Almighty God, you have enriched your Church with the singular learning and holiness of your servant Thomas Aquinas: Enlighten us more and more, we pray, by the disciplined thinking and teaching of Christian scholars, and deepen our devotion by the example of saintly lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Friday, January 28, 2011
But why do it?
There's many reasons to give up meat - health, protesting the killing of animals, the price of meat, the desire to feel superior to others, etc.
I suppose there's a mix of all of those in my decision, but there are two specific things I wanted to share.
First, there is the matter of respect for life. Of all of the things in God's creation, life is perhaps the most incredible. I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with killing and eating animals, but I do think it needs to be done with respect. I don't think we do that anymore. We've industrialized the consumption of animals, and have thereby turned life into pure product. I think this is a problem, and I've chosen, as much as I can, not to participate in it.
Of course, there's a certain hypocrisy here, since plants are also life, and I do continue to consume them.
I have further chosen to make the giving up of meat into fast dedicated to God, and thereby a prayer. We typically think of prayer in mental terms, and that's a very important part of prayer, but it isn't everything. God is the creator of matter as well as thought, and just as we can direct thoughts to Him, we can direct actions. A little bit of discipline is a good thing in a life, and I have dedicated this discipline to God.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
The Suffering of Job
Job is a confusing book. All to often, individuals try to reduce it to a theodicy - an explanation of why there is suffering in the world, but I think it resists that move. Job's friends and the youth Elihu offer explanations of Job's suffering, but then God shows up... and He doesn't give an answer. He says, "hey Job, I'm God, I made stuff."
It's awfully confusing.
Fred Clark, who is perhaps one of my favorite bloggers, recently did a post about Epiphany. In that post, he discusses an idea that God learned something from His incarnation. As often with Clark, I disagreed with his primary premise, but he made a very interesting connection in his post I don't think I ever would have made.
Job suffered, and God appeared. Yet, despite His revelation He remains mysterious, He doesn't give an answer to Job's suffering.
Then God became man, Jesus died on the Cross, and Job's suffering was answered.
The Last Shall Be First
One of the events celebrated on Epiphany is the the visit of the Magi. Three wise men from faraway lands came, and bowed before the baby Jesus, demonstrating His kingship, the manifestation of God to men. Wealthy men came from faraway lands and bowed before the Nazarene son of a carpenter. The poorest of the poor lifted up above all mankind.
Truly, the last shall be first.
When I got back home, I very quickly had to move out in order to live closer to campus (I'm having to live without a car now), and classes have now started for me.
All that to explain my absence. I'm back now, though, and have a new piece in the works. I've also got something special lined up. Tune in .