An Unprofitable Effort


A 7 Quick Takes Post as hosted by Jennifer Fulwiler at her  Conversion Diary blog.

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St.-Symeon-the-New-Theologian-3This is a quote from St. Symeon the New Theologian, an Eastern saint:

“The aim of all those who live in God is to please our Lord Jesus Christ and become reconciled with God the Father through receiving the Holy Spirit, thus securing their salvation, for in this consists the salvation of every soul. If this aim and this activity is lacking, all other labour is useless and all other striving is in vain. Every path of life which does not lead to this is without profit.”

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I’ve been pondering the events of the recent Synod, and all the electronic ink spilled over the event. It seems nearly every blog and Catholic news outlet has weighed in with an opinion on the topics covered by the bishops. I can’t help but wonder if there aren’t far too many Catholics more involved in Church politics than in building the faith. Has all of this controversy been a good thing? Has the Church been helped by it all? I think it’s been greatly harmed. I wish more people would heed the words of St. Symeon, “if [reconciliation with God] and this activity is lacking, all other labour is useless . . .”

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I like to make up these meager blog posts on my iPad. In the past, I’ve used the Pages app from Apple, but this week Microsoft made their Office 365 apps available free on mobile devices. The switch seemed a no-brainer since the Office 365 apps are virtually the same as  the PC versions. However, it seems they are no where near as stable as the PC version. I had this post completed, almost completed, when I decided to copy a quote from the web and it came in an extremely large font. In trying to correct this, I managed to wipe out the entire post with one keystroke. Gone forever.   Ain’t technology grand?

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Am I the only one who thinks that we’ve reached the saturation point with football on TV? I’m beginning to think so; when 30 million people tune in to watch the Cowboys and the Seahawks you might think something in society is a bit out of whack. On a personal level, the thought crosses my mind that I’d rather watch 3 hours of Mark Udall speeches than another football game.   I enjoy football as much as the next guy, but maybe we’re being fed far too much of a good thing.  Just sayin . . .

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An article this past week by George Weigel tells about the work being by a Professor Alan Guth on the Big-Bang Theory. He refers to an article about Dr. Guth that appeared in the Boston Globe.

“The universe is roughly 13.8 billion years old, and it began from a patch of material packed with this repulsive gravity. The patch was . . . tiny—one 100-billionth the size of a single proton. But the repulsive gravity was like a magic wand, doubling the patch in size every tenth of a trillionth or a trillionth of a second. And it waved its doubling power over the patch about 100 times in a row, until it got to the size of [a] marble. And that happened within a hundredth of a billionth of a trillionth of a second. As a point of comparison, the smallest fraction of time that the average human being can detect is about one-tenth of a second.”

As Mr. Weigel points out, the question is begged, what happened just before that first trillionth trillionth of a second?  Physical scientists are coming around to that fact it’s impossible to know and, therefore, the possibility of a Creator can’t be ruled out. It’s only those working in the life sciences, that breeding ground of militant atheists, that are still incapable of recognizing such a question exists. It’s an interesting article and you can see the whole thing HERE.

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This must be the week for reading newspapers. An article in the Wall Street Journal last week reviewed Amazon’s new Kindle. It may just be the best thing to come down the pike since fur lined underwear, according to the reviewer.  However, unlike most e-reader commenters, he doesn’t venture into electronic vs print book controversy, rather he looks at dedicated e-readers vs e-books on tablets. In doing so, he makes the interesting point that reading books on tablets is a sure way to invite distraction from email and other message notifications. He says, “Reading books shouldn’t be part of a multi-tasking regimen. If we’re going to remain literate in the years to come, we need to think about how we read, and not just what we read.”

I agree that we need to think of both, but can’t get to the idea that electronic books are the way to do that. The thought keeps crossing my mind that, if the internet was ever hijacked by people of evil intent, or if somehow the power ever goes out (conspiracy nut? Nah) all those books on the web would be gone. Yes, it’s possible to burn print books, but all of them?  BTW, it’s been a long time since I’ve thought multi-tasking of any kind was a good idea.

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Do ya’ think?

“Morning Showers Should End by Early Afternoon”—headline, Atlanta Journal-Constitution website, Nov. 6

H/Tt to the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto’s Best of the Web Today from last Friday.

 

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