Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Round up: recent readings of interest - updated 9/19

Deacons are for proclaiming the Word of God, in word and in deed.  But we don't do that on our own, like liturgical Lone Rangers; we proclaim only in communion with our shepherd, apart from communion with whom we have no ministry, no mission.

Here's Pope Benedict proclaiming the Gospel during his recent apostolic visit to Lebanon. Text of all twelve of his addresses from this journey are at the link.
(Pope Benedict and Patriarch Gregorios III of Antioch in the Basilica of St. Paul, Harissa; Reuters photo, from the link above)

Here's Archbishop Chaput proclaiming the Gospel in a more quotidian but still compelling fashion:
     Selfishness dressed up as individual freedom has always been part of American life.  But now it infects the whole fabric of consumer society.  American life is becoming a cycle of manufactured appetites, illusions and licenses that turns people in on themselves and away from each other. As communities of common belief and action dissolve, the state fills in the void they leave.  And that suits a lot of us just fine, because if the government takes responsibility for the poor, we don’t have to. 
     I’m using a broad brush here, obviously.  In Catholic social thought, government has a legitimate role – sometimes a really crucial role -- in addressing social problems that are too big and too serious to be handled by anyone else.  But Jesus didn’t bless higher taxes, deficit spending and more food stamps, any more than he endorsed the free market.
     The way we lead our public lives needs to embody what the Catholic faith teaches -- not what our personalized edition of Christianity feels comfortable with, but the real thing; the full package; what the Church actually holds to be true.  In other words, we need to be Catholics first and political creatures second. (emphasis in original)

Here's an interesting reflection from Anthony Esolen on subsidiarity and the way it's being consistently misrepresented in politics:
     The welfare state is a soft prison, a system of induced incapacity, to the benefit of the wardens.  It works in concert with public schools, another vast network of compulsions, whose existence is predicated on the assumption that learning, in children, is unnatural, so that only “experts” can fathom the mystery, and so that “good” parents will act as trusties, submitting to the authority and enforcing its often ridiculous and pernicious commands.  The next network of control is an infantilizing media, persuading people that they are stupid or fat or ugly, that they live in a shack, that they wear rags, that they need what the hawkers provide.  The last element is a diseased and counterfeit individualism: the promotion of selfishness and of vices that make true self-reliance, and therefore true community, impossible.

And, tangentially, here's part I of a very interesting apologetic piece on the Deuterocanon (the books of the Bible Catholics keep and Protestants reject).

Update, 9/19 - Here's Part II of the same apologetic piece.

And, even more tangentially, for a bonus, here's the free on-line quarterly journal, "Church Life," from the Institute for Church Life at Notre Dame - where, for the moment, a significant portion of the University's Catholicity is being consistently expressed (link to Vol 3, vols 1 and 2 available there also).

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