On June 20, 2018, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, one of the top Catholic prelates in the United States, was removed from ministry by the Vatican because of credible allegations that he had abused a 16 year old boy while a priest in New York (Chicago Tribune). At first, I did not give the story much notice. It was something that happened decades ago, and I knew that the Catholic Church in the United States had taken great measures since the scandals of 2002 to make sure these kind of things did not happen again.
I recently finished reading the Sword and Serpent trilogy by Dr. Taylor Marshall. I met the author while he was working on his PhD at University of Dallas and I was working on my MTh. We sat next to each in a very good Thomas Aquinas seminar class, and as we talked before class, we realized he had entered the Catholic Church a week before my wife and I had. One difference was that he had been an Episcopal priest when he became Catholic, so he was moving into a new career, which included teaching and writing about philosophy and theology.
Natural Revelation is very important because it can be the beginning of a journey to God for some people as well as a confirmation for those who already have faith in God, but it doesn’t tell us all of what we need to know about him. In fact, it tells us that God must be so different from us that it would be impossible for us to begin to understand or know much about him on our own.
I have written about seeking truth, so lets talk about how to seek the truth about the most fundamental question, which is about God. One way we can know about God is by looking at creation. If the universe was created by God, then it should tell us something about him. We can tell something about an artist or author by looking at their work, so if God is an artist, he should be reflected in his work.
I was in a political discussion in the comments of a Facebook when the topic of abortion came up, and I wrote a rather long comment to explain why I thought it should be illegal. I’m sharing an edited version of it here in case it might be helpful to others. While I have many issues with the Democratic Party, by far the most important is their zealous support of legalized abortion.
I have been interested in what could be called “theological issues” since I was in high school, even though I did not much care about religion until I was a junior. Even before I began my life of faith, I recognized that the topic was important. Christians believe in an all-powerful God who rules the universe and will judge us at our death. I saw that if this God existed, he should not be ignored, but I did not know a way to know if he existed, and I had thought that modern science had made his existence unlikely.
The modern era is characterized by very fast-paced change, the rate of which increases year after year. I’ve observed three main ways people respond to the change. Embrace the new, reject the old This reaction may be the most common. The assumption is that everything newer is better and supersedes what came before. The constant advancement of scientific knowledge lends credence to this idea, so we think that we know more today than did the people before us, even in areas that have nothing to do with science.
I am reading Life of Christ by the Venerable Abp. Fulton Sheen. Although at first his language struck me as dated, but after a little reading it was clear that his content is timeless, and maybe even more applicable today than in his day because the trends that concerned him in the 1970s have now come into their fullness. The book goes through the life of Jesus Christ chronologically, drawing material from all four Gospels.
I went to confession last Friday, and for a penance, the priest told me to pray through Psalm 4. It turned out to be very appropriate for my struggles about the corruption that is being revealed in the Catholic Church. I thought I would go through the psalm and talk about what it means to me. The psalm starts with: Answer me when I call, O God of my right!
This morning I saw a post by a Fr. David Abernathy about a blog post that writes about one of the many great passages in The Brothers Karamazov. In this passage, a woman confesses to a monk, Fr. Zosima, about how she finds it difficult to actively love others in the way that Christ teaches us to do. Fr. Zosima replies: “I heard exactly the same thing, a long time ago to be sure, from a doctor,” the elder remarked.