Category Archives: Devotional

#QOTD, St. Gregory the Great and the The Sin of Silence

English: Pope Gregory the Great
English: Pope Gregory the Great (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Silence has been on my mind for a while now. I know others like myself are wrestling with it. Do we keep our peace in order that we preserve the status quo? Or do we speak, knowing that others may question our intentions and motivations, speak ill of us, and ignore us?

Silence is not always golden:

“For when good people speak, there are two points that they regard in their discourse (viz., that they should be of use to themselves and their hearers, or to themselves alone), if they are unable to be of use to their hearers. For when the good things they deliver are heard with good purpose, they benefit both themselves and their hearers. But even when they are turned to ridicule by the hearer, doubtless they were of use to themselves, by no longer consenting to the sin of silence. And so let blessed Job, that he might serve both himself and his hearers, speak the words, “Hear, I pray you, my speech, and practice repentance.” In order that he may discharge himself of the obligation that he owes, even if he is unable to avail his hearers, he adds, “Suffer me that I speak; and after my words, if it shall seem so, laugh.” I observe that whereas he added, “and practice repentance,” he first premised, “Hear,” but when he added the words “and after my words, if it shall seem so, laugh,” he premised, “Permit me to speak”; for “hearing” is of one who acts of free will, but “bearing” of one who acts against his own inclination. And so if his friends desire to be taught, let them “hear,” but if they are ready to mock, let them “suffer” the things that are said seeing that to a proud mind instruction in humility is a grievous and onerous weight. MORALS ON THE BOOK OF JOB 15.41.1

There is indeed a time to be silent, but there is likewise a time to speak (Ecclesiastes 3.7). How do you know that time?

  1. Manlio Simonetti and Marco Conti, eds., Job (Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006), 112–113.

Quote of the Year – Eco and the “invasion of idiots” on social media

HT Drew Mac via FB for the Cartoon because if he has posted something without 48 hours, you must HT him even if he doesn't actually own it.

“I social media danno diritto di parola a legioni di imbecilli che prima parlavano solo al bar dopo un bicchiere di vino, senza danneggiare la collettività. Venivano subito messi a tacere, mentre ora hanno lo stesso diritto di parola di un Premio Nobel. È l’invasione degli imbecilli.” ~Umberto Eco

“Social media gives legions of idiots the right to speak when they once only spoke at a bar after a glass of wine, without harming the community. Then they were quickly silenced, but now they have the same right to speak as a Nobel Prize winner. It’s the invasion of the idiots.”  (translation via TB on FB)

He goes on…

The drama of the Internet is that it has promoted the village idiot to the bearer of truth …

From here.

Quote of the Day – Jacques Ellul (social justice and modern protestantism)

Stained glass window of the sacred Heart of Je...
Stained glass window of the sacred Heart of Jesus Christ in the former Mosque (Cathedral) of Cordoba, Spain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesus Christ has not come to establish social justice any more than he has come to establish the power of the state or the reign of money or art. Jesus Christ has come to save men, and all that matters is that men may come to know him. We are adept at finding reasons-good theological, political, or practical reasons, for camouflaging this. But the real reason is that we let ourselves be impressed and dominated by the forces of the world, by the press, by public opinion, by the political game, by appeals to justice, liberty, peace, the poverty of the third world, and the Christian civilization of the west, all of which play on our inclinations and weaknesses. Modern protestants are in the main prepared to be all things to all men, like St. Paul, but unfortunately this is not in order that they may save some but in order that they may be like all men.” – Jacques Ellul. The Ethics of Freedom, 254–255

He drops the mic at the end, doesn’t he?

I wonder in amusement at those who believe Christian follows the culture, that somehow progressive Christianity is counter-cultural, etc… Christianity has always been counter-cultural. The first liberation theology was the Creed. Jesus is Lord (Caesar is not). The freedoms were by Christians. The first modern Western sciences were by Christians.

Yet, we modern protestants marvel at our innovations, taking of those anti-Christ and calling them Christian.

(HT to the quote via Bill W on Facebook)

Thomas Aquinas on the Fast of #Lent

On the second head it is to be noted, that this “day of salvation” exhorts and invites us by eight ways to holiness…

…The ordination of the Church invites us all to confession, and fasting, and frequenting of the church; whence he who does not do these things breaks the precepts of Mother Church: Prov. 1:8, “Forsake not the law of thy Mother.” (Thomas Aquinas, vol. 3, Ninety-Nine Homilies of S. Thomas Aquinas Upon the Epistles and Gospels for Forty-Nine Sundays of the Christian Year ( trans. John M. Ashley;London: Church Press Company, 1867), 4.)

Thomas Merton on Ash Wednesday #lent

English: Ashes imposed on the forehead of a Ch...
Image via Wikipedia

“Ash Wednesday is for people who know that it means for their soul to be logged with these icy waters: all of us are such people, if only we can realize it.

There is confidence everywhere in Ash Wednesday, yet that does not mean unmixed and untroubled security. The confidence of the Christian is always a confidence in spite of darkness and risk, in the presence of peril, with every evidence of possible disaster…

Once again, Lent is not just a time for squaring conscious accounts: but for realizing what we had perhaps not seen before. The light of Lent is given us to help us with this realization.

Nevertheless, the liturgy of Ash Wednesday is not focussed on the sinfulness of the penitent but on the mercy of God. The question of sinfulness is raised precisely because this is a day of mercy, and the just do not need a savior.” – Thomas Merton HT.

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