By chance, I received a copy of the Pope’s new apostolic exhortation yesterday, about nine hours before it was published. So of course I started skimming it, if only to enjoy my brief time of being “in the know”: never forget, all you bloggers and blog readers, that when it comes to Amoris Laetitia I’m nine hours ahead of you. And I always will be. 😉
If I were a carpenter, I hope my kids would have hand-crafted furniture; if I were a shoe-maker, I hope all my kids would have wonderful shoes. Since I am a theologian, I try to make sure my kids don’t miss the one thing I have to offer them. I often talk about the faith at the dinner table or on Sunday mornings before Mass, and I bring up current issues and talk about them in light of Catholicism. But because I work for a living, my wife ends up doing their catechesis. My contribution tends to be spontaneous rather than planned.
While I was driving a trailer load to the dump today, one of those spontaneous moments popped up. My thirteen-year-old son David usually talks non-stop about programming and tech news, but today he suddenly began to talk about how strange it is that God does not make decisions: God knows everything that is going to happen, David reasoned, including what he himself is going to do. Continue reading “Theology at thirteen”
Those of you who are family or friends will know why my blog has been on pause lately: my wife gave birth to our seventh child at the end of April, and we are in the Newborn Stage. Anyone who thinks the nuclear family works well as an independent unit should have a newborn and snap out of it.
Anyhow, I tend to blog with two hands, but at least one hand is full most of the time these days. When I was a young parent and still in graduate school I struggled with frustration when the kids got in the way of my work: how am I supposed to learn all this stuff and think about it if you keep talking to me? How am I supposed to learn all this stuff and think about it if you won’t stop crying? How am I supposed to learn all this stuff and think about it if I’m running on half a night’s sleep?
And the reality is that I didn’t learn as much stuff as some other people at my school. But as time went by, I realized that my studies and my reflection are like a tremendous light while my family life is like a richly colored environment illuminated by the light. I have been blessed with a lot of book learning and lot of time to think, and that blessing has lit up my family life. The study and reflection serves my family.
It goes the other way, too. Without my family life, my studies and my reflection would be like a tremendous light shining through empty space. What does space look like, where there is nothing to catch and reflect the sun? Black as night. My family life is the heart and soul of my theological learning: I would know almost nothing without my wife and kids.
So I’ll pick up the blog again soon, and we’ll get back to exploring the dusty corners of Cardinal Kasper’s little book. But until then, I’ll be saving all my light for Matthew Thomas Holmes.