7 interesting Reasons to consider the existence of a Deity

7 interesting Reasons to consider the existence of a Deity

I ran across this little article a few weeks ago and wanted to share it.  Skimming through each argument I recognized selected ones from the 5 ways of Aquinas, plus the famous proof of Anselm.  Conspicuously absent was Paschal’s Wager.  I really would like to explore the argument from consciousness further! Take a look, click the underlined link above!

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Beyond Matter and Form: How art helps us understand what existence really “is”


What is a work of art? Following in the footsteps of Martin Heidegger, let us ask this question while standing before a particular work of art: a pair of peasant shoes, painted by Vincent Van Gogh, who painted many such shoes during his lifetime. What is this painting?


“A pair of peasant shoes and nothing more. And yet—


From the dark opening of the worn inside of the shoes the toilsome tread of the worker stares forth. In the stiffly rugged heaviness of the shoes there is the accumulated tenacity of her slow trudge through the far-spreading and ever-uniform furrows of the field swept by a raw wind. On the leather lie the dampness and richness of the soil. Under the soles slides the loneliness of the field path as the evening falls. In the shoes vibrates the silent call of the earth, its quiet gift of the ripening grain and its unexplained self-refusal in the fallow desolation of the wintry field…This equipment belongs to the earth and it is protected in the world of the peasant woman. From out of this protected belonging the equipment itself rises to its resting-within-itself”. — Martin Heidegger.




Would this have been your insight into this work of art? What would you have seen in this still life by Vincent Van Gogh…a pair of peasant shoes and nothing more? To see only that is to miss what a work of art is all about, for there is something very different between a simple pair of peasant shoes and a work of art. When the shoes are transferred from the world of the peasant woman to Van Gogh’s canvas, they are transformed…into themselves. It is only in the work of art that the true nature of the shoes shines forth.


Heidegger states it thus: “But perhaps it is only in the picture that we notice all this about the shoes. The peasant woman, on the other hand, simply wears them.” It is the stark simplicity of this particular painting that makes it so perfect for pointing out what a work of art actually does. Two shoes, some shadows and that’s it. In its simplicity, this work of art begs us to dig deeper, to see if there’s something deeper than the visual reality.


So again we ask: what is this work of art?


A work of art, like any other physical entity, is a thing, and thus perhaps the most immediately tangible reality of the work of art is its “thingly substructure”, ie: the fact that it exists, takes up time and space, etc. The oil and canvass are there. The image of the shoes is there. It is a thing.


So our first question becomes: what is the thing? This is the way Martin Heidegger chooses to attack the subject in his work The Origin of the Work of Art. He says that though one might start this inquiry into the being of the “thing” from the principles of matter and form, these traditional thing-concepts are insufficient, because “matter and form are specifications stemming from the nature of the art work and were in the first place transferred from it back to the thing.” What does Heidegger mean by this? First of all, the matter-form structure of an artifact easily presents itself to man, who by his nature is a maker, as a way of grasping all being. Because man participates in the way a piece of equipment is fashioned, his thought process will be attracted to the same structure for other types of non-artifacts. Secondly, since western thought has been steeped in Christianity for millennia, the idea of everything as an artifact, as the ens creatum, permeates our philosophy. He claims that the ens creatum, consisting in a unity of materia and forma, ( which by the way, are Latinized terms that bury the meaning of ειδος and υλη) still remains a force even after the transition from the medieaval period to modern metaphysics. In his words, “the interpretation of “thing” by means of matter and form, whether it remains medieval or becomes Kantian-transcendental, has become current and self-evident.”


So how do we avoid being walled in by this limited ontological concept? Van Gogh’s painting is the answer. Heidegger tells us that in order to keep at a distance the preconception of the above mode of thought, we simply need to let the thing be itself and look at it as it really is. What could be easier than simply letting a thing be what it is? It turns out to be the most difficult task of all, and to accomplish it, only the work of art suffices.


The mere thing avoids our understanding, and perhaps this “self-refusal” belongs to the very nature of the thing. At this point Heidegger admits that it is perhaps no accident that equipment has been used to understand the thing. As a thing that is made, equipment is an intermediate stage between us and the raw thing. So, with open eyes, and holding preconceptions at arm’s length, let us take a piece of equipment and examine what it can tell us about the true thingly character of the thing. Let’s examine a piece of equipment like…a pair of peasant shoes.


Let us re-read together the longer excerpt from Heidegger on the first page of this paper. Let us contrast what is said about the shoes to what the peasant woman thinks about them. She doesn’t. In fact, the less she must think about her shoes, the better they are fulfilling their function as equipment, because the basic nature of equipment is usefulness and reliability.


