There are a few articles around that have caught my eye by way of weekend reading...
What if the liberals won?
Commenter 'PM' drew my attention to his great piece from the New York Times on the collapse of those churches that have adopted a liberal agenda. Salutary reading for all those advocating that the Church continue to 'update' and act on a social justice agenda indistinguishable from the secularist one.
Science, religion and philosophy
PM also drew my attention to the nice exposition by Neil Ormerod over at the ABC Religion and Ethics site on the distinctions between physics, philosophy and theology in the context of the verification of the existence of the Higgs boson.
Manliness and punctuality
A few weeks ago the priest at Mass uncharacteristically apologised for being late and promised Mass the following week would start on time. It was a joke - he was going on leave, and a supply priest was going to be saying it (and it did indeed start on time)!
So I have to say I was quite entertained when I cam across this article on manliness and punctuality. Now call me a rad fem, but I have to admit that I struggle a little with the attempts to construct a narrative around manliness - most of the virtues claimed as particularly 'manly' seem to me to be applicable to both sexes. This one is no different - punctuality just seems to me to be primarily about respect for other people. Nonetheless, this post does a good job of putting punctuality in the context of notions of things like dependability, integrity, humility and more.
The fight back on families
I'm often critical of the Australian Church for not speaking up enough on some issues (and too much on certain others!). But two pieces to applaud.
- Joel Hodge of ACU over at The Drum on Melinda Gates' 'Family Planning' Conference has generated a lively discussion; and
- an article in the Catholic Weekly from last week by Archbishop Hart suggesting that this year's Social Justice Statement will actually be on a really central set of social justice issues, around the family.
There is a lot of rhetoric around re-evangelization (aka the New Evangelization) around at the moment. But few actually attempt to draw on the lessons of past successful and unsuccessful re-evangelization methods, take a really hard look at what it takes to make an impact in the current environment, and the barriers to doing so. This post does, and points to a key barrier one entirely within the control of the Church, viz copyright restrictions on things like the Catechism. It argues, amongst other proposals, that all Church doctrinal documents should be made public domain.
St Catherine of Siena on Purgatory
And because we got a cracking sermon today on why we should be doing our best to avoid purgatory (think pain beyond anything we have experienced in this life) and remembering those who may be there in our prayers and good works, here is a link to St Catherine of Siena's treatise on the subject. It is a reminder as to why we should strive, as St Teresa of Avila urges, to be great saints, and not be satisfied with aiming to just scrape in...
You might also want to read or reread St Thomas Aquinas' treatment of the subject.