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    Current rating: 4.9 (66 ratings)

    Fr. Barron comments on What you believe makes a difference





     
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agapeinthemire
I find this clip very insightful; however, I do fall into those demographics quite well that Fr Barron opens with. In my life, I have so often valued what appears good (a path of agape) over what may be consider true, simply because what one person or institution may say is true may not be. One may say that they should be the same, and I agree; but, there is no denying that there are things in doctrine that claims truth that is not in harmony with what speaks in our souls. So although doctrine has many beneficial outcomes in our society today, is it wrong for me to support the doctrine knowing that it is good, but having a degree of doubt in the doctrine or "man's interpretation"of the doctrine. For if God may speak through every breath and volume of our existence...why resort to all that is true in what may appear to be a game of "telephone." Has modern day Christianity not just become another Tower of Babel scenario again, because we are not going towards God in the way he wants us to?
11/17/2011 7:49:36 AM
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Paul Adams
Fr. Barron, you do a masterful job of showing succinctly why Kant was wrong to drive a wedge between religious doctrine and ethics/practice/being a good person. As you say, rights, freedom, dignity and the inherent worth of every person rest on the Christian doctrine of God as love. Without it, they are living on borrowed time - they did not exist in the classical world of antiquity nor in the atheist anti-Christian societies of the 20th century.
You talk about how our very notions of what being good entails for individuals and society are related to religious teachings that we hold or have absorbed culturally even if we are unaware of their religious foundations. An interesting indicator of how our beliefs affect our behavior is found in the research on charitable giving. A key difference between the earliest Christians and the pagans around them was the extent and selflessness of the Christians' caring for each other and their neighbors, even nursing them during plagues as well as feeding the hungry and other works of mercy (Stark, Rise of Christianity; Triumph of Christianity). This difference persists today, where all the research (Brooks) shows that by every measure religious believers are more charitable, in terms of giving their time, treasure, and talent not only to religiously sponsored but also secular charities. (As Lupton shows in his new book, "Toxic Charity," not all this effort is wisely deployed, but that is another matter.)

Of particular relevance to the question of whether what you believe matters, is the finding that even among church attendees, those who believe that it doesn't matter what you believe as long as you are a good person are in practice less generous with their time, treasure, and talent than those who believe doctrine matters (Brooks).
11/18/2011 7:10:23 AM
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TRR
Hello agapeinthemire,

But doesn't your position show a little 'hedging'? As you state: "man's interpretation" and "telephone" phenomena that you are weary about?

Insomuch as being critical about dogma, doctrine and the current manifestations of it may be useful for joining or more appropriately "converting". Under these rational actions I choose to be Catholic and not, say, Mormon.

But after one converts, believing is a journey with infinite trust where one accepts. Very much like marriage. You will make it work, if your are steadfast and faithful to your spouse and the principles that bring you together.

There is a need of obedience and suppleness to follow the church. It is not easy at times, but I try to persevere.
11/18/2011 9:18:41 AM
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Kathy
Last night I watched a program on Quantum Physics: and the proof of the Theory of Entanglement of Electrons; two electrons can indeed communicate from millions of miles away from eachother. I could not help but see how science, and even philosophy can verify the existence of God, the existence of Jesus, and The Holy Spirit. My question to myself was,how would I relate my perception to the 2nd Commandment? How do I love my neighbor? The challenge becomes simple, if I grasp the meaning of prayer; if the person across the ocean is wanting, I am wanting. Like the electron, I feel it, and I can pray to the Creator of all electrons, universes, neighbors, that God who is Love, will embrace that person. There is ethics in science as in theology;how could I/we not recognize our Creator, in our gifts to write about theology, philosophy, electrons? Why betray our Lord, His Word a living doctrine working through us? God Speed Fr. Barron!
11/18/2011 9:32:00 AM
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Jim
Fr. Barron,

Why don't you write a book on this subject?

