This might be the most helpful meme I have created.
Here are two answers to get you through life.
Yesterday on social media I had posted:
Sometimes I have a great biting comment as a pun that works on several levels.
I then realize that there is no way my conscience would let me actually post it for its lack of charity. But such a great biting pun.
I will remind Jesus of those occasions when I die. He will probably remind me of the ones I let fly.
Today I was thinking about this quote from Chesterton:
“It may seem a singular observation to say that we are not generous enough to write great satire. This, however, is approximately a very accurate way of describing the case. To write great satire, to attack a man so that he feels the attack and half acknowledges its justice, it is necessary to have a certain intellectual magnanimity which realizes the merits of the opponent as well as his defects. This is, indeed, only another way of putting the simple truth that in order to attack an army we must know not only its weak points, but also its strong points. England in the present season and spirit fails in satire for the same simple reason that it fails in war: it despises the enemy.” – “Pope and the art of satire”Twelve Types 1903
In reaction to this, I think, that if you use humor to attack, it should be too wound so as to heal. Oddly I think of St. John of the Cross’s metaphor of the “sweet cautery” that he uses in Stanza 2 of the “Living Flame of Love” for the Holy Spirit. That there is pain involved in the cautery, but it is used to heal.
Chesterton way of explaining the use of satire is not an exclusive way at looking at the subject. Still, all satire should be written to persuade if it is going to be effective. Some writers have the skills to do this in a more brutal way such as Swift’s “A Modest Proposal”.
Coincidentally, today I listened to two podcasts that both dealt with the subject of humor – linked in the comment section.
How far can we torture St. Joseph to sell our house?I have been very annoyed by the whole bury a St. Joseph statue to sell your house idea. Even more annoyed to see these kits sold in Catholic stores.
I once wrote a parody that included the idea where you could buy a Jack Bauer and St. Joseph pack and have Jack torture St. Joe until your house sells. While this is a parody form of Reductio ad absurdum, it follows the same logic.
I think of Saint Teresa of Avila relying on this great saint without ever resorting to burying him at all.
“Would that I could persuade all men to be devout to this glorious saint,” wrote St. Teresa in her autobiography, The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus of the Order of Our Lady of Carmel, “for I know by long experience what blessings he can obtain for us from God.”
“It is now very many years since I began asking him for something on his feast, and I always received it,” wrote St. Teresa. “If the petition was in any way amiss, he rectified it for my greater good.” source
Here’s a headline
It included this boilerplate of articles of this type.
“a solemn and ancient form of Catholic worship spoken almost entirely in the Latin language by a priest who faces away from the congregation.”
Just in case you missed this fact:
“Latin intonations are spoken by a priest who mostly faces away from the congregation.”
I was awaiting them saying “The Mass is held at 9 AM by a priest who faces away from the congregation”
This misunderstanding is because so many bishop’s have installed “Adblock Orientum”
The article itself is not totally without merit, just odd emphasis and idiotic headline.
Our soul purpose is to glorify God.
If I ever write a book it will be on the spiritual life via puns.
“when you confess, you come forth. For what does ‘come forth’ mean if not emerging from what is hidden, to be made manifest. But for you to confess is God’s doing; he calls you with an urgent voice, by an extraordinary grace. And just as the dead man came out still bound, so you go to confession still guilty. In order that his sins be loosed, the Lord said this to his ministers: ‘Unbind him and let him go’. What you will loose on earth will be loosed also in heaven” (St Augustine, In Ioann. Evang., 49, 24).
I like St. Augustine’s comparison of confession to the raising of Lazarus. Plus you know it is time to go to confession when Martha says “Lord, by this time there will be an odor.”
I was talking today to somebody who discovered the joy of reading Ratzinger. This made me very happy. There is a heightened joy when you share the love of something with your friends. For me this is especially true of shared authors.
Thinking about this I thought of the fact that God loves everybody and that I don’t love everybody he loves. Even in the Thomistic-sense of willing the good for the other I have work to do.
The other day I was struck by this line in the Gospel.
“Jesus came, although the doors were locked”
I certainly thought I had locked out all doors to God and that he could never intrude into my life. Like Thomas I demanded empirical knowledge, yet even if presented to me I would have denied it.
This reminds me for the hope I have in me for those currently outside the faith, that Jesus can burst through those locked doors giving us what we need to cooperate.
For Christianity there is a problem with heard immunity. People think they have heard the Gospels, but it hasn’t really penetrated. They have developed an immunity to what they have not really heard. Part of the problem is asymptomatic Christians. People who identify as Christian yet show no signs and will not pass it on to anybody.
So I am listening to the latest episode of a podcast with Matt Swaim and Ken Hensley, which has been doing a series on the papacy.
They were giving the background of Caesarea Philippi, some of which I had heard before. It was previously dedicated to Pan. I looked up and found that it was settled during the Hellenistic period during Alexander the Great’s conquests. It was named Paneas.
This is of course also the famous setting of Matthew 18 “Upon this rock”
So of course my mind starts to try to contrive a Peter Pan joke, but that would be childish. Plus since Christianity vanquished the Greek gods, I could deliver it dead pan.
Relatedly, Eddie Trask released his interview of Matt Swain today on Catholic Recon
One of the priests at morning Mass tends to ask questions during the homily. Often not just general knowledge questions.
This morning he asked a question and then said, “Don’t answer Jeff.” I found this funny, and I was surprised he even knew my name. I had never introduced myself, just thanked him for his homilies at various times.
On my way out, “He apologized for picking on me.” I told him it was okay because “I am an arrogant know-it-all.”
He laughed at that and tried to deny this; I told him he obviously didn’t know me.
At the recent Eucharistic Congress, Steve Ray asked questions during his presentation. I answered them all. The first one I answered, he replied that nobody had ever answered that one correctly. When I met him after his presentation, he said, “Hey, it’s the Answer Man.” I reveled in that because I am an arrogant know-it-all.
From: Conference of the School of Prophets
To: John the Baptist
Having heard your preaching on the topic of marriage worthiness and other issues, we request that further dialog with Herod Antipas be postponed until we can all meet together in person. The serious nature of these issues – especially the imperative to forge substantive unity – makes it impossible to address them productively in the fractured and isolated current setting. The high standard of consensus among ourselves, the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and others is far from being achieved in the present moment. We are concerned that your weaponizing marriage does not follow sound theological and pastoral advice or create a new path for moving forward.
We take this opportunity to re-envision the best collegial structure for achieving that. We are concerned that you have lost your head and are acting rashly. We consider this a breach of rules and customs with this lack of collegial consultation before addressing governing bodies and tetrarchs. We look forward to dialoguing on “Marriage Coherence” and assure you of our prayerful and fraternal best wishes.
Signed, Blaise bar Cupich