Friday, October 28, 2005

Cool Music

One of the greatest parts of my friendship with Srs. Water and Grass is that we share an intense love for music. Specifically for cool, lesser known artists. So here are a couple I highly recommend, just to throw it out there for any music lovers like Annee or Anj.

Ray LaMontagne, who we call "Ray Lemonade" because we aren't sure how to say his name. I'm telling you, it never fails that when his song "Trouble" comes on in my car, I say "Sing it, Ray!" It doesn't matter if I've had a good day or a bad day, and it doesn't matter what mood I'm in. It's appropriate for all. Sing it, Ray!!

Amos Lee I would place him in the same kind of genre as our pal Ray. They call it a fusion of funk and soul... and that sounds about right. It's soul-ful music alright! Love it.

Hem Sr. Grass heard this band playing in a store when we were in CA, and asked the person working who they were. Apparently, she was the millionth person to do so. It's very nice- some fiddle in there, and fun to sing along to.

These three are all under the general mood of "chill"... Ooooh Ben Harper too. This is just the current mood, there are others.

Wow work is reaaaaal slow today.

SO close!

You Are 22 Years Old

Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Party Time

Halloween = parties. One tomorrow, one Saturday. I am thus compelled to contemplate proper party conversation and participation. (How do you like those c's and p's?)

It is always helpful to remember that almost everyone in the world doesn't think they are very good at the whole "social thing." It almost never fails that people I think are so calm and cool at making conversation and seem not nervous at all in party settings will later confess their anxiety over that very thing. We all say to each other, "Are you kidding? You're so great! I'm the one who's socially awkward." Just realizing that changes your perspective. We're all just human. In a setting surrounded by people you only slightly know, you are probably going to be a little awkward. You're probably going to have to endure some silences, and lags in conversation, and say some dumb things. You'll tell a story and not know where it's going and it will never get there. You'll be in people's way, a lot if its crowded. That's all a part of it. Part of the human thing. Most people choose to ease this a bit with alcohol. At parties I go to, no one is getting trashed, and they're responsible. I usually don't for the simple reason that I don't particularly like the way most of it tastes. And having been that way forever, I'm used to this awkwardness that is me, and can deal with it fairly well. (Not to say that's the only reason to drink- but if you don't like beer, then it is the reason... meaning, when my roommate makes me a yummy fun drink I don't complain :)

The last time I went to a party at this person's place, I was very struck by how much is going on at one time. Especially in these kinds of circles- you're going to a party with people who examine their consciences. So you know that words are not just coming and going, they will be remembered. Everyone is trying to figure out how to "be good"- even a saint- yet be themselves too. There are crushes, there are disappointments, there are former relationships or budding ones, mixed feelings, hidden ones... the list goes on. And it's all part of the night. God wills somehow that you're standing in this room with this particular group of people. You have the choice of whether you're going to live for others and go outside of yourself (to that person standing alone) or remain comfortably with people you know well. You will have to rack your brain for real questions to ask strangers which don't allow one-word answers, and you'll have to actually care about their response and be open to being surprised. All this while getting over your own self-consciousness, background music that can be distracting, or feelings about this or that person. And since most of these people are in the state of grace, the Holy Spirit is totally present even if we're not having "prayer time." How cool is that?

So my prayer for tomorrow is the strength to be obedient to the Holy Spirit. Follow Him wherever He leads, and if it's to a person who rambles on without stopping for breath in the corner away from all my friends, so be it. For the grace to love them and not make it evident that I would like out of this conversation. (not that I've ever done that... I mean.... shoot I'm a wretch) To be ungrasping of anyone's attention. For humility and the willingness to be set aside. For freedom in my heart, and for it to be protected by Mary in all its vulnerability.

I'm so glad it will be St. Jude's feast day! I'm a hopeless cause :)


So little do most of us know, there's an intense debate going on over this procedure, designed to give us stem cells without giving us embryos. Here's what one of my professors has to say about it:

ANT-OAR (Warning: Evil PDF format!)

I wish I understood this stuff, but I really don't. I just really trust this guy. It's a Brave New World indeed................

Friday, October 07, 2005

Trinity study time

I realized very strongly on Tuesday that I need to be studying a bit harder. The question, "Well, what does Athanasius say?" was directed toward the class and I found myself thinking, "I have no idea. I know I read it, but I have no idea."

oops. So today at work, I'm going through my notes, and this post will really be just for the purpose of "writing down" a few things, especially any cool points Fr. made.