God Bless!
11/18/2011 1:09:06 PM
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Michael
Rev. Barron:

I would like to second Jim's encouragement above concerning a book length treatment of this subject. I have read with rapt fascination and wonder your two books on conversion, "The Strangest Path" as well as"And Now I See" and contemplated the DVD series "Conversion". I wonder what a similar book length treatment on the Beatitudes or moral theology would look like for the twenty first century, peppered with your insights from the doctrines of the Church fathers, Augustine, Aquinas, Newman, the Second Vatican Council, and Pope John Paul II / Pope Benedict XVI drawing out their ethical implications seasoned with examples from the lives of the saints. I recently saw a set of videos by Krzysztof Kieslowski called "The Decalogue" in the bookstore of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC that looked fantastic as he is a Polish film producer who filmed them prior to the collapse of communism in Poland. What would a similar treatment look like for the U. S.or the universal Catholic Church in the current world dynamic.
11/19/2011 8:52:17 AM
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Sebastian
Love. These days it’s almost as if some consider love to be a bio-chemical phenomenon, really atheism if you wanted to condense it further. My sympathies to your mother and father if that is what you truly believe about love.
While listening to Fr. Barron comment on beliefs and love, I couldn’t stop thinking about all those who do not believe in an after-life. Although totally contradicted by the terrific appetite for capturing ghosts and what not on film, and then totally dismissing evidence that is sometimes caught on film… some just can’t bring themselves to believe that anything exists other than the life we are living in the here and now. I hasten to add however, that I would discourage anyone from searching for an after-life in this way, i.e., when is the last time you heard of a happy or joyful ghost or demon. There is great sadness often attributed to spirits “found” in this way. And, having this as your only reference to a possible after life, you may not want to have anything to do with an after-life it at all after viewing such evidence. I guess we all need proof at times, doubts are part of living… but I am likewise concerned when love is removed from the equation, quite frankly, devoid of love… it is nothing at best, evil at worst. Evil thrives in an environment devoid of love.
As to beliefs, if someone were to ask me what my beliefs are I would tell them I am Christian, if they were to ask me my religion I would tell them I am Catholic. Christian is my belief, how I practice that belief is Catholic, i.e., my religion. It’s not another “wedge” I am proposing, but there is a difference between beliefs and ones religion. So I suppose one question might be: How many Catholics say they are Catholic when asked their beliefs, and does this alienate The Church from the greater Christian community for making such a statement initially? People of other denominations are guilty of the same, nothing exclusive about it, but perhaps if we all responded in a way that made more sense (among all those are Christians), we would find ourselves starting with what we have in common rather than our differences, i.e., JESUS. Just a thought...
11/19/2011 1:21:40 PM
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Norbert
agape, while i understand what you are saying you're not taking into account concupiscence(the effects of original sin). our intellect is darkened and our will is weakened because of it. simply put, our conscience doesn't always tell us what is true. that's the problem with subjectivism. we can be wrong. eternal truths, given via the deposit of faith entrusted to the church, cannot be. i know it's hard but we need to escape our own egotism as fr said
11/19/2011 10:45:38 PM
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Chris
Fr. Barron,

Thanks again for a great video. I had a philosophy professor in a secular state university sum it up this way, "Ideas matter." Really this is what philosophy is all about. Unfortunately, especially in a failing world economy, people are less interested in ideas than ever. I rarely gripe about the STEMifiication (Science, technology, engineering and math) of education anymore but I think here it is quite relevant. No doubt many of the people in that survey are actually very well educated and professionals in their own field, but we've given up on the idea that ideas matter. Few people these days wrestle with the great theistic and secular thinkers of the past, few find a reason to think seriously about life, science, race, gender etc. etc. and just confine these issues to the background of their lives.

Its kind of upsetting to encounter people with such a poor view as doctrine or belief doesn't matter who are otherwise very intelligent. Today we see Religions as forces necessarily in conflict and inappropriate to talk about, so we dont talk about them. Even the New Atheists would agree with you that doctrine matters, they just draw different conclusions.

In the end this survey shouldn't surprise anyone. We haven't just removed the Bible from the classroom, but any serious discusion of ideas. This is where American pragmatic ideals are starting to fail us.