But in that silent reliability, the peasant woman is made sure of her world. Here is another passage from Heidegger:


“The repose of equipment resting within itself consists in its reliability. Only in this reliability do we discern what equipment in truth is. But we still…know nothing of what we really and solely seek: the workly character of the work in the sense of the work of art.


Or have we learned something unwittingly, in passing so to speak, about the work-being of the work?


The equipmental quality of equipment was discovered. But how? Not by a description of a pair of shoes actually present, not by a report about the process of making shoes; and also not by the observation of the actual use of shoes…but only by bringing ourselves before Van Gogh’s painting. This painting spoke. In the vicinity of the work we were suddenly somewhere else than we usually tend to be.”


So what was at work in the painting? The entity emerged into the unconcealedness of its being: αληθεια. We were able to think about the shoes in regard to their being, but by means of that very same thinking simultaneously let the shoes rest upon themselves in their very own being.


Thus Heidegger concludes that “the nature of art would then be this: the truth of beings setting itself to work.” But is not truth in the domain of logic, while art deals with the beautiful, which is the realm of aesthetics? In the words of William Keats, a Romantic poet: “Beauty is truth, and truth, beauty.” Keep in mind that he says this in “Ode on a Grecian Urn” and his words are meant to epitomize the classical Greek worldview. But hold! Are we now hoist with our own petard? Have we been neoclassical-Scholastic-Thomists all along without realizing it? By no means. Heidegger addresses this in the following words:


“Perhaps that proposition that art is truth setting itself to work intends to revive the fortunately obsolete view that art is an imitation and depiction of reality? The reproduction of what exists requires, to be sure, agreement with the actual being, adaptation to it; the Middle Ages called it “adequatio”;Aristotle already spoke of ‘ομοιοσις.”


He goes on to explain that art is not the reproduction of some particular entity but of a thing’s general essence— yet to continue on to speak of the second part of his essay, entitled “The Work and Truth” is beyond the scope of this paper. We have reached the end of our contemplation of Van Gogh’s shoes, and their usefulness in illustrating the nature of art. I hope that they have helped us to deepen in our understanding of what is at work in the work, and why work, equipment and mere thing cannot all be pushed into the same thing-concept “as hounds and greyhounds, mongrels spaniels, curs, shoughs, water-rugs, and demi-wolves are clept all by the name of dogs.”


The painting spoke silently about what it was depicting, far better than any human words could do. I conclude with two extracted stanzas of the poem I cited above, which capture my meaning about a work of art in verse:


Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard


Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;


Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear’d,


Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone: (lines 11–14)


When old age shall this generation waste,


Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe


Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou sayst,


“Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” – that is all


Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know. (lines 46–50)


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Read what the Legion is saying about the General Chapter: it has its own website!

This is the official website of the general chapter. The page is in Spanish, but it’s a great resource; information direct from the source! click here

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A good article to read on the occasion of the general chapter of the legion of Christ

Read this great article from first things magazine!click here.

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Pope Benedict XVI’s Resignation in light of Herman Hesse’s “Glass Bead Game”

Today I had an Epiphany.  Pope Benedict’s favorite novel should have tipped us of to his resignation long before it happened.  In an interview with the Pope from several years ago, Benedict disclosed that his most beloved novel was “The Glass Bead Game” by Herman Hesse.  In that book, the main Character becomes the spiritual leader of a Utopian society, yet at the end discovers that the only way to save the society is to abdicate his position as absolute ruler.  His abandonment of his post comes as a total shock to everyone, and most are bewildered by it.  Sound familiar?

I feel vindicated by this discovery, since this novel was a pivotal element in my own decision to leave the Legionaries of Christ and work to save souls from outside the order.  In fact, the blog article I wrote a year ago outlines this in much more detail: http://wp.me/p1UXJU-k


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Leaving the Legionaries of Christ, Part 2: The Glass Bead Game

In my first year of novitiate in the Legion, I heard these words from a very prominent Irish Legionary: “the reason there are so few vocations is because today’s youth lack the strength of will to follow a vocation.”

These words haunted me all my years in the order, and still do, to some extent, today.  Did I give up? Did I simply go for the easier option, and then rationalize my actions with other reasons?  Self-doubt was my Achilles heel, and kept me from questioning my Legionary vocation for years.

One day, about a year before I left, I picked up a book that began to change my mind.  It had been listed on the world literature reading list almost as an afterthought, and I don’t know why I decided to read it.  The book was “The Glass Bead Game” by Herman Hesse.  Also known as “Magister Ludi”, the book was written by a man better known for his book “Steppenwolf”; that flagship novel of the Sixties.  The main character joins an elite and secretive order at a very young age, and as he describes his life at the boarding school, all I could picture in my mind was my years in the Legion’s High school seminary in New Hampshire, and I began to identify deeply with this fictional boy named Joseph Knecht.  At one point, he speaks about the boys who dropped out of the school and left the order.

