Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Bad Religion

I finished Ross Douthat's Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics. Great book. Thought provoking.

He captured many of the vague ideas and "feelings" I've been having about the state of faith in America.

I highly recommend it.

Pax et bonum

Monday, January 19, 2015

Last night I had the strangest dream

I had a dream the other night.

In it, I was driving, and I blacked out. I awoke to find myself skirting the right edge of the road, just missing some workers there. I thought I might have been overtired and had nodded off. I pulled over, and realized I had no idea where I was. I looked up at the road signs, and they were in a language I couldn't read. I wondered how I was going to get home. I wondered where home was.

I saw a police car drive by. I thought of trying to get his attention, but I was afraid.

Then I was talking to an officer. But I couldn't understand anything he was saying. I couldn't even understand the words coming out of my mouth, and it was clear he did not understand me.

And suddenly I was with a group of people. I could understand none of them. They could not understand me. A television was on; I couldn't understand any of the words.

I looked at a book: I couldn't understand any of the words in it. I tried writing; what came out on paper was total gibberish to me.

It dawned on me that I had no way of communicating with others verbally. I couldn't teach or work, or do anything involving language. I didn't know if it was permanent.

Then I thought of drawing or painting. Maybe ...

In the back of my mind I wondered - is this what having a stroke is like? They do run in my family.

Strange dream. It's still bothering me.

Pax et bonum

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Huckabee in 2016 ... maybe

I'm of a divided mind. I still like many things about him - but not all (death penalty, for example).
And I wonder if he will have any realistic kind of a chance, given that he seems of an earlier time, and given the way the media is already trying to paint him as a kooky outsider/conservative.
I was actively involved in 2008 - even registered as a Republican so I could vote for him in our primary. (Switched to Right to Life Party immediately after he lost the nomination.) But will I have the same commitment this time around?
Hard to say.
Pax et bonum

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Supreme Court to Rule on Homosexual So-Called Marriage

The Supreme Court has announced it will be making a decision regarding the constitutionality of homosexual so-called same sex marriage.

The Court might rule that deciding about the issue is, as the Constitution says, up to the states individually.

But the Court could also rule that such so-called marriages are a civil "right," and that states may not have laws that violate that right. There is precedent for that - states may not, for example, prohibit marriages between races as civil rights legislation takes precedence over states' rights to set marriage rules.

If the Court does rule this is a state issue, then the current battles will continue - but the trend seems to be toward legalizing such unions in more and more states.

But if the ruling is that such so-called marriages are a right and must be recognized, I strongly suspect that the current war on people of faith over this issue (and others) will escalate. I think churches and church groups and people of faith will be subject to lawsuit after lawsuit. Even if the church groups keep winning the cases, the drain on time, energy, and money will wear some down so much they surrender, and will damage the others who refuse to give in. And individuals may be even more vulnerable.

But then, Jesus did not promise us complete peace in this life if we follow Him.

Pax et bonum

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Ordain a Lady (untintentional satire!)

Still a hoot.

Pax et bonum

Resolutions - the spiritual side

My spiritual goals for 2015 include some things I've been doing, but not as consistently as I should.

My daily prayers will include the "Morning Offering" and "Franciscan Morning Prayer" from the Secular Franciscan Companion. I said both prayers intermittently, but my goal is to start each day with them.

I want to add two prayers by St. Thomas More: "Prayer to Work for the Things We Pray For," and "Prayer for Health, Wisdom, and a Sense of Humor" - the latter apparently being one that Pope Francis says each day.  In addition, I got a version of the "SFO Rule of Life" by Karen Szczesniak ofs. It has 26 "verses" and I want to say a few a day, reflecting on them.

I already say the Rosary several times a week; my goal is to make it daily.

I read the Bible before going to be most nights. I want to do it every night, and focus for this year on the New Testament, with study guides to help.

I do want to add more spiritual reading. I need to include a couple of Franciscan works, including the title cited in my 2015 reading list, and the Hermit and Doherty books on that list as well. But I know I need to add more.

I also want to memorize more prayers this year. "The Divine Praises" is the first my list.

Finally, I need to be more aware, more sensitive, more Franciscan in my use of social media and the internet. 

Pax et bonum