The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench


Quote of the day

posted by jmcgee

mert.jpeg“There is not a flower that opens, not a seed that falls into the ground, and not an ear of wheat that nods on the end of its stalk in the wind that does not preach and proclaim the greatness and the mercy of God to the whole world. There is not an act of kindness or generosity, not an act of sacrifice done, or a word of peace and gentleness spoken, not a child’s prayer uttered, that does not sing hymns to God before his throne, and in the eyes of men, and before their faces.”

Thomas Merton, “The Seven Storey Mountain.” 
 Merton entered the monastery on December 10, 1941.
He died on December 10, 1968. 
  
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord …



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nnmns

posted December 10, 2010 at 6:14 pm


What a load of horse hockey.



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RomCath

posted December 10, 2010 at 6:31 pm


Dcn
I hope when you make your move to the new blog some folks don’t make the move with you. The prior poster included.



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nnmns

posted December 10, 2010 at 9:00 pm

nnmns

posted December 11, 2010 at 4:17 am


Ok, I owe you a little explanation of why that was my reaction.
I see a lot of those things and of course none of those proclamations are in evidence. If you are selling a god you’d like people to think that sort of thing when they see more or less anything, but in fact such reactions would only be due to being exposed to a lot of silly claims like this one.
So I wanted people to see Merton’s claim for what it is. Except of course it’s not “hockey”.



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Judi

posted December 11, 2010 at 12:06 pm


nnmns, I do see the glory and mercy of God in all of those things and more…the beautiful sunrises and sunsets, the loving eyes of humble people serving others, and I do hear beautiful hymns sung before God in all of the things Thomas Merton listed. And I do not see and hear these things for any other reason except for the grace of God. I’m sorry you don’t.



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nnmns

posted December 11, 2010 at 12:42 pm


Judi you’ve been trained, whether you know it or not.



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Bro. Vic

posted December 11, 2010 at 1:39 pm


Same here, Judi and I feel blessed for that.



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JosephW

posted December 11, 2010 at 2:22 pm


nnmns: Can you not comprehend that people believe in something that is bigger than they are? That the world does not revolve around ourselves? We see a purpose for ourselves in this life and that is to be thankful for everything we have and give to glory to God. Do you not believe in God? Do you not see in creation that there must be a creator? What is your purpose in this life? Have a blessed day and Merry Christmas!



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nnmns

posted December 11, 2010 at 3:33 pm


JW, lots of people believe in things bigger than they are. The people who flew the planes into the twin towers believed in something bigger than them, as do many of the human bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan. That does not make them right. You believe in something bigger than you but that does not make you right.
And there are thousands if not millions of gods. You don’t believe in almost all of them. Why would it surprise you so much that I take that one step farther?
And, no, because there’s a universe doesn’t mean there needs to be some intelligence that can create a universe. Apparently you never asked yourself what created your “creator”.



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JosephW

posted December 11, 2010 at 6:53 pm


There are things we won’t know or understand until we die. But we will die in the flesh, that is for sure. My religion tells me I have something to look forward to, everlasting life. I believe because I choose to believe and that belief is in one God. God would not be God if He was created.



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nnmns

posted December 11, 2010 at 6:58 pm


You choose to believe in some particular and highly unlikely god, perhaps because you want to think you’ll live forever. I choose not to believe in any god because I see no reason to think one exists, let alone any particular one.



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JosephW

posted December 11, 2010 at 10:06 pm


So why follow this site? If it is to mock us believers, I would have to say that is not good. Unless you do not believe in good and evil. What will happen to you when you die?



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nnmns

posted December 12, 2010 at 3:16 am


I believe in good and evil. And I see a lot more evil in the Republican Party, which the bishops support, than in the Democrats.
I oppose the RCC because it keeps sticking its nose into non-Catholics’ lives. When it does that it makes itself a target for those of us who don’t want a phony religion running our or our loved ones’ lives. But the RCC has made itself such a giant target, what with its immorality on a worldwide scale, that our job is pretty easy.
When I die, I’ll be dead. Just like you.



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BobRN

posted December 12, 2010 at 8:19 am


I recall the account in the Gospel of Luke of Jesus healing the ten lepers. Only one came back to give thanks. Why? The Gospel says, “And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him.” (Luke 17:15-16a)
“And one of them, realizing he had been healed … ”
Merton’s reflection testifies to the presence of God around us, everywhere. But, too many have their eyes and hearts closed to His presence. We all do at certain times. There are many ways God’s grace touches our lives. Do we realize it? Are our hearts and minds open to realizing that we’ve been touched by God’s grace? If not, it’s easy to miss it. All ten of the lepers were healed. Only one returned to give thanks, because only that one realized he had been healed. The others, for what ever reasons, failed to realize that God’s grace had touched their lives in a powerful way.
There really are no good arguments against the existence of God, and plenty of good evidence for His existence and the movement of His grace in our lives. Because of this, those who reject God rely on ridicule, insults, belittling and dogmatism. It’s all they have. “The light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light…”



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nnmns

posted December 12, 2010 at 8:49 am


If your evidence for teoG is Merton’s, you are supremely easily convinced. It could, for instance, just as easily be evidence for the existence of Allah, of Jupiter, or of Shiva. Or of course not proof of anything but evolution.