“Every time a pupil was sent backfrom Eschholz and left us, I felt as if someone had died. If I had been asked the reason for my sorrow, I would have said that I felt pity for the poor fellow who had spoiled his future by frivolity and laziness, and that there was also an element of anxiety in my feeling, fear that this might possibly happen to me some day. Only after I had experienced the same thing many times, and basically no longer believed that the same fate could overtake me as well, did I begin to see somewhat more deeply into the matter. I then no longer felt the expulsion of an electus merely as a misfortune and punishment. I came to realize that the dismissed boys in a good many cases were quite glad to be returning home. I felt that it was no longer solely a matter of judgment and punishment, but that the ‘world’ out there, from which we electi had all come once upon a time, had not abruptly ceased to exist as it had seemed to me. Rather, for a good many among us it remained a great and attractive reality which tempted and ultimately recalled these boys. And perhaps it was that not only for individuals, but for all of us; perhaps it was by no means only the weaker and inferior souls upon whom the remote world exerted so strong an attraction. Possibly the apparent relapse they had suffered was not a fall and a cause for suffering, but a leap forward and a positive act. Perhaps we who were so good about remaining in Eschholz were in fact the weaklings and the cowards.”

The last three sentences hit me very hard.  We never talked about those who left, as if they had died or failed…”many are called yet few are chosen”.  And now this new thought: were they in fact the brave ones, the ones who were not afraid to face the truth.  Was that nagging knowledge that I was simply not cut out for this life a reality to be faced rather than a temptation to be suppressed?  When I found out later that this book was in fact one of Pope Benedict XVI’s favorite novels, I was emboldened in my line of thinking.

Self-doubt, self-doubt, self-doubt.  It held me back for so long.  “Who am I to say that God doesn’t want me to be a Legionary, to be a Religious, to be a priest?”  I resolved that I would never leave of my own accord, I would hang on until I was told to leave.  Then the day came when I knew it wasn’t for me, and still no one was telling me to pack up and leave.  It was then that I saw the courage involved in leaving.  I had to be brave enough to admit I was wrong, to break my promise to myself that I would never go of my own accord, to face my superiors and tell them I was leaving, to risk being “dead” or a “failure” to my friends who stayed in.

So far in my blog I have pointed to two negatives in my experience of Legionary life: self-doubt and and the confusion of identity with vocation.  I would like to thank you all for the helpful and supportive comments you have offered on my previous posts, especially Fr. Matthew Green, Fr. Cristian Borgono, LC, and Fr. John Stegnicki.  A friend of mine told me that someone on another blog claimed they tried to post a comment to my blog and it was not approved.  I will always approve all comments, so please try posting again, as apparently I never received that comment. As for those comments that very astutely pointed out that I described brainwashing and cult-like behavior while proclaiming I did not believe in those accusations against the Legion, for now I will just say: point taken.  I suspect that I have a much narrower definition of the words cult and brainwash, and this is an area where I must broaden my mind.  I hope above all that my blog can be a forum and inspiration for positive and constructive reflection on the Church, the Legion and Regnum Christi.

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Ex-Legionary of Christ seminarians get into an argument about Abortion



A couple days ago, a friend of mine who happens to have been a seminarian together with me in the Legion of Christ posted a photo on the wall of a Facebook page supporting Abortion. The picture was of an unborn child, with the caption: “Pretend I’m a tree and save me”.  The comments on the photo soon became a raging discussion, and several ex-legionary friends of mine got themselves into it

I simply wanted to share the text of this argument with you, since it really got me going.  I had to step into it, and before I knew it, I was sucked into the argument myself. What do you think?  Who won?  Aside from your own views on the subject, which side displayed better decency and taste?  Below is the text, taken from the comment section of the photo, with the last names eliminated, except my own. (Caution, some language).

Site Administrator    http://weknowmemes.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/are-you-serious-rage-face.jpg

Yesterday at 12:07pm · Like

Joshua F. you are angry? because it is true

Yesterday at 12:07pm · Like ·  2 people

Jason H. I think it was said before, but ‘if someone planted an unwanted tree in my yard, i’d have it ripped out too’. put that in your pipe and smoke it brah.

Yesterday at 12:20pm · Like ·  2 people

Joshua F. why dont you protect your yard with a fence?

Yesterday at 12:21pm · Like ·  1 person

Joshua F. besides less than 3% of abortions are because of rape

Yesterday at 12:25pm · Like

James B. This is pointing to the environmentalists. Not to the average person, like me, who doesn’t give a thought about trees.
Most Greenies will yell and scream if a tree is cut down because it is part of nature, but at the same time, they don’t seem to care about nature’s most beautiful wonder: the human person.

