Living the Joy of the Gospel in Our Marriages & Families

 

Every single Christian couple has an opportunity to be a culture-maker, a culture-builder, insofar as they live vibrant, joy-filled, attractive marriages and family lives.

Friday’s Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v Hodges, which legalized marriage between two people of the same sex across the country provides an opportunity for me to unpack the second facet of Cruciform’s exploration of the intersection of Christianity & culture, namely, culture-building.

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Let Not Your Hearts Be Troubled

 

Among the many gifts of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, one which is it greatest need in our world today this this: the gift of peace. For despite the great power we possess, power which allows us to order and control so much of our life, we still recognize that that power has limits, and with that recognition comes worry, fear and anxiety.

Into that world comes Jesus Christ, Who says to us what He said to His Apostles one week after the Resurrection: “Peace be with you.”

In this post I’d like to briefly sketch the anxiety of our age and its antidote: the Peace of Jesus Christ that surpasses all understanding.

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The Goal of Christian Morality: Our Happiness!

 

Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Saint Teresa in Ecastasy, 1647-52

 

One of my favorite topics in moral theology is the the place of happiness in Catholic moral thought, and in this post I want to dive a little more deeply than normal into some theology, but bear with me…

There is an unfortunate tendency today among many — even among some committed Christians — to believe that Christian moral norms are apparently arbitrary whims imposed on us by God and/or by our Church leadership.

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Why Do You Persecute Me?

 

Caravaggio, Conversion on the Way to Damascus, 1601

One of the most compelling Scripture passages is found in chapter 9 of the Acts of the Apostles: the conversion of St. Paul on the road to Damascus. Among the many fascinating aspects of this narrative is the connection Jesus makes between Himself and His Church. His first words to Paul are, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” and when Paul asks who He is, Jesus replies, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.”

Obviously, Paul was not literally persecuting Jesus, in that He had already ascended into Heaven. However, he was persecuting Jesus’ community of disciples, and so from Jesus’ words to Paul, we find a certain kind of identity between Jesus Himself and His Church, to such a degree that to attack the one (the community of disciples) is to attack the other (Jesus Himself).

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Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner and What It Means to Be Human

 

Michelangelo, The Creation of Adam, 1511-1512

 

If one of the central purposes of Cruciform is to offer a Christian perspective on (American) culture, I suppose it’s time I wade into the cultural issue of the day: Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner.

Actually, I’m not going to comment directly on Jenner himself. Instead, I want to look a bit deeper at what his attempted change in sex from man to woman and the discussion it’s generated means about how we answer this question today: what does it mean to be human?

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Communicating in an Age of Distraction

The Light Phone

 

We’ve now come to a place where what we once called “dumb phones” are heralded as a technological advance and novelty.

A few weeks back I came across this article about a new phone called “The Light Phone,” a cell phone that is lasts for an incredible 20 days on one charge. But that’s not what’s most notable about the Light Phone; what is most notable about the Light Phone is that you can do one thing and one thing only on it: have a phone conversation.

The Light Phone, in other words, is a dumb phone, and frankly, it’s even dumber than dumb phones, because you can’t even text with it! No apps, no mobile web browser, no music… just. a. phone.

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We’re Not Worthy, We’re Not Worthy!

 

 

Despite the title of this post and the image above, this is not a post about Wayne or Garth, but rather one that continues the discussion begun in last Monday’s post on Avengers: Age of Ultron.

As I mentioned in that post and in other posts on Christianity & culture, one of my goals with Cruciform is to occasionally offer examples of engaging culture by thinking deeply about the presumptions, messages and questions-posed by the music, movies and other cultural artifacts we encounter. This is what I call playing “movie critic” (as opposed to “movie maker,” i.e. cultural engagement by creating new culture).

In last week’s post I looked at some of the more subtle philosophies presented in Avengers. In this post, I’d like to look at one of the more humorous plot points in this blockbuster and its implications…

 

****(Spoiler Alert! If you haven’t seen the film and don’t like having your surprises spoiled, stop reading this post now!)****

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