The Many Gifts of God


A 7 Quick Takes Post

(1)

image“Stupidity is also a gift of God, but one mustn’t misuse it.”

Pope John Paul II

It’s hard sometimes to realize that everything that happens is, indeed, a gift of God not to be misused.

(2)
I should write about Easter and what it was like. We attended Mass at our local parish and it was a quite reverent and worshipful setting of the Ordinary Form of the Mass, demonstrating that such a thing is truly possible. The church wasn’t over-decorated, as so many parishes tend to do, but was subdued and very dignified with little more than lilies at the ambo and in front of the alter. There was a banner in white, embroidered with a cross, behind and above the presider’s chair and a white sort of runner on the left side of the ambo. The music, featuring a youth choir, was traditional and well done, and, all in all, the whole thing was more than I might have expected from a parish that impresses me as tending to the more progressive temperament. The only problem I had, and this always happens on Easter and Christmas, is the place was packed. My preference is always to the quieter from of worship, I love Mass in a small monastery or small town church where the setting is more intimate and the congregation small. I can focus on the Mass in such an environment. Having a crowd with nearly every seat taken and people chatting and moving about, frankly, drives me nutzo; the atmosphere is nothing but distracting and, with the ADHD personality I have, I find it impossible to concentrate and take in what is really going on.

One example of the distraction presented on Sunday: A couple I’d never seen before sat in front of us. My guess is they were in their mid to late 40s and were nicely dressed and seemed quite friendly. I don’t know if they are members of the parish and regularly attend one of the other scheduled Masses or not, so they may be faithful Catholics in every sense of the word. However, the lady, at every mention of Jesus’ name, burst out chuckling and, in most such instances, stuck her elbow in her mate’s ribs. Now, what it was about the Easter Mass, or her own experience, that could provoke such a response, I don’t know. It drove me out of my mind and, despite what that says about me, I couldn’t help but begin to look for the response. Something like this happens every Easter.

Anyway, the rest of the day was spent cooking lamb chops on the grill, our first use of the grill this year, and sitting on the deck in the back soaking in the sun and reading. It was, all in all, a most delightful day.

(3)
I see, from a post by Mr. Sales of All Along the Watchtower, that the British PM, David Cameron, “came out” last week as a Christian. The announcement has, as is to be expected in this secular age, caused quite the furor. Checking out the story in the Independent, I found one interesting quote from Mr. Cameron’s announcement:

“Mr Cameron went on to describe himself as a ‘rather classic’ member of the Church of England, ‘not that regular in attendance, and a bit vague on some of the more difficult parts of the faith’.”

Generally, we see politicians loudly proclaiming their faith, in the face of quite unfaithful behavior, as if they were the prophet Isaiah. David Cameron has the honesty to admit he’s less than perfect as a Christian. It’s a refreshing change.

(4)
Do yah think?

“The Crisis in the Ukraine May be Defused or is There More to Come” — Colorado Springs Gazette, Monday, April 21, 2014

(5)
I started reading another book by Fr. James Schall this week, The Mind that is Catholic, a collection of essays on, obviously, the mind that is thinking with the Church. In the first essay, which bears the name of the book, Fr. Schall uses quotes from the Bible and famous Catholic authors to depict seven characteristics of a Catholic mind. One of these is a quote from St. Thomas More to the point that Jesus feeds us with finest wheat, but it’s up to us to chew. We’re not only spiritual beings, we are physical beings equally, and it’s good to remind ourselves now and then that we must fully live up to our part in God’s plans.

(6)
Speaking of Fr. Schall, he had a good piece on the Crisis magazine web site just yesterday on the tyranny of tolerance we seem to be living under these days. He writes:

“We thus have become infinitely “tolerant” of anything but truth itself. Speech is not directed to truth or falsity of an issue but to the “sensitivity” and “compassion” of those who hear it. “Objective” standards are subject to the listener’s “right” to hear only what he wants to hear.”

It’s a strange world we live in that fears the truth about anything.

(7)
Once again, I must thank Jennifer Fulwiler of Conversion Diary for hosting these 7 Quick Takes each week. There are many fine bloggers ripe for the picking to be found posting there each week.

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