Saturday, November 27, 2010

The First Sunday of Advent

First Sunday of Advent
Yesterday, a man enthusiastically told a clerk about his ‘Christian’ band. He said it was so great to be able to praise God in this way unlike his childhood upbringing in the Catholic Church. To which the clerk replied, “I know, the way they shove it down your throat!”

I sensed that hearts so closed off, will never know the full light of the Church Jesus Christ created, but they see a small part of what God has intended for their joy. The advantage of a childhood religion does not guarantee that a follower of Christ will ‘see’ the whole truth. We can say the words, ‘Lord, help me to see’, but this will not always open a darkened heart immediately to the light.

Saint Paul strikes at the heart of the matter in the Advent readings Sunday. The vision of the eye is that of the soul in his dialogue with the Roman faithful. He says “Let us give up all the things we prefer to do under cover of the dark.” Romans 13:12 He refers to physical actions but his intention is clearly for the spiritual matter caught in darkness. Scripture points to light as our beginning and our lamp. The simple concept of light is then used repeatedly as a concrete reflection of Christ in our life. God, in his perfect complexity creates light and darkness on the first day and Christ in his perfect divinity and humanity identifies himself as the Light of the World.

The Comparison of Light and Dark

“God said, ‘Let there be light’, and there was light. Go saw that light was good, and God divided light from darkness. God called light ‘day’, and darkness he called ‘night’. Evening came and morning came: the first day.” Genesis 1:3-5

There is no mention of the foulness of the dark in the very beginning. We can say that dark in the beginning was unfouled by twisted deeds. But God clearly feels that the light is good. We also have the words of Christ calling himself the light. “Anyone who follows me will not be walking in the dark; he will have the light of life.” John 8:12 Walking in the dark is clearly meant as a path that leads away from the love of God. In the progression of the world from scripture, Christ’s time evidences that darkness has been abused. In this scripture passage Christ speaks of dark and light as what the eye can see. If we focus on the first light that God sees, and the light of Christ that we see, the value of good in light becomes exponential with the power it has over darkness. God and his Son have confirmed this power by the infallibility that light comes from them. Light thus becomes in God’s divine sight and our weak sight an illumination that can draw one from walking in the dark, now corrupted in our time, to a light that is good, the Light of Christ the Savior.

Salvation in Light

Saint Paul says in Sunday’s reading, “the time has come: you must wake up now, our salvation is even nearer than it was when we were converted. The night is almost over, it will be daylight soon” Romans 13:11 Saint Paul is alluding to the fruition of the story of salvation that he believes is coming very soon. His words refer to a physical state of waking, but his meaning is deeper and found in his mention of salvation and conversion. The time of Advent is the beginning of the calendar year for the Church and a time to ‘wake-up’ again and be prepared for the coming of the Light of the World. Saint Paul wants the newly converted followers of Christ to recognize Him in their being and avoid the darkness of night. He goes on to describe charity toward others in the next paragraph giving examples of what light is to others that may show that the Light of the World is upon Christ’s followers. The fruition of salvation for our souls is not the only duty that Saint Paul exhorts us too. It is that we are to shine as Christ did for others in our charity and actions in the light. In the physical and spiritual sense the light has a power greater than just illumination, it has the power to draw other souls, not just our own.

Choosing the Light

A darkened heart is only dark as long as the heart does not seek the light. The deepest areas of our souls cannot avoid the full light of Christ no matter if we choose to avoid him or not. That power that God has gifted light by His creation of it, is limited though, by our free will and the adherence to charity that Saint Paul describes as the plan of Christ for us. The two people I mentioned have chosen to seek Christ, but areas of darkness have closed parts of their hearts so that they may never fully be illuminated until they meet Christ. Sometimes the darkness that we in our weakness, have allowed to take over, cannot be banished so quickly as light moves in time and space. The spiritual elements of dark and light are fiercely battling for all areas of our hearts and souls. The preparing for Christ is the only true way to allow darkness within us to be annihilated because we will have exhibited by our will that we have sought the path of light.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Galactic Catholic Minute

A Minute of Thanksgiving

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Universe

A map of dark matter showing galaxies as small pink/purple squares. The center is supposed to be the cluster of galaxies. I don't exactly understand this, so I must read up. But in the mean time, on a smaller scale is the Apatite mineral.
This mineral was also found on the moon during one of the moon walks. Just recently in 2010, the specimens were tested and found to include more water than originally thought.  The estimate of encased water on the moon, if released, would cover the moon's surface in 1 meter of water.

God the Creator is Good in All Things, both great and small.  He is the Great Designer of the Universe.  While scientists do not understand dark energy, they seek to divine its mysteries.  Unfortunately, the same scientists may assume there is no Divine correlation between the specifics of a mineral to the immenseness of a universe of galaxies.
"Concepts can only acquire content when they are connected, however indirectly, with sensible experience. But no logical investigation can reveal this connection; it can only be experienced.  And yet it is this connection that determines the cognitive value of systems of concepts."
Albert Eistein in "The Problem of Space, Ether, and the Field in Physics"

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Art of Letter Writing

I have always enjoyed writing letters. They call it z-mail these days.  Sometimes I write to to people who will never really see the letters.  I find it comforting in a way that journal writing doesn't always hit.

 It helps to even put it in an envelope, seal it up and address it. Does the post office have the address for God these days?  You can always ask your guardian angel to deliver a message too.

My new writing buddy is John Paul II.  I have no idea how to properly address him in my salutations so I either refer to him as Fr. or his full name, Roman numerals included.  And I must say he has turned out to be a quite wonderful writing partner.  In fact, I realized from his responses(theoretical of course) that people didn't always understand him because he was so deep. I get that.

Pope John Paul II is the one saint I would really love to meet when I die.  I would ask him what kind of trees there are in the hills of Poland and what birds did he like the most to hear in the early morning while camping.  The naturalist in me relates to him in this way as well.

I know it may sound a little kooky, but I highly suggest a written letter to anyone you want, Saint or not. It's up to you if you send it via snail mail or angel mail!

And if you want to write the current Holy Father,

His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI
Apostolic Palace
00120 Vatican City

Taken from The US Embassy to the Holy See

The Act of Adoration

The monstrance a few blocks away from where I live.  Christ had a plan when He chose this place for me to live.  I had no idea where I could find a closer daily adoration spot.  I had researched it, but the only one was an hour away.  God has a good and perfect plan in all things.

The Blog to Read: Glory to God for All Things

This blog is not for the faint of heart.  The depth of the Holy Church is within this Father's writings.
The Holy Angels