Peace and Thanks again.
11/19/2011 11:59:19 PM
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Felix
Another great discussion, Fr. Barron! It seems that having the proper theology and doctrine in mind about the origin of goodness and love coming from God who is Love is important for the proper development of us as human beings into "good people" made in God's image. We need to know God to become more like Him in goodness, compassion for others, holiness, and virtue as God is the giver of all that is good...
11/20/2011 12:02:14 AM
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Ellen
Thank you Father..you speak to the soul..was it Hitler who said "there is no old or weak in nature"...didn't work out too well for him!
11/20/2011 3:31:50 PM
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Paul Rodden
@Paul Adams and 'Jim'

You might enjoy Fr Jonathan Robinson's book, 'The Mass and Modernity: Walking to Heaven Backwards', published by Ignatius Press.

He discusses Kant, Hegel, and Compte, in light of the bifurcation Fr Barron mentions, and how modernism subverts the the summary of the law, by putting love of neighbour over love of God...
11/21/2011 2:31:35 PM
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Paul Rodden
Of course, it should be Comte, not Compte...
11/21/2011 7:42:11 PM
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Resela
Thank you, thank you Father!
I've always been bothered by my friends, especially my Catholic friends who claim that "it doesn't matter what one believes as long as he/she is a good person". I don't know enough to be able to explain to them how it matters.
Now I can explain with confidence.
I forwarded this video to my friends as "gems to share".
11/21/2011 9:26:21 PM
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AvecLuiJeVis
Now we know why doctrine matters but does the sociologist answer 'Why people believe one thing and live another or is that more a psychology question?
11/23/2011 2:25:27 AM
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Mary
Hmm. On the other hand, maybe some of the 88 percent were thinking about Jesus healing on the Sabbath, eating and drinking with sinners, healing and hanging with lepers and tax collectors - you know, all those things which so upset the priests and Magisterium of His time. Wasn't Jesus telling us over and over that the Spirit of God (that Love you talked about) trumps the letter of the law? Not that I don't think laws, doctrine, and philosophy are critically important, but especially in these times when I so seriously question the moral authority of the men leading our institution, standing on Jesus and His model of love helps me to remain and love His church.
11/23/2011 8:48:09 AM
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JB
I was raised as a Catholic in a great community, yet here's my concern with Fr. Barron's point: In contrast with his position, it seems that one should be able to believe that Jesus did all sorts of good things, that he loved deeply, etc. without having to believe that he walked on the surface of liquid, that he died but then actually kept on living, that he was created by a woman who never had sexual intercourse, etc. And then to say to people, "You have to believe this dogma or you are incapable of love and incapable of behaving ethically" seems not only intellectually dishonest bit it's actually quite offensive.

He goes on to say, "A lot of the ethical practices are in fact grounded in fundamental doctrines." But it's hard to know exactly what this means. He then gives an example which is the following: he "bets" that most people would say that being a good person means being a person of love. He defines "love" as "willing the good of the other, as other." And then he goes into this:

The Church conveniently calls love: "A participation in [our] God's way of being." And then he goes on to show that because God is perfect then he truly can will the good of the other. But this is a serious example of putting the cart before the horse, as well as defining terms to suit one's needs. If I define love as, "A participation in Buddha's way of being," then by the above line of reasoning that would demonstrate that one needs to be a follower of and believer in the events of Buddha (that he was born as a result of a magic elephant circling a woman, etc., etc.) otherwise one is incapable of love. And all the while this person is saying, "But Buddha is the one true path to love; you must believe in the dogma surrounding Buddha or you do not love."

All in all, it's a great discussion-starter...but I sure hope the discussion doesn't stop with this video. There is such beauty in natural love, I'd hate to have even more pigeonholing and divisiveness created by Buddhists, Catholics, etc. as to who has a monopoly on love and what kind of other-worldly nearly-impossible things one must believe in in order to love one's child, spouse, and neighbor.
11/23/2011 3:00:34 PM
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Paul Rodden
Hi there, JB.