Like ·  1 person

Joshua F. ‎^Amen, BroVenga

Site Administrator Oh, I’m not angry. Just amazed that you posted the exact same photo that was just effortlessly ridiculed in my last status.
Also, who the fuck builds a fence around their vagina?

Yesterday at 1:09pm · Like ·  1 person

Jason H.

haha- oh ‘human life is precious’ ‘the most beautiful wonder’. ok gentlemen, Joshua and James – how many unwanted children have you adopted? are you and your ilk sending money to help clothe, feed and take care of these unwanted kids? iflife is ‘so precious’, why don’t I see these same half-wits that are standing outside of Planned Parenthood also standing in front of the churches DEMANDING that the Pope be brought up on charges of obstruction of justice regarding CHILD RAPE. answer = because none of you hypocrite give a FUCK about those kids once they’re born. FACT.

Yesterday at 2:04pm · Like

Joshua F. ‎”fence” was a metaphor for selfcontrol–dont let people into your body if you cant handle the consequences.Dont worry Jason, we 20 yrs olds in college, are praying a lot for you….

Yesterday at 3:17pm · Like ·  1 person

Joshua F. Jason, you keep pointing fingers…what are you doing to help the world? besides bashing on other people who stand up for what is morally right??

Yesterday at 3:18pm · Like

James B.

if you’re worried about child abuse, you can look to reform america’s schools before you worry about a few terrible priests. that’s where more children are abused, if you want to be fair.
and you also can’t use an ad hominem attack buddy. doesn’t make your point look valid.
once i have money, I do plan on helping in one way or another. and I have helped out single mothers who need someone to watch their babies while they work, or someone to clean the house, do the laundry, etc. So thanks for judging me.

Yesterday at 3:21pm · Like ·  2 people

Jason H.

‎’judging you’ huh? like you people judge the women that choose to have an abortion? i can think of no other ‘judgement’ that infringes on human rights more than hiding behind an invisible man in the clouds who commands you to meddle in other people’s bodies. SO – would you like to provide information as to when and where MILLIONS of dollars of hush money were paid out from ‘america’s schools’ for covering up acts of pedophilia like the church has ADMITTED to? I’d love to see it.

Yesterday at 3:28pm · Like ·  1 person

Joshua F. okay, chief. I dont judge them, i pray for them and the children that are murdered. You dont even have to be a believer in God to know abortion is not a good idea. Just coming from a human instinct perspective. we are not made to selfdestruct.

Yesterday at 3:33pm · Like

Jason H.

oh and Joshua, PRAY away my condescending friend. you ’20 year olds in college’ need to worry about passing your classes and less about what a female does with her own body. what have I done to help the world? I point out the follies ofhypocrites like you and I have suggested to more then a few female friends that they have an abortion if they’re not ready for motherhood. some did, some didn’t. THEIR CHOICE, not yours. as well as being involved in an abortion when I was 21 and my girlfriend was 19. the condom broke. neither her nor I were ready to be parents. her and I remain close friends to this day and have NEVER regretted that decision. she and her husband have a child of their own now that they were ready for when the time came. IMAGINE THAT!!!!???!!! people like YOU would love to have seen her have that baby and struggle at the tender age of 19. but being a ’20 year old college student’, you know everything about the world already right?

Yesterday at 3:36pm · Like ·  3 people

Joshua F. im a 20 year old who has selfcontrol and has and never will get a women pregnant out of wedlock. You made the decision to have sex before marriage/or before you were ready to have a child. Basic Bio Newsflash for you: The end result and goal of sexual intercourse is the proliferation of children. You have sex, you have babies. really easy stuff

Yesterday at 3:40pm · Like ·  3 people

Chris H. I am a 18 year old and can tell you that the reason that you are hating God and the rest of the world is that deep down inside of you, you find that you hate yourself and can not let it go.

Yesterday at 3:49pm · Like ·  2 people

Chris H. The only ones who are “meddling in other people’s bodies” are the ones who don’t have self-control to wait until Marriage to have sex.

Yesterday at 3:58pm · Like ·  2 people

WillYum O. Josh, some people are just too close minded. People will argue without considering what you have to say, and it just won’t end because everyone wants the last word. In other words, http://www.traemcneely.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/hatersbaby.jpg

Yesterday at 4:06pm · Like ·  3 people

Site Administrator

Statistically, there have been 33,541 abortions since this image was posted. 🙂 No matter what you guys say, abortions prevail.
Victory is upon us.
And if God disapproves of abortion (which he doesn’t, he’s instructed the slaying of many pregnant women), he can damn me to eternal torture. So, take comfort in that thought of me burning, when my times comes, despite you being unable to prove that in anyway, your (laughably) naive imaginations wil surelyl accommodate you.

