Spiritual Writers: January 2008 Archives

One for the Anti-Environmentalists


Naturally the following quotation means more than its literal sense, but if we start from the literal sense, we get a keen impression of Catholic Social Teaching that would argue against many of the arguments advanced against those who act out of concern for the environment. In other words, there is a component of environmentalism that is concordant with Catholic understanding of the world and our place in it.

"We can free our life and the world from the poisons and contaminations that would destroy the present and the future. We can uncover the sources of creation and keep them unsullied, and in this way we can make a right use of creation, which comes to us as a gift, according to its intrinsic requirements and ultimate purpose."

Benedict XVI, Spe Salvi, 35

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Hope II


"All serious and upright human conduct is hope in action."

Benedict XVI, Spe Salvi, 35

One would do well to pause over this statement because it has profound implications for daily activity. Of course, much depends on the definition of "serious" in this context, just as it does when one quotes C.S. Lewis--"Joy is the serious business of Heaven."

But if we take serious to mean the opposite of frivolous--that is action carefully and duly considered and then taken, such things as attending a concert or hiking the Grand Canyon become living embodiments of hope. If true, this is an astounding revelation. For a child blowing bubbles is hope in action. For an adult, making jewelry, keeping house, washing the car, in fact, many of the ordinary activities of everyday life are hope in action.

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Deliberate Misreading


" It is not the elemental spirits of the universe, the laws of matter, which ultimately govern the world and mankind, but a personal God governs the stars, that is, the universe; it is not the laws of matter and of evolution that have the final say, but reason, will, love--a Person. " Benedict XVI Spe Salvi, 5

Remove the punctuation at the end and we have one of the premier teachings of the Catholic Church, "Reason will love a Person." Indeed, properly formed and rightly guided, reason will love a Person, or perhaps three Persons, but most certainly reason will engage with the Human Face of God.

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Implied Comparative


"The one who has hope lives differently." Benedict XVI ,Spe Salvi, 2

Differently than what? Differently than the one who does not have hope? Than the one who now has hope who formerly did not? Differently than the rest of the world--and why would that be notable because we all live differently than the rest of the world.

And in what does this difference consist? It seems I may find out as I read the encyclical. But it is a pressing question, urgently requiring an answer. How does hope make one live differently?

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" . . . the present, even if it is arduous, can be lived and accepted if it leads towards a goal, if we can be sure of this goal, and if this goal is great enough to justify the effort of the journey."

Pope Benedict XVI, Spe Salvi 1.

Do I believe this?

Do I really believe this?

How do I show it by how I live? (aka: Do I live as though this were true?)

"How quickly we fall back from nothing to nothing." ibid 2

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Spiritual Writers category from January 2008.

Spiritual Writers: November 2007 is the previous archive.

Spiritual Writers: February 2008 is the next archive.

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