Monday, January 27, 2014

Towards a Solution to the Problem of Evil

I wanted to share in the first place this number from the Catechism of the Catholic Church- please humor me by giving it a read.

309 If God the Father almighty, the Creator of the ordered and good world, cares for all his creatures, why does evil exist? To this question, as pressing as it is unavoidable and as painful as it is mysterious, no quick answer will suffice. Only Christian faith as a whole constitutes the answer to this question: the goodness of creation, the drama of sin and the patient love of God who comes to meet man by his covenants, the redemptive Incarnation of his Son, his gift of the Spirit, his gathering of the Church, the power of the sacraments and his call to a blessed life to which free creatures are invited to consent in advance, but from which, by a terrible mystery, they can also turn away in advance. There is not a single aspect of the Christian message that is not in part an answer to the question of evil.

I read this whil I was studying this morning and it really struck me. And I did not add the italics- I read it like that in the Catechism. Why did this number strike me? Maybe for this reason: my integral, deep living of my faith furthers the solution to the problem of evil in the world, indeed, to all the bad we see and experience.

What does "live the faith," in the previous paragraph mean? It means treating God like a person, getting to know him, and growing in my relationship with him. Growing in this relationship makes the world a better place.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Formation: let me introduce you to the truth!

The other day I found myself wondering, "what is formation all about, anyway?" I was reflecting on my (yikes!) 9 years in the seminary, you know, where I was before entering (not yet 20), how I have progressed or not along the way, positive and negative elements... So when it comes down to it, what is formation all about?

I believe that the answer is, simply, TRUTH. Fundamentally, I think that formation is attempting to move the will by presenting it with the truth in all its goodness and beauty. I believe that formation is absolutely not getting someone to do something or getting them to behave within certain parameters but rather helping them to desire the true, the good, and the beautiful in all of their profundity. It is an empowering. This also means not settling for passing pleasures or superficial counterfeits instead of these transcendental realities. For more on this check out #89 of Pope Francis's recent publication Evangelii Gaudium.

Formation is ongoing introduction to / discovery of the truth and then the conforming of one's life to that reality.