20 hours ago · Like ·  3 people

Johnny F. ‎”The only ones who are “meddling in other people’s bodies” are the ones who don’t have self-control to wait until Marriage to have sex.”
Does it suck being an ugly virgin, Chris?

20 hours ago · Like ·  1 person

Johnny F. ‎”Basic Bio Newsflash for you: The end result and goal of sexual intercourse is the proliferation of children.”
WRONG. As much as you little perverts would like to, you don’t get to define the “results” and “goals” of anybody else’s sexual activity. Why don’t you go jerk off to a picture of the Virgin Mary so you don’t feel so sexually agitated and eager to butt into other people’s sex lives?

20 hours ago · Like ·  1 person

Joshua F. What do you mean “WRONG”?? havent you ever taken biology? sex is supposed to create life. case closed. and it is better to be an ugly virgin who knows that he has the peace that comes with a clear conscience than to be and ugly pervert who is obsessed with teletubbies. grow up

19 hours ago · Like

Luke Clougher Joshua, be careful not to descend to the level of name-calling, as tempting as it is. You can’t know Johnny is a pervert obsessed with teletubbies any more than he can know you are a sexually agitated little pervert.

19 hours ago · Like ·  1 person

Luke Clougher I will say that this picture does not do a lot to help the pro-life movement, since its force is based on sarcasm, which is never a wise tool for winning hearts.

19 hours ago · Like ·  1 person

Luke Clougher that said, I would certainly remove an unwanted tree from my yard, but would never kill somebody I didn’t want to be around.

19 hours ago · Like

Johnny F. ‎”sex is supposed to create life.”
That’s like me telling you that your main motivation for eating a brownie should be to create poop, and how dare you try to flush that poop that you created.

19 hours ago · Like ·  1 person

Luke Clougher While it is true that the Church has previously emphasized that the purpose of marriage is the procreation of children, it has currently realized that this could lead to some mistaken ideas of that being the sole purpose, and, especially under JPII’s Theology of the Body, has begun to emphasize the role of sex in marriage as the ultimate expression of love.

19 hours ago · Like ·  1 person

Luke Clougher As far as @Site Administrator’ contribution to this discussion, just because something is allowed doesn’t mean it’s right. Imagine Hitler saying the following: ” statistically, there have been 6 million Jews exterminated since I became the Fuhrer 🙂 No matter what you guys say, the Third Reich will prevail. Victory is upon us.”

18 hours ago · Like ·  3 people

Luke Clougher I will also not be surprised if you say you’ve heard this analogy before, because, yes, I heard it from someone else. Nevertheless, it is a valid analogy, and perhaps that is why it keeps popping up.

18 hours ago · Like ·  1 person

Luke Clougher What is, however, not a valid analogy, is comparing an unborn child, or “fetus” to human excrement. This is so because, even if a fetus were not a human being, it is alive and capable of becoming a person. A turd, on the other hand is merely destined to become sewage–therefore the two are not of even remotely equal value.

18 hours ago · Like ·  2 people

Johnny F. You’re right, since poop usually causes no adverse physical effects and is easily excreted by the body in a matter of hours and an unwanted pregnancy will plague its host for nine months with torturous physical and emotional effects and then emerge in a bloody mess and cause the most extreme pain humanly imaginable, it’s not really a fair comparison.

18 hours ago · Like

James B.  lol if you compare babies to poop, you have no heart. sorry, but it’s true. if you were trying to be smart, you sounded foolish, and if you tried to be funny, you weren’t.
and jason, why do you keep throwing a red herring into this discussion? child abuse has nothing to do with child murder. you are fighting for a right to privacy. i am fighting for a right to life. which is more important? think about it for a few minutes. life or privacy? note that more than half the time, the woman became pregnant BY CHOICE, such as your gf.

18 hours ago · Like ·  1 person

Site Administrator Fun Fact: Most women poop during labor, but no one ever talks about it. 😐

18 hours ago · Like ·  2 people

Luke Clougher

Thank you, Johnny. I’m glad you agree with me that it’s an unfair comparison. I really appreciate honesty. But be careful not to push your point too far, though; now you seem to be implying that unborn humans are not like human waste, but rather that they are worse than human waste. It would be sad if that is really what you thought, but you are entitled to feel that way. It may get a few laughs too from people with poor taste, but in general, going around saying that fetuses are worse than sewage may not turn out to be very popular in winning over many decent-minded people in the long run.

18 hours ago · Like ·  1 person

Johnny F. Just noticed this gem:
“nature’s most beautiful wonder: the human person.”

