Saturday, January 21, 2012

Ending Our Culture of Death

This Monday, myriads of people from across the country will assemble in Washington, D.C. to commemorate the Roe v. Wade decision.

Let us all offer a prayer for those people traveling to Washington, D.C. and for all those children lost to the idea that choice is God-given and for the mothers and father who are victims of abortion.

Please tweet "Tweet4Choice" and "Blog4Choice" to spread the message to end the Culture of Death in the United States.

In all things, may all glory be given to God Almighty.

Monday, January 16, 2012

A World Without Love

I am a product of the (late twentieth and early) twenty-first century. All people my age are; there is no getting around this. My research as a historical liturgiologist focuses on the intersection of religion and culture and this has taught me one thing: Religion cannot exist without culture and culture cannot exist without religion. This is the way it is. I have seen a disturbing trend, though, in the recent years among my friends. This is atheism. I respect the beliefs of my friends whether they do or do not believe in a deity. This is none of my business, but I cannot help but think about what a world without religion would look like; more specifically, what a world would look like without Christianity.

Christianity is a religion of love, the love of God freely given to man and man responding to God's love by loving God and his neighbor. What does this have to do with atheism? To me, atheism is the belief that there is no God and the universe and the world is a random series of events that just seemed to happen and lead man to a certain point. To the atheist, man is just one of these random series of events in the unfolding of time. Therefore, man is just on earth, living out his days until he dies. This cycle will repeat itself until the end of time, whenever that might be.

One thing the atheist does not grasp, though, is the idea (or feeling) of love. Love, by its strictest definition, is a passionate or tender affection for something. For example, I love my parents because they are the people who gave birth to me. I love my computer because it provides me with an outlet for information and is a tool for social networking. I love my friends because they are the ones who calm me down when I need to be calmed down. All of these examples of love are not wrong in and of themselves, but what is the source of this love? The atheist would say that either love is futile or love is merely a human emotion, something man is born with before he enters the world. Love for the atheist is a priori.

The source of this love is God. God is the source of all things that exist, all living things that exist, and every person that exists. God is love, and He gives this love freely to anyone who desires it. The great thing about God is that He does not force Himself upon anyone; He gave man free will to decide what man wants for himself. If man does not want to love God, then God's feelings are not hurt. Of course, God wants all of his creatures to love Him, but He does not "hold a gun to someone's head."

To me, a large portion of the problems in the world today stem from a lack of love. I am certainly guilty of this in large measure, probably the largest. But what does this mean for the atheist? There can be no love in the world because love is purely a human emotion and will pass once man has been extinguished from the earth. There can be no love in the world because love does not have a source and therefore cannot be spread. How can something spread if there is no source? I argue that the world, in the direction it is currently heading, cannot contain love. Our culture is a culture that is hostile to its roots, hostile to religion. The culture of the United States (I cannot comment as to the cultural climate in Europe, Africa, or Asia) is one that is becoming increasingly hostile to religion.

How can love exist in a world that does not know love in its purest sense? Short answer, it can't!

Remember that culture is influenced by religion and vice versa. Therefore, let us acknowledge our roots as a society and remember the culture that we are in and how that culture was formed: An American culture with Christianity, the religion of love, at its center. Fr. Alexander Schmemann, who I am often prone to reference, says that the life of the world is religion, and at the center of religion and culture is love. Today, let us look around and reevaluate the love in our lives. Let us see the love of God made manifest to the world.

N.B.: Today, January 16, 2012, I will be taking my written comprehensive exam and tomorrow I will be taking my oral exam. I ask you to please pray for me. Thank you!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Welcome, Anglicans!

Happy New Year to all of my followers! May God continue to bless you abundantly in 2012.

Today is not only first day of the new year, it is also day that the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter [Hereafter P.O.C.S.P.] ( has been established in the United States.

Now, you may be asking, "What is the P.O.C.S.P.?" This is a reasonable question to ask. You see, the P.O.C.S.P. is new "diocese" for all Anglicans wishing to come into full communion with the Catholic Church in the United States. This stems from the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus [Hereafter A.C.] which was published by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009. A.C. makes it easier for entire communities of Anglicans to come into full communion with the Church, clergy and lay people. The P.O.C.S.P. is the "diocese" that comprises the entire United States for helping these Anglicans in becoming Catholics.

Why does all of this matter to Eucharistic Ecclesiology? All of these Anglicans are trying to find a home in a Church that they actually feel a part of. The Anglican Communion, the Church of England and the other Anglican or Episcopal churches throughout the world, are in disarray because there is no unity between them, save their collective identities as Anglicans (or Episcopalians). The problem with the Anglican Communion, and other churches like it, have accepted the inevitability that they have to disavow anything traditional or conservative about their faith. I am not just speaking of their liturgy, I am speaking mostly about their doctrine. The some members in the Anglican Communion are not happy about the route the Anglican Church is taking, primarily favoring abortion and women's ordination.

The Catholic Church, the Church founded by Jesus Christ, has truly remained a moral beacon in the world and continues to be that way. These new Catholics of the Anglican Use see the Church that has survived many hardships, especially in the last twenty years. They see the staying power of the Catholic Church and the unity it embodies.

When the new Catholics of the Anglican Use come forward to communion (if they have not done so already), will be expressing in a very symbolic way their unity as members of the Mystical Body on earth. Communion, the partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ, is not just a meal or a sacrifice, it is those things, but it also expresses our communion as members of Christ's Body, the Church. When Catholics go up for communion, they are explicitly expressing their unity within Christ's Church, the Catholic Church. When these former Anglicans, if they have not already done so, present themselves to our Lord in the bread and wine, they will explicitly be saying in their action, "Yes, I am a member of Christ's Mystical Body on earth, the Church, and I, as a Catholic, accept the teachings of the Church because they are the teachings of Christ."

In the coming months, let us all pray for these new Catholics and pray for those who are discerning the process of converting. May God be with them in their discernment process.

Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for us!