Disputations called my attention to a Benedictine writing about (among other things) St. Benedict's Rule, lectio divina, and Dominican study. He says,
[T]he Dominican seeks Truth, and Jesus said: "I am the Truth."A Dominican could be reading virtually anything
and still know that every bit of real, objective truth garnered from
that reading would be yet another shard, no matter how small, in the
infinite mosaic of the face of Christ. That is a mosaic none of us
shall ever complete in this life, but oh, how much more familiar He
shall seem to us when we meet Him because of it!
From an earlier post, a Thomistic reading strategy: Ask yourself, How can this be interpreted so as to be true? Or if not, How can this be reinterpreted so as to be true? Or if not, What in it is true? or What truth can be extracted from it?
This has greatly improved and enriched my experience of reading literature.
I linked to this article earlier, so I hope I'm not overusing it, especially as it is a news-format article evidently meant to slam Dawkins (not that he doesn't deserve it). But there's another angle on it that I forgot to write about earlier.
When everything that you want to insult is insulted by being compared to Hitler, people get "Hitler fatigue" so that they automatically stop listening when something is compared to Hitler. The problem is that when something comes along that is actually like Hitler, you can't say it's like Hitler because people are sick to death of Hitler. Eugenics isn't kind of like what Hitler did, it's exactly what Hitler tried to do. Before Hitler, everyone who was a little progressive was "open-minded" about eugenics, because after all, don't you want the human race to improve? But eugenics requires breeding practices contrary to human dignity and the elimination of the unfit. As long as that was kind of abstract, people glossed over that part. But Hitler showed us in a most dramatic and gut-wrenching fashion how dreadful eugenics is in real life as opposed to castle-in-the-air fancies about human improvement.
Keep in mind he said the Hitler word first, not me.
In the comments in the article on GAP, one of the posts recommends that
people visit a Website http:://www.imnotsorry.net in order to open
their minds to the pro-choice movement.
The point of INS is apparently to combat the emotional charge of women who have publicly lamented their choice to have abortions. By declaring that they are unashamed, the contributors hope to encourage other women to make decisions without having their minds clouded by notions such as...well...shame. Thus, the reader can cycle through page after page of younger women saying how they are not sorry that they had abortions because now they can pursue careers and older women saying they are not sorry they had abortions because they give more attention to the children they already have.
It isn't a very professional looking Website--I say this not to attack
it, but to indicate that the autobiographical accounts of abortions on
the site are perhaps not the most reliable sources. Indeed, it seems to
me that many of the stories could have been written by pro-lifers
trying to sabotage the site's purpose.
Anyway, if Al has linked to the equivalent of a textual stimulant, then I think I'm pointing you towards a digital depressant. Click below to see some excerpts.
I'm willing to concede that we shouldn't ever label pro-choice advocates as pro-abortion, but only if that means we get to call them "those people in favor of letting other individuals murder unborn persons if they really, really think they have to." Maybe that would look more elegant in German...
Btw, that post was not supposed to argue that Protestants should shut up and let Christmas fall into ruin like the atheist guy suggests. It was only that I was rather amused that he should suggest all those delightful things at the end (like bringing back Michaelmas and the Christmas season in its proper kairos) as a rhetorical threat, expecting "everyone" to shrink back in horror and be caught in a logical bind. Nor to suggest that the post was entirely accurate. The author seems to be enough of an "outsider" that he does not perceive the difference between different sorts of Protestants, who are not all responsible for each other's cultural machinations.
Originally, Puritans (not secular humanist atheists) were the ones to expunge Christmas from the calendar. In late 17th-century Massachussetts, it was not only rowdy celebrations on Dec. 25 that were banned, but any observance of Christmas "or any such days" as Slate reports.
Modern evangelical Protestantism, the kind the author of the atheism.about article complains about are a different show entirely. With not all that much tradition to fall back on outside the Bible itself, they often try to avoid elaborate abstract theological speculation in favor of figuring out "what's real and what works" and doing it. As a result, they arrive at many strikingly Catholic teachings and practices (though they generally call them by different names). Just ask Mark Shea how that works. And pray for them.
I don't drink coffee. Instead I read op-ed's, they get me going better than any amount of caffeine. It's a system I recommend whole heartedly. In fact if you want to try it, I'd recommend this editorial from a supposedly Catholic newspaper. Oh and if you need a place to vent please try our comments section, it can take it.
V. Oremus pro pontifice nostro Benedicto R. Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum, et beatum faciet eum in terra, et non tradet eum in animam inimicorum eius.
Pater noster. Ave Maria.
Deus, omnium fidelium pastor et rector, famulum tuum Benedictum, quem pastorem
Ecclesiae tuae praeesse voluisti, propitius respice: da ei, quaesumus,
verbo et exemplo, quibus praeest, proficere: ut ad vitam, una cum grege
sibi credito, perveniat sempiternam. Per Christum, Dominum nostrum.
------------ V. Let us pray for N, our Pope. R. May the Lord preserve him, and give him life, and make him blessed upon
the earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies.
Our Father. Hail Mary.
O God, Shepherd and Ruler of all Thy faithful people, look mercifully
upon Thy servant N, whom Thou hast chosen as shepherd to preside over
Thy Church. Grant him, we beseech Thee, that by his word and example,
he may edify those over whom he hath charge, so that together with the
flock committed to him, may he attain everlasting life. Through Christ
our Lord. Amen.
This one is from the Enchiridion of Indulgences and is based on Ps. 43. Source: Treasury of Latin Prayers. Here is a prayer composed specially for the occasion by Bishop Lori, the Supreme Chaplain of the Knights (of which I am a member).
So when I was digging around on the net I found this interesting page on atheist.about.com about the secularization of Christmas. The author, an atheist, slams Protestantism for being arbitrary and inconsistent in shouting about the secularization of Christmas when Protestantism played an active and deliberate role in the destruction of the rest of the liturgical calendar in public life. If you're Catholic, you're consistent, but we're not going to talk about that because it doesn't make Christianity look bad.
So, the next time a Christian insists [he says] that we put the Christ back in Christmas, tell them that they should also:
Put the Mass back in Christmas
Restore the Feast of the Epiphany
Restore the Advent season
Restore gift-giving to the real Christmas season, which occurs after Christmas day
Don't put up a Christmas tree until Christmas Eve — if at all
Use Christmas as a day of contemplating Christ, not for engaging in commerce