The Sarabite: Towards an Aesthetic Christianity

There is a continuous attraction, beginning with God, going to the world, and ending at last with God, an attraction which returns to the same place where it began as though in a kind of circle. -Marsilio Ficino

Monday, November 12, 2007

New Link

Nevermind reading what I write. Read something edifying.

Like this:

I’m afraid that for many of us “seasoned” Christians, beneath the masks of our concern about orthodoxy, erudite arguments about theology, zeal for traditionalism, criticisms of hierarchs and hostility toward “the godless world,” lies secrets and layers of selfishness, each to our own, that we are either unable or unwilling to acknowledge. What would happen if I finally owned up to God? What about my life might change? How might this affect the Church and the world for which I have been appointed a witness of truth?


At 7:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can only speak for myself, and perhaps my observation of others without knowing their intentions--but I know I have hid behind certain orthodox positions or anger at the world (instead of anger at myself) and long nights and classes of discussions of fine points of theology that became a kind of mental masturbation (the term comes from a priest and is not meant as vulgar but actually descriptive) instead of looking at my own sings, interior life, and cultivation of virtue. This is not to say that intellectual study is bad and in fact it is good and necessary--but maybe there is tendency for some "conservative" Catholics to focus on important political issues and not the micro issues of dealing with each other or to deify the intellect and focus on intellectual matters and agreement rather than a more simple approach of spiritual childhood.

I don't want to name names as I am the worse or judge the interior soul of individuals or groups.
I do grow weary of intellectual discussions and apologetics (which are important) and for a more intimate and direct connection with God. Liberal Catholicism sometimes de-emphasizes anything supernatural (or even preternatural in Aquinas language) Some conservative Catholics overemphasize language and definitions to the point of semantics.

At 7:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"In fact, I’ll venture to say that this explains why so many of us “churchy” people are often uptight, controlling, possessive and downright mean."

This above qoute from your link applies sometimes to at least some traditionalists (not to pick on them but I like traditionalism of the Catholic variety)
You link to the New Liturgical Movement that is very interesting and has good information and I believe well intentioned. However, I get tired of the criticisms of On Eagles Wings. Or the lack of charity about people that are ignorant (used as a descriptive not as a pejorative) of sacred music of no fault of their own but because of lack of education especially pre-internet into sacred music.
I like the Traditional Latin Mass now called the Extraordinary Rite but I think there is something dysfunctional on both sides of the approach to this. I grow tired of some traditionalists who are mean spirited to anything from Vatican II, John Paul II, or that the Ordinary Rite is not valid (albeit there are abuses but also good post Vatican II liturgies)
The most important thing is interaction with people obeying the 2nd great commandment as an extension of the First which is to love our neighbors as ourselves which we do because we love God with all our hearts, minds and every other part.

At 8:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your photo was first revealed to the world in 2005.
Have you grown any hair?
Is this how you still look?
Is this a cholo look?
(realizing there are not a lot of intellecutal fomer marxist Catholic traditionalists interested in Greek philosophy who are vato locos out there)

You are a very difficult character to understand logically and intellectually but you seem to be sincere and trying to find God.
I could tell you I found him but I would be lying but I do think God has let me see glimpses and I think I am on the right track.
I don't know if you are certain or uncertain.

At 9:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes I think that too much internet posting and blogs can be actually bad for the spiritual life even if they are religious blogs even good religious blogs.
People debate intellecutal or theological or historical points or get hung up on specific points about liturgy or semantics.
Also, the internet can be an excuse to not really communicate with people.
Now, don't get me wrong the internet is an amazing tool and I can get so much information it is incredible and we can communicate with people all over the world now.
BUT, the amazing amount of pornography (not on your site of course) and even the religious and Catholic discourse (without naming the guilty sites) does not seem edifying. I actually prefer your site to the extent you admit your faults, seem humble and sincere, have questions and doubts, and until recently allowed people to question you. Your humor, your depth of knowledge is amazing.
However, I think small and intimate communities of actual people, not just cyber communications is important.

At 9:29 PM, Blogger Arturo Vasquez said...

"...and until recently allowed people to question you."

By all means question away. Truth be told, the person known as "moderator" is someone who is close to me that thinks that I have allowed the discourse on this blog to trespass normal standards of Internet decorum. S/he is now responsible for deleting commments s/he deems inappropriate. I personally don't delete comments, though I have been tempted to do so in the past, and have done so on a precious few occasions.

But I invite all to give me your best shot, as long as the arguements are constructed rationally and have no passing references to Hindu gods or hip-hop artists.

At 9:45 PM, Blogger Arturo Vasquez said...

By the way, I once wrote a post on "Internet religion" that can be found here. An excerpt:

"There are some individuals whose only real contact with Christianity comes through the means of a blinking screen. This is often not their fault. Our society is one of complete licentiousness, broken homes, and fractured discourse. How many people have I known that were raised with no religion at all, and when they go on-line, they get interested in the Christian Faith just as others might get interested in role-playing games, pop music artists, or pornography. What else is to be expected? They weren't raised in a religious household and in a religious culture, where you were dragged to church Sunday after Sunday, and sent to religion classes at your parish whether you liked it or not. Neither was their life defined by the rhythms of the Church. The cycles of birth and death in my Catholic family were always marked by going to Mass. Not everyone has had that experience. And hence Faith becomes just another hobby."

At 9:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 9:43 AM, Blogger Arturo Vasquez said...

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At 9:43 AM, Blogger Arturo Vasquez said...

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At 9:43 AM, Blogger Arturo Vasquez said...

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At 10:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 10:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 10:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 11:51 AM, Blogger Arturo Vasquez said...


I know most of the people who read this blog behave themselves, and I appreciate this. But there is one individual who seems to not be able to abide by some simple rules that I have laid down for commenting. I hope that this individual gets the point and follows my guidelines. We all follow rules in life that we may think are a bit arbitrary, but trust me, they must be followed in certain contexts.

So please, whoever you are, just do what I say on MY site. Don't question, don't speculate, and just behave yourself, and everyone will be happy. Anyone is perfectly welcome to e-mail me with questions, suggestions, or just to be in correspondence:

I like getting input, no matter what nature it might take. Also, I am not entirely comfortable with anonymity on the Internet. I have never posted anonymously, and I personally have owned up to everything I have written, and will continue to do so. I would hope that all of you would do the same.

I hope these measures do not discourage people from posting even hostile comments on this blog. Thank you for your readership.

At 4:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks for the endorsement.


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