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Monday, May 15, 2006

The Most Beautiful Story

While there are many who claim to know the true story of Jesus Christ, no one can say that the story presented by the Church is not the most beautiful story. None--none! of the alternative theories of Christianity are as beautiful, mysterious, and spiritually satisfying as that God came down to earth and laid down His life for our sins, while we were still sinners.

Think of it. To borrow GKChesterton’s thought experiment:

Imagine you are traveling in the remotest villages of China, where you’ve heard of a strange religion being practiced. You open an ancient scroll to read of an event, whereby a god, who’s people not even failed but obstinately refused to offer a worthy sacrifice to him, rather than punish them, sent his son down to earth, and allowed his people to sacrifice him instead. A god who sacrificed himself for his people. Who took on the suffering of his people. Who bore their insults. Does that not strike a cord in your heart?

So you can’t believe it, but don’t you wish you could? How does such a god compare to yours? Surely, your reaction isn’t, “alas! if only it were true”! Think about that and pray on it, I bid thee.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Christianity is based on mystery

Every religion has stuff in it that doesn't quite make sense, or causes discomfort or doubt. Stuff that must be taken on faith. Stuff that is sometimes best left unexplored. For example on faith practices, the life of the founder, or on faith positions.

What I love about Christianity is that all the hard stuff are in the realm of faith, not morals.

At the heart of Christianity lies mystery.

They are called mysteries of the faith: Trinity, Incarnation, Jesus as both true God and true Man, Suffering, the scandal of the cross.

Then there are the Both/And positions to faith questions: both faith and works, God's omnipotence and our free will...

The Catholic Church resists easy answers to eternal questions. All doctrines and beliefs are compiled in books called the catechism. Teaching the faith is a long process and it starts early in a child's life and takes years when done correctly.

More proof that Jesus is God: God Talk

A couple of cryptic passages in the gospel:

I tell you, that Satan was a murderer from the very beginning (murderer of who?).

Be mindful of the little ones, because their angels even now behold the face of my Father who is in heaven (that explains guardian angels, but why the non-sequitor?). Matthew 18:10

Perhaps they are examples of God’s shoptalk. You know, stuff that doesn’t really pertain to anything, just lifting a veil a little on all the behind-the-scenes happenings.

Boy that Satan, now he was an sob from the very beginning! He of course, was the very first to fall but he didn’t waste any time--you should have seen the way he talked up the other angels and the ruckus he caused…and when Michael finally threw him and his ilk out of heaven, he streaked through the sky and fell to earth with a loud thud, you should have been there it was a sight to see, and all the angels cheered and cheered...

I wish you’d go easy on the little ones, if only for their angels’ sake! If you only knew the shrieking and moaning my Father has to bear from the angels (not to mention His sorrow) because of the way you treat your children. Every time we assign a new charge to an angel, those first few years are the worst and the angels all know to dread it. If not for contemplating the eternal face of my Father, they say it is enough to drive them insane.

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