Monday, May 27, 2013

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Athanasian Creed

The Solemnity of the Holy Trinity is an excellent time to recite the Anthanasian Creed.

Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith.  Which Faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.  And the Catholic Faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity.  Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance.  For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost.  But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost is all One, the Glory Equal, the Majesty Co-Eternal.  Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost.  The Father Uncreated, the Son Uncreated, and the Holy Ghost Uncreated.  The Father Incomprehensible, the Son Incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost Incomprehensible.  The Father Eternal, the Son Eternal, and the Holy Ghost Eternal and yet they are not Three Eternals but One Eternal.  As also there are not Three Uncreated, nor Three Incomprehensibles, but One Uncreated, and One Uncomprehensible.  So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Ghost Almighty.  And yet they are not Three Almighties but One Almighty.

So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God.  And yet they are not Three Gods, but One God.  So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Ghost Lord.  And yet not Three Lords but One Lord.  For, like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be God and Lord, so are we forbidden by the Catholic Religion to say, there be Three Gods or Three Lords.  The Father is made of none, neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created, but begotten.  The Holy Ghost is of the Father, and of the Son neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.

So there is One Father, not Three Fathers; one Son, not Three Sons; One Holy Ghost, not Three Holy Ghosts.  And in this Trinity none is afore or after Other, None is greater or less than Another, but the whole Three Persons are Co-eternal together, and Co-equal.  So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshiped.  He therefore that will be saved, must thus think of the Trinity.
 
Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting Salvation, that he also believe rightly the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.  For the right Faith is, that we believe and confess, that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man.

God, of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and Man, of the substance of His mother, born into the world.  Perfect God and Perfect Man, of a reasonable Soul and human Flesh subsisting.  Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His Manhood.  Who, although He be God and Man, yet He is not two, but One Christ.  One, not by conversion of the Godhead into Flesh, but by taking of the Manhood into God.  One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by Unity of Person.  For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one Man, so God and Man is one Christ.  Who suffered for our salvation, descended into Hell, rose again the third day from the dead.  He ascended into Heaven, He sitteth on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty, from whence he shall come to judge the living and the dead.  At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies, and shall give account for their own works.  And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting, and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.  This is the Catholic Faith, which except a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Divorced from Reality

I was reading The Great Divorce for the first time, and I found it especially relevant to my own life.  Lewis writes,
There have been men before now who got so interested in proving the existence of God that they came to care nothing for God Himself . .  as if the good Lord had nothing to do but exist!  There have been some who were so occupied in spreading Christianity that they never gave a thought to Christ!
I sometimes find myself thinking of God as a interesting abstraction and Christianity as a mere social force.  In reality, Christianity is more than theology, it is a relationship with God, and that God is not just a necessarily existent, all powerful being, but a person to whom we owe our greatest love and devotion.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Blessed Rifles



























The Russians have holy rifles.  Yet another reason why it's a bad idea to invade Russia.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Logic Problems

If only answers like these were acceptable for the logic games on the LSAT.





























From Fake Science

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Gun Closet

Houston police say a group of thieves broke into a house and forced a resident into a closet so they could ransack the place. The closet chosen during the Tuesday afternoon home invasion was the one where the resident kept his guns. Houston police Sgt. Jerri Brandon said the man, now armed, confronted the thieves and exchanged shots with them, wounding one and flushing all three from the home.

The wounded intruder collapsed down the street with gunshot wounds to a shoulder and leg.
The resident was not wounded.
 H/T: Blowing San #1 who says, "For it is written, 'The stupid, they shall be punished."

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

LSAT

I am preparing to take the LSAT in June, and I would appreciate prayers.  On a related note, the next person who tells me that he aced the LSAT without studying will get hit over the head with my prep book.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Syrian Christians

Assad is a murderous dictator, but our aid to the opposition may result in a radical Sunni ascendancy and the massacre of Christians.

