TagGod

How Creativity Murders Worship in the Face

In his remarkable book The Spirit of the Liturgy, Benedict XVI draws out a fascinating insight from the story of the Exodus. Generally we tend to perceive Moses’ confrontation with Pharaoh as entirely concomitant with the ultimate result of the Exodus, which is the Hebrews’ freedom from Egypt and the eventual goal of the Promised Land. But in looking carefully at Moses’ encounter with Egypt’s...

Learning Theology with Carmina Gadelica: The Holy Spirit

Part One: The Trinity Part Two: Christ Part Three: Christian Hope As is plainly apparent in the previous installments, the theology of Carmina Gadelica does not treat faith or theology as an abstraction, but tends to concretize it into everyday life. We see invocations of the Trinity, of the Father, Christ, and the Spirit intermingled with seemingly innocuous everyday tasks like smooring a fire...

The Noise Outside

Nearly every time I listen to Spotify, I am assaulted with the same internal ad. I’m not a premium subscriber, so Spotify is constantly trying to get me to upgrade- for a low monthly fee, of course. But I’ve found it interesting how they set the bait. Many of the ads deal with someone in various situations trying to find the “perfect song.” Whether at work, working out, on the road, at a party;...

Against Enthusiasm

In his Gospel, St. John reveals on several occasions just how fickle the adulation of the crowd could be for Jesus. A prominent example exists following the feeding of the five thousand, in which Jesus steals away to the other side of the lake, only to find that the crowd has enthusiastically followed him, enough to bother with the hassle of getting in their own boats and searching for him. They...

The Water and The Kiln

This edition of my church father paraphrases comes from Didymus the Blind, born in the early fourth century and the eventual head of the celebrated catechetical school in Alexandria. Although he became blind at age four and never learned to read, he was nevertheless one of the most learned men of his time, having committed vast amounts of scripture, history, philosophy and the like to memory. It...

Worship is a Duty

One of my favorite Advent songs is also one of the most ancient: Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence. Its composition and use dates from at least AD 275, although the most commonly used melodic setting is the well-known Picardy. Be sure to listen to one of the following renditions: As I was pondering the lyrics, I noticed that they seemed to form a conjunction with other thoughts I had been having...

Do You Really Want a Relationship Instead of a Religion?

One of the highly favored juxtapositions within some segments of modern American Christian thought is that of religion vs. relationship. The premise, as far as I have ever been able to divine, is that there is something about the content of religion that is somehow antithetical to the content of a relationship, specifically the “personal relationship” that is proposed between the believer and...

The Leash

Taking Luna for a walk is always- how shall we say this?– an interesting experience. She is still very much a puppy, and thus still very much interested in sniffing everything and chasing after every single leaf that blows near her. If she sees a bird or a bunny she is very much interested in chasing it. If we come across other humans (especially kids), she is very much interested in saying...

Worship Should be Boring

For all of its flaws, social media can often provide a covert yet revealing look into how things are perceived by means of what people choose to share and their reactions to what they share. No doubt previous generations would think us mad for perpetuating and participating in such unsolicited dispensation of opinions, feelings and the like, but they also didn’t have fun and mindless memes to...

Two Weddings and a Funeral

This past Sunday the Gospel reading was from John 2 about the wedding feast at Cana and Jesus’ first miracle turning water into wine. Unique among the gospel writers, John refers to Jesus’ miracles as signs, and given the biblical penchant for presenting things in sevens, his Gospel contains seven signs. There is some overlap between the signs contained in John’s Gospel and the miracles in the...

Against Relevance

This past Advent was one of the saddest for me in recent memory. It had little to do with being extraordinarily busy or any sort of nostalgic incompleteness related to the season (we didn’t have time to decorate this year!). Rather, it had everything to do with Star Wars. Now, dear reader might suspect that I didn’t enjoy the movie. Nothing could be further from the truth, as I haven’t yet seen...

Against Public Music

In Fallout: New Vegas, you are an unfortunate courier who is shot in the head but has the fortune to survive it. For the remainder of the game you can choose to engage in various quests to find the man responsible. One major problem is that you live in a post-apocalyptic world which is still feeling the effects of a centuries old Atomic war. You not only have to contend with casino bosses who...

If The Church is Rockin’, Don’t Come Knockin’

If I ever manage to reach my golden years, I have great hopes of being a curmudgeon. A writer whose name I have forgotten mentioned that being a curmudgeon takes a fair amount of practice, and thus I consider this post an investment in my future curmudgeoniness. Being heavily involved in church worship and media production, I have the opportunity to view worship service post-mortems from a...

Do What You Will

For I know that there dwelleth not in me, that is to say, in my flesh, that which is good. For to will, is present with me; but to accomplish that which is good, I find not. For the good which I will, I do not; but the evil which I will not, that I do. (Romans 7:18-19 DRA) As St. Paul’s all too famailiar-in-experience soliloquy here illustrates, we humans often have great difficulty when it comes...

Bad Trinity Formulations: Part 1

Getting the Trinity right is a difficult thing to do; in fact, given the utter transcendence of this mystery, it is and will forever be impossible to do so. At best our efforts aim at describing the eternal relations in as least inadequate a manner as possible. Yet the mystery of the threeness and the oneness of God is absolutely central to Christian theology, which means that while we will never...

Jason Watson

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