The expansive logic of love…

…versus the sterile logic of contraception.

Love by its very nature seeks to issue in something greater than either the beloved on his own or the lover in the abstract. Love seeks to issue in a higher synthesis comprised of the lover-with-his-beloved. Love is, therefore, intrinsically generative and expansive. Bene ergo dicitur bonum diffusum sui (Therefore is it well said that the good diffuses itself). So expansive, in fact, that love will not stop at this one step higher into harmony. Love between two lovers expands to encompass the very objects and people in their lives: this is why “inside jokes” are such a powerful signal, and reinforcement, of friendship and love: they conscript something ordinary and innocuous, the coal of everyday life, and transform them into diamonds forged by the power of love. For better or worse (Romeo and Juliet, anyone?), “worlds collide” precisely because lovers instinctively draw their surroundings into their inner circle. Because humans are essentially embodied, historical beings, our efforts to love one another inextricably draw matter, money, artifacts, and other flesh into the dance.

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The letter of the law…

I want this post to piggyback on the discussion taking place about sola Scriptura. To be honest, I tend to avoid that debate, partially because it seems to devolve more quickly than others into pedantic, hairsplitting, pulpit-pounding backbiting; it’s a credit to this blog and its readers that that has not happened thus far.

All I would like to contribute, as an oblique consideration, is how the question, “Cur Deus homo?” stands in light of its scriptural basis and how its status might be addressed “solely” from sola Scriptura. The scriptural basis for the exact and most fundamental reason for the Incarnation is (notoriously) moot, and because of this I think it can shed light on the issues of doctrinal authority and religious assent in the sola Scriptura debate.

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Just what is transubstantiation, anyway?

Fr. Al Kimel recently wrote a post that got me thinking about transubstantiation again. Its title is a question: Is Transubstantiation Bodily Enough? The long discussion sparked by that post over at De Cure Animarum stimulated anew my thinking about this topic. As with such questions as “Were you a zygote?“, which Scott addressed in the previous post here, much hinges on how we understand the hoary metaphysical concept of “substance.” As a simple matter of fact, there is no one metaphysical concept of substance that all philosophers, even all Catholic philosophers, agree on; so, the question arises which concept of substance, if any, is best. In order to understand Catholic dogma to the extent it can be understood, some account of substance can and ought to be given; for a certain understanding of substance, however hard to pin down, underlies said dogma. That’s what I want to bring out here.

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