You seem to be hearing what you want to hear.
11/24/2011 8:02:10 AM
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Celine
Dear Father, this is a wonderful site. Deo Gratias.

I am compelled to answer BJ.

One does not have to be a Catholic to be a good person and this goodness is generally short lived.

Catholics are called to be more than a good people, Jesus said “Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect” God gives us the grace necessary for this calling. God is Love. Love is humility. He humbled Himself taking the form of a servant. Love is sacrifice. He loved me and gave Himself up for me on the Cross.

Our Lord Jesus Christ was not “created by a woman who never had sexual intercourse” or anyone else. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary, herself born without original sin, when she said “Be it done unto me according to thy word.

Jesus Christ is the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, the Only Begotten Son of the Father from all eternity. Yes it is in the Catholic creed which to be Catholic we must firmly believe.

"His Only Son" In these words, mysteries more exalted with regard to Jesus are proposed to the faithful as objects of their belief and contemplation; namely,

He is the Son of God, and true God, like the Father who begot Him from eternity. We also confess that He is the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, equal in all things to the Father and the Holy Ghost; for in the Divine Persons nothing unequal or unlike should exist, or even be imagined to exist, since we acknowledge the essence, will and power of all to be one. This truth is both clearly revealed in many passages of Holy Scripture and sublimely announced in the testimony of St. John: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

But when we are told that Jesus is the Son of God, we are not to understand anything earthly or mortal in His birth; but are firmly to believe and piously to adore that birth by which, from all eternity, the Father begot the Son, a mystery which reason cannot fully conceive or comprehend, and at the contemplation of which, overwhelmed, as it were, with admiration, we should exclaim with the Prophet: Who shall declare his generation? On this point, then, we are to believe that the Son is of the same nature, of the same power and wisdom, with the Father, as we more fully profess in these words of the Nicene Creed: And in one Lord Jesus Christ, his Only ¬begotten Son, born of the Father before all ages, God of God, light of light, true God of true God, BEGOTTEN, NOT MADE, CONSUBSTANTIAL TO THE FATHER, BY WHOM ALL THINGS WERE MADE.
11/24/2011 4:41:48 PM
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Celine
Sebastian

What we have in common is that we say we believe in Jesus.

Yet Jesus says in Matthew[21] Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of My Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven [24] Every one therefore that heareth these my words, and doth them, shall be LIKENED TO A WISE MAN THAT BUILT HIS HOUSE UPON A ROCK.

Beliefs come from Religion. I never call myself a Christian. I always call myself a Catholic because All Catholics are Christian. Not all Christians are Catholic. The Catholic Church is not a denomination. The Catholic Church is not one of 38,000 denominations.

Our Lord Jesus Christ founded His Church when He said to Peter, “Thou art Peter and ON THIS ROCK I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it….”

HERE IS THE DOCTRINE THAT BUILT A “WEDGE” THEN AND NOW.

John 6:[54] Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. [55] He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day. [61] Many therefore of his disciples, hearing it, said: THIS SAYING IS HARD, AND WHO CAN HEAR IT?

67] AFTER THIS MANY OF HIS DISCIPLES WENT BACK; AND WALKED NO MORE WITH HIM.

[68] Then Jesus said to the twelve: Will you also go away? [69] And Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. [70] And we have believed and have known, that thou art the Christ, the Son of God.

To get back those who left, Jesus never recanted or said I did not mean that… Jesus meant what He said.

Truth is a bitter pill to swallow especially for those who have ears to hear and do not want to hear, and eyes to see and do not want to see.

The Catholic Church has a duty and an obligation to proclaim the Truth of Jesus Christ.

For the sake of political correctness or in the name of misguided charity, through the mercy of God and with His grace, we Catholics cannot and will not deny the REAL PRESENCE OF OUR LORD IN THE HOLY EUCHARIST.

We have a duty to pray for those in the larger community.

