Many people claim to not know what truth is. Or they claim to be following their consciences. Or they claim there is no such thing as truth or a conscience either. I run into these people on Twitter and other places and the conversations are always stunning. Not stunningly beautiful but stunning to my mind. They make my brain hurt. So I’m posting this video below by Dr. J. Budziszewski at the Acton Institute, Natural Law and the Revenge of Conscience. J. Bud, as he’s often known (understandably) is the author of The Revenge of Conscience and also What We Can’t Not Know. See links at the end of this post.Continue reading “Revenge of Conscience, What We Can’t Not Know”
Peace be to you! Hope you had a very merry Christmas! Advent, Christmas, New Year’s, all passed me by, and the Jubilee of Mercy began, and I watched it all fly past as if I were Douglas Adams watching deadlines go whoosh. I’ve put off writing this, my 500th post for Catholic Heart and Mind because I wanted to write something Big and Important, something Significant. I’ve also been struggling to get back to reading and writing about Laudato Si’, but, to be honest, I’m feeling some real resistance to it. I’ll get over it and get back to it, eventually, or force myself to do it, but I haven’t yet. (I’ve also been really low on energy. The sarcoidosis has taken a toll the last couple of years, and reading and listening and taking a few notes is about all I’ve been good for. My dogs are exceedingly frustrated with me, I’ve been such a bore.) The result is that, for the longest, I haven’t written anything. Nothing. Zilch. Nada. Funny how that works. Tonight I decided to go ahead and write a post instead of The Post and get on with it.
Just in case you’ve been burning with curiosity about what I’ve been doing with all this time on my hands–since I certainly haven’t been blogging–I’ll tell you: I’ve been delving into my theology studies and it’s been fascinating and inspiring. Been listening to a college level course by Dr. Brant Pitre, The Apostle Paul: Unlocking the Mysteries of His Theology, on MP3. It’s available on CD, too, but I’m the impatient type so I usually download these things so I can start digging in right away. The course is seventeen sessions, each one runs about an hour or more. I’m only on session thirteen right now, but most of the previous talks I’ve listened to two or three times.
- The Mysticism of Paul the Apostle, by Albert Schweitzer (used, paper),
- The Theology of Saint Paul, 2 volumes, by Fernand Prat, S.J. (used, hardback), and
- The Angels and Their Mission, by Jean Cardinal Daniélou, S.J. (digital, Google Play, only because the Kindle sample I downloaded wasn’t working, and I was too impatient to take the time to deal with it).
And after watching a couple of videos (more about that later) featuring Dr. Michael S. Heiser and his work, I’ve decided to also read two of his books (for now):
- The Unseen Realm: Recovering the supernatural worldview of the Bible (Kindle, Logos/Verbum format); and
- Supernatural: What the Bible teaches about the unseen world–and why it matters, with study guide (Kindle, Logos/Verbum format).
The more I study about the angels, the more fascinated I become. Heiser is writing from a non-Catholic point of view, and I don’t know yet whether or not he includes the Church Fathers in his sources, but I still find his work very interesting. Danielou’s book certainly covers the Fathers; I’m not sure what all Prat or Schweitzer cover, but I’m hoping that Prat gets into the Fathers, at least a little. I’ll share more as I learn more.
Well, that’s more than enough about what I’ve been doing. Thanks for reading. May God bless you and yours in this new year!
Of all the things I’d hoped to do during Lent, I’ve managed only to prove to myself that I am even weaker than I already knew. But, lucky for you, I have also spent some time listening to an audio course in Spiritual Theology taught by Dr. Brant Pitre. It’s available in DVD, CD or MP3 formats. (I bought the MP3 set so I could download it immediately and have been listening to it on my iPhone in GoodReader.)
One of the earliest purchases I made after becoming attracted to the Catholic Church in the ’90s was Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange’s marvelous two-volume work, The Three Ages of the Interior Life. This was the first Christian work of its kind I had ever seen and I’m so glad I got it then in a clothbound edition. I have read and re-read Volume One, and have read Volume Two through at least once.
Why do I mention Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange’s book? Because Dr. Pitre uses it in his course! How exciting! For me, it is. (Stop looking at me like that. I know I’m a nerd. And you do, too, if you’ve even glanced at this site before. So there.) And that’s not all. Dr. Pitre uses several others that either I had in print or Kindle format, in my Verbum library or found online in PDF or other downloadable eBook formats for free. And, before you ask, of course I’ll give you links. Kind of me, yes? (Okay, my aforementioned weakness has engendered not quite enough humility in me. Yet.)