The problem with Rahner's "On the Trinity" is that he said that the economic Trinity is the immanent Trinity and vice versa. It's the vice versa that causes problems, because the first part is fine- yes, the God in history is the God that exists. But did God express His whole Being in history? Is there nothing left to say? What happens now then? God's being is not welded to the cosmos, He is not totally caught up in history so that He is lost. There is a connection, of course (Romans 1:20), but God is always-greater. ever-greater.

So what does Jesus Christ disclose?
"I am the sent one." He is always in relation to the Father. His mission defines Him, it coincides with Who He is.

*here's where Fr. went off a bit and said some great stuff: human beings always want to be somewhere else- to plan the future. Christ shows His divinity by not anticipating the will of the Father (only the Father knows the hour) Human beings always have the suspicion that the Father is the enemy, and that's why we have to plan things out. Remember, we're always and only in the PRESENT! That's it! Nothing before or behind. And the most evident thing about the present is that we're not making ourselves-- we're being made-- and we resist. We want to break out of time. You can't just pull yourself out of this way of thinking, but Christ shows that the meaning of being a human being is to receive.*

Aquinas: Christ's having a mission coincides with receiving His being in eternal generation. He is defined by receiving Himself. The mission of the Son is the divine procession in history.

Christ talks of God as 3 and as unity. Circumincession, perichoresis...

How do we understand the paradox of one God who is Father, Son, and Spirit?

Look at the 2 philosophical positions that are a background for these questions.
  1. Plotinus teaches that the more perfect a being is, the more it generates. Generation is a perfection of being. The perfect One is a unity overflowing with life. What is generated cannot be itself; it must be something else, something less. That which is generated is less than and extrinsic to the one who generates. The one generates outside itself.
  2. Aristotle posits the Unmoved mover, the principle which remains ignorant of all other things. The universe is co-eternal, so the One doesn't mettle in it.

Now within Christianity:

Arius posits that a distinction in God cannot multiply essences. (There are not 3 Gods) He's trying to correct a couple theories going around:

  • Adoptionism: Jesus is a normal human being and at Baptism He is granted divinity by the Holy Spirit.
  • Modalism: We seem to be dealing with one God who presents Himself in history in 3 different ways. They aren't 3 different persons, just modes or ways of being the same. God's face with 3 expressions... ways God is present to our awareness. Like Sabellianism. Consequence: The Father suffers on the Cross.

Arius is trying to remain faithful to Scripture, defend God's unity, and also affirm the reality of Jesus' suffering and death. Against modalism, he says that the generation of the Son is real- He has a true substantial existence, is not an emanation. The Son is not the Father. When he starts getting in trouble, Arius tries to get out of it through using Scripture to hold that God is one, and that while the Father is ungenerated, all else comes from something else. (Jesus is not equal to the Father)

shoot I didn't get far at all. Lots of work to do!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Stand in Reality

We had a professor last year who was young, energetic, handsome, and didn't wear a ring. Then we found out that he was a consecrated celibate in a community. We're talking vows not promises. And suddenly, how you looked at him was changed.

I remember the way my friend explained it. If your vocation is your stand in reality, then this total chang of perception makes perfect sense. When you find out someone's vocation, suddenly you see them in light of this fact, this calling which determines the rest of their being. If you see a man in plain clothes, who then introduces himself as a priest, the same thing happens.

One of the guys who plays soccer never wears a ring when he plays, so I never knew he was married. Then I saw him at a different function the other day, with his wife. And it just clicked- it made him make sense! Now I can see him much more in reality; his stand in it is named. I don't know how to explain it. But there is something in how he plays, in how he affirms everyone on the field, and how fatherly he is that I just couldn't seem to reconcile with a single man and it kind of confused me. And now I see why! How cool!! His marriage defines him in a fundamental way, and it is communicated just in the way he is. He didn't even have to have his ring on, or mention his wife every day for me to know there was definitely something to him, that he was not a normal single guy. I'm wondering if there's a way to tell him that, but I think if people don't know where I'm coming from, the JPII vision, they might think it's... well... strange. "You only made sense to me when I saw you with your wife!"

We're such animals

Me, B, Katie, and Kathleen (Water)