Sitting Quietly in a Room Alone

The following is an article from Bishop Robert Barron (March 17, 2020)

Blaise Pascal said, “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” The great seventeenth-century philosopher thought that most of us, most of the time, distract ourselves from what truly matters through a series of divertissements (diversions). He was speaking from experience. Though one of the brightest men of his age and one of the pioneers of the modern physical sciences and of computer technology, Pascal frittered away a good deal of his time through gambling and other trivial pursuits. In a way, he knew, such diversions are understandable, since the great questions—Does God exist? Why am I here? Is there life after death?—are indeed overwhelming. But if we are to live in a serious and integrated way, they must be confronted—and this is why, if we want our most fundamental problems to be resolved, we must be willing to spend time in a room alone. Continue reading

God’s Faithfulness

The first reading for today is an odd one in some respects even as the events around it are infamous and memorable. Moses is atop Mt Sinai with God. Meanwhile the people of Israel, just freed from the slavery of Egypt are worshiping the golden calf. It is worth noting that the story of the golden calf is a kind of “fall” story, similar to “the Fall” in the Garden of Eden. In both stories, immediately after the establishment of a relationship between God and humanity, human beings disobey. In the case of Exodus 32, God forms Israel as a new creation and they immediately fall into sin. What is God to do? How is God to be just to God’s self and be faithful to God’s people. In the years of teaching Scripture to folks in the parish, this passage never fails to raise the question about God’s wrath, God’s intent, Moses role, and bargaining with God Continue reading