How Short

“How short the joys of earth– and the sorrows, too, thank God!”  ~Father Solanus Casey

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Practical Atheism

Excerpted from Thank God Ahead of Time: The Life and Spirituality of Solanus Casey by Michael H. Crosby O.E.M. Cap., © 2009:

Solanus Casey interpreted the conflicts of his time as grounded in theoretical or practical atheism. Theoretical atheism involved one’s denial of God’s existence; practical atheism stood for the lack of faith-in-action in people who embraced their culture’s patterns to the detriment of their professed beliefs.

I like the term “practical atheism.”

America abounds in obvious examples.

There Can Be But One

“If religion can be defined us a science, and I claim it is unquestionably the greatest science of all times– in fact it is nothing less than the science of our happy relationship with God and our neighbors, then, there can be but one religion, though there may be a thousand different systems of religion.” ~Solanus Casey, quoted in Thank God Ahead of Time: The Life and Spirituality of Solanus Casey by Michael H. Crosby O.E.M. Cap., © 2009

Flowing From and Leading Back To

“When he was speaking with you, you felt that he was constantly God-centered, on fire with love for God, and constantly God-conscious, seeming always to have his eyes on God. He seemed to see everything as flowing from God and leading back to God.” ~Gerald Walker O.F.M. Cap., speaking of Father Solanus Casey, quoted in Thank God Ahead of Time: The Life and Spirituality of Solanus Casey by Michael H. Crosby O.E.M. Cap., © 2009

That’s not a bad way to be remembered at all.

Faith

In this excerpt from The Chris Farley Show:  A Biography in Three Acts ©2008, Father Tom Gannon talks about Chris Farley and faith:

Chris was caught in a transition in Catholicism between an old-church approach to faith and a newer way of thinking. The old view of spirituality was that life was like climbing a mountain. You have to fight onward and upward, climbing with your spiritual crampons until you reach the top – and that’s perfection. You pass the trial and you pass the test and you get so many gold stars in your copybook. Then you come before the heavenly throne for judgment, and maybe you got a couple of indulgences in your back pocket in case your accounting was wrong.

But that kind of faith only gets a person so far. Your spiritual life isn’t like climbing a mountain, waiting to find God at the top. It’s a journey, full of highs and lows, and God is there with you every step of the way, in the here and now and in the hereafter.The first approach is really a whole lot of smoke and mirrors. It’s only the second one that allows a person to grow, but that second view is hard for people to get a hold of unless they get in touch with themselves.

Chris didn’t feel that he was worthy of God’s love. He felt he had to prove himself. Well, you’re never going to get very far in any relationship with that kind of belief. Imagine if you had to prove yourself to your spouse every single day; that’s not the way love works. In all of our talks, that was the one thing I really tried to work with him on, adjusting to this different idea of faith, but he never really moved from one to the other. It’s hard. It takes a long time to come around to that way of thinking, and Chris just ran out of time.