April 7th, 2006

HTOC

bizzare..

This whole thing is a bit more elaborate than I would have first guessed.

At any rate, I do not have a new hernia! The mesh is holding and my intestines are where they should be.

I have a kidney stone. The presence of this stone has caused all the tender scar-tissue around my previous hernia to inflame, thus the pain and hernia-like discomfort. The kidney stone also explains the blood that makes its unwanted appearance in the bathroom from time to time.

I do think I’ll live.

But what kind of life will it be?!

I am in an ambiguous “wait and see” period, and I will perhaps be back in a clinic of some form come this time next week.

THE FOLLOWING CONTENT MAY NOT BE PLEASANT FOR SOME. CONSIDER YOURSELF WARNED:



The doctors would like to analyze the content of the stone if possible. Therefore, they need a piece or two. Where does this piece come from? It comes through my urination. Thus, in order to catch pieces of the stone, I have been ordered to urinate into a mesh/net. Yes, I now carry around with me a little wire-mesh attached to a stick of sorts to be used in public and private restrooms. It is almost like I am mining for gold. The contraption is in a plastic bag in my satchel. My life has just become so interesting!
HTOC

(no subject)

Our internal struggles with sin are sharings in the cross of Christ:

"When the Lord is pleased to reveal to us the state of our souls, then we feel sharply that our hearts are corrupt and perverted, our souls are defiled and we are merely slaves of sin and passions which have mastered us and do not allow us to draw near to God. We see that even our supposed good deeds are all mixed up with sin and are not the fruit of true love, but are the products of various passions and circumstances…and we most certainly suffer…in proportion as the Lord reveals to us the condition of our souls, our interior sufferings increase…But in whatever situation you may be, and in whatever suffering of the soul…do not despair and do no think that the Lord has abandoned you. No! God will always be with you and will invisibly strengthen you even when it seems to you that you are on the very brink of perdition. God will never allow you to be tried and tempted more than He sees fit. Do not despair and do not be afraid. With full submission, surrender totally to Him. Have patience and pray. God is our loving father. Even if He permits a person to fall into sin it is only in order to make him realize his own impotence, weakness and nothingness…to teach him never to trust in himself and to show that he can do nothing good without God. It is to heal his soul that the Lord lays crosses on a person….to make him Like Jesus Christ…to perfectly purify his heart in which He Himself wishes to dwell with His Son and His Holy Spirit."

St. Innocent of Alaska
"Indication of the Way to the Kingdom of Heaven"
HTOC

The Gospel of Judas

Another "lost gospel" has been found, and I find it hard not to roll my eyes. Ah, the brilliant 21th century scholar: able to decipher what happened 2,000 years ago with much more clarity than those who actually lived 2,000 years ago. Assuming that canonical gospels cannot possibly correct and thus scrounging for any alternative. These types of criticism are what gives victorious life to the Christian Church; it has withstood 2,000 years of hostility and is still only growing.

An exceprt from professor Philip Jenkins's book "Hidden Gospels: How the search for Jesus lost its way", as posted on http://catholica.pontifications.net today.

... The myth goes something like this. Once upon a time (we are told) there was the Jesus Movement, which was mystical, radical, feminist, egalitarian, and subversive. As time went by, this movement was destroyed by the rising forces of the Christian church, patriarchal and repressive. The earliest followers of Jesus found their ideas dismissed as "heresy" while the power-maniacs of the Great Church grabbed for themselves the grandiose title of "orthodox." The new world of Churchianity successfully covered its tracks by rewriting most early Christian documents and destroying those that revealed its Orwellian dirty tricks. However, some authentic relics survived in the form of the hidden gospels, which were preserved in the deserts of Egypt...

Despite the claims of their advocates, the problems with taking the hidden gospels as historical sources are, or should be, self-evident. The idea that these documents have opened a window on the earliest days of Christianity stands or falls on whether they were written at a primitive stage in that story, and much depends on determining the dates at which these texts were written. The scholarly literature offers a very broad range of datings for these texts, but the consensus is that most of the works found at Nag Hammadi belong to the late second and third centuries. This is much later than the canonical gospels on which the Gnostic works can often be clearly shown to depend. While the Gnostic texts are still ancient, their value as independent sources of information is questionable, so that the canonical gospels really are both more ancient and authoritative than virtually all their rivals.

Far from being the alternative voices of Jesus’ first followers, most of the lost gospels should rather be seen as the writings of much later dissidents who broke away from an already established orthodox church. This is not a particularly controversial statement, despite the impression that we may get from much more recent writing on the historical Jesus. The late character of the alternative texts is crucial to matters of historicity and reliability. Historical research is as good as the sources on which it relies, and to the extent that the latest quest for the historical Jesus is founded on the hidden gospels, that endeavor is fatally flawed.

...For the same reasons of history and chronology, it is difficult to see the hidden gospels as blowing the whistle on the machinations of the early church or the relationship between orthodoxy and heresy. These texts depict a world of individualistic mystics and magi whose unfettered speculations are unconstrained by ecclesiastical structures, and it is common to suggest that this freewheeling situation represented a primitive reality which was ultimately destroyed by the emerging hierarchical church. But the institutional church was by no means an oppressive latecomer and was rather a very early manifestation of the Jesus movement. We have a good number of genuinely early documents of Christian antiquity from before 125, long before the hidden gospels were composed, and these give us a pretty consistent picture of a church which is already hierarchical and liturgical, which possesses an organized clergy, and which is very sensitive to matters of doctrinal orthodoxy. Just as the canonical gospels were in existence before their heterodox counterparts, so the orthodox church did precede the heretics, and by a comfortable margin. Despite all the recent discoveries, the traditional model of Christian history has a great deal more to recommend it than the revisionist accounts.