When I was in high school, I boycotted daylight saving time one year. I kept my watch on standard time. I recognized that everybody else, from my teachers to my parents to public schedules were cowed by the government to shift their times one hour. You can probably tell I wasn’t much into obedience almost forty years ago.
I am looking forward to the extra hour of sleep tonight. Or more likely, the extra hour of morning sunlight I will enjoy as I wake at the same relative time. Then I will take my time getting ready for church.
The red countries above have never used DST. The orange countries used to observe it. Blues still do.
My dad was a watchmaker. He would warn us not to fall back, but to spring forward eleven hours if we were setting a mechanical clock. Y’all probably have digital now, so no worries.
Sacred art is more than just a representation of single realities. Good art is always multivalent, and in the cross, Christians have an image with a host of meanings.
§ 144 § The central image of Christianity is the cross, calling to mind the passion, resurrection, and Christ’s final coming in glory. Every work of Christian art or architecture shares in this image and embraces the ambiguities of suffering and death, healing and resurrection, recognizing that “by his wounds we are healed.” Such art draws from the mystery of redemption a unique power to provoke and invite the world more deeply into the mysteries of our faith.
§ 145 § Likewise, Christian art is also a product of “spontaneous spiritual joy” that challenges believers to complete the reign of God for which they hope.(Cf. CCC 2500-2503, 2513) Born from an ecstatic love of God, Christian beauty proclaims something new and original, manifesting itself as an echo of God’s own creative act.
Sacred art is not an end to itself. It should move believers to join in the mission of Christ, and to proclaim the reality of God.
All texts from Built of Living Stones are copyright © 2000, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
Even I was surprised when initiatives to oppose same-sex civil unions were elevated to the level of life-and-death issues like abortion and euthanasia. I have yet to read or hear a coherent and direct theological response to a few simple questions:
If the Church is opposed to genital activity among unmarried people, why does it not support legal actions taken against what is conceded to be sinful actions? Why does it oppose legal action that would permit actions which are morally good, or at minimum, morally neutral? So why is this a life-and-death issue?
People will continue to have sex outside of sacramental marriage, regardless of the outcome of Tuesday’s initiatives. They will do so legally, by the millions. Most of them will be heterosexuals, and many of them will be married to other partners. What they will continue to be unable to do, according to the testimony of this Catholic and other citizens, is perform basic civic and personal duties for a loved one. Frankly, I think the bishops, the Knights of Columbus, and other well-meaning (I believe) Catholics are misguided in this political activity. They all have a right to conduct it–don’t get me wrong. But none of us possess the right to be right. And I’m willing to concede there is a moral argument against civil unions out there. I have yet to see a whisper of it, given the numbers of people around the world who marry outside of a Catholic Church, or even a Christian setting.
Jimmy Mac sent me this link of a visiting professor disinvited from USD for suggesting publicly that a conscientious Catholic could support civil benefits for same-sex couples. Clearly, this has confounded the Lay Internet Magisterium, so they take a page from the Karl Rove/Deal Hudson school for scandal. When you lack the moral or political arguments against a person, just go after their job.
My suggestion for Minnesota and Washington Catholics who aren’t getting good theology this weekend: Focus on the readings. But in considering “all his statutes and commandments,” don’t worry about shrimp and pork. Don’t worry about capital punishment on all those GOP politicians. Be less concerned about agricultural methods or poly-cotton blends or modern genetics. And tattoos? Immigration policy? Yikes. Talk about a hermeneutic of subtraction.
Evangelization by the laity is as varied as the gifts men, women, and children bring to the practice of their faith:
70. Lay people, whose particular vocation places them in the midst of the world and in charge of the most varied temporal tasks, must for this very reason exercise a very special form of evangelization.
Their primary and immediate task is not to establish and develop the ecclesial community- this is the specific role of the pastors- but to put to use every Christian and evangelical possibility latent but already present and active in the affairs of the world. Their own field of evangelizing activity is the vast and complicated world of politics, society and economics, but also the world of culture, of the sciences and the arts, of international life, of the mass media. It also includes other realities which are open to evangelization, such as human love, the family, the education of children and adolescents, professional work, suffering. The more Gospel-inspired lay people there are engaged in these realities, clearly involved in them, competent to promote them and conscious that they must exercise to the full their Christian powers which are often buried and suffocated, the more these realities will be at the service of the kingdom of God and therefore of salvation in Jesus Christ, without in any way losing or sacrificing their human content but rather pointing to a transcendent dimension which is often disregarded.
I would agree the primary task of pastors is to establish and develop churches. But it must be conceded, especially in mission territories, that lay people often serve the Church by developing and maintaining the ecclesial community, often at great personal cost, and sometimes even in spite of the seeming disregard of bishops.
The variety of possible tasks for the lay person means that a careful discernment is required to allow people to best use their best gifts, and to determine the needs not only of the local church, but also the situations in which we find ourselves. In this way, the possibilities may seem even more demanding than what is expected of clergy or religious who have particular tasks, charisms, and apostolates.
That said, it would seem most of us lay people evangelize in the context of our lives. This means three areas, more or less: our work, our “neighborhood,” and our culture, as we live in each of these.
The workplace is obvious enough.
The neighborhood may include the people who live on either side of us, across the hall or street, and in the vicinity of our homes. but it might also mean the social circles in which we exist: other school parents, civic organizations, dinner parties, and old friends.
By culture, I would see the circles of people in our recreational lives: concerts and sports, shopping and internet browsing, clubs and associations–and this might have some overlap with our social/neighborhood circles.
We have an acknowledgement that the “Christian powers” of the laity are often “buried and suffocated.” Clearly, the exhuming and breathing life into these powers is the responsibility of pastors.
There’s potentially a lot here for a local community to discern. What sorts of questions do you see arising from this section? Most of my readers are lay people. Do you find yourselves buried and suffocated? Or just not giving much thought to evangelization? Or perhaps focused on your own circles, and doing it naturally?