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    • To my Republican Friends July 6, 2020
      You voted for Trump even though you didn't like him. Doubted his character. Questioned his fitness for the job. Yet, your aversion to Hillary was even greater The post To my Republican Friends first appeared on Spirit of a Liberal.
      Obie Holmen
    • Wormwood and Gall a Midwest Book Award Finalist May 4, 2020
      The Midwest Independent Publishers Association (MIPA) recently named Wormwood and Gall as one of three finalists for a Midwest Book Award in the Religion/Philosophy category. The awards program, which is organized by MIPA, recognizes quality in independent publishing in the Midwest. The post Wormwood and Gall a Midwest Book Award Finalist first appeared on S […]
      Obie Holmen
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    • Rob Sheffield Pays Tribute to the “Peaceful and Stormy at the Same Time” Songs of Christine McVie December 6, 2022
      Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone magazine has written a heartfelt and insightful appreciation of the life and music of Christine McVie, who died last Wednesday, November 30.Following, with added images and links, are excerpts from Sheffield’s tribute that particularly caught my attention.Christine McVie always came on like the grown-up in the room, which admit […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • “Your Perception Is a Choice” December 5, 2022
      My friend Iggy is dedicated to facilitating mind and body transformation – within his own life and the lives of others who are similarly interested in holistic personal growth and change. To this end, Iggy’s professional/vocational life involves providing a range of services, including mindset mentoring, naprapathic massage, and personal training in boxing, […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
  • RSS Bilgrimage

    • So the Former US President and Current GOP Candidate for the Presidency Calls for a Coup and the End of US Democracy — And? December 5, 2022
      President Donald J. Trump 2 March 2019, at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Oxon Hill, MD; official White House photo by Tia Dufour, at Wikimedia CommonsHeather Cox Richardson, "Letters from an American: December 3, 2002":The leader of the Republican Party has just called fo […]
      noreply@blogger.com (William D. Lindsey)
    • I'm Now on Mastodon — Please Feel Free to Connect December 2, 2022
      I've now succeeded in setting up an account on Mastodon.My handle there is @wdlindsy@toad.socialPlease feel free to connect to me there if you wish. I'm hoping to reconnect via Mastodon to as many of the friends and conversation partners I had on Twitter, with whom I've lost touch after I left Twitter when Musk acquired it. I'm a total no […]
      noreply@blogger.com (William D. Lindsey)
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    • the way ahead March 23, 2013
      My current blog is called the way ahead.
      noreply@blogger.com (PrickliestPear)
  • RSS The Gay Mystic

    • A saint for the millenials: Carlo Acutis beatified today in Assisi. October 10, 2020
       A saint for the millenials: the young Italian teen, Carlo Acutis, who died in 2006 of galloping Leukemia, will be beatified today in Assisi by Pope Francis (last step before being officially declared a saint). Carlo came from a luke warm Catholic family, but at the age of 7, when he received his first 'Holy Communion', he displayed an astonishing […]
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    • Ronan Park and Jack Vidgen: The Travails of Gay Pop Stars October 28, 2019
      (Jack Vidgen)Quite by accident, through a comment from a performance arts colleague of mine, I stumbled across the recent bios of two boy teen singing sensations, both of whom made a big splash worldwide 8 years ago. The first, Jack Vidgen, won Australia's Got Talent Contest in 2011 at the age of 14, primarily for his powerful renditions of Whitney Hust […]
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    • We the People December 6, 2022
      We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.Trump has called for ... Why? So […]
      noreply@blogger.com (crystal)

Irish Theologian Mary Condren Comments on Recent Vatican Document Coupling Clerical Pedophilia and Women’s Ordination: Last Straw for Women

Dr. Mary Condren

At the beginning of this week, Irish theologian Mary Condren published an outstanding commentary on the recent Vatican document coupling clerical pedophilia and women’s ordination.  Condren’s analysis appeared in the Irish Times.  (Once again, one of the encouraging developments of this tipping-point moment in the history of the Catholic church is the willingness of the secular media to provide forums for serious, open discussion of theological and moral issues, when the church itself and its institutions have not provided those forums in recent years.) Continue reading

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Haiti, the Push for Theological Answers, and Liberation Theology’s Correction of Christian Necrophilia

Paula Cooey has published  a thought-provoking article at Religion Dispatches about the push for theological questions following the Haitian earthquakes.  As she notes, in the wake of massive tragedies like what has happened in Haiti, people begin to ask theological questions—theodicy questions.  Questions about where God is as millions of people suffer.

And people of faith sometimes respond to those questions with answers—with answers that are altogether too glib.  Answers that implicitly make God responsible for the massive suffering that causes us to question where God is, as people suffer . . . .  Job’s-comforter answers, which explain it all to us, when silence and solidarity with those who are suffering would be a far more adequate theological response than cheap, falsely explanatory answers. Continue reading

“The father who was milked”: A gender-rich Trinity from the 2nd century.

Sometimes, I come across an idea or image that is so remarkable, so fresh and new (to me) that it just has to be shared. This one is hardly new (it dates back to the late second century), but it is startlingly fresh, remarkable and new – to me.

Wall painting from a Syrian house church, showing the healing of the paralysed man.

I have been researching a number of themes from the history of the early church. While reading Ivor Davidson’s “The Birth of the Church: From Jesus to Constantine AD 30 -312”, I came across a passage which had nothing to do with the subject(s) I was investigating, but which I want to spread.

The context is a Chapter on Christian worship. After some discussion of the regular practice of community Eucharist on Sunday morning and Agape (“love feast”) on Sunday evening, he goes on to discuss the practice of regular fasting, prayer and praise. Services of “praise” incorporated psalms and hymns of praise into other Bible readings, as in the Divine Office. Davidson then goes on to refer to a less familiar from of praise for worship, lost for centuries and rediscovered in the beginning of the 20 th Century. Originating in the church of Easter Syria, these are Gnostic in flavour, but probably orthodox in origin. The extract quoted, from Ode 19, introduces an exaltation on the original conception. Davidson says the odes contain some “striking” language. The imagery of the Trinity as presented here, in its description of the conception of the Son, is not just “striking”: it slams one across the face with a force sufficient to shake up one’s brain, and with it all preconceived ideas of Trinity, and also of God and gender.

I present it here without comment: see what you think: Continue reading

And the Word became one of us, and dwelt among mankind.

“Et Verbum caro factum est, et habitavit in nobis” (And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us). This is the momentous and joyous occasion that we Christians celebrate and commemorate during this beautiful Christmas season. Christmas isn’t just about a babe being born in a manger, it’s about God coming to join us, even to become one of us, and thereby, to save and liberate us by sharing in and uniting Himself to our frail humanity.

What does it mean then that God became a human being?

It might be wise to consider the direct ramifications and implications of the Incarnation (God becoming man) before asking any further questions.

We as human beings are creatures of God, made by His designs. Yet, God consented to assume the form of His creatures in order to dwell among us. Scripture proclaims, God in His very nature is a Being of unending, unconditional love. In fact, St. John goes so far as to say that God is love (1 John 4:16). Think about it; this means that before the creation of our world, the universe, or all other forms of tangible elements, nothing else existed besides the eternal force of Love. Thus, God becomes tangible in Jesus Christ, descending, even taken on our humanity which He created, to show forth His boundless Love, which is the very essence of His being. Not only was the Almighty Word made flesh in Jesus Christ, but Love, was made incarnate, tangible, and real upon this earth. In order to understand the ways of real love and hope to imitate them genuinely, we must ponder and contemplate the actions of Jesus Christ, for He was the only perfect human expression of Love itself! Continue reading