THOSE WHO REFUSE THE TRUTH ALIENATE THEMSELVES.
11/25/2011 12:21:28 PM
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Gerry McIvor
Fr Bob expertly contextualizes the shortcomings of ethics without a sustaining belief system to support it. It is rather like building a house without scaffolding. At some stage the house will collapse when external forces like winds or rain effect it. Likewise "love" without God more often than not, will implode if it it based on nothing more than a subjective feeling.
11/27/2011 11:27:26 AM
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JB
First off, Celine, thank you for your sincere attempt to answer my question. And as for Paul Rodden, I'm saddened by your response as it doesn't seem very Christ-like (and, actually, doesn't make any sense :( ).

My concern still stands: it doesn't seem right to say to someone: "You do not truly love unless you believe that this particular person can turn a piece of bread into the flesh of another man." It makes it so that those in the "inner circle" who can believe such magical things are the only ones capable of truly loving someone.

Again, it would be like the Buddhists saying that you can't truly love unless you believe that a magic elephant impregnated a woman by encircling her. That doesn't seem right either (I hope you agree?). And you can imagine a Catholic and Buddhist arguing back and forth saying, "No, you have to believe MINE in order to truly love," and each of them getting nowhere. "No, mine is the one True way." "No, mine is."

True love is possible without having to believe such things and we shouldn't judge others and demean them--"You can't love and I can"--merely for a lack in beliefs about things so other-worldly. What's considerably more important are one's actions and disposition, not their beliefs in miracles.
11/28/2011 10:12:03 PM
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Al Eriksen
Father, if God needs nothing, why are the first Commandments to love Him? Why else would He have created us? We don't even do that very well. If we are made in His image, wouldn't He need to love and be loved? Thank you.

Yours in Christ,
Al
And Happy Advent to you all!
11/29/2011 3:19:19 PM
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TRR
JB,

Your position is how can we say that "my myth is better than yours". Once you answer that the next natural step is how to move beyond "myth" to actually belief based on truth.

To settle the "which myth" part I would use the purifying force of reason: history, logic, philosophy. But you will reach a point where reason will stop and you will have to make a leap of Faith. Of all the "myths" which is the most reasonable? Which has the most reasonable message? Which has the most reasonable history? This will take some serious research and meditation.

At the end the "myths" cease to be myths and become plausible and as such Dogmas of Faith. I would emphasis the Faith part. Here is where reason stops.

But don't be afraid of faith, we use it all the time. I have faith the doctor I visit is a good one, I rarely verify credentials or test them. I have never run a DNA test to prove the relationship between my mother and I yet I believe she is my mother.
11/29/2011 4:36:17 PM
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Henry
JB – I’d be willing to explore your observations with you (either here or by email) – because I believe, if I understand them correctly, have a lot worth exploring.

Until I hear from you I’d like to offer some nascent thoughts.

If I am reading your comments correctly, it seems to me that you have entwined two separate observations.

The first centers on the question of whether a person can reject the testimony that the first witnesses left to the Church and still consider himself or herself a follower of the Christ.

Your second observation seems to center on the question of whether a person who is not a follower of Christ can love one’s child, spouse, and neighbor.

Have I understood your observations correctly?
11/29/2011 9:16:06 PM
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Hound Dog King
Simply incredibly! Wonderful truth.
11/30/2011 3:34:26 AM
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Joan
JB – Thank you for your post. You articulate clearly a common complaint against the Catholic Church. I hope this discussion about your concerns continues online. You write words that are expressed by my loved ones, who are cradle Catholics; that we Catholics believe we are in an “inner circle” and have “magical beliefs.”
When I was growing up in the 1960s in my own “great community”, we had Baptist and Mormon neighbors whom my Catholic parents loved and treated with great respect yet were grounded in their Catholicism. Now, it seems we are more likely to dismiss our own roots in faith to appear tolerant or intelligent. Instead of studying and praying about our own Catholic faith, we echo the arguments of naysayers and the punch lines of late night comedians. Do their points of view really make more sense, or are they just the more commonly held beliefs today?
Bottom line, I am not so sure being Catholic boils down to who can properly love and who cannot love. Everyone wants love and happiness, and aims to achieve these wonderful states of being. I am looking to understand what real love is about, and find it more reasonable to look toward a source that is historically based and withstood the test of time. Peter’s words come to mind when he tells Jesus, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68)
The contest that JB sets up between this or that belief system is a question many have. Why do many cradle Catholics feel the need to jump on board of someone else’s contest?
11/30/2011 11:59:24 PM
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Henry
I like your post very much Joan and I too hope that JB wants to continue the conversation here.

