Thursday, July 17, 2008

Miscellaneous Bits

Demetrios came home from the hospital this evening. He is resting comfortably in bed. He hopes to go back to work on Tuesday.

St. Francis is the best hospital, by far, we've ever experienced. The staff was obviously trying to emulate the attitude of their patron, Francis of Assisi - and succeeding. One nurse told us the staff had gotten their customer service training from - get this! - the Ritz Carlton hotel people! This hospital is operated much like a hotel, too, complete with room service. And the nurses and techs do NOT come in and bother you all the time; they let you rest and sleep.

The physical plant is elegant, too, beautiful. All except the chapel. It is UGLY. Go figure.

Some woman came around this morning to offer Demetrios communion. Catholic woman. Apparently they had some interesting conversation.

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Today I got a message that somebody had listed me as a friend in Plaxo Pulse, with which I am hugely unfamiliar. So I responded, to discover a whole page of people I was supposed to "confirm." Some of them I don't even know who they are, but I confirmed anyway. So if you've gotten one of those connection thingies from me, and you aren't sure I know who you are, how about please kindly introducing yourself? Thanks! Or else tell me I've made a mistake.

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Four parts left in the "Why Did Jesus Die?" series. Apparently I'm publishing 'em faster than most people can read 'em, so I'll gladly slow down and space the remaining installments out some. Thanks to those of you who have encouraged me by letting me know you read them!

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I can't even begin to express to you how much that Gallatin podcast has meant to me. It answers the riddle that has been plaguing and baffling me for YEARS, which is, why do Westerners interpret Holy Scripture, and especially the Crucifixion, in such punitive terms? And why do they so doggedly stick to that interpretation when another is offered them, and why would they even want to? And what's with this notion that punishment cures anything or helps anything?

Now I think I get it. And what a tremendous sense of relief there is in being able to explain what before had so vexed my mind!

This punitive stuff comes from a failure to understand that, although indeed God is absolutely perfect morally, yet true and perfect morality is not defined by any "code" or set of dos and don'ts. Instead, morality is ultimately defined by Love, is dependent upon Love, is whatever Love calls for.

When so-called "righteousness" is seen as and end in itself, not considered as a function of Love, and thought to be the most basic characterization of God, then suddenly, suffering makes some sense. Because then sin upsets the moral scheme of things. The sinner must be made to suffer, because that is felt to restore the balance in the moral scheme. Put plainly, it just doesn't feel right for a sinner not to have to suffer (unless, of course, the sinner is myself)! At least, in that context it doesn't; Love is a different context. That's why the Prodigal Son's elder brother was so upset. That's why the disciples wanted to call down fire from heaven to burn up the Samaritan village that would not receive them.

"But He turned and rebuked them, and said, 'You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.'"(Luke 9:55)


JTKlopcic said...

Sorry for the lateness, but please offer Demetrios my hopes for a quick recovery and know that I am praying for him.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Demetrios send you his greetings, his love, and his thanks. He's feeling better today, moving more freely. not taking any pain meds for now.

Thanks from me, too!