Sources used in the course include those in the list below. I’ve listed Kindle and print formats; eBook refers to various formats available mostly through the Internet Archive for free. On the course page there’s a link to a PDF outline of the course (scroll down). I strongly recommend that you download the outline even if only as a guide for your own study. What an amazing amount of teaching and work Dr. Pitre has put together for us! Btw, this is not a complete list. But if you get the free PDFs, Fr. Dubay’s Fire Within, and Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange’s books listed (PDFs or Kindle), then I reckon you’ll be fine. I also reckon you already have a good and well-worn Catholic Bible and, of course, a much dog-eared copy of the Catechism. (You do, don’t you?)
- Fr. Thomas Dubay, SM, Fire Within, Kindle, Paper
- Fr. Adolphe Tanqueray, The Spiritual Life, Hardcover, eBook
- Fr. Jordan Aumann, OP, Spiritual Theology, Kindle, Print, eBook
- Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, The Three Ages of the Interior Life, Kindle, Print Set (TAN Books & Publishers), eBook
- Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, The Three Ways of the Spiritual Life, Kindle, Print (now published as The Three Conversions in the Spiritual Life)
- St. John of the Cross, OCD, Collected Works, ICS edition (in one volume), Kindle, Print
- St. Teresa of Avila, OCD, Collected Works, ICS edition, Vol 2, Kindle, Print
- St. Thérèse of Lisieux, OCD, Story of a Soul, ICS edition, Kindle, Print
- St. Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life, Kindle, Print Translated by John K Ryan, Print TAN edition, eBook
- St. Louis de Montfort, Secret of the Rosary, Kindle, Print, eBook
- St. John Paul II, Apostolic Letter, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, Online
- St. Bonaventure, The Soul’s Journey to God (or Journey of the Mind into God), Kindle, Print, PDF
- St. Thomas Aquinas, OP, Summa Theologica (or Theologia), Kindle, PDF, Online, Print (Seriously? Wow. Go for it! All my copies are digital.)
- Dom Jean-Baptiste Chautard, OCSO, The Soul of the Apostolate, Kindle, Print
- The Holy Bible. I highly recommend the RSV-CE or RSV-SCE*
- The Catechism of the Catholic Church (online free, Kindle or paperback under $10)
*The RSV is available in two different Catholic editions, the RSV-CE (Catholic Edition) and the RSV-SCE (Second Catholic Edition). I use both because I like the SCE but the CE is available in interlinear format in my Verbum software. Can I read the interlinear Biblical Hebrew or Greek? Heck, no. But I like to explore and learn so I do use it. A little. I hope to learn to use it more as time goes on.
Another form of the RSV for Catholics is the Ignatius Study Bible RSV-SCE, but is only complete through the New Testament as of this writing. You can buy the NT in separate booklets or the whole NT in paperback, hardback or leatherbound. (Several books of the Old Testament are available now in booklet format, but I don’t know when the entire OT study edition will be available.) This is such a great study help because it’s the work of Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch.
I’m trying something new this year. First, I’m trying out a theology course. The other day I attended a Catholic Theology webinar hosted by Dr. Taylor Marshall. At the end of it, he offered attendees a special rate on the first month of tuition at his New Saint Thomas Institute. I got it but I’m still kicking myself for not getting in as a charter member in the beginning. Oh, well, hindsight and all that. I spent a while tonight deciding on a way to keep up with coursework. Here’s a screenshot (below) of the arrangement I finally settled on.
I started out using DEVONthink for this but I’m liking Scrivener better. For now. What I want is to find a way that works and then not have to mess with it. I just want to use it. When I’m through with the course, I can compile the different files into an ebook for my iPad or print it out. I’ve never tried to do either of those things with Scrivener, so that’ll be a whole other adventure.
Second, I’m working on getting organized with my writing, especially writing for the blog. I found a template for Scrivener (my preferred app for all kinds of writing) that has really helped me organize my thinking and planning. The editorial calendar is especially helpful, though I customized it by adding liturgical seasons and feasts to it. Here’s a screenshot of how the blog plan looks so far.
The more I work on the blog plan, the more ideas I get and the more excited I get about writing again. It’s been a while since I’ve focused (or been able to focus) on much at all. Please keep me in your prayers. I need all the help I can get, for the writing projects, for the theology course, and for my health to allow me to do anything. You’ll be in my prayers, too. (I pray for all visitors to the blog and everyone I interact with online and in face-to-face life when I make the Daily Offering and when I pray the Rosary.)
Thank you for reading and for your prayers. Peace be with you. God bless you!
I’m in the midst of editing and updating some of the pages around here (about time!). Made some additions tonight including some new resources on the Life Issues page, more about the HHS Mandate (including the false claim made by the Vice President during the VP debate and the USCCB’s quick response to it– breathtakingly fast!). Made a couple of changes on the Year of Faith and the Vote pages. Comments are welcome and thank you for reading. God bless you and peace be with you.