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burning like matchsticks in the face of the darkness
 
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Sunday, April 2nd, 2006

Time Event
6:01p
First Congregational, Norwood: Lent: "Who do you say I am?" Gospel of John
I actually got up around 7:30 this morning, which was impressive given that I didn't get to sleep until ~2am (which is 3am new time).  However, to get to 8:15 Bible Study would have necessitated some hurrying, and I just wasn't in the mood for that.  Plus there's that 45 minute lagtime between when it ends and when service starts and I worried that I would end up just falling asleep in the parlor.

I was really glad I went to church, though.

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Pastor Hamilton mentioned extra Ecclesia nulla salus ("no salvation outside the Church").  My immediate thought was that I used to be certain that was the Catholic stance but then various Catholic friends said I was wrong, that in fact it is the Protestants who are more hardcore about this than the Catholics.  Googling suggests that extra Ecclesia nulla salus is still the official Catholic position.  Assistance?

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6:14p
woe for the lack of culture
My dad sent a couple links on recent "power of prayer" studies -- MSNBC and ScrappleFace -- and the latter (a parody site) ended with the line, "Dr. Benson said he would now seek $10 million in grants to explore whether fire can be called down from heaven to kindle a pile of wood. The control group's wood will be drenched in water to prevent combustion."  I was surprised my dad didn't get the allusion without following the link (since it's one of the major stories I remember).  He said he somewhat remembered the story of calling down fire somewhat but not the part where the woods gets wet first.

He said he's always amazed at how many allusions go over his students' heads.  Recently, one girl wouldn't answer and then gave the right answer and my dad said, "Don't hide your light under a bushel," and he got blank looks.  Then someone started singing "This Little Light of Mine" and he said yes, that's exactly where it's from.  (Technically they both come from Scripture.)

I said I was surprised, given that it's still such an Irish-Catholic town.  Though as I said it, I was thinking about my residual stereotype that Protestants are much more into the text than Catholics.  And indeed, he replied that it has been his experience that Protestants are much more engaged with the text, that Catholics have the Church as intercessor.

And when he was longterm subbing for a 10th grade English class doing A Tale of Two Cities, kids kept looking at him blankly when he would talk about religious allusions -- like the Resurrection!  Now that is intense.  And 10th grade is around the time that Catholics are supposed to get confirmed.
8:58p
[Lent: day 33/40]
The Angels
-Rainer Maria Rilke

They all have tired mouths
and bright seamless souls.
And a longing (as for sin)
sometimes haunts their dream.

They are almost all alike;
in God's gardens they keep still,
like many, many intervals
in his might and melody.

Only when they spread their wings
are they wakers of a wind:
as if God with his broad sculptor-
hands leafed through the pages
in the dark book of the beginning.

found here

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