Sunday, September 30, 2007
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Ok, I copied everything above from Michelle's site and just edited it. I don't have a lengthy list of blogs I read regularly, but let's see who I can name:
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
I saw this on Michele's blog and thought I'd play too.
1. The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen
2. The Lamb's Supper by Scott Hahn
3. Animals in Translation by Temple Grandin
4. The How To Book of the Mass by Michael Debruiel
5. The Englisher by Beverly Lewis
6. The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley
7. Founding Mothers by Linda Grant De Pauw
8. Surprised by Joy by C.S. Lewis
9. Adolescents on the Autism Spectrum by Chantal Sicile-Kira
10. Crescent & Star Turkey Between Two Worlds by Stephen Kinzer
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Friday, September 14, 2007
I was at adoration tonite and looking up at the crucifix and it hit me that not only did Jesus not have to get in that position to start with--He could have hidden Thursday nite, told Pilate or Herod what they wanted to hear, or just used his God powers to wipe everyone out--He didn't have to stay on the cross once He got there. As humans we have free will, but our will is often thwarted by the will of others, but in this case He always had free will, He could have come down at any time, but chose not to.
What do the preceding paragraphs have in common? I'm having trouble continuing to say "yes" to what I know I should do, not only with the diet but also some other things in my life. I know I should do them, I want to do them (at least sort of) but it is so much easier and more pleasurable to say "no" rather than "yes". I need to remember that He continued to say "yes" until His last breath.
Friday, September 07, 2007
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Anyway, this post isn't so much a book review as it is a pondering about the role of the community in helping other members maintain their fidelity to the standards of that community. Like Catholics, according to Lewis, the Amish do not believe in "once saved, always saved" but rather see salvation as a goal to be reached, through the grace of God, by living the life to which God calls us. Lewis sees this as a works-based salvation, and in my experience, her favored characters realize that they have to accept Jesus and are saved by that. I mention this because one thing I've noted in her books about the Amish is that there is almost always a shunned character. In my understanding, if a baptized Amish (they are baptized generally as young adults, after classes to make sure they know what they are doing) persists in sin--including sins such as leaving the Amish lifestyle for a modern one--the community shuns the person. They do not speak to the person, or eat with him/her or otherwise treat him/her like anything but a stranger. If the person is living with other Amish, those people will set a separate table for the one shunned. There are two purposes for the shunning: to keep the person's sin from infecting the community and spreading and to encourage the person to repent and give up his/her sinful choices. In her books, Lewis always shows shunning as hurting the loved ones as much if not more than the ones shunned, and while my memory may fail me, I don't think her characters are ever moved to repentance by it. I wonder though how often it is used in real life, and how well it works.
I say that because to some extent all societies use social pressure to get people to conform to their norms. You don't realize how many "rules" there are until you have an autistic kid who keeps breaking them--and who pays the social cost. Have you ever thought about the fact that you don't walk down the street waving your arms in the air or stretching them over your head? Think of all the fashion rules that even the most unhip among us obey daily--and know when to disobey. In what ways are you allowed to express your displeasure when in public? The penalty for disobeying all these unwritten, and sometimes contradictory rules is social isolation--not a formal shun like the Amish have, but rather the isolation caused by people avoiding the "weirdo". But back to what I was thinking about earlier--to what extent should we use social pressure to get people to behave in a moral manner. Catholics have never shunned to the extent that the Amish do, but my parents have told me that when they were kids, no Catholic would dream of going to a wedding of a Catholic that was held outside a church. Unwed mothers were shunted off to maternity homes and practically forced to put their kids up for adoption. Divorcees were considered to be of questionable character--and don't even go there regarding homosexual behavior. Certain things were held to be right, others wrong and social pressure was used to encourage (or perhaps berate) people into following the religious and moral norms. Today however, the opposite seems to be true. It seems we are all afraid of being judgmental and are all trying to be open, loving people, such that as a society we don't stand up and say "this is wrong and we won't tolerate it" to sinful behaviors, even to the extent that we do to "weird" behaviors. Have we quit shunning sinful behavior because we believe shunning is bad, or because we don't believe the sinful behavior is bad?