June 2008 Archives (12)

Teaching Dirt to Listen

In a narrative essay titled “Teaching a Stone to Talk” (found in the book by the same name), the author Annie DIllard describes an eccentric man trying to teach a stone how to talk. Several times a day, he removes his stone from the shelf, a dark gray, “palm-sized oval beach cobble”, and proceeds with […]

The Voice Under All Silences

love is the voice under all silences, the hope which has no opposite in fear; the strength so strong mere force is feebleness: the truth more first than sun more last than star — E.E. Cummings

How Does the Devil Seduce?

I discovered an old interview with Father Gabriele Amorth on the internet concerning Satan and exorcism. It is an interesting article, but this particular piece near the end jumped out at me. How does the Devil go about seducing men and women? AMORTH: His strategy is monotonous. I have told him so and he admits […]

Battle for the Heart

Abba Anthony said: Whoever sits in solitude and is quiet has escaped from three wars: those of hearing, speaking, and seeing. Then there is only one war left in which to fight, and that is the battle for your own heