Saturday, December 27, 2014

The best of Καθολικός διάκονος 2014

My blog is a very personal endeavor and has been since its inception. It will continue to be until such a time as I decide to call it quits. In other words, Καθολικός διάκονος is not a Catholic news aggregation service, or a clearing house for Catholic goods and services. I do not blog for gain, quite the opposite: I do so at some cost, albeit not huge, just the time it takes to compose and post something. I see what I do here in this cyberspace as part of my diaconal ministry, a way to reach people I could not possibly reach otherwise. I do not want to sell you anything. I am not remunerated in any way, shape, or form- I don't get paid for receiving a certain number of hits, etc. My beyond-modest-offerings I give for free to anyone who finds value in them.

I compose my posts, not with fellow Catholic bloggers in mind, but people I know, that is, ordinary, every day people who are Catholic Christians and non-Catholic Christians who constantly ponder how it is they integrate their faith, which is a gift from God, into all aspects of their lives, to live integrated lives, lives of integrity, with Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, as the integrating factor, keeping in mind that grace works in and through ordinary circumstances. Faith can never amount to smug certainty.

In my view, it is all too easy for the so-called Catholic blogosphere to become a closed circle, a self-licking ice cream cone, which, at least to my mind, amounts to the antithesis of evangelization. I am fully aware that my approach to faith and life, while quite conventional and even conservative in most respects, is eccentric, but I hope not in the extreme. I know for a fact that my approach annoys some and infuriates others. You know what? I am fine with that. God bless my detractors. One of my passions is to show how Christian faith and contemporary culture are not as at odds as many Christians and atheists seem to think, even as I keep in mind Balthasar's lament that you can't simply baptize everything.

One way I know I am eccentric is by approaching things with the conviction that most of the time adult Catholics are spoken and written down to, as if they don't have a brain in their head, which only serves to reinforce the notion many people have, which is that faith has no bearing on real, grown-up, life.

Serving at the altar of the Lord with my bishop- the greatest privilege I can imagine

It is my constant prayer that everything I post helps at least one person in her/his daily walk with the Lord, about which C.S. Lewis observed: "Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done." It has become my custom at the end of each year to offer one post from each month that stands out in my mind. These are not necessarily the most popular posts. In fact, most of them aren't (a few are). So, below you will find what I consider to be "the best of Καθολικός διάκονος" for 2014. I would be more than thrilled if either of my two readers shared something from Καθολικός διάκονος that struck them this year.

January: Finding my own Penmaen Pool

February: Becoming "like" God, or becoming Gods?

March: You are you, past, present, future

April: Pope Francis on the current milieu- a few thoughts in passing

May: The Lion, Lucy and the necessity of growing in faith

June: Transcendence in the drama of Samuel Beckett

July: Odysseus and the quest for home

August: Suicide, anger and fear

September: Balthasar on being a Christian

October: Finding love and value in same-sex relationships

November: Are all saved regardless?: Thoughts on universalism

December: Abortion: When does a person become a person?

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