If you had the power of God, what would you do? It’s a question that we rarely ask ourselves because, well, it’s not a very practical question. And yet, after watching the movie Bruce Almighty in which Jim Carey’s character is given this very opportunity, Fr. Patrick and I were forced to wonder.
Overall, the movie is more of a cautionary tale of acting without thinking, and there’s actually a few lessons to be learned. While we will never be God in Godself, we do have the ability to work with God to bring about the Kingdom, and our actions can have significant consequences.
Believe it or not, I am told quite often that I am wasting my life as a Franciscan priest. Seeing all that I have to give up, all that I’m missing, religious and non-religious alike find it troubling. In this video, I do my best to respond to this idea, telling the world what I knew even before I joined: this is the best life I could imagine.
Last week, I posted a video that I was very proud of. I had thought about it for a little over a month, tested out the concept on a Twitter thread, and took my time writing it. It was something I felt very passionate about and felt that many people needed to hear.
The response I got was disappointing, to say the least.
As has happened to me on a few occasions, people latched on to the framing device of the video and not the point of the video itself. Ire welled up over the title and thumbnail, so much so that the whole reason for making the video was lost on many people (and ironically, the point I set out to make was manifested.)
Despite being very popular, I would consider Thursday’s video a disaster. And I hope we can all learn from it.
There is this idea in many Catholic circles that “the holy teaching of Mother Church has always taught what it does and it will never change.” It is this idea that angers people when they encounter the Second Vatican Council, Popes John Paul II and Francis’ approach to the death penalty, or any adjustment to the public expression of faith.
“CHURCH TEACHING HAS NEVER CHANGED AND CAN’T CHANGE THESE PEOPLE ARE HERETICS AND PROTESTANTS TRYING TO RUIN THE CHURCH THEY DON’T KNOW JESUS OR RESPECT TRADITION THEY JUST WANT TO BE MORE LIKE THE WORLD AND…”
Welcome to the comment section of the Breaking in the Habit YouTube channel…
While there is definitely a sense of continuity in the teaching of the Church, that teachings are not dependent on the culture of the world but rather come from God and so are firmly rooted in Scripture and Tradition, the idea that the teaching of the Church never changes is simply not true. It changes in at least three ways.
Teachings that are not explicitly explained in Scripture can develop into dogmas after many centuries of prayer and reflection.
Dogmas can develop and be articulated in different ways over time.
Doctrines and disciplines of the Church can change direction completely.
Before watching this video, it might be helpful to brush up on the different levels of the Church’s teaching authority, found in the video below, as this is critically important to the distinctions I make in today’s video.
We all know that Jesus died for our sins. It is a central teaching of the Bible and everyone who considers themselves Christian accepts this.
But how? Have you ever stopped to wonder what actually causes this? I mean, really. We say it so often, but what does it actually mean?
Over the years, many theologians have come up with answers to this question and the Catholic Church has never officially adopted one. We are left to wade in the deep water of the mystery of Christ, taking what we can from the truth and piecing it together.