Saturday, February 12, 2011 The Theologian of the Pontifical Household and Communication

from 2008

Ensemble Organum


Nathan O'Halloran, SJ, Moving forward with polygenism?

I note that the author writes "proved" with scare quotes? The modern scientific method does not provide demonstrations; at best it gives probable arguments, if that. The "epistemological status" is even worse when it's not just a scientific claim (concerning causes and effects) but a historical one as well.

Something from Mark Shea in 2009.
Ite ad Thomam: Garrigou-Lagrange: The Error of Conceiving Mysticism as "Extraordinary"

Center for Thomistic Studies Aquinas Lectures Online Aquinas Lecture from the Center for Thomistic Studies includes links to Germain Grisez, “The Restless Heart Blunder” and Msgr. John F. Wippel, “Thomas Aquinas and the Controversy Concerning Unity of Substantial Form in Human Beings”

the archive

Friday, February 11, 2011

Thursday, February 10, 2011

"To Educate Is an Act of Love"

An act of love? To educate is ordered to love, since the act is directed to the perfection of another, but it is not necessarily an act of love. There are plenty of educators who do so not from charity, but from self-love, or love of their own glory, with no consideration for the well-being of his students. Or the raging egomaniac who believes himself to be a prophet, bringing enligthenment to the ignorant masses. He may desire their good, but it is on his terms. There's something wrong about his love, if indeed he has rejected the Holy Spirit.

The office of the teacher bears with it a great burden, as truth is the foundation for right desire.
The educational endeavor seems to have become ever more arduous because, in a culture which too often makes relativism its creed, the light of truth is lacking, more than that, it is considered dangerous to speak of truth, thus instilling doubt on the basic values of personal and community life. Important, because of this, is the service carried out in the world by the numerous formative institutions that are inspired in the Christian vision of man and of reality: to educate is an act of love, exercise of "intellectual charity," which requires responsibility, dedication, consistency of life. The work of your Congregation and the choices you will make in these days of reflection and study will certainly contribute to respond to the present "educational emergency."
Charity is the central virtue for Christian educators, but also for all Christians!

Pope Benedict XVI links theology to the life of prayer:
However, the theologian must not forget that he is also the one who speaks to God. Hence, it is indispensable to have theology closely united with personal and community prayer, especially liturgical prayer. Theology is sciencia fidei and prayer nourishes faith. In the union with God, mystery is, in some way, savored, it comes close, and this proximity is light for the intelligence. I would also like to stress the connection between theology and the other disciplines, considering that it is taught in Catholic Universities and, in many cases, in civil ones. Blessed John Henry Newman spoke of the "circle of knowledge," to indicate that an interdependence exists between the different branches of knowledge; but God is He who has a relationship only with the totality of the real; consequently, to eliminate God means to break the circle of knowledge.
In this perspective, the Catholic universities, with their very precise identity and their openness to the "totality" of the human being, can carry out a valuable work of promoting the unity of knowledge, orienting students and teachers to the Light of the world, "the true light that enlightens every man" (John 1:9). These are considerations that are valid also for Catholic schools. First of all, there must be the courage to proclaim the "great" value of education, to form solid persons able to collaborate with others and to give meaning to their life. Today there is talk of inter-cultural education, object of study also in your Plenary Assembly.

He touches upon what is necessary for those involved with Catholic universities:
Required in this realm is a courageous and innovative fidelity, which is able to combine the clear awareness of one's identity with openness to others, because of the exigencies of living together in multi-cultural societies. Emerging also for this end is the educational role of the teaching of the Catholic religion as scholastic discipline in inter-disciplinary dialogue with others. In fact, this contributes widely not only to the integral development of the student, but also to knowledge of the other, to mutual understanding and respect. To attain such objectives particular attention must be given to the care of the formation of leaders and formators, not only from a professional point of view, but also religious and spiritual, so that, with the consistency of one's life and with personal involvement, the presence of the Christian educator will be expression of the love and witness of the truth.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Proportionality in Warfare by Keith Pavlischek

Israel’s efforts to protect itself against Hamas and Hezbollah have been widely criticized in the press for being “disproportionate,” going beyond an eye for an eye. This is a grave misunderstanding of the term, Keith Pavlischek explains, drawing out its true meaning in the tradition of just war theory as a strategy for avoiding harm to noncombatants — an area in which Israel is far more conscientious than its enemies.

Which led me to ask the question, is it morally permissible for an entity to wage 4GW if it is the only way to achieve victory? Or are certain tactics proscribed, e.g. deliberately endangering civilians by blending in with them?


The New Atlantis: How Can I Possibly Be Free? by Raymond Tallis

Do brain scans prove that free will is an illusion? Are we unfree if we are not entirely self-created? Raymond Tallis exposes the vacuity of these arguments and describes how freedom truly emerges in the development of the human being and through the development of human community.