Friday, October 7, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 2)

1. I’m reading the Gospel of St. Mark. It’s not my favorite Gospel (that would be John), but it’s good to reread it. I had forgotten how much Jesus tells his disciples about things to come, but then instructs them not to say anything yet. What exactly did he tell them? Did he lay it all out, exactly what they needed to do, or did he speak in more parables? I like to assume he laid it out straight, because the Gospels mention quite a bit how the disciples and other followers (even though they were trying) never really understood what Jesus was trying to say when he used metaphors.

2. Speaking of parables, I’m thinking of doing an article series on original sin, except I’m beginning to realize how little I understand the Garden of Eden story. I mean, I get the gist, but there can be a lot of nuance to the story as well. I’m a sucker for a great metaphor, but it’s frustrating to feel like you’re not in on the full explanation. That’s probably how the disciples felt listening to Jesus’ parables all the time. It would be so much easier to just be a literalist: there were the first two people created on the sixth day, and then a serpent messed things up.

3. Wouldn’t a literalist be looking for an earthly garden guarded by angels and have a BIG hatred of snakes? The lack of people (who claim the Genesis story literally) going on expeditions for the Garden or trying to rid the world of snakes tells me they aren’t as literal as they think. Which is good. Faith should be strong enough to withstand some metaphors and some inclusion of reason and science.

4. I bought Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales last weekend. I’ve read part of it before, but I’m excited to read my own copy. Of the parts I've already read, his instruction and explainations are still relevant on how to approach and apply faith today. Besides, Francis de Sales is the patron saint of journalists and writers, and he converted a bunch of Calvinists, so how could I not love him?

5. I’m looking forward to a weekend alone at home to stay in my sweats and do some cooking, embroidering, cleaning, and watching movies. The cooking, embroidering, cleaning part makes me sound much more domestic than I really am. But I do like a weekend where I can stay in the house alone and revel in my inner-introvert.

6. I’m in a bread-baking mood, even though I’ve never done it. I vaguely remember my mom doing it ages ago, but it still feels like unfamiliar territory to me. I’ll probably just go buy bread at the Mennonite store instead.

7. Apparently I missed the Occupy Wall Street demonstration going on until yesterday. While there seems to be various reasons why people are out there, the general idea of “greed is bad, especially when greed trumps caring about people” sounds good to me. I don’t want to get too political, but I do support the protestors who want to shine a light on a system that values money over people or community. I don’t think there will be any actual change, but good for them to stand up and say, “I don’t agree with this.” That’s what the rights of assembly and petition are all about.

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