"Love! Do you know the meaning of the word?" 'How should I not?' said the Lady, 'I am in love...in Love Himself.'
~C.S. Lewis
The Great Divorce

Monday, February 28, 2011


One of, if not my favorite, authors is C.S. Lewis, the English professor perhaps somewhat unfortunately known best for the Chronicles of Narnia.

I was reading some of his work today and, if I can be slightly sentimental for a moment, was sincerely touched. I thought I would share this section with you all.

"Perhaps it seems rather crude to describe glory as the fact of being 'noticed' by God. But this is almost the language of the New Testament. St. Paul promises to those who love God not, as we should expect, that they will know him, but that they will not be known by Him. (I Cor. 8:3) It is a strange promise. Does not God know all things at all times? But it is dreadfully reechoed in another passage of the New Testament. There we are warned that it may happen to any one of us to appear at last before the face of God and hear only the appalling words, 'I never knew you. Depart from Me.' In some sense, as dark to the intellect as it is unendurable to the feelings, we can be both banished from the presence of Him who is present everywhere and erased from the knowledge of Him who knows all. We can be left utterly and absolutely outside-repelled, exiled, estranged, finally and unspeakably ignored. On the other hand, we can be called in, welcomed, received, acknowledged. We walk every day on the razor edge between these two incredible possibilities. Apparently, then, our lifelong nostalgia, our longing to be reunited with something in the universe from which we now feel cut off, to be on the inside of some door which we have always seen from the outside, is no mere nerotic fancy, but the truest index of our real situation. And to be at last summoned inside would be both glory and honour beyond all our merits and also the healing of that old ache."

-from The Weight of Glory

It reminds me of the words spoken by that knight of the first Crusade in Indiana Jones: "Choose but choose wisely."


Thursday, February 24, 2011


I live not far from an Amish community, roughly 8 miles or so. It's not exactly on my way to anything, so I don't see or interact with the Amish too frequently. However, I do see them on their horse and buggies, have watched them work without electricity, and have generally seen how simple their lives can be. At times, I've been jealous. Sure, they are missing(have rejected) some creature comforts, but it allows them to block so much "noise" from their lives.

While technology needs to be restrained from taking over periods of silence and contemplation, I'm not envious of the Amish, or the monastics for that matter.

Any ninth grade biology student can tell you how complex basic genetic code is, or the various proteins. The human body is not a simple design. The hymn "For the Beauty of the Earth" states it this way:

"For the joy of ear and eye, for the heart and mind's delight
For the mystic harmony, linking sense to sound and sight"

The anatomy of the eye itself is astounding. Even more so, it's power to relay to the brain what it perceives reliably. My point is this, God did not create simply. Our bodies reflect his own mysteriousness. Our world does too, as it should.

For those of us who have a Libertarian-bent politically, it is often a temptation to look at red tape and want to scream for dramatic cuts in government. And while beauracracy is out of control, big government is not a bad government by definition. The complexities of the division of powers can be frustrating at times, but it is necessary.

For those who like simple, packaged answers to deep questions, this is a reminder that some questions don't have "yes" and "no" answers. There are intended to be complicated and mysterious. I was reminded of this again recently when debating with family members the question of whether you can lose your salvation. (for the record, I believe the question is put poorly, and it would be better to ask can any person have something other than the Christian Hope that they will persevere to the end). Verse after verse and argument after argument was raised. My father said simply, our salvation is more complicated than we realize. It is beyond something we can tie neatly in a box. It's complex.

It all comes down to the matter of control. Simple things we can grasp; wrap our minds around. These other matters about which the vast majority of us have little understanding, must simply be accepted and enjoyed as the product of a much more intelligent design than we could have offered.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Terms of Endearment

Ok...for a little levity...

When I was younger, I can remember thinking about the names I might have for my future wife. I don't know that I've settled on one, and it may well be that you just don't know the answser to this question until you've met your future significant other. But there are several which I can rule out and below you will find my reasonsing.

Babe-Growing up watching Saved by the Bell this was the term that was used to somewhat deroggatorily address Kelly and Jessie by Zach and Slater. I know many people who use this in an undemeaning way, but it strikes me as such. Not to mention, it carries with it the baggage of being the name of a talking pig...a talking pig from a movie I simply don't find funny or charming. Nothing says "I love you" like pig.

Darling-This used to be the favorite. It had a 1930's, Golden-Age of Hollywood, sound to it. But thanks to the folk song about a miner's daughter named Clementine, I can only think of Oranges when I hear "darling".

Sugar-obviously, this is out. Aside from the fact that this will subliminally cause me to gain weight, it is clearly derived from "sweetie" and as such, must be inferior to it. My wife shall not go by an inferior name.

My Beloved-It has a nice biblical and liturgical ring-check. But all good terms of endearment have two syllables are fewer. This simply doesn't fit within those parameters.

Anyhow, I'm open to thoughts on the matter.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Eucharist as Marriage

I had an opportunity to have a short conversation with one of the guys at the seminary where I teach today on John Paul II's Theology of the Body. The lectures, delivered over the course of several years, are far too detailed to even summarize in a blog post. But I wanted to record a few thoughts on our conversation.

As marriage is seen as one of (if not the greatest) picture of redemption in the Scriptures, it only makes sense that the Eucharist wherein we participate in Christ's sacrifice, should be seen as a marriage. The liturgy leaves us with these words: "that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us." When the holy gifts are received we become one with Christ, who gives his Body to the Church-to us, the Bride.

This is the language of marriage. It is the reality of which marriage is a picture. The two are becoming one flesh. No, it is not that the Eucharist is necessarily sexual in nature. But Christ gives all of himself to us in the mass, and we in turn are required to give everything back to him. Thus, the liturgy goes on "and here we present unto thee, O Lord, ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice." In the Eucharist, Christ and the Church our celebrating their pending nuptials, as we receive a foretaste of the marriage which will be consummated in Heaven. We become one with him that as he died and lives again, so too we may at last attain to the glorious Resurrection and spend eternity with the Bridegroom.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Melancholy and February

It's that time of the year when all the schools where I work begin to ask me about making a committment for next year. I love all the places where I teach-and that is not simply lip service. CHA, HFS, Joyful Sounds, and RES, are all great and unique environments. But I can't shake the feeling this year of being in a rut. Mind you, it is a comfortable rut. Nonetheless, I hear the words of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, when he exclaimed to Gandalf "I want to see mountains!"

There is a part of me which is desperate for another adventure...another mountain to climb, another goal to accomplish. I wonder if it is simply Satan making me discontented. Or, is it really time for me to do something different? Something bold? I'm really undecided on this one...