Saturday, May 19, 2018

Royal Wedding: One-Half American

Well, folks, the Royal Wedding-watchers were treated to British tradition, yes, as seen in my favorite musical portion and in the hats (especially the Duchess of Cornwall's) But three was a decidedly American flavor to the event, as seen in the marvelous rendition of Stand by Me, and by a sermon now trending on Twitter by American Episcopalian Bishop Curry, which, sadly,  lost its thunder in the peroration:

French Jesuit Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was arguably one of the great minds, great spirits of the 20th century. Jesuit, Roman Catholic priest, scientist, a scholar, a true mystic. Some of his writings from his scientific background as well as his theological one, some of his writings said, as others have said, that the discovery and harnessing of fire was one of the great technological discoveries of human history. Fire, to a great extent, made human civilization possible. Fire made it possible to cook food and to provide sanitary ways of eating, which reduced the spread of disease in its time. Fire made it possible to heat warm environments and thereby marking human migration a possibility even into colder climates. Fire made it possible — there was no Bronze Age without fire, no Iron Age without fire, no Industrial Revolution without fire. … Anybody get here in a car today? An automobile? Nod your heads if you did; I know there were some carriages. Those of us who came in cars, the controlled, harnessed fire made that possible. 

I know that the Bible says, and I believe it that Jesus walked on water, but I have to tell you I didn’t walk across the Atlantic Ocean to get here. Controlled fire in that plane got me here. Fire makes it possible for us to text, and tweet, and email, and Instagram, and Facebook, and socially be dysfunctional with each other. Fire makes that possible, and de Chardin said fire was one of the great discoveries in all of human history. He went on to say if humanity ever harnesses the energy of fire again, if humanity ever captured the energies of love, it will be the second time in the history that will have discovered fire. 
Why, oh why did the eminent Rev. Curry  mention De Chardin in the same sermon which offered these truths:
We were made by a power of love. Our lives were meant and are meant to be lived in that love. That’s why we are here. Ultimately the source of love is God himself. The source of all of our lives.
There’s an old medieval poem that says: “Where true love is found, God himself is there.” The New Testament says it this way. “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; And those who love are born of God and know God. Those who not love does not know God. Why? For God is love.”  
What does Athens have to do with Jerusalem? Just take a closer look at Teilhard. Those of the “New Age” movement have latched on to many of his ideas, and he has even been dubbed “Father of the New Age Movement.” 

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Lord, I was dancing, dancing, dancing so free And dancing, dancing, dancing so free And dancing, Lord, keep your hand off me And dancing with Mr. D.,

Andy Cohen Gala Selfie

In my thirty years as a Catholic educator, I have observed innumerable communal concerns displacing the reenactment of the saving passion, death, resurrection, and ascension of Our Lord.  Paul VI referred to an excessive concern with communal aspirations as the result of positivism, wherein God has become society, the ultimate reality. I would add that this particular crack through which Satan entered God’s Temple is an accurate explanation of the disregard for organic development in the liturgical reform of Vatican II. Thus as the Church began her aggiornamento, she presided over a disintegration of her most relevant instrument for presenting the truth of Jesus Christ to the modern world, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, now at the mercy of liturgical commissions wishing to make the liturgy more “pastoral.” Let us also remember Paul VI’s teaching that Satan is always seen as active where the spirit of the Gospel is watered down, as in the reformers’efforts to accommodate Gospel revelation to the forces of modernity.