Some Blog Housekeeping Items

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I’ve been a bit slow in posting lately for a couple of reasons. The first, of course, was the viral infection of my trusty old laptop. Another is that I’ve been working on several projects at work and putting in some extra hours. This has, for some reason, worn me out more than normal and I haven’t had a lot of energy to spend doing posts. It is to be hoped that this extra work will be over by the end of next week and things can get back to normal. I have many things I would like to cover in the next few days. Among them, I notice that Steven did a post offering some interesting thoughts on my comments on Merton and a couple of folks have also provided comments and I would like to respond to these. Also, Steven noted that my comment on Yancy was harsher than normal and that is true, I wrote that comment quickly, when I was tired, and would like to reword it to be a bit fairer.

I have another reason for not doing a lot of posts lately – I have, as previously noted, been given pause by a couple of the new blogs here at St. Blog’s Parish. There are two or three new arrivals (see list below) that hold a lot of promise. These blogs take a more pronounced turn to items of spiritual interest. Posts on these sites have caused me to rethink, sort of, what I have been doing here at The 7 Habitus. I realize I would like to change direction a bit, or to put it more accurately, refocus on my original intent in doing this blog – to try to explore what it means to be Catholic in today’s world.

What I mean is this. When one joins the Catholic Church one is not doing something akin to joining, say, a Presbyterian Church. When one joins a Protestant church it is an act similar to assuming membership is almost any other type of club or organization (not the same, but similar), one professes to believe the same thing as those in the church (which may or may not really be true), perhaps one assumes certain financial obligations and other obligations of membership and then goes on ones way. It may be a significant event in a person’s life or it may turn out to be meaningless. The reason for this is that, for the Protestant, the church membership he assumes is not a central element in his faith, his “personal relationship with Jesus Christ” is the central reality for him, along with whatever truth he can glean from his reading of Scripture. (Note: I always provide a caveat when I try to explain an area of Protestant belief: this is not universally true of all Protestants, there is no one Protestant understanding of any aspect of Christian dogma. This caveat holds true for my comments on the Protestant understanding of the Church above.)

This is not the case for the Catholic. In joining the Church, one becomes Catholic; there is such a thing as being Catholic. Joining the Church affects, in a very real way, what one is. Being Catholic, ideally, affects the way one lives out ones life; what we believe is reflected in what we do. Thomas Howard caught this truth when he titled a book he wrote a few years ago On Being Catholic. We are not members of the Church as much as we are Catholic. As Thomas Merton wrote: “We must know the truth, and we must love the truth we know, and we must act according to the measure of our love.” (italics in original) We act on the basis of what we know to be true. That is the goal I wish to achieve here: to try to explore, at least in my own mind, how that is done in a society that is no longer Christian but nihilist. I want to try to explore the “why” question, rather than the “who, what, where, when, how” questions. I think that, instead of doing this lately I have taken more of an apologetic approach, not that this is inappropriate to what I wanted to do, but it is not all I wanted to do. So, I hope you will see a bit of a different focus here over the next weeks and months.

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A List of new blogs that have caught my attention recently:

A Lowly Pilgrim

Notes to Myself

Catholicism, spirituality and holiness

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I may, over the next few days, be offering some comments on my reading of Merton so I would like to offer another caution. I do not do well when I attempt to comment directly on things I read. For some reason it is common for me, when asked if I liked a book and if so why to be able to master little more than “Well, I dunno, I just kind of liked it.” I stand in awe of book reviewers. This trait seems to be hard wired in my mind. I hope to do better here, but bear with me in my weakness.

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Finally, I have let the Barrister make all the responses to the comments from Andy and Matt Moore. I hope, over the next day or so, to offer a couple of my own.

3 Comments

Thanks for referencing my blog - I appreciate it. I tend to write about whatever I'm currently reading - and at the moment that is Merton's 'Contemplative Prayer.' I was drawn to it because if the title, not knowing much about Merton. Although it is a small book, it's going slowly because I'm trying to really absorb each chapter. And getting enough contiguous time to get through more than that just isn't easy to do!

thank you 7habitus, i am humbled.

Nichole/Steven

You are welcome, actually I am the one who should be humbled. You both have started out taking the approach I had hoped to take. You have reminded me that I should never forget the real reason I wanted to do a blog -- give glory to God.

Thank you both

Pax et bonum

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This page contains a single entry by Ron Moffat published on October 4, 2003 6:57 AM.

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