Consisting of relflections in a variety of categories, including:
<ul>
<li>scripture (homiletic reflections)
<li>philosophy (metaphysics or epistemology)
<li>morality
<li>psychology
<li>spiritual development
<li>science or mathematics
<li>technology
<li>medicine
<li>Church documents
<li>catechesis
</ul>

16th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

Submitted by frlarry on Thu, 07/26/2018 - 10:26

Jeremiah was a prophet of the Kingdom of Judah, prior to, during and after the conquest by the Babylonians. He was, so to speak, a "gadfly on the wall" as great tragic events swirled around him, events that were inevitable as the people, especially their leaders, abandoned faith in the Living God. Instead, they sought refuge in all the wrong places. Their leaders even fled to Egypt to escape the Chaldeans (whose capital was Babylon)… Yet, their alliance with Egypt proved fruitless.

What is Fascism, really, and why is it regarded as "right wing"?

Submitted by frlarry on Thu, 07/05/2018 - 09:44
I find it puzzling that serious intellectuals can find it so difficult to recognize that fascism has nothing to do with either conservatism or liberalism. Indeed, calling it extreme right-wing shows a fundamental ignorance of the fact that political ideology is inherently a multi-dimensional phenomenon. A more accurate assessment would be that fascism is not even on the same multi-dimensional axis as liberalism vs. conservatism. Indeed, fascism is a form of idolatry, it worships the power of the state, and finds that power to be the highest good.

What is gossip, really?

Submitted by frlarry on Fri, 03/23/2018 - 06:01
Topics

I've been looking for the word "gossip" in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I can't find it there, even though I've used an advanced Google search technique (i.e., I used "site:")! I suspect it isn't used there because it's too imprecise and doesn't get specifically at an issue.

Pope Francis, has used the term a number of times in his homilies, however, and even used the expression "the terrorism of gossip".

"Love your neighbor as yourself."

Submitted by frlarry on Mon, 02/19/2018 - 10:32

God taught us to love our neighbor as ourselves. Do we really understand what this entails?

Let's start with today's first reading, from Leviticus, chapter 19 (verses 1-2, 11-18). Here we find the injunction…

The LORD said to Moses,
"Speak to the whole assembly of the children of Israel and tell them:
Be holy, for I, the LORD, your God, am holy.

"Who are you?" "Why do you baptize?"

Submitted by frlarry on Sun, 12/17/2017 - 11:25
Topics

In today's Gospel reading [John 1:6-8,19-2], priests [in the line of Aaron] and Levites [i.e., of the tribe of animal sacrifice ministers in the temple] come to John the Baptist [who is preaching a baptism of repentance in the River Jordan] to ask him "who" questions. He was not sent by them, but by God, so their "who" questions are aimed at how he is connected with scriptural prophesy. Each "who" question asks whether he is someone identified in that prophesy as one who is to come.

The pearl of great price

Submitted by frlarry on Fri, 12/08/2017 - 15:40
Topics

God examined all of human history, found the pearl of great price, picked it up and polished it so that it shone with a divine sparkle. That pearl was Mary. The polishing began with bestowing the unique privilege of being conceived without original sin, giving her the privilege of being the mother of his son, Jesus, and asking her to share with him the role of redemption. Her obedience, even to the point of suffering internally as she watched her son suffer and die, yet not excluding even his tormentors from her merciful love, was her response to God, her “let it be done!”

A day for remembrance and reflection

Submitted by frlarry on Sun, 09/17/2017 - 12:10

Today seems to be a day for remembrance and reflection. Thomas More published his novel (known by the shortened name) "Utopia" in 1516, perhaps 500 or 501 years ago.

The delegates to the constitutional convention in Philadelphia signed the U.S. Constitution (preparing it for ratification by the individual states) on September 17, 1787, or exactly 230 years ago.

William Golding published "Lord of the Flies" (a kind of dystopian novel) on September 17, 1954, or exactly 63 years ago.

On the postmodern hubris of meta-level thinking

Submitted by frlarry on Tue, 06/06/2017 - 16:40

Ever since computer games developed significantly beyond the PACMAN stage, and imagined realities took on three dimensions and other attention absorbing features, our inveterate game players have come to think of reality itself as a kind of programmed virtual reality, and, as such, that it could be reprogrammed. This may strike someone who entered adulthood before PACMAN went viral as delusoinal. Reality, we might say, is a given. Our capacity to shape reality is very limited, and subject to unforeseen consequences. We might even wonder at the sanity or the cluelessness that this almost godlike attitude seems to imply.

What Matthew 24:28 says about government programs and their architects

Submitted by frlarry on Sun, 05/28/2017 - 20:00

What is the fundamental cause of the subprime mortgage crisis and the crash of 2007/2008? If you don't know the answer to this, you haven't been paying attention. The fundamental cause was that lending institutions were forced, by government mandate, to take on high risk mortgage lending.