So that you and JB know, I am an adult convert to the Faith from Buddhism and so when he mentioned it he piqued my interest.

One question, I don't understand what you are saying in the last sentence of your comment, wuould you kindly elaborate on it for me? Thanks!
12/1/2011 11:43:21 AM
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JB
Thank you for your very thoughtful comments Henry, Joan, and TRR. Henry, you're right, an email exchange would be more ideal—we’d probably get more accomplished and the 4 of us wouldn't end up monopolizing all of the space here! :) Let's do that.

Also, I'd like to respond to each of your comments here and will strive for brevity (and clarity, of course).

HENRY: Yes, you've pretty much summarized my questions/concerns. Though it's a bit deeper. My concern isn't that someone who doesn't believe in such fantastic things as the transubstantiation cannot be a "follower of Christ." I believe they can. Actually, anyone can, just as someone can be a follower of Socrates or any other person. The concern is that one "must" believe such things. Belief is an emotional endeavor. Imagine I tell you that I will pay you a million dollars if you believe that the earth is shaped like a banana: you can't do it, even if you really want to. And so, without the aforementioned beliefs then, according to many Catholics including Fr. Barron here, one cannot love someone else, also in part because those on the "inside" have defined "true love" as including "belief in the transubstantiation, other miracles, etc." Basing one's ability to love on one's belief in miracles and on a definition of love given by an "in group" seems wrong on many levels (not to mention it actually being a bit hurtful when suggested by one's own “loved ones,” for eg.).

TRR: The leap that I'm uncomfortable with is this: You write, "Of all the myths, which is the most reasonable?" as if to say: Once we decipher the most reasonable myth, then that myth becomes real. But f we had just 5 myths, deciphering the most reasonable one wouldn't make it true—i.e. Zeus throwing lightning bolts may have been the most reasonable myth at one time, but we know it's not true, and it’s being the most reasonable certainly shouldn’t be a criterion for truth. And on the question of having "faith" in your doctor, this is different from having faith in a myth: the faith you have in your doctor actually can be tested—you can literally see how the chemical compounds in the medicine work within the body, and it’s something upon which we can all agree; you can look inside the body and see the pancreas and the cancer that has encompassed it and then (hopefully) cut it out, etc. So, yes, on the one hand, we have a belief in our doctor's abilities, but we also know that this belief is grounded in empirical truths and that people have actually looked into it and it is a confirmed truth about the world. I wouldn’t put that belief on par with someone’s belief that, say, Buddha was created by a magic elephant’s tusk.

JOAN: Your comment expressed great empathy: it’s very endearing to read. I’m trying to guess at what you were asking in your last sentence—it seems like your concern is this: “Hey non-believers (in Catholicism), why are you bothering us and questioning us about our beliefs?” Is that correct?
12/2/2011 11:24:00 AM
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TRR
Hello JB,

You wrote:

"But if we had just 5 myths, deciphering the most reasonable one wouldn't make it true"

I agree with you. But I am not doing that.

I was playing the role of a modern skeptic with all the fashionable biases when I stated this. Their standard position is to see the Christian story as one more myth.

I have taken the Christian story and applied reason, and this is the source of my conversion. Do remember that empirical science is not the only means of obtaining truth. As I said before at least logic, philosophy and history will be required.

I continuously study the Christian argument and entertain as many objections as I come across to test it. So far I am still convinced that the Catholic story is THE TRUTH.

I sense skepticism on miracles, I would suggest you do some research on them and discover that they are real and seem to convey a message and purpose.

I would certainly suggest a good book in apologetics, likewise you can also listen to all the video commentaries of Fr. Barron :-).

