All That I Have Written Is Straw. . .

Meanderings of a Catholic Devout

What I learned this semester (Fall 2012)

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Written by Written Straw

December 18, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Posted in Catholic

Toasting to conscience first.

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This semester, I have had a great privilege in studying two great minds of the Catholic Church, though I didn’t realize how much at the time I signed up for my course. The first is Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801-1890) and Lord John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, “Lord Acton,” (1834-1902). Newman, of course, recently beatified by the Catholic Church and he is widely read and studied, although I would say that the study of his work is chiefly among clergy and not enough among the laity. Lord Acton was a great historian and devout Catholic layman, although controversial at times. One of the clerical side, one for the lay side, both extremely influential in the Church, but neither of whose ideals would be realized until the twentieth century.

I am by no means an expert on their lives, nor would I be able to fully represent the impact of their thoughts and ideologies on the whole of Church history in my little blog project, but I want to share my own reflections regarding how the study of the lives of these men made me think. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Written Straw

November 20, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Reflections in preparation for the Year of Faith

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How to deal with dates? Yesterday was one of those dates that used to have meaning for me—it was the date of my former wedding anniversary. Of course, having been divorced (and annulled) for almost two years now makes me wonder why I even notice it. I’m a little taken aback by the power of such trivial things like a date. Perhaps it’s the Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Written Straw

October 10, 2012 at 8:55 am

The fire I’ve kindled burns less brightly.

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While chatting with my sister recently, she and I had a heart-to-heart conversation about family. Family is a complex topic for me. In the middle of confiding in her my “issues” with certain extended family members, I recalled a cause I vowed to undertake about forgiveness. This is a measurement of how far I’ve come. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Written Straw

August 16, 2012 at 1:39 pm

A quote for thought.

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I’m reading a biography on John Henry Newman and discovering his awesomeness of the written words. Before his conversion to Catholicism from Protestantism, he wrote in regards to Christian apologetics (1825):

“The rejection of Christianity to arise from a fault of the heart, not of the intellect, for a dislike of the contents of ScrIpture is at the bottom of unbelief: Hence the most powerful arguments for Christianity do not convince, only silence; for there is at the bottom that secret antipathy for the doctrines of Christianity, which is quite out of the reach of argument.”

Also, I was reading about how Newman was greatly influenced by various fellows in his education and pastoral ministry. In a turn of his Evangelicalism, he was reminded that Christians are not two different kinds:  those who are in name only versus those who are “true” Christians. Rather, just as St. Paul never distinguished between Christians who act like it and those who call themselves such, so preachers should not either. It is OK to rebuke the bad actions of people. It is not OK to assume that bad behavior makes one less a Christian than another, even if the action is scandalous to the faith.

This last piece is the part I have to work on most. I must always remember: Christians do not vary by kind, only by degree.

Written by Written Straw

August 4, 2012 at 11:27 am

The priestly role of women and why we don’t need collars.

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A friend of mine and I— were having lunch yesterday and asked if I had given any thought to what I want to do when I finished my master’s degree program. I indicated some uncertainty though I want to write about theology, as I have done in the past. I don’t want to write analytical theology, as in research, because I don’t feel I want to change careers to do that (I love my current career); rather, I plan to write insightful, perhaps apologetic, theology.

One such topic that’s been on my mind lately is the stance on the ordination of women in the priesthood. Let me be very clear: I do NOT support women’s ordination. Surprisingly, I have never met a fellow female Roman Catholic theology student who supports it but I do seem to offend some men when I show my support for the Roman Catholic (RC) Church’s stance on the matter. So after a productive discourse Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Written Straw

July 23, 2012 at 9:44 am

Faith is God’s greatest gift to man.

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As the existentialists say, “If God does not exist, then the universe has no meaning. And if there is no meaning, why would my life have meaning?” And relativists say, “Because my life has no meaning (by way of existentialist thought), then I have to assign it meaning — whatever I want it to mean.” I now finally understand Voltaire’s phrase, “Si Dieu n’existait pas, il faudrait l’inventer.” In a way, he was a clever man to retreat from the pyschological fallout that Sartre, Nietzsche, et al, would cause for the world. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Written Straw

July 10, 2012 at 11:59 am

Posted in Faith

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