September 2007 Archives

From Daily Reflections on the Rule


Accordingly, if "the eyes of God are watching the good and the wicked (Prv 15:3)," if at all times "the Holy One looks down from the heavens on us to see whether we understand and seek God (Ps 14:2);" and if every day the angels assigned to us report our deeds to God day and night, then, we must be vigilant every hour or, as the prophet says in the psalm, God may observe us "falling" at some time into evil and "so made worthless (Ps 14:3)." After sparing us for a while because God is loving and waits for us to improve, we may be told later, "This you did, and I said nothing (Ps 50:21)."

The God-life, Benedict is telling us, is a never-ending, unremitting, totally absorbing enterprise. God is intent on it; so must we be. The Hebrew poet, Moses Ibn Ezra, writes: "Those who persist in knocking will succeed in entering." Benedict thinks no less. It is not perfection that leads us to God; it is perseverance.

Joan Chittister, OSB

A Question


Last Friday evening, I was able to attend a lecture here in Colorado Springs given by James M. Kushiner, editor of Touchstone Magazine. The lecture was on the limits of science in relation to theology. It got me thinking again about something I have not had a clear understanding of for some time.

The argument concerning the so-called science of evolution has been going on for decades, with many evolutionary biologists programming that the dogma of Darwinian evolution has triumphed in proving that the universe we live in is the result of nothing but random events and that life has no purpose or meaning. This view, of course, is strongly opposed by those of us who claim a belief in the Transcendent God of creation.

This opposition is generally based on one of three lines of argument. First, there are those who accept the scientific basis of Darwinism while rejecting Darwinism as a philosophical or theological system. Then there are those who espouse Intelligent Design theories. Finally, there is a school of thought that posits that all living things share an inherent tendency to live and grow. They teach that life cannot be explained solely in terms of purely scientific or physical means. This group looks, ultimately, for the final cause of life on earth. I have greatly simplified these three schools of thought, but you get the idea.

The question at the back of my mind concerns those who fall into the first school of thought, those who basically accept Darwinism while otherwise espousing a Christian world view. It seems to me this is a huge inconsistency. I understand Darwinian evolution to mean that species arise as the result of a series of completely random genetic mutations that began and continue without cause or purpose. It seems that, whatever else you believe about the book of Genesis, the idea that life arose without God’s creative action is not one that a Christian can be comfortable with.

I know there are those who argue that God could create through the process of evolution as described by Darwin. I just don’t see how this idea deals in a satisfactory way with the random generation of species. If the argument is that God, in essence, simply set things in motion beginning with the Big Bang, are we then falling back into Deism? I think the third school of thought, described above, is much more satisfactory, since it takes into account God’s continuing presence in His creation.

Am I wrong? If so, why?

An Update


I haven’t posted over the last three weeks. Been busy. I’ve got some time on my hands, so I’ve been working on the book. Doing a lot of character work; I expect that to continue over the next two to three weeks. Then it should be about a week to really refine and define my plot outline, then I start writing.

I’m trying to spend about three hours per day doing the actual preparation/writing. I figure I might do 40-60 pages per week, over 200 per month that way. In three to four months, I should have a workable first draft. I also plan to spend another 1-2 hours/day reading and rough editing the morning's work. We’ll see if I can keep to this schedule.

I also may try, between now and the end of the year to get one or two stories done. During this period that I’m not actually writing the book, I think it would be good to keep practicing some general fiction techniques. These may, or may not, be mystery type fiction. I may also try to post here a bit more, just to get a bit of variety; this won’t be a main focus though.

Wish me luck and keep me in your prayers.

God, the Port of Peace


a poem by John Walton (fl. ca. 1410)

Now cometh all ye that been y-brought
In bonds full of busy bitterness,
Of earthly lusts abiding in your thought!
Here is the rest from all your business,
Here is the port of peace and restfulness
To them that stand in storms and disease,
Refuge overt to wretches in distress,
And all comfort from mischief and misease.

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