To Light a Fire on the Earth: Proclaiming the Gospel in a Secular Age I am not and never have been an Evangelist. My own path and journey has been too rocky, my criticisms to jaded, my mistrust too high. And yet if asked I would defend the main precepts of deep theological thinking of Catholicism – not the garden variety type superficial institutional media presentation … Read More To Light a Fire on the Earth by Robert Barron and John L. Allen (Book Review)
It has come to an epic confrontation for all American Catholics and Christians. Politicians, families, friends, religious affiliations, and work associations once in comfortable silos have been shattered by a crisis of conscience over immigration. They have to face each other across the divide of rich and poor, red or blue, pro-Trump or not. There is real fear out there for the American middle … Read More Confrontation with thy neighbor?
Final Chapter: True Surrender of Self (Chapter 18) The final chapter of Transformation in Christ by Dietrich Von Hildebrand begins by informing us “at the beginning and at the end of the road we travel in the process of our transformation in Christ.” Dietrich starts off with defining this act as an “eminently personal act.” While this personal act may be within the vessel … Read More Transformation In Christ: Part XII
Holy Sorrow: I have a pair of spectacles from my deceased brother that remain powerful to me long after his death. His death and the premature death of others close to me have challenged my faith in God as a pre-adolescent well into adulthood. Unexpected, unfair, violent, and premature deaths jolt our very core of an all-powerful God. I have been at times defenseless … Read More Transformation in Christ: Part X
Door Knockers: Two men in suits rang my bell today. There was no chime as the battery is dead. In a moment of weakness I ducked my head under a blanket and considered if they were politicians, Jehovah’ Witnesses, or unusual door to door sales men? I peered back out and the two were conversing casually patiently. Now the lead unwanted intruder into my … Read More Transformation in Christ: Part IX
Dietrich Von Hildebrand (DVH): Chapter 14 Mansuetude Mansuetude or Holy Meekness is carefully defined, expounded on, and repackaged into a spiritual bullet of wisdom in this writing by Dietrich. He then fires it into my soul and into my heart before letting it rebound on an outward trajectory into my aspirations for worldly and spiritual acquisitions. The grand journey of Transformation in Christ is shattered … Read More Transformation in Christ: Part VIII
Higher Power versus God Relapse versus Sobriety Misery versus Happiness The characters behind the scenes of the birth of Alcoholics Anonymous are numerous both at its inception as well as built on the pain, suffering, and deaths of alcoholics preceding them and to follow them. That being said Dr. Bob, Bill W., Anne Smith (Dr. Bob’s wife), Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker[i], Frank Buchman and … Read More Blasphemy of Alcoholics Anonymous?
Blessed Are the Peacemakers: (Chapter 13: Transformation in Christ by Dietrich Van Hildebrand) “It is a specific stigma of abysmal separation from God to maintain a quarrelsome and cantankerous attitude, a morbid delight in conflicts and bickering, a perverse pleasure derived from disharmony.” This is certainly a danger for every devout Christian who aspires to live a holy life and actively acts on … Read More Radical Transformation: Part VII
It has been 74 days since the last entry regarding Dietrich Von Hildebrand’s “Transformation in Christ.” It is evident that this 500 page thesis is a lived experience that cannot be adequately read, digested, and reported on with any modicum of brevity. In this post I will highlight thoughts on the following chapters ten through twelve. Appropriately they followed Striving for Perfection (Post Part … Read More Radical Transformation: Part VI
Imagine you are responsible for leading a community in both its daily civic life and in its spiritual commitment and dedication. You are held with great esteem by the community in and outside the church. You serve as an adviser for the politicians, a confessor for sinners, and a counselor and spiritual director for many. Your days run into each other with rapidity and … Read More I, John
Rejoice and be Glad.[i] The Vatican has just released “APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION GAUDETE ET EXSULTATE OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS ON THE CALL TO HOLINESSIN TODAY’S WORLD.” (End note 1). I recommend any serious Catholic read it now before reading any further here! What could I possible write that would be better stated or more informed than the Holy Father? Yes, that is a rhetorical … Read More Rejoice and be Glad
Dietrich Von Hildebrand: Transformation in Christ (Chapter 9) On “Striving for Perfection” Who am I? What am I? Where am I today? Can you answer this question today? I believe most of us can. Give it a try. Briefly, write one or two sentences down now or just hold them aside for later reflection. Here is mine: “I am a clinical social worker, married, … Read More Radical Transformation: Part V