Sunday, August 28, 2011

Skip the Title

"Give up yourself, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favourite wishes every day and death of your whole body in the end: submit with every fiber of your being, and you will find eternal life. Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will ever be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in." ~ C.S. Lewis

Since claiming my return to blogger, you have no idea how many false starts I've experienced when constructing a post. Instead of giving you a count of how many post I began but never developed, I will simply say that I have enough beginning material to last me a LONG TIME, most of which will undoubtedly be deleted. And then there was the indecision of how to return. How on earth do I begin what I said in my last post (three months ago) I was resuming? What post would be fitting? What topic would be appropriate? Since I didn't have a good answer to any of those questions (and still don't), I simply decided to type away and post.

The above quote is from the celebrated author/ Christian apologist, C.S.Lewis. What an admirable and passionate commitment he had to Christianity. I often think of him and those jewels of Saints that pepper Catholic historicity whenever I feel like I'm faltering or about to make erroneous conclusions about God. They don't necessarily stop me from making those bad conclusions, but they sure help me fight my way out of them by functioning as beacons of light in the darkness. How many of us, for example, in the course of our day, besieged by set-backs, bad news, demoralizing defeats, would be tempted to conclude that God is apathetic or that He simply doesn't exist? I think a great deal of humanity experiences that type of situation. And if your Catholic and voice publicly (and honestly) a moment of profound desolation or unbelief, it's nothing short of scandalous! I never understood why, however, since moments of unbelief are part-and-parcel to the ups and downs of a spiritual life taken seriously. It should be, I think, about as unusual and shameful as finding someone with a cold during winter, or a painter with blotches of paint on his uniform.

And there are plenty of experiences that can weaken your faith: A fragmented relationship; bad medical news; shattered dreams; losing a loved-one; life taking you on a path different than the one you hope for, and perhaps, just general unhappiness.

But the good news is this. Could St. Therese de Lisieux, St. Augustine, Mother Teresa, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Benedict, and the courageous steadfastness of the murdered monks of Tibhirine (to mention just a few) be the product of delusion and self deception? Were this people--as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens might lead you to believe--the victims of a sham instituted by shysters and perpetuated by organized religion? Examine that question deeply and the only ones self-deceived are the ones who answer yes.

I want to conclude this short post with this Agnus Dei from Arvo Part's "Berliner Messe." It's simply extraordinary and highlights the meat and potatoes of Catholic worship: Mysticism. Which in this case I mean Mystery of God. Communion is a great part of this Mystery.

Also, I did manage to post a picture of myself on Facebook. Ha! But I made sure that some people couldn't see it. This reminds of my next chore, thin-out my Friends list on Facebook. To be perfectly honest, there are people on that list that I simply don't care to have any connections with. Some of which are on Blogger! Not you, of course:0)


Shirley said...

Nice to see you back Tom. I find a lot of bloggers who get on Facebook tend to forget about their blogs. Facebook has that "instant gratification" that is so popular in this fast paced world. Blogging requires more thought and dedication than status updates, and is far more creative.
I love our Catholic faith, even in my darkest hours it gives me strength and hope.
Lovely Agnus Dei.

Terry Nelson said...

I'm glad you are back - I missed you - checking in every once in awhile to see if you posted, and so on. I was on Facebook but I dropped it - too superficial for me I think - and I spend too much time online anyway.

As for blogger friends - I hope you don't drop me.

Tom in Vegas said...

Shirley- I agree with you 100%. Facebook is really about miniature updates or smaller bursts of information. Just a notch above Twitter. But sometimes you not only want to say more, but you want a different audience to say it to without having to ensure some people don't see it.

Terry, my friend, lose you as a blogger pal?? NEVER. I love your blog! Though I was absent, I did read it sporadically in the past few months.

Adrienne said...

I can't stand Facebook. I never update my status. Who the hell cares what I had for breakfast? And if they do, they shouldn't.

I'm thinking of cutting back my blog posts to only a few per week. Of course, this is being said while in the throes of "blogger burnout."

Thanks for the heads up on Pat Condell. I didn't know about his anti-Catholicism. Actually, he appears to hate all religion. I guess he was raised Catholic. Nothing in the world more bitter than a lapsed Catholic!!!

Rita said...

Hi Tom,

It is good to have you around again, that was a beautiful post.

Tom in Vegas said...

Auntie A- Agreed. Some people post meaningless babble on there. MEANINGLESS.

Rita- Thank you, Rita. It's very nice to hear from you again!