have matured beyond the “baby’s milk” of needing constant signs and comfort to nourish our faith. I am stumbling, right now, through a dark night, clutching for dear life to the Daddy I can’t see.

Then the third thing happened: our beloved Shepherd died. I don’t know how we could have another as worthy, as loving, as wise as Pope John Paul II. I simply trust in the Holy Spirit that whoever we next call “Papa” will have his own unique set of gifts. By the time John Paul passed, we had all known for days that he was going to leave us. He had known, too, and asked us not to be sorrowful. I had little emotion left, if I can admit that much.

Since his passing, I have gone through a sort of joyful mourning. I mourn the passing of a man who never knew me, but whom I knew with great love. Now he knows me with greater love, I am convinced, with the beatific vision of standing beside Jesus Christ in pure adoration. I rejoice that he has truly earned his good-night. I rejoice that God has loved us enough to give us a leader like John Paul, and to allow him to be with us for so many years as our Pastor. And I rejoice that he joined Jesus on the vigil of the feast of Divine Mercy. I feel certain it was the day our Polish Pontiff most would have wanted to celebrate salvation.

Now all that is left is to pray for souls, and pray thanksgiving, and pray that the events of this past week will serve God’s kingdom and bring about greater love on earth.