18 hours ago · Like

Luke Clougher And I’m not just picking on you, because, as I said above, I don’t think that poking fun at environmentalists is a great strategy for the pro-life movement either. Discussion of this sensitive issue needs to be tasteful and rational, in a spirit of understanding rather than childish argumentation.

18 hours ago · Like

Chris H. ‎@johnny, No it does not “suck being a virgin” and I thank God for giving me the grace to live my life in a moral way.
I will pray for you, and just so you know, I do not hate the people that support abortion.
all I ask is that you do the same.

16 hours ago · Unlike ·  2 people

Peter S. I wonder who will win this argument. If the pro-choicers do, i don’t think I or any pro-lifer is going to change parties. By the same token, I don’t think any pro-choicer will change his mind given the reverse situation.

16 hours ago · Unlike ·  4 people

Luke Clougher

Hopefully we all win, in the sense that all of us walk away from this discussion having needed to examine more deeply the reasons and motivations we have for believing and acting as we do, in order to express ourselves more clearly to our opponents. “Opponents” is the operative word here, rather than “enemies”. We all have our shortcomings and none of us are perfect. But the Truth is out there, and the truth always wins. When the truth wins, it’s good for all of us. As our friend the administrator of this site pointed out, “Victory is upon us”. οὐκ ἔστιν ἀνδρὶ ἀγαθῷ κακὸν οὐδὲν οὔτε ζῶντι οὔτε τελευτήσαντι, οὐδὲ ἀμελεῖται ὑπὸ θεῶν τὰ τούτου πράγματα. Vexilla regis prodeunt. “This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.”

16 hours ago · Like ·  1 person

Rob S. ‎”nature’s most beautiful wonder: the human person.”
No. This is nothing more than an egotistical, self-serving view that we are somehow more important and valuable than everything else on this planet.

16 hours ago · Like ·  2 people

Rob S. And to the person who said that the only reason for sex is procreation, what are infertile people supposed to do?
I realize we cleared this up somewhat, when another person said that the church had changed its view on the subject, that sex is an expression of love, which I agree with.
However, sex also has health benefits such as stress releif, burning calories, boosting self-esteem and intimacy with your partner.

16 hours ago · Like

Lauretta R. Joshua – are we back to the imbeciles argument that sex is only for reproduction and people who dont want children should be celibate?

11 hours ago · Like

Lauretta R. Rob in NATURE most human sexual activity wont lead to pregnancy even if no contraceptive is used. Nature did not intend for sex in humans to always result in pregnancy. Otherwise females wouldnt be sexually receptive except when they were fertile, like most other mammals.

11 hours ago · Like

Luke Clougher Very good, Lauretta. You make an extremely valid observation, and it is true that sexual intimacy is a special thing that goes beyond mere functionality in human beings. Yet as Rob pointed out above, we have already cleared up the misunderstanding, and said that the Catholic Church does not teach that sex is only for reproduction.

9 hours ago · Like

Jason H.

you simply cannot attempt to reason with a person who is brainwashed into the cult of ‘god’ and all its hypocritical rhetoric. these same people will DENY to the end that their ‘religion’ has caused more suffering, torture and MURDER thanany disease on this planet has ever caused. these ‘people’ claim to have ‘inner peace’ yet they will FIGHT to the end to FORCE every being on this planet to believe what they believe – or they will shower you with righteous indignation. like ‘Chris’ up there, trying to tell me that I hate myself. he WISHES I did, because deep down all religious zealots carry hate and bigotry in their brainwashed minds. they cannot deny this as much as they try. ‘to each, his own’ – a phrase that the indoctrinated simply CANNOT handle. they will FORCE their ‘god’ down your throat no matter what, and will judge you accordingly. when it is their ‘god’ alone that is supposed to judge. HYPOCRITES, all of them.

7 hours ago · Like ·  1 person

Jason H.

‎@ Luke – the Catholic Church sure does like to cover up those molestations huh? I’m beginning to think you Catholics want to have more babies saved just so they can grow up and have the priests rape them. I have never, nor ever will follow whatever the ‘church’ says is right or wrong. when the pope stops covering up the CHILD RAPES, maybe then you’ll gain an ounce of credibility before you can preach your nonsense. you brainwashed sheep.

