Many moons ago, I looked at the argument for a single, true religion. Now I’m going to take a shot at arguing that the Christian faith is that true faith.
This video is an epic, 2nd century sermon on the occasion of Holy Saturday:
If you don’t watch it first: this is the day when Christ conquers death and frees Adam and Eve and our ancestors from hell. A long, gloomy wait for his disciples, but a day of joy for those who came before Christ.
I grew up really enjoying the 1991 animated Beauty and the Beast. Now, in 2017, I had a chance to see Disney’s updated take on the fairy tale. These are great movies – beautifully animated, with excellent musical numbers, and an engaging story. However, there has been some debate about the morals of this new film. Having that in the back of my mind made me want to take the film apart a bit after viewing it, and so I have.
Last Sunday, I was given a reminder of what Easter last year looked like. A catechumen went through a “scrutiny”, one of a series of welcoming rituals for converts who have felt the call to join the Church at Easter. It reminded me that last year, at this time, I was also going through the conversion process.
Last year, my wife and I were nearing the end of a long period of waiting. We had been going to classes (called RCIA) at our church for months. We were not conflicted about our decision, since we had read our way into the Church, but we were conscious that we were caught between two traditions, neither one nor the other. While those traditions share a core agreement about Jesus Christ, they differ on many other important topics. It was a hard time, but it was a spiritually vibrant time.
This year, it feels like life has gotten significantly busier. I no longer have the time to pursue projects that I enjoy, with all of my time going to preparing for work. Prayer time seems to be squished and constrained. I’ve had precious few theological discussions since we moved. More mundane matters that occupy conversations and thoughts. It does not feel as overtly fulfilling, and there’s no immediate goal to look forward to. But through it all, Christ is still there, moving. Moments like this remind me of that.
Looking back on the intervening year, my first year as a Catholic, I see that God has done so much for us. There’s no glamour in moving from a provincial capital to a small, northern town; but God has been leading us quietly. May He use us and all Christians in this Lenten season for the greater glory of God and for the unity and health of the Church.
Although I’ve spent quite a lot of time thinking about, explaining, and writing about why I’ve become Catholic in the past year or so, I really ought to have prefaced those explanations with praise for my former faith. So, long delayed, but here it is: in praise of the Evangelical strain of Christianity.
Lately, I feel very lost. Not spiritually lost, mind you, nor ignorant of possible forward directions. I feel lost as in unmoored, lacking a home; a wanderer and an alien in a land to which I do not belong.
The week of prayer for Christian unity is here. This year is special for Western Christians; for this is the 500th anniversary of an event that shattered the unity of Western Christianity. 500 years ago, the Reformation informally began with the nailing of Dr. Martin Luther’s grievances to the church door in Wittenberg.
God, all powerful, beyond all time and matter, Lord of all Creation, the one who made the stars and universes beyond count, became a child. Not the child of a king, but the child of a poor couple; a single income family where the breadwinner worked at a sort of menial job in a forgettable blink-and-you’d-miss-it little town situated in a tumultuous backwater province. His first cradle was a feeding trough.
A little while ago, I looked at the argument that God is real. I ended by noting that those arguments can only take us so far in understanding God. However, there’s a plethora of sources that claim to tell us more about God. We call these sources religions. Throughout history, there have been two basic approaches to religion: all of them are true or one of them alone is true.