Monthly Archives: September 2010

My vain attempt to prevent copious amounts of hate email

I am NOT anti-Catholic.

I AM anti-people-claiming-to-be-something-they-cannot-even-define.

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Sacrilegious

Anthony Stevens-Arroyo, professor emeritus of Puerto Rican and Latino Studies at Brooklyn College, responded to the recent Pew Foundation’s US Religious Knowledge Survey in yesterday’s WaPo (http://onfaith.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/catholicamerica/2010/09/mother_teresa_and_transubstantiation.html?hpid=sec-religion). (Sorry for such an ugly looking link in the middle of my post – I still can’t figure out how to link in WordPress in a less clumsy way. 100+ people a day are reading this; one of you must be able to help me out?)

Stevens-Arroyo’s thesis is basically that “lived Catholicism is more important that knowledge of theological terminology.” Stevens-Arroyo is apparently not particularly concerned that only 55% of Catholics surveyed are familiar with the doctrine of the True Presence and that only 33% could identify the four gospels. This doesn’t bother him because, in his words, “religion is essentially a matter of practical living rather than intellectualized grasp of facts and dogmatic beliefs.” He goes on to say that what’s really important is that 87% of Catholics could correctly identify Mother Teresa of Calcutta as Catholic because what matters is her lived example of faith. Again, in his word, “Blessed Mother Teresa beats transubstantiation. Alleluia!”

I imagine its a good thing that Mother Teresa is dead, because if she were alive to read that she’d probably have a heart attack. Though it is well documented that throughout the course of her life Mother Teresa struggled with her faith and understanding of God (Christopher Hitchens even wrote of her as a confused old lady who had ceased to believe), it is also know that she requested that all her correspondence and writings be destroyed upon her death, lest people “think more of me and less of Jesus.” Mother Teresa lived a life of financial poverty surrounded by suffering and death not because she was interested in pursuing a “lived faith” but because she was devoted to the teachings of God and the Church, even during the times when she struggled to believe them.

Struggling with belief is not the same as not being able to define or explain basic catechism. While I don’t understand how people who do know what transubstantiation is, or who do know to what the “immaculate conception” refers (it’s not Jesus, by the way), and don’t believe in the legitimacy of either and can yet still consider themselves fully Catholic, my greatest concern is not for them. At least they know what they do or don’t agree with. My main concern is for the other 50% of the faithful who can’t even tell you whether or not they agree with the Church on any particular issue because they either don’t know what the Church teaches or, worse yet, don’t even know that the Church has a position in the first place.

I’m not saying that I think everyone should study Latin and spend their free time debating the differences of Aquinian and Augustinian theology. I do, however, think that if one is going to receive the Eucharist, than one should at least know what he or she is receiving. Whether or not you believe it is another matter entirely.

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To go or not to go (more accuratly, “to drown or not to drown”)

If there was ever a day to skip class, it would be a day that I woke up to a sick cat, a leaking roof, a stiff neck, and pouring rain that is showing no signs of abating.

As if there’s any question… I’m just REALLY no looking forward to it. Trying to remember that in terms of doing the next right thing enthusiasm is optional.

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I’ve never met Laura, but I hope the Universe sees fit for our paths to cross in this lifetime

One of the most accessible, concise, and clear explanations I’ve yet read that seeks to explain “How Feeling Fat Can Be Triggered by Being Too Thin.”

http://www.laurassoapbox.net/2010/09/what-if-feeling-fat-could-be-triggered.html

Here’s to the day I’m strong enough to climb up on her soapbox, too.

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Potential research topic

Hypokalemic sensory overstimulation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypokalemic_sensory_overstimulation). Explanation/details to follow.

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Watch for pieces of falling sky over Harrisonburg

Today I had a glass of juice instead of a piece of fruit with my breakfast. The earth is sure to fall of its axis at any moment.

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Imago Dei

If we are made in God’s image, God is made of gag, pol, and env.

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