Thursday, February 28, 2013

Top Ten Reasons Pope Benedict is like Gandalf

A little bit of fun on a sad day-
Reasons the Pope is like Gandalf:
1) He's retiring to Castel Gandolfo, which I believe is Italian for Gandalf's Castle :)
2)He's entrusted others with destroying an important ring
3) When he took on the role of Pope in 2005, he started wearing white
4) Has a cool staff
5) Gandalf- the grey pilgrim. Pope Benedict- went as pilgrim to 25 countries.
6) Saruman=Hans Kung. Think about it.
7) Associates with the powerful as well as the lowly.
8) Blows your mind with his wisdom
9) Speaks languages most people have forgotten.
10) Stood up to the Balrog of relativism.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

What to Say

I don't blog very often anymore.  Sure, I have a couple of brothers from Franciscan University's Conquer Through Love household who have some of the best blogs around (Bad Catholic and Summa) but mad bloggin' skillz aren't just given to us at induction.  (You do get a sweet bowling pin, though.) 
Not to mention the occasional apparition. Seriously, bro, come to Lord's Day!
The whole point of blogging is that, theoretically, the author has something to say.  As anyone who's spent more than ten seconds on the interwebs can tell you, however, most of the things that get said aren't worth saying.  Topics range from the absurd to the vitriolic to the ignorant to virtually anything but the truthful.  When someone manages to post something that is thoughtful and true, they are immediately attacked by the "you can't say that" brigade.

Pictured: Pre-Internet Fascism.
This is of course true of the world outside of the Internet. (Of which I'm told that apparently there is one.)  In fact, we may be even less inclined to speak the truth when we don't have the anonymity of the Internet.  We chicken out more easily when we can see the person who disagrees with us. We are so fearful of offending others, of getting into a heated argument with others, that we prefer to say nothing.  The Internet might actually be us at our best.

Please, don't let that be true.
So this is the situation in which we find ourselves today: people with something to say are silent, and people with nothing to say are shouting their nothing from the rooftops.  The question must be asked, then: do we have something to say? Something true, something real, something of substance?  If we are Christians, the answer is yes- but we aren't saying it.
Jesus is the divine Logos, the Word made flesh.  The words that Jesus spoke were indeed powerful.  "Never before has anyone spoken like this one." (John 7:46)  The disciples on the road to Emmaus recounted how their hearts burned as He spoke and unlocked the Scriptures for them. (cf Luke 24:32)  More important than the words He spoke, though, is the Word that He is.  Jesus is the Eternal Word of the Father.  Mere words can communicate ideas and thoughts; the Word communicates God Himself.  "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1)
Which brings me back to the topic of what we should be saying.  It is not enough to simply talk about Jesus.  Many people do that, but it fails to communicate His love.  We need to speak Jesus Himself.  We need to be so united to Him in our minds and in our hearts that He is upon our lips.  The Word is infinitely more effective than our words.  "Indeed, the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two edged sword." (Heb 4:12)
This might sound a bit vague- how can we truly communicate Jesus?  We must conform ourselves to Him.  We do this through prayer, study of the Scriptures, the Sacraments, and all the innumerable ways He has given us to better know His love.  We need to fall in love with Him, and allow ourselves to be loved by Him. Blessed Teresa of Calcutta was a great example- this diminutive woman would stir hearts to love and to action not because of the eloquence of her words but because the Jesus that she loved with all her heart was communicated through what she said and did. 
One last thought on this- Jesus is the Lamb of God, and as He was lead to the slaughter He opened not His mouth. (Is. 53:7)  However, Jesus is also the Lion of Judah.  Sometimes, we need to let Him roar.  I think now might be one of those times.