We have drifted away from the main subject of this video of "belief and rightful actions" :-)
12/2/2011 12:27:35 PM
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Henry
I’m in JD – my email address is magnetized.by.truth@gmail.com

Let me briefly reply to latest comment here though.

I wrote: “The first centers on the question of whether a person can reject the testimony that the first witnesses left to the Church and still consider himself or herself a follower of the Christ.”

And you replied: “Yes, you've pretty much summarized my questions/ concerns. Though it's a bit deeper. My concern isn't that someone who doesn't believe in such fantastic things as the transubstantiation cannot be a "follower of Christ." I believe they can. Actually, anyone can, just as someone can be a follower of Socrates or any other person.”

I reply: It seems to me that you are giving your “belief” (“I believe they can.”). more weight than the facts of the event we are examining. I am saying this because I believe that the method a person utilizes for observing and coming to know an object must not be imagined, thought of, or organized and created by the subject; but rather, the method one uses must be imposed BY THE OBJECT. In this case, the object we examining is a religious experience that history calls Catholic Christianity. And since the religious experience utilizes a method of knowledge called faith, it is vital to look at the testimony of the first witnesses to understand the object.

You then posit that “Belief is an emotional endeavor.” I disagree because it is an act of reason and your example clearly highlights that fact.

I would summarize the interesting point you are raising as follows though: “What’s the newness (if any) that Christ introduces to the human dynamic, the human need, we call love?”

To be continued via email…
12/2/2011 2:18:42 PM
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Kerry
While I don't disagree with the spirit of your analysis, it's worth pointing out that Kantian ethics wouldn't disagree with your claim that love (or any other duty) oughtn't to be self-interested. I'm thinking that one of the reasons that ethics trumps doctrine today is that doctrine simply doesn't seem plausible to the modern mind--not so much because of Kant's influence, but because of the failure of the Church to offer compelling cases for them.
12/5/2011 8:21:26 AM
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so what's in political correctness?
Personally, i think the Institution of the Catholic Church drives it's own wedge, as far back as the doctrine of creation. And, we've witnessed the effects... secularism, divorce, abortion, the sex abuse scandal, etc.

Who do you say that I Am? Again, any exception is rejection. The Institution is not God. God IS love.

If only we could have Faith the size of a mustard seed.

what a mess.....
12/8/2011 7:12:45 AM
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Michael Rizzio
I would "love" to be in a conference room with all of the people who took the time to comment on this important video lesson. There might be great fruit in the ensuing discussion. Fr. Robert is surely a gift to the Church at this very uncertain time. I believe it is a small step from considering love in this light to pondering the overall state of our religious symbolism, the words and visual graphics that are used to convey the essential elements of our faith. If you haven’t noticed they are all under attack (siege). What do we do when the vaulted rainbow, the OT "sign of the everlasting covenant" is misrepresented by a misguided lobby trying to destroy the Sacrament of Marriage and the "capital T" traditions of the family of God? Nature abhors vacuum and we have left the field with collective inaction that appears to be weakness. When we seek to reclaim the rainbow we will witness to the world TRUTH and then all might see the Holy Eucharist in a whole new light. Remember, when He is lifted up, He will draw all men to Himself. The Rainbow is found both in Genesis and the Apocalypse, the Alpha and the Omega. Christ sits upon a rainbow in heaven (Revelation 4:3)…don’t doubt it. Light-Life-Love, is a triple cord, an important triad that we might use to begin the nonviolent counterattack. Need further proof? Start by viewing the contents of http://revelationrainbow.com/Wear_it.asp
12/16/2011 8:45:16 AM
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Joan
Michael Rizzio,
I was so happy to see your message. I have been very bothered by this same thing. What has happened to our beautiful rainbow.
12/16/2011 9:20:14 AM
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Peggy
I'm really enjoying your sermons Fr.Barron. I listen all the time and have shared your Word on Fire web site with many people.
12/20/2011 8:29:51 AM
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Mary
This is great. Why doesn't the world accept?
1/2/2012 2:57:41 PM
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