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Deacon Greg Kandra

posted December 12, 2010 at 8:55 am


I think those of us who have experienced God’s presence in our lives — who have known His consolation and mercy, sensed His patience and humor, heard His voice in the depths of our hearts — need no further evidence.
That is the sum and substance of faith. It is a gift. You accept it or you don’t.
All I know is that my life is infinitely richer because of it.
Dcn. Greg



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nnmns

posted December 12, 2010 at 12:03 pm


And had you been born to Muslim parents you’d no doubt feel the same about islam. Or to Hindu parents, about Hinduism. Or to pagan parents, about paganism. And if you’d been born to atheist parents and survived targeting by your friends’ parents, you’d be happy to be free of all that silliness.



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BobRN

posted December 12, 2010 at 8:21 pm


nnmns,
Merton’s quote is offered as reflection on the presence of God in our midst, not as proof of His existence. That God exists can be known by reason.
That the children of Christians grow up, for the most part, to be Christians and the children of Muslims grow up, for the most part, to be Muslims and the children of atheists grow up, for the most part, to be atheists is no evidence of the non-existence of God nor, for that matter, of the truth or falsity of any particular faith tradition. It is only evidence of the influence of parents on the lives of their children.
There’s been plenty of targeting from all sides. You’re not seriously arguing that Christians in our culture aren’t targeted by atheists and secularists, are you?
Why call faith in God silliness? Isn’t that just proving my earlier point of non-believers relying on belittling? You’ve offered no arguments at all for why holding for the existence of God is unreasonable. You just belittle faith and believers with insults and leave it at that, as if that’s supposed to shut us up. Maybe that works among those who think like you, but you’re going to have to actually offer some rational arguments here if you intend to convince anyone.



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nnmns

posted December 12, 2010 at 10:06 pm


I don’t expect to convince any of you who post here for the RCC.
Let’s see. If you compare the chances of being targeted by an individual Christian to the chances of being targeted by an individual atheist you’re comparing whales to minnows. But, yes, there are atheists who try to help out Christians and others. Occasionally I’m one of them.
I call faith in any particular god silliness because there’s no proof any god exists and, if one did, there are so very many possible gods that you have virtually no chance of being right. And to spend money and time based on that supremely unlikely event is real silliness.
But I’m confident this will not shut you up. There’s a small chance it will help out someone in doubt. But I think we’re pretty much alone here now.
Now what’s this proof you claim to have that “God” exists?



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BobRN

posted December 12, 2010 at 11:33 pm


So, you’re saying that you are regularly targeted by individual Christians because you’re an atheist. Well, I can’t dispute that, not knowing the crowd with which you hang. I can say that I’ve known some atheists in my day and they seem to suffer this pathological need to ridicule those who think differently from them. I chalk it up to insecurity about their own position. I’ve always felt that insults reveal our fears more than our wits.
You call faith in “any particular God” silliness because there’s no proof any God exists. Of course, there’s no proof from reason that “any particular God” exists. Reason can’t take us there. That’s for revelation. The strategy many atheists employ is to insist that, because reason can’t show us that the God of Christian revelation exists, therefore reason can’t show us that God exists. This is a ploy, since the Church doesn’t claim that reason can demonstrate the existence of the God of Christian revelation.
But, there’s plenty of reasons for concluding that a God exists. My experience is that most atheists decide God doesn’t exist, then reject the proofs for God’s existence as inadequate. This isn’t reason, but faith. That’s why I think honest atheists will tell you that they believe there is no God.
As for proofs for the existence of a God, Aquinas’ work is sufficient for that.



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nnmns

posted December 13, 2010 at 6:06 am


If Aquinas’s work was sufficient there’d be a world full of believers in some Christian god. There isn’t. Hence Aquinas’s work is not sufficient. I thought maybe you’d run something you find convincing by me.
Well Brn I’ve had enough insults from you for now. I’m out of here.



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BobRN

posted December 13, 2010 at 7:49 am


“Thus the word of the LORD came to me: Son of man, you live in the midst of a rebellious house; they have eyes to see but do not see, and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious house.” Ezekiel 12:2



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JosephW

posted December 13, 2010 at 10:28 am


nnmns: I offer all the things in this world including you and I as proof that God exists. Isn’t our own bodies amazing with the billions of cells that run throughout it, our eyes, senses, etc? How about the billions of stars in the sky, the galaxies, the universe, billions of miles, maybe infinite. Maybe when we die we will get to explore it?
If that’s not enough I give you my own personal testimony.
I was lost very lost and I almost lost everything that mattered in my life. One night in the midst of everything falling apart I got down on my knees and prayed for help to Jesus Christ. Not right away and through some suffering my life got restored and miracles happened in my life. Slowly grace has worked into my life though not perfect my life is free from the things that kept me down and were preventing me from being the husband and father I needed to be. I have four miracles running around my house that I am very thankful for. I don’t just chalk this up to chance. God was guiding me all along. It wasn’t until I acknowledged and looked to Him that I was able to repair my fractured life. Our lives have a purpose, without God there is none. I hope you will look up and find yours.



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RomCath

posted December 13, 2010 at 12:16 pm


“Well Brn I’ve had enough insults from you for now. I’m out of here.”
Thank God. The one you don’t believe in.



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sdgdsh

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