Tuesday is for Thomas and ilife 08

For my Tuesday is for Thomas clip, I’d like to direct your attention to Alan Creech. Here is his post from today on Thomas Merton.
Rereading a bit of Thomas Merton the other day (Love and Living) and came across the chapter named “Rebirth and the New Man in Christianity.” Good, good, good. He touches on a couple of things that are and have been problematic in all realms of Christianity. Here’s a lengthy quote…
The all too familiar oversimplification of Christian belief, which makes it seem to be a formalistic method of gaining for oneself a place “in the other world” as a reward for good work and sufferings in the present life, obscures the real meaning of the Christian’s metanoia, his participation in the death and resurrection of Christ by baptism and the eucharistic life of self-forgetfulness and fraternal love. This death to the “old self” and new life in the Spirit sent by Christ “from the Father” means not only a juridical salvation “in heaven” and “in the hereafter” but much more a new dimension of one’s present life, a transformation and renewal not only of the Christian as a person but of the community of believers, the brotherhood of those who have received “the Spirit of Christ” and live in “the grace of Christ.”
This is a statement directed at all of us who may be tempted, in whatever Christian tradition, to look at the point of our salvation in Christ as merely “getting to heaven.” I have heard and do hear this kind of focus in every corner of the Christian world – well, every one that I’ve been involved in enough to speak about. This is not only a Protestant disorder, it is well evident in Catholic circles as well. When the focus of our Christian lives, what we do or don’t do, how we worship, whether we receive this Sacrament or that and how often, how and how much we pray, what we believe or don’t believe – all that is really only about making sure we “make heaven” or “get to heaven.” Wow, have we actually developed a way to make salvation selfish? Hmmmm, looks like. If it’s really only about ME getting into the heavenly country club, then ME needs to re-figure how we think of salvation, what it means and what it’s for.
Our vision of what salvation is all about needs to widen. Really, we’re looking at God, as He has gotten our attention, and learning to listen to what HE wants for the whole world, us included. By saying yes to Him we are stepping into a holistic fixing of the cosmos. It is neither only about believing something, praying a prayer and getting your soul stamped, nor being good, praying right, making sure you go to confession enough and don’t think about sex too much. There are elements of both those ways of looking at things that are completely legitimate and which factor into the whole thing, but by themselves, as “the point” – nope. OK, I’ll end with another section of the chapter, just after the first there – another statement of needed balance…
This renewal of life cannot be understood if it is seen merely as a ritual affair, the result of certain formal, exterior acts (though to some Christians it means little more than this). Nor is it an emotional conversion followed by adherence to a set of new attitudes and convictions, based on this sense of inner liberation (though here again some Christians attach undue importance to somewhat superficial psychological experiences and seek to bring them about).
As I said – good, good, good stuff. Good stuff for all our minds to chew on. Peace.

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I’ve also been getting accustomed to iLife 08. The new iphoto is great. Or at least i am enjoying it. Unfortunately, like Fernando, I have a 12 inch Powerbook and its not fast enough to run the new imovie. Its ok. My wife’s can run it…i think.
For more on iLife 08, check out Fernando’s pretty thorough thoughts here.
Have a great week…
jc