“That you may contribute a verse”

 “We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, ‘O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless–of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?’ Answer. That you are here–that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”

Tom Schulman
from “Dead Poets Society”

 

Marriage and Celibacy

“Marriage is not a good,

but it is a good in comparison with fornication.”

-Saint Augustine

 

 Now as a concession, not a command, I say this.  I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.

To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am.  But if they cannot exercise self- control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

– I Cor. 7:6-9

Taking life as it comes…

“Growing up in a place that has winter, you learn to avoid self-pity. Winter is not a personal experience, everybody else is as cold as you, so you shouldn’t complain about it too much. You learn this as a kid, coming home crying from the cold, and Mother looks down and says, “it’s only a little frostbit. You’re okay.” And thus you learn to be okay. What’s done is done. Get over it. Drink your coffee. it’s not the best you’ll ever get but it’s good enough.”

— on my coffee cup. How true it is, especially since I grew up in Wisconsin.

What justice is and what it isn’t ….

In my courses, I used this quote from Batman Begins.  This is after a retrial of the man that killed Bruce Wayne’s parents.  Batman had a gun at the courthouse in order to kill the guy who killed his parents.  Someone else ended up killing this guy and no one suspected that Bruce Wayne had a gun.  He leaves the courthouse and is now conversing with his lady friend.

Rachel Dawes: The DA couldn’t understand why Faden insisted on making the hearing public. Falcone paid him off to get Chill out in the open.
Bruce Wayne: Maybe I should be thanking them.
Rachel Dawes: You don’t mean that.
Bruce Wayne: What if I do Rachel? My parents deserved justice.
Rachel Dawes: You’re not talking about justice. You’re talking about revenge.
Bruce Wayne: Sometimes they’re the same.
Rachel Dawes: No, they’re never the same. Justice is about harmony. Revenge is about you making yourself feel better, which is why we have an impartial system.
Bruce Wayne: Your system is broken.
Rachel Dawes: [Rachel makes a sharp turn] You care about justice? Look beyond your own pain, Bruce. This city is rotting. People talk about the depression as if its history. It’s not. Things are worse than ever down here. Falcone floods our streets with crime and drugs creating new Joe Chills everyday. Falcone may’ve not killed your parents Bruce but he’s destroying everything they stood for.
[She parks in front of a building]
Rachel Dawes: You wanna thank him for that? Here you go. We all know where to find him, as long as he keeps the bad people rich and the good people scared no-one will touch him. Good people like your parents won’t stand against injustice, they’re gone.
Bruce Wayne: I’m not one of your good people Rachel.
Rachel Dawes: What do you mean?
Bruce Wayne: All these years I wanted to kill him.
[reveals the gun]
Bruce Wayne: Now I can’t.
Rachel Dawes: [Rachel slaps him twice] Your father would be ashamed of you.

(This quote is taken from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0372784/quotes)

The point is that “justice” is not about retribution or revenge, it was the idea of preserving unity.  Thus we hear about prisons being reformatories, that is, punishing the convict but also reforming him to become a responsible citizen of our society.  Just like in Christianity, justification is not about simple revenge or retribution but love and unity with God and thus with one another in Christ.  When the often quoted passage from Scripture which is quoted at the end of the 10 Commandments in the Catechism:  Exodus 20:5-6 “I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.” (ESV)  It isn’t that God is “revengeful” but that He is loving, thus He is jealous, like a jealous husband to his wife.  He wants to preserve “communion,” a proper relationship before Him and thus one another in Christ.  That is why “justification” in Christianity is frequently falsely understood as simply me being a justified sinner but it is also about restoration of relationship  (communion) before God and thus one another.  That is why the nature of sin is not simply doing something wrong or falling short of some moral standard, but it is that we do not fear, love and trust in God above all things.  For the nature of our sin is that we believe ourselves as our own god, as if we are the ones that give meaning to life and not God.  (Genesis 3:5-6)

In a basic way, “authority” is preserving unity and order in love, it is used as a service-servant word and not merely working out of the sake of the possession of one’s authority.

 

 

 

 

A blog: Thoughts Worth Thinking

I bumped into one of my old blogs.  I began to read some of my articles and noticed one of the links I had indexed in my blogroll.  It was a site that the guy evidently hasn’t updated lately but full of great situations and the like from books and history.  Very contemplative and would encourage your visit to this site.  I have it linked on this blog but here is the website:  http://www.rjgeib.com/thoughts/thoughts.html.  – Enjoy!

Edgar Allan Poe Quotes

Sleep, those little slices of death; Oh how I loathe them.   Edgar Allan Poe

I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.     Edgar Allan Poe

I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active – not more happy – nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago.       Edgar Allan Poe