Life – Not An Abstraction!

Christmas Miracle – Mother and Child

ABC reports:

“Hand of God” Seen in Christmas Eve Revival of Mother, Baby.

Quoting the dad:

My legs went out from underneath me,” Mike Hermanstorfer said Tuesday. “I had everything in the world taken from me, and in an hour and a half I had everything given to me.”

Dr. Stephanie Martin, a maternal fetal medicine specialist at Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs  said:

“She had no signs of life. No heartbeat, no blood pressure, she wasn’t breathing,” said Martin, who had rushed to Hermanstorfer’s room to help. “The baby was, it was basically limp, with a very slow heart rate.”


Nature Cries Out!

I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.’ Luke 19:40

Here is a photograph of a living tree which I pass almost everyday.  One day it stopped me in my tracks as an image emerged out of the noise of criss-crossing leaves and branches. This tree was struck by lightening and now bears a recogognizable image:

Scourging and Crucifixion

Scourging and Crucifixion of Christ.

I am an artist and that may make me sensitive to images camouflaged in the ordinary things around us.  Not only do I see the Scourging and Crucifixion of Christ in this living tree, but I can also see the Crown of Thorns. As a starting point for mediation, ask yourself, “Why a tree?”

Loosing the World of Face to Face?

How much of your world is face to face?  Twitter, Facebook,virtual networking, email; all “thin community”.  “Thick community” is eye to eye, face to face and human.

Os Guinness says that four things are important to humans: meaning, belonging, identity (Who am I?) and  purpose (What am I here for?) Reminding me of Socrates’ “The unreflected life is not worth living.” Guinness writes:

“We are, quite literally, spread thin across space and time, potentially everywhere and nowhere at once. We thus tend to have, in the words of Gilbert Meilaender, ‘not an individual identity, but fragments of experience; not the narrative of a life that is in some sense a whole, but a decentered flow of experience.’ “

As I peek in on Facebook, I leave feeling as though I don’t know anyone anymore, just shouts and waves as comments and faces rush by. (Twitter’s even worse!)  Am I alone in feeling this?

Guinness has an engaging discussion:  “Survival of the fastest: Living sanely when life is fired point blank.” on the Veritas Forum .

A Glorious Dawn and God

H/T the Anchoress:

This is beautiful and celebrates a finite universe, giving us some idea of infinity by the awe it inspires and the Universe’s sheer vastness and complexity.

A Glorious Dawn includes these words:

“But the brain does much more than just recollect
It inter-compares, it synthesizes, it analyzes
it generates abstractions

The simplest thought like the concept of the number one
Has an elaborate logical underpinning
The brain has it’s own language
For testing the structure and consistency of the world.”

It is interesting to note that Carl Sagan, while positing, a purely material universe, was in awe of Possibility.  Yet, he won’t admit the possibility of God, and immaterial realities, such as soul.  Sagan trafficked in ideas, and ideas, themselves, simply sing and shout God.

While Carl’s science functions on ideas, his materialistic science must measure, weigh, observe and record.  This purely materialistic observing and recording is insufficient for describing all of Reality, all that is. Materialistic science can come to know just part of Reality, the material part.

F.J. Sheed says, “Ask yourself: ‘How much does this idea weigh?  How long is it?  What color is it? What shape is it? How much space does it take up?’ The answer of course is that your idea has no weight, no length, no color, no shape, and takes up no space.  It simply has no material attributes at all.  something with no material attributes is immaterial, another word for spiritual.

Carl Sagan glorified ideas, dreaming of future manifestations and possibilities. A solely materialistic view must find a way to account for the immaterial Intellect and for that matter, the Will and Conscience, as well. “Immaterial ideas imply an immaterial faculty capable of forming them.  It is impossible for something material to create something immaterial.  Therefore the faculty capable of forming spiritual ideas must itself be spiritual.” observes F.J. Sheed in “Theology for Beginners.”

On Dying Today

crucificionicon

icon by the hand of Joann Nelander

A note from the Anchoress on retreat:

Just found this scrawled, uncharacteristically, in the back of a book –

When we meet God face-to-face, it is always a moment of grace,
but too it is a moment of judgment for us.
Judgment day, then, can be any day, any time, any particular
moment of an hour.
And so our death can happen many times,
a process of conversion, a process of turning to.
We die to ourselves, die to a particular sin or attachment,
and begin again, turning toward.
We no sooner die to one thing that we immediately
attach and live to another,
and judgment will come to that, too.
Sacrament of confession
hastens our dying and our rising,
the dying to the old self,
the rising to the new,
always, always, toward Christ.
Toward oneness, completion.
The Whole.
Life is a process of Incarnation.
Our reality, our wholeness, our completeness
in this world comes
through repeated offerings which we receive or refuse.
The Eucharistic Christ contributes to this formation, this process.
He enters us, we welcome Him.
One flesh.
Incarnation.
My whole woeful life just begun, again.