Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Not Attached

I've really enjoyed the Catholicism DVDs I purchased with gift cards from Christmas.  I got the DVD, the book , and the associated workbook.  Let's be honest; normally our church does boring DVDs really, really well.  This has been surprisingly well done, fascinating, and beautiful.

The DVDs could possibly be perceived as somewhat slow if one does not take the time to enjoy the music and the scenes as Father Barron travels the world to show some of the most amazing places in Christendom.  The book seems to be mostly the same as the DVDs, with some more information and changes in wording.  It speaks well of the writing that I didn't notice this until the third week, and it doesn't detract from the experience at all.  The workbook is also well done, though perhaps not as good as the other two.  The questions are through provoking and reference the reading/DVD as well as the Bible and Catechism.

The second lesson/chapter has to do with the teachings of Jesus.  It was all very interesting and challenging, and highlighted some points I'd never considered.  For instance, the second son in the Prodigal Son parable expresses his relationship with his father in the same terms as a slave.  He doesn't talk about the mutual love or any sort of relationship.  Was he much closer to his father during that time than the son that ran away?  The father in the parable clearly desires a relationship with both sons.  I'd always focused on the son that left, so this was refreshing.

Another item that caught my attention was the idea of not being attached.  Fr. Barron goes through the Beatitudes and talks about detachment from worldly goods such as power, honor, and money.  What I loved though was how he brought up that by being detached, we can actually do much good with the goods of the world for God.  If one is attached to money, one probably isn't using it for God.  But someone with money can do a lot for God with that money if he or she isn't attached.  We can find joy by being attached to God instead of to the things and pleasures of this world, no matter how odd that may seem.
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. (Mat 5:3-11)

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