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Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Killing time . . .

It's not as though I don'thave thigs to do, but I am having to lurk expensively for several hours today because times and places have not joined up well. This is the most expensive internet caff I've come across. And the mouse wheel is useless.
So. One at least of my fellow bloggers will recall conversations about the fact that talking to people about the faith is no good, they have to be able to live it (hence e.g. my dragging unsuspecting people to Lichtenstein).
Here some stuff on Catholicvilles.
A more extreme example of taking-people-on-retreats - reality TV saves souls.
From Cacciaguida, a quote from McIntyre:
"Significance of the name Benedict
After Virtue, by Alasdair MacIntyre (a Catholic now, though not when he wrote AV; "Scotland the Brave" will be played in the lobby following this post). That book famously ended with a comparison of our condition to that of the twilight of the Western Roman Empire, and with these words:
What matters at this stage is the construction of local forms of community within which civility and the intellectual and moral life can be sustained through the new dark ages which are already upon us. And if the tradition of the virtues was able to survive the horrors of the last dark ages, we are not entirely without grounds for hope. This time however the barbarians are not waiting beyond the frontiers; that have already been governing us for quite some time. And it is our lack of consciousness of this that constitutes part of our predicament. We are waiting not for a Godot, but for another -- doubtless very different -- St. Benedict."
And an interview on EWTN some time ago:
Raymond: The Pope has talked a great deal about the New Springtime and you, yourself have laid out your own ideas. Your vision is a little different from some. Some see the numbers growing and everybody believing and dancing hand-in-hand (the Cardinal chuckles) into the millennium. You see a different picture. Tell us what that picture involves. How do you see this Springtime evolving?
Cardinal: As I do not exclude even this dancing hand-in-hand, but this is only one moment. And my idea is that really the springtime of the Church will not say that we will have in a near time buses of conversions, that all peoples of the world will be converted to Catholicism. This is not the way of God. The essential things in history begin always with the small, more convinced communities. So, the Church begins with the 12 Apostles. And even the Church of St. Paul diffused in the Mediterranean are little communities, but this community in itself is the future of the world, because we have the truth and the force of conviction. So, I think also today it should be an error to think now or in 10 years with the new springtime, all people will be Catholic. This is not our future, nor our expectation. But we will have really convinced communities with élan of the faith, no? This is springtime — a new life in very convinced persons with joy of the faith.
Raymond: But, smaller numbers? In the macro?
Cardinal: Smaller numbers, I think. But from these small numbers we will have a radiation of joy in the world. And so, it’s an attraction, as it was in the old Church. Even when Constantine made Christianity the public religion, there were a small number of percentage at this time; but it was clear, this is the future. So we can live in the future, just give us a way in a different future. And so, I would say, if we have young people really with the joy of the faith and this radiation of this joy of the faith, this will show to the world, “Even if I cannot share it, even if I cannot convert it at this moment, here is the way to live for tomorrow.”
Raymond: Um hum. Do you see the various movements in the Church as part of that ongoing conversion? And is there a danger there, that we get into this competitive Factionalism, if you will, in the Church that we all have to be a part of it if we are going to be a serious Catholic?

Cardinal: Yes, on the on hand, I am really a friend of movements – Communione e Liberazione, Focolare, and the Charismatic Renewal. I think this is a sign of the Springtime and of the presence of the Holy Spirit, today will give new charisms and so on. This is for me really a great hope that not with organization from authorities, but really it is the force of the Holy Spirit present in the people. We have movements and new beginnings of the faith, new forms of the faith. On the other hand, I think it is important that these movements are not closed in themselves and absolutized; but have to understand that even if I’m convinced this is the way, I have to accept we are one way and not the way, and we have to be open for the others, in communion with the others. And essentially we have to be really present and even obedient to the common Church in presence with the bishops and the Pope. Only with this openness to not be absolutized with its ideas and to be in service of the common Church, of the Universal Church, can be really a way for tomorrow.
So. Schwendt, anyone?
(You see? We like cats, we recommend the rosary for insomnia, we think Catholicvilles are the way forward. I have had a great influence on the pope over the years.)
And now for something completely different.
Apparently the Regius Prof of divinity at Cambridge once gave a lecture, soon after his appointment, to a select group of dons and graduates and whatnot at Oxford. He spoke about his theory of self-salvation. After he had gone on for an hour or so it came to questions. Henry Mayr-Harting, a historian present by virtue of his chair (ecclesiastical history) being a divinity chair, asked if he might attempt to sum up the theory. Permission granted by the speaker, Mayr-Harting gies a one-sentence definition of self-salvation. "Now, I wonder if you might tell me the difference between that concept, and this one?", repeating the same sentence omitting only the "self-" before salvation. It is evident that there is no difference in meaning whatsoever. Ward splutters a little before coming out with "I'm afraid I feel very strongly about this!".
Feel some more pain here (also found on UtUnum Sint).
And e-bay are no longer going to sell consecrated hosts!
Ah, Keith, bless him, always that little personal touch. "I looked down from the balcony at the cheering crowd. Among the waving flags I saw a Saltire, which brought to mind the day when I too had waved the flag on that square when I was made a cardinal." Let's start a Cardinal O'Brien When-I-was-made-a-cardinal reference list!
Blogger won't format this post te way I tell it, sorry about the lack of white space.