7 hours ago · Like ·  1 person

Joshua F. Praying for you, jason

2 hours ago · Like

Luke Clougher

I love you, Jason, because you stick to your guns no matter what, which is a good quality to have. I would rather stick to the original topic of this conversation, which is the morality of abortion, but it would appear that, at least in your opinion, my credibility is negligible because I am Catholic, and there are certain Catholics who have committed or covered up child abuse. Therefore, in the the interest of maintaining ethos, I will say the following. Child molestation is a disgusting and terrible evil. I abhor and revile the abuse of children with all my heart. It should never be ignored or covered up under any circumstance whatsoever. Catholics who perform these acts or cover them up, whatever their rank or privilege in the church, should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. There have been priests who molested children, and there have been bishops who covered it up. They are now facing the legal consequences of their actions, and rightly so. Our current Pope is not among those who are guilty of these actions. Accusations have been leveled against him, and it has been shown that these were untrue. He could still be proven guilty of some act of hushing up, but until that time, He is innocent till proven guilty. I follow his teaching because I have seen the beautiful and brilliant works of Theology he has written, have analysed their merit and found them worthy of credibility. I freely chose to be Catholic and follow the Pope, I have not been brainwashed into it. If you would like, I could give you every single reason I have to believe what I believe, in the form of logical and balanced syllogisms, tested by millennia of rational argumentation. I could give you the historical data which confirm the legitimacy of the line of succession of the Papacy. I could even give you seven philosophical proofs for the existence of God, but it might not be worth the time and effort explaining the terminology and concepts involved if you already struggle with capitalization. (sorry, that was a cheap shot…see, even self-righteous Catholics lose their cool once in a while 🙂 If you applied you tenacity to something other than baiting people into losing their tempers, you could really do some good, especially as someone named Jason, which comes from the Greek verb “iasthai”: to heal, and is related to the Hebrew name Yehoshua, or as we know it nowadays, Jesus. Not bad for a Sheep, eh? Maybe I’ve just got a Good Shepherd.

about an hour ago · Like ·  1 person

Luke Clougher ‎*your* tenacity…see, God is punishing me for making fun of your grammar!

about an hour ago · Like

Jason H.

love you too buddy. no one is ‘baiting’ anyone – and no one is losing their tempers. especially me. and my non-use of capitalization is in part due to my carpal tunnel sometimes acting up, so reaching that pinky over to the ‘shift’ key sometimes hurts. my apologies. we all can’t be grammatically correct all the time. even the best of us, like me.

there is no possible way to ‘prove’ the existence of god, try as you may. but if it does exist, it would probably be a female – and she’d probably be pissed at the shenanigans against women’s rights you people are committing. you follow your leaders in the church, i will follow my free thinking mind and make moral decisions for myself. the huge difference is, people like you cannot accept my choice of lifestyle and have to write essays to try prove us wrong and claim to knowing some ‘truth’, which is ultimately extremely condescending. while i could care less how you live your life and would never try to get people to stop believing whatever makes them happy. as long as it doesn’t interfere with another’s human rights. which removing the choice of abortion for women clearly does.

and i think my mom named me after the ‘jason and the argonauts’ movie. sorry to disappoint you.

ps – F the pope. see, i can capitalize even if it hurts sometimes, but its worth it. ♥

about an hour ago · Like

Chris H. Jason, I thought you just said that you don’t hate anyone and now you have just sent a messige of hate to the world about “F”ing the Pope.

about an hour ago · Like

ChrisH. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=232331486826080&set=a.227189217340307.57113.165284543530775&type=1&ref=nf

59 minutes ago · Like

Luke Clougher Sorry about your carpal tunnel, man. See, that’s why we can never judge anybody! I too believe we should never force our own opinions on others when they’re not hurting somebody else’s human rights, and that’s why the crucial question is: is a fetus human, and if so, does it have rights? There’s so much we still have left to learn scientifically about life; nothing is black and white.

53 minutes ago · Like

Luke Clougher Jason of the Argonauts was a cool guy, by the way. Greek, too, by the way…and this link showed up on my twitter feed a couple seconds ago. Check it out.http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/27/us-pope-idUSTRE79Q2U920111027


Pope expresses shame for Christian violence in history


ASSISI, Italy (Reuters) – Pope Benedict, leading a global inter-religious meetin…See More

52 minutes ago · Like ·




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Building on the Ruins of the Old Me: why I left the Legionaries of Christ

When I realized I had to leave the Legion of Christ, the floor was ripped right out of my life.

Everything on which I had based my very identity was called into question.  I had become a member of this religious order at fifteen, before having completed high school, and my past seven years had been completely dedicated to learning how to spend the rest of my life as a priest in the Legion.  Now with the fundamental direction of my life suddenly in question, I found myself incapable of the most routine activities of my day; classes, community prayer, mealtimes.  There was no point anymore.

I believe that a person’s vocation is the central kernel of their existence.  Your identity is built around your purpose in life.  God exists outside of time, and he calls you into being in one eternal moment: the whole you, from beginning to end.  And when God calls your name out of the nothingness, he does it for a reason.  I thought I’d found this reason.  For seven years I lived my life for this reason, and then one day, my certainty was gone.

