Thursday, May 14, 2009

Two from Archbishop Chaput

One concern we should have today is that we've lost our awe for the church. We hear frequently about the contrast between the "institutional Church" and the "real Church." We see this again and again in the newspapers. We read about what the "institutional Church" has to say or teach, and then we have it refuted by someone who claims to represent the "real Church," a spiritual entity separate from the institution. Yet this is not what Catholics believe. We have only one Church. Any distinction between an "institutional" Church and the "real" Church is both artificial and dangerous, because it gives us a license to choose what we want to believe and throw away the rest. We set up a dishonest distinction between what the institutional Church teaches and what members of the "real" Church -- in other words, we -- prefer.

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Ask yourself this question: Why do we have a vocations crisis in the Church? Is it because of celibacy? I don't think so. When I was eighteen years old, my body wasn't any different from those of eighteen-year-old males today, and women were no less interesting, intelligent, and attractive in the 1960s than they are today. Yet somehow great numbers of young men were able to choose celibacy. Celibacy in the 2000s isn't the real obstacle to priestly vocations. Being faithful to celibacy has always involved a struggle. We have a crisis in priestly and religious vocations for the same reason we have a crisis in committed lay vocations: The sons and daughters of the Church lack confidence in the Church. No sensible person would become celibate for General Motors or Microsoft, and no sensible person should give himself as a celibate to the Church if the Church is merely an institution.

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap., Living the Catholic Faith : Rediscovering the Basics (Charis, 2001), pp. 82-85

On charity

Hugh of Saint Victor observes that the devil is not afraid of us when we give alms to the poor, because he himself does not own anything. Neither does he fear us when we fast, because he does not take food. And even when we keep vigil at night he is not afraid, because he does not sleep. But if we are united in charity, of this the devil is terrified, and immensely so, because he realizes that we safeguard on earth what he disdained in heaven.

Fr Peter John Cameron, OP, via the May 2009 Magnificat

Monday, May 11, 2009


Most of the young poets I read appear to have little sense of the sound words make, and I wonder whether they read their own poems aloud.

May Sarton, At Seventy : A Journal (Norton, 1984), p. 318

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Lemonade! Huzzah!

I have just received the Lemonade Stand Award from Sharon of clairity currents! I am most grateful!

And accordingly, I nominate the following five for the Lemonade Stand Award, for bloggers "whose posting demonstrates great attitude and gratitude":

Sancta Sanctis

Video meliora, proboque; deteriora sequor

For Keats' Sake!


Eve Tushnet

Oh, yes, the rules!

1) Put the Lemonade Award logo on your blog or post.

2) Nominate at least 5 blogs that show great attitude or gratitude (half of the original 10)

3) Link to your nominees within your post.

4) Let the nominees know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.

5) Share the love and link to the person from whom you received your award.

I feel so extraordinary, something's got a hold on me

An '80s flashback :