“Many times people think if God has called you to something, he’s promising you success. He might be calling you to fail to prepare you for something else through the failure.”—Tim Keller (via princedenmark)
Or maybe the kingdom undermines the categories all together?
“We are united in blood, even though we have not yet managed to take necessary steps towards unity between us and perhaps the time has not yet come. Unity is a gift that we need to ask for. I knew a parish priest in Hamburg who was dealing with the beatification cause of a Catholic priest guillotined by the Nazis for teaching children the catechism. After him, in the list of condemned individuals, was a Lutheran pastor who was killed for the same reason. Their blood was mixed. The parish priest told me he had gone to the bishop and said to him: “I will continue to deal with the cause, but both of their causes, not just the Catholic priest’s.” This is what ecumenism of blood is.”—Pope Francis (via chrysostmom)
“You had to admire the way perfectly innocent words were mugged, ravished, stripped of all true meaning and decency, and then sent to walk the gutter for Reacher Gilt, although “synergistically” had probably been a whore from the start.”—Terry Pratchett - Going Postal (via fanficisalegitimatefieldofstudy)
“Christ’s wounds were in fact not healed. He’s got them now, in Heaven. He had them when He appeared to the disciples; they’re part of the imitation of Christ by the stigmatic saints. God heals some wounds. Others, He glorifies. He transforms them in some way we can’t necessarily imagine beforehand, just as we can’t quite imagine what it will mean for our flesh to be glorified in the Resurrection.”—Eve Tushnet. This is an astonishing insight to me. (via giftsoutright)
Augustine’s revolutionary insight insists on the insubstantiality of evil. Evil has no life of its own, since it is the wilful distortion of the good, the prideful misshaping of the divinely-ordered creation. As Delbanco notes, the image of the knot enables Augustine “to speak of the complexity and intransigence of evil without granting it any essence of its own. A distortion of something whose essence precedes its disfigurement, evil is in the twistedness, not in the rope.” Thus does Augustine deliberately guard against the Manichean error of making evil the co-equal counterpart of good - indeed, a virtual provocateur of the good, arousing it to necessary warfare against evil.
The paradoxical Christian counter-claim is that, while evil has horrific power and devastating effect, it is ultimately to be regarded as emptiness and nothingness. It is something alien rather than essential to God’s good creation. It has no power to create, only to damage and destroy. Indeed, it exists only parasitically, leeching off the good, as the very name of C.S. Lewis’s demonic Screwtape makes evident: he is akin to a pernicious tapeworm feeding off his host.
“The more I studied the ancient sources of the Christian faith, the more I noticed certain lines of continuity between those ancient gnostic doctrines and our modern ideologies of resentment. A withering hatred of existing order; a cynical despair over political and institutional solutions; a naive assumption that human nature is capable of transformation, and that my group has the magic formula to effect the transformation; an attempt to implement a perfect transcendent order within this world – all this the ancient church had opposed, proclaiming a doctrine of creation in protest against the gnostic ideologies of resentment.”—Ben Myers: Apocalyptic and creation: why I changed my mind (via johnthelutheran)
“We are warned indeed that a man gains nothing if he wins the whole world at the cost of himself. Yet our hope in a new earth should not weaken, but rather stimulate our concern for developing this earth, for on it there is growing up the body of a new human family, a body even now able to provide some foreshadowing of the new age. Hence, though earthly progress is to be carefully distinguished from the growth of Christ’s kingdom, yet in so far as it can help toward the better ordering of human society it is of great importance to the kingdom of God.”—
From the pastoral constitution of the Church in the modern world (from the Second Vatican Council), quoted in today’s Office of Readings.