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- semperficatholic said Thanks for posting this. A very timely article for...
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Daily Archives: 2 July 2006
You might object, Ã¢â‚¬Å“But Father! But Father! YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re saying that people in the pews have to be metaphysicians in order to pray!Ã¢â‚¬Â No, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not! Leaving aside the philosophy and theology lessons, the simplistic version (apart from being wrong) forecloses on further thought or consideration. By eliminating a traditional and accurate technical term, as hard as it is, and opting instead for something simplistic you kill reflection. By dumbing it down you slam door on understanding. People donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have to be theologians or metaphysicians, but they do have to think. The pretense that we canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t understand words or long sentences during Mass guarantees that we wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t even think about the content of the prayers. We should be able to think about these hard things as well as expect FatherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s good explanations.
Truth brings us into the light and sets us free. Error binds us up, prevents us from acting like free persons. In the light of day we can walk freely and know where we are going without getting hurt or lost. In darkness we grope, stumble, and run against unseen obstacles. In todayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Collect Ã¢â‚¬Å“shadows of errorsÃ¢â‚¬Â are presented like a horrible smothering envelopment hiding God from our sight and us from His sight as if we were caught in a dark forgotten tomb: buried alive. The wounds of original sin make it difficult to know what is good and right and true. Our intellects are clouded. When through either the working of our minds or the help of human or divine authority we discern the good, then we still need to choose it with our wounded will. We often convince ourselves that actions which are in reality bad, wrong and false are actually good, right and true. Thus we come to believe we are Ã¢â‚¬Å“freeÃ¢â‚¬Â and acting rightly when doing things that are quite wicked. If this is habitual, after a while we numb ourselves both to the truth and also to error and sin. Once we are enwrapped up in the darkness of errors, which began in self-deception, ever after we lurch through life like horror movie zombies, grotesque mockeries of what God intended for His holy images. However, God makes it possible to put off the darkness and put on the light (Rom 13:12-14). By the merits of ChristÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Sacrifice and through His sacraments and teaching through the Church we can be the free and beautiful images God wants us to be in this life and later in life everlasting. This is what every restless human heart truly desires. As Augustine wrote: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Late have I loved You, O Beauty so ancient, and so new. You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I rushed headlong upon these lovely things which you have made. You were with me but I was not with you. Created things kept me far from You, those things which could not exist but in You. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed you fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burn for your peaceÃ¢â‚¬Â (Confessions 10,27). Continue reading
If this is a sample of what we have to look forward to, I think we have real cause for hope. I compliment the bishops on their good choices and thank them for the encouraging demonstration of what can be accomplished. Continue reading
We have here a juxtaposition of pairs of images/concepts: light – freedom, darkness – imprisonment. Truth is something that brings us into the light and sets us free. Error is something that binds us up and prevents us from acting like free persons. The Latin collect error sound like a horrible wrapping that envelopes us, mummy like, and hides us away in a dark and forgotten tomb. Because of Original Sin it is very difficult to know what is good and right a true. Our intellects are clouded. But when we do discern what is good and right and true, because in the tangle of our minds we reason to it or because a human or divine authority has helped us to it, then we need to choose it. That is also very hard at times. We can deceive ourselves into thinking that some things which are in reality bad, wrong and false are actually good and right and true. We can actually get to think we are acting freely and rightly in doing things that are wrong. After a while we become numbed to both the truth and virtue and error and sin alike. We move through life, zombie-like, from that point, a mockery of what human beings are intended by God to be. Clearly, the Holy Father was pointing to something very important when using an image of splendor and light when addressing to foundations of Catholic moral theology. Continue reading