Without my priestly vocation, I was faced once again with the most fundamental questions.  Looking in the mirror I had to ask: who are you, Luke?  Why are you here?

Eight months later I’m still building on the ruins of who I was.  I don’t mean to sound melodramatic or depressing; I’m actually quite a joyful person.  The truth is simply the truth: my identity crumbled and now I’m building a new one.

By now you may be asking: well, Luke, if your vocation to the priesthood was so central to your identity, why did you have to leave the Legion all of a sudden? That would be a very fair question.  I have two answers.  I had known in my heart for some time that I wasn’t cut out for religious life, but I had been afraid to face the facts, choosing rather to view that nagging realization as a temptation against my vocation.  The second reason is that the Legion I had fallen in love with and joined was changing before my eyes.  I had signed on for one thing, and it was becoming something else.

Let me make something clear.  I am still in contact with many Legionary priests and seminarians, and I do not subscribe to the brainwashing, cult accusations leveled at the order.  As someone genuinely concerned for the future of Christianity, Catholicism and the religious life, I would like to share my experience as a Legionary seminarian in all it’s detail, including the personal struggles I had with certain aspects of the Legion’s formation and methodology.

When I read or hear some of the horror stories about excessive control, brainwashing and repression that come from certain former Legionaries, I think of certain moments of difficulty I had, and how easy it would be to tell those stories in terms that would horrify anyone out of context.  If I wanted to, I could use all the right words to push all the right media-hype buttons.  What I would much rather do is something productive, i.e. tell my story exactly as it happened and let you judge the Legion of Christ for yourselves.

This is something I wanted to do back in the Legion, but couldn’t, because I wasn’t allowed internet access to have a blog.  Maybe this is a little piece of the new me…part of my new purpose in life.

A few days before I left the seminary, I wrote these words in my journal:

I believe that:

1. One day I will look at all my present goals and say I fulfilled them.

2. On that day I will make new ones.

3. one day everything will work out.

4. I am a survivor.

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The Lake of Shifting Pictures: diving into my memories

I have a mighty vision.  I have an ideal that seems impossible, yet I believe it is possible.  Only time will tell if I was right.

Lord, my God, what have you called me to do?  If what I have learned from others about you is true, you have called me from all eternity.  What is my mission?

It must have been you who made me as I am, you who gave me the dreams I dream, the visions of the future that catch up all the enthusiasm of my young heart.  It must have been you who directed my childhood, even when I was far from you, and it must have been for some purpose of yours that you let me become as I am.

Now all I ask is to find that purpose.  Work the wonders you are proclaimed to be capable of.  What are you calling me to do?

My secret thoughts, please don’t go! Do not fade back into the darkness you came from.  I fear that to speak you aloud is to lose you.  You are a dream, a fragile mirror, a floating sea of pictures without edges.  To frame or to name you seems to shatter the dream, destroy the mystery of your charm.  The moment my emotions hit the paper, they seem to become just another thing I’ve written. This is the nemesis of my dream.  I want to communicate how I think and feel, how I dream, how I was lost, how I found, how I continue to search.  I need you who read to feel what I felt, cry and laugh as I did, yet so much is lost in the leap from mind to mind.  I want to find the perfect vehicle for my thoughts, to transmit them exactly as they are in my mind without any loss in the translation.

At the end of my last post I promised to talk of my past, of my experience in the seminaries of the Legion of Christ, my struggles, what I witnessed and why I left.  I’m still trying to put that all into words.  I can’t seem to find a place to begin.  Once I do I will be at peace -I hope.  Please bear with me as I ramble and pray aloud.  I appreciate and welcome anyone’s thoughts on how to open up and tell the story of my journey.

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Pouring my heart out (a little at a time)

So does the world need another blog? All I know is that I need this blog. Badly. I need to share what I’ve been through, what I dream of, and pour my heart out in the hope that someone out there among my 7 billion or so fellow human beings also needs this blog.
I haven’t written anything serious in a while…not since I left college 8 months ago…so forgive me if my writing starts out a bit clunky and weed-choked. I have a lot to talk about. I plan on turning my life into an adventure, and using this blog as a chronicle. First thing, though, I should talk about the past and all that’s led me up to the present situation, especially the seven years I spent in the Seminary, trying to love God and my fellows and learn to give my life as a priest. I need to talk about the great times and the rough ones, and most of all about the heart-wrenching experience of leaving it all and starting a new life. My next blog will be all about the Legion of Christ: (the religious order I belonged to) about the present chaos it is experiencing and how I view the whole situation from an insider’s perspective.
See you soon.

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