Monday, April 11, 2016
The Angry Gnome has been languishing in the shadows for a long time now, six long months of silence. Should I reboot the Angry Gnome or start over fresh I wonder? The Angry Gnome is my avatar I suppose, so I think I'll just reboot it here today.
I've given considerable thought... well an hour or so this morning actually... about what the focus of the Angry Gnome ought to be. I am not an expert on any subject to tell the truth, so what do I have to offer any potential readers of the Angry Gnome?
I've been browsing through ancient blog posts I made and finding myself mildly amused by some of them. The best ones are the ones where I don't hold back and try and be something I'm not, where I embrace my Angry Gnome self :-)
Looking back I see that while time has gone by, my core self has changed very little. I'm still a pacifist, anarchist and Catholic. Things that seem at first glance to be contradictory but that all work together in my mind just fine.
I suppose that I could pontificate on politics without even needing to think about it. But everyone who knows me is already aware that I'm a pacifist and an anarchist who believes that government is nothing but violence and evil, so going on and on about that would just be boring to me as well as to my victims... er... readers. I'll leave that to the shallow waters of Facebook.
I think of a blog as a place where things are discussed in more depth than is really reasonable for a Facebook post, on Facebook people expect to see the whole idea in a single quick glance. Most people don't even bother to click on the "more" button when there is a long post, at least that's how it seems to me.
What I decided this morning, as I pondered my desire to write daily here on the Angry Gnome, is that I will use the readings of the day from the Mass as my starting point for each post. This is a way to keep me focused on "whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise..." and to always "think about these things." (Philippians 4:8)
This is not to say that my posts will be restricted only to the readings from Mass each day. While I want to keep my focus on those things suggested by Philippians 4:8 I don't want to be restricted too narrowly either. I can imagine posts on many tangential subjects that I find fascinating, especially those places where the worlds of science and faith intersect. Be warned, there will be some posts in which I regale my readers with the glorious exploits of my family or the events in this chaotic and semi-anarchistic place that is our home.
A note on translations first. The official translation used in the Mass in the United States is the New American Bible, Revised Edition (NABRE). That is what is linked to in the first link below at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) web site. I actually prefer the Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE), it's the one I read for my personal devotions and the Protestant RSV is the version I grew up reading as a child, they are almost identical, except for the books removed by the Protestant Reformers for various, invalid, reasons. That is another topic I may well discuss at some point. In any case the links to the individual readings go the Bible Gateway site RSVCE for each reading.
USCCB - Today's Readings
Psalm 119:23-24, 26-27, 29-30
What strikes me from today's readings is John 6:27, "Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you..." What is that food that the Son of man gives us? It is the very body and blood of Jesus presented to us in the Eucharist of course, as is made obvious over the next few day's Gospel readings from the rest of John 6. The Eucharist gives to us the forgiveness of sins won by Christ on the cross and the grace and ability to begin to really live the Christian life. It feeds us spiritually as we take in the very essence of God the Son under the appearance of bread and wine. The Eucharist is the greatest gift we have from God, it is Jesus given to us in tangible form. Praise God!
Most of my posts won't be quite this short, all that introduction took up a lot of my time today and I'm pooped from writing. :-) Please feel free to comment below.