Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Tuesday Tuesday Tuesday!

Hello again, everyone, I hope your past week has been a good one.

Mine? Oh, not bad. Work is work, checked out the new parishoners' meeting last night at my local parish (now that I got to Mass on a regular basis again) and tried to figure out what to write about this week. I lucked out, didn't I?

First, we have a little problem with a Palestinian terrorist group winning the latest elections in Palestine. Both Hamas and the outgoing Fatah party seemed to like having groups of masked gunmen at polling places. Combine this with Ariel Sharon's stroke and upcoming Knesset (Israeli Parliament) elections, and we could see a potential war break out again. Well, if Hamas starts shooting, they'd best realize that their actions will have consequences.

Second, and this just happened today, Samuel Alito got confirmed as a new Supreme Court Associate Justice. I know I should be above all this, but I'm just happy to have another Catholic on the bench. After all of that verbal excoriation, dealing with insinuations about qualifications by "Catholic" politicians who refuse to support Church positions (I'm referring to you, Dick Durbin) and having to endure looking at Ted Kennedy, I'd say he's earned his seat.

I'm not going to watch the State of the Union address, instead I'll read the text of the speech once I look it up online. I prefer to read speeches instead of hearing them. I think it helps me to focus on what's being said without all of the distractions and frippery.

Coretta Scott King has died. She did as much for keeping the civil rights movement together after her husband's death as she could. Too bad America wound up with fewer Martin Luther Kings and more Al Sharptons and Jesse Jacksons. Neither of those men can hold a candle to Dr. King, and they can't even compare to his wife, either. Rest in peace, ma'am.

In Washington State, civil rights legislation protecting gays could be the spark to create same-sex marriage rights throughout numerous states. Which leads me to a linguistic weirdness. The all-inclusive term for which sex you chase after for romantic intentions is "sexual preference." I have a problem with the "preference" part. Preferences can change, and I'm pretty sure that you're wired from birth to pursue one sex or another (or both, don't want to forget the bisexuals out there). Is there a better word out there? I think I've said before how I think being straight, gay or otherwise is part of God's plan to make sure we play nice. The Catholic Church teaches that homosexuals are called to celibacy, but heterosexuals are also called to love their fellow man. No, not like that. Sheesh. The kind of love I'm talking about was expressed as "agape" (ah-gah-pay) in original Greek of the New Testament. And who best to tell us how to determine what kind of love is best for the world?

Pope Benedict XVI, that's who! Seriously, I've read through his encyclical a few times, and I was bowled over. He didn't get into too much detail on the physical aspect of love we're all familiar with, AKA eros, other than to uphold the stance that physical feelings of love and desire within a married couple should be cultivated and celebrated (within the bounds of propriety, please!). He also went into the concept of agape and how this self-sacrificng love is truly needed for everyone in the world to experience love. It can't be all physical, but it also can't be all self-sacrifice, either. Using the greetings of Gassendi to Descartes in order to explain this was brilliant! His best argument comes in the second part of the encyclical about Caritas, or love expressed through the Church. Other folks who have commented on the encyclical say it's a great theological founding of the concept of love, and I'm inclined to agree. Pope Benedict is my kind of pope, I think. He writes like an academic, but still manages to put his emotion about the subject into each and every word. Putting in references and footnotes always satisfies the historian in me, and there were plenty of them to spare. I can always enjoy the writing of someone who is kind enough to cite sources. Deus Caritas Est. Beautiful from beginning to end.

Well, that's all for this week, folks. See you in seven, maybe sooner.

Technorati tags:

No comments: