You are poor before the sight of God. All you have to offer is yourself.
– Deacon Pete
No matter how wealthy I am, or how big my house is, or how expensive my car is, or how fancy my clothes are — when death comes knocking, I am poor before the sight of God. All I have to offer at that point, is myself.
A good reminder to not get caught up in the consumerism lifestyle prevalent in the world today.
A really good introduction to the sacraments of the Catholic Church. It also covers the first sacrament, the sacrament of Baptism. Questions like: What are the sacraments? Why are they the most important thing in the world? What is the fundamental sacrament? What happens when people get baptized? How is grace tied in to the sacraments? And more questions are answered in this episode.
One of the most enlightening parts of this first episode for me, was when Bishop Barron talked about the duties of a baptized Christian. As a baptized Christian, we are priest, prophet and king. What does it mean to be a priest? How do we live out our prophetic duties in today's world? And what are our kingly duties in modern society? All those are covered in this episode.
In an old music log entry, I shared a song, “Let It Burn” by the rock band Red. In the entry I said that the song kept playing at the back of my head, while my hometown, the city I was born in, was under siege years ago. I was basically asking, “Where is God and why wasn't He doing anything?” But I was wrong about Him not doing anything. He was there in the soldiers and police officers fighting to take the city back. He was there in the first responders trying to treat the wounded. He was there in the volunteers who were trying to provide food and shelter to those who have been displaced by the armed conflict. He was there, I just didn't know where to look.
Fast forward to April 2020 and a similar question can be asked amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. “Where is God in all of this?” He is there, in the healthcare workers who are at the front lines of this pandemic, battling an invisible enemy. He is there in the first responders, who despite the threat of getting infected with the virus, still show up to work every day to keep everyone else safe. He is there in the volunteers who are also risking their health to provide food to the unemployed and the hungry. He is there, and this time around I know where to look.
Yeah the world is contingent and everything in it. It comes to be, it passes away. What does that tell us? It tells us that nothing in the world contains within itself the reason for its own existence. Nothing in the world explains itself. If it did, it would always exist. It would have within itself the reason for its being. So, since it comes into being and passes away, we know it doesn't contain in itself the reason for its own existence.
Therefore, by a very healthy instinct, and every single scientist in the world knows this, by a healthy instinct we begin to look for... causes.
– Bishop Barron
All it took was for me to watch the intro to this video and I was hooked. You don't even have to be religious to be intrigued by what was said in the intro. Bishop Barron doesn't even mention the word “God” until the last 2 minutes of the video.
He goes on to discuss about contingency and contingency of the world. I was blown away. It's something I've never even considered or much less thought of.
In today's Gospel Reading, Jesus visited the disciples, who were locked in a room, not once, but twice. In light of the current lock-down due to the pandemic and not being able to attend Mass in person, I had some realizations on this that I wanted to write down.
First, Jesus comes to His people wherever they are. We might not be able to attend Mass in person, but it doesn't mean that Jesus cannot be with us. The Church is the house of God yes, but that's not the only place that you can find Jesus at. If you call out to Him, He will find you, wherever you are. You don't have to be at Church, or in the case of the disciples, at the temple, to find Him. The Church is the people and so Jesus will find His people wherever they are.
Second, because Jesus will find His people wherever they are, this means that in our current situation, where we cannot go to Church to attend Mass, it is okay to attend Mass from home via television or via the internet. He is there, with you, when you attend Mass in your bedroom or living room.
And so I’ve been very interested in a new book by Jenny Odell called How To Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy. She describes a world where “every last minute” ends up “captured, optimized, or appropriated as a financial resource by the technologies we use daily.” But in the midst of push notifications and likes and friend requests, a “certain nervous feeling, of being overstimulated and unable to sustain a train of thought, lingers.”
Sounds like a book I should read. Adding it to my “books-to-read” list.
I didn’t solve everything in my strolling, but I started to notice some patterns. I was finally able to hear God’s voice because the noise was turned down. I couldn’t block it out with the distractions–parties and drinking and social media and to-do lists and podcasts and music and movies and shows and idle fretting about work—that were my preferred methods. Instead, I just had to be present to exactly what I was feeling at each moment. If I was sad, I just had to be sad for a bit. If I was excited, I just got to experience it rather than try to share it on an online profile. If I was worried, I lived through the worry instead of numbing it.
I experienced something similar when I started practicing digital minimalism. I even wrote it down in my journal. Without distractions, it was like all of a sudden I had all this time to think, to be present, to live in the moment, to hear God.
I'm subscribed to the Word on Fire newsletter. I've recently learned that Bishop Barron did another podcast with the guys at Mind Pump Podcast. Before listening to the new one that he appeared on, I tried to the listen to the first one. What I found was a wonderful, really good introduction to Christianity and God. Whether you are a believer or not, there is something for everyone in here.