Monday, July 24, 2017

Augustine or Aquinas?

From Those Catholic Men :

Due to the fact that so many young people seem more drawn to questions regarding happiness and personal fulfillment, he noted that he often orients his talks in this direction. In other words, perhaps one could say that such an approach to teaching is an attempt to be more Augustinian (happiness-based) than Thomistic (truth-based).

Without commenting on the entire article quoted, (in fact I didn't read it all-these lines got me thinking and I never got back to it) some obvious questions come to (my) mind:
1. Is Augustine more about happiness than truth?
2. Is Aquinas more about truth than happiness?
3. Are truth and happiness so inter-related that it doesn't matter?
I am presently reading God or Nothing an interview with Cardinal Sarah. Cardinal Sarah contends (I am paraphrasing) that Christianity is not a set of (moral) norms, but an encounter with a person, Jesus Christ. Moral laws are more of a consequence than a prerequisite of Christianity. In other words, the encounter with the Son of Man calls us to follow him, which then makes us want to live a certain way. This seems (to me) very Augustinian, if the premise above is true.
However, doesn't Aquinas explore who is God and the Trinity? And doesn't this truth of the nature of the Trinity helps us make an authentic encounter with and learn how to follow Jesus?
I once knew an atheist who was one of the most moral men I knew. He believed living a moral life was the only way to have an orderly society.
Now, many would argue that equating Aquinas with "the Law" in not the same as saying Aquinas is 'truth-based" (as opposed to "happiness-based"). I would agree; but still there is a perception, but (I would argue) a perception from ignorance of Aquinas.
Oremus pro invicem! 

Friday, July 21, 2017


We rented a cabin at Oconee State Park in Mountain Rest, SC last weekend. A neighbor kept a watch on the animals. We have seldom if ever gone all gone away for more than 24 hours in the last few years - but that is part of homesteading.

Oconee State Park brings in a bluegrass group and has a square dance in their barn every Friday night in the summer. It was absolutely great. Lots of people. We learned some dances we will incorporate into our annual square dance here.

Saturday and Sunday we meant to spend looking at waterfalls, but we didn't get to many because of the strong thunder storms that kept popping up.

We also were limited to which ones we could hike to because a 2 year old boy is staying with us right now.

Be we had fun and saw some beautiful waterfalls. The pictured one is at Cove Station Falls.
We also walked through Stumphouse Tunnel. Before the war between the states, a railroad line connecting Charleston, SC to Cincinnati, OH was planned. But Stumphouse Mountain got in the way. Irish immigrants, working from both sides with pick, shovel, and sledge started carving out the tunnel. They lived in a village on top of the mountain. A Fr. O'Connell founded St. Patrick Catholic Church for the workers and their families. The first shot is approaching the tunnel (which provided a cold breeze). The second is obviously in the tunnel.

While we were away Mrs. Curley's aunt, Karen Stanley passed away in Florida. May her soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, rest in peace!
Oremus pro invicem!