Saturday, December 20, 2008

Faith, Jesus & Christmas

Greetings! My heart beats just a bit faster as we near the birth of Our Lord. I have much to do this weekend including visiting my son Caleb who is a novice with the Society of Jesus. Much of what I will post today will come from more brilliant minds than myself. (that will be very easy) But before I begin I would like to make a plea to help a young lady who is working on a mission to help the poor. I met her once through my son, the novice. At that time she was going to Mexico with other students from LSU. I was impressed at her love for Christ and her love for the poor. If you read my post from a day ago you will see that she is light years ahead of me compared to when I was her age. Anyway if you can donate anything to help her in her work she would appreciate it. Here is a link to there sponsorship program: . A one time donation would be appreciated you can email me at to make arrangements. Father Servais Pinkaers is Dominican professor at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. He was written extensively on moral theology. He has written a number of books including ; Morality the Catholic View. In a piece he wrote about faith he says "The advent of faith effects an original and substantial transformation in the moral life. It centers the moral life on a particular person: Jesus the Christ. In his historical particularity - in his body that suffered and was resurrected- Jesus becomes the source and cause of justice and wisdom" He further adds: In short he becomes the source and cause of moral excellence for those who believe in him. Jesus is not merely a sage or a model." He adds "It is appropriate to note that it is here that faith acquires its full force. Faith does not signify, as it often does today, merely a certain opinion about life or a mental adherence to a creed. Faith is a vital act; it commits one person to another forever." This brings me to a point I would like to make. At this time of the year we get all those stories on The History Channel or Discovery or NBC or The Animal Planet for all I know, that attempts to tell us and the non-believers who Jesus is. It annoys the hell out me because unless you get what Father Pinkaers just said you don't know Jesus and you can't explain him. Jesus is not some extraordinary guy like Michael Jordan was an extraordinary basketball player.... Finally I would like to quote my favorite all time thinker G.K. Chesterton from The Everlasting Man: The God in the Cave. "Any agnostic or atheist whose childhood has known a real Christmas has ever afterwards, whether he likes it or not, an association in his mind between two ideas that most of mankind must regard as remote from each other; the idea of a baby and the idea of an unknown strength that sustains the stars. His instincts and imagination can still connect them when his reason can no longer see the need of the connection; for him there will always be some savor of religion about the mere picture of a mother and a baby; some hint of mercy and softening about the mere mention of the dreadful name of God. But the two ideas are not naturally or necessarily combined. They would not be necessarily combined for an ancient Greek or a Chinaman, even for Aristotle and Confucius. It is no more inevitable to connect God with a kitten. It has been created in our minds because we are Christians: because we are psychological Christians even when we are not theological ones." He adds, " Omnipotence and impotence, divinity or infancy, do definitely make a sort of epigram which a million repetitions cannot turn into platitude. It is not unreasonable to call it unique. Bethlehem is emphatically a place where extremes meet." See you there soon...God Bless

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