These are the people threatened by America's Syria policy:

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Going Tribal

Catholics are often told to avoid tribalism, and to instead focus on the Church and Her teachings.  This is a well intentioned admonition, but it is misleading.  Urging Catholics to obey the Church is itself an appeal to tribal loyalty.  Humans are tribal by nature, and that's a good thing.  The problem is not tribalism itself, but a failure to properly prioritize tribal loyalties.

Politics is the most obvious arena of mixed loyalties.  Catholics who care more about their political party or ideology than they do about their faith are in error and place themselves in danger of grave sin.  This can be a problem not only in cases of obvious and intrinsic moral evils such as abortion, but also in the sphere of prudential judgement.  When some Catholic Republicans give rubber stamp approval to every drone strike, invasion, and morally dubious interrogation method without even considering the moral teachings of their church, they are demonstrating inordinate loyalty to the wrong tribe.  Catholic Democrats do the same when they nod in unison to every extension of domestic federal power without any consideration for subsidiarity.  That being said, it is certainly possible to be overcritical of party loyalty.  To condemn any and all who maintain loyalty to their political party is to make a judgement too far.  So long as they properly prioritize their tribal identification, it is entirely possible for someone to be loyal to both God and party, though this is obviously harder for the members of some parties than for others.

In addition to politics, a  broader crisis of tribalism exists in the modern world.  The pseudo theology of many Catholics incorporates the heresy of universalism, the idea that everyone with the possible exception of Hitler and that guy who cut you off in traffic is a great person who is assured of salvation.  Universalism makes the Catholic tribe seem no more important than any other.  It is a grave mistake to think this way.  Ours is the one Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, the one means of salvation, and the original, vintage, old time religion.  All those who are saved are not necessarily members of the visible Church, and may not have even heard of the institution, but they are nevertheless saved by Christ through his Church.

A failure to prioritize tribal loyalties is evident in the foreign policy views of American Christians.  It makes sense that we would identify with Israeli Jews, but we should identify even more strongly with Palestinian Christians, whose interests are not entirely aligned with those of the Israelis.  Americans were not wrong to sympathize with the plight of oppressed Iraqi Shiites, but we liberated them at the expense of Chaldean Christians, who were largely protected under Saddam's evil but secular regime.  This failure is repeated throughout the Middle East, where Americans voice support for "democratic" uprisings that threaten to annihilate our coreligionists.  The brotherhood of Christians need not be so insular and exclusive as the Hebrew tribes or the Islamic Ummah, but we must not forget that Christians are our people, and that we must practice solidarity with them.

It should be noted that solidarity with other Christians and with Catholics in particular does not mean that we must choose the "Catholic" side in every situation.  We must consider what loyalty to our coreligionists demands of us, but in some situations, we can justly favor another tribe.  For example, illegal immigrants in the United States tend to be Catholic, but American Catholics need not feel compelled to support amnesty and open borders simply because it would help other Catholics.  Loyalty to the teachings of the Church should make us consider immigration policy with respect to the dignity of the human person, and we should be especially considerate of those immigrants who are Catholics.  Even so, restricting illegal immigration may be so vital to the lesser tribe that is our nation, that it can outweigh our sympathies for those members of our greater tribe.  Unlike the Chaldeans or the Copts, Mexican laborers will not face death if we do not prioritize them.  There are certain things that constitute outright betrayal of our Church that must never be done, no matter what it means for the other tribe to which we belong.  However, within an area of prudential judgement, the we may justly prioritize the needs of a lesser tribe over the needs of our coreligionists, whilst maintaining our greater loyalty to the Church and its members.

The two most important tribes in human history are the Hebrews and the Catholics.  The covenant with the former has been fulfilled by Christ, and the number one spot has been passed to the latter.  Ours is the greatest tribe in the world, and we must not forget that. It is a great error to discard tribalism in a spirit of egalitarianism.  It is not merely acceptable for Catholics to maintain tribal loyalties, it is essential, for the natural law and the teachings of the Church demand loyalty to family, community, country, and Church.  To be Catholic is to be tribal.

Semester Survived

Finally done with my junior year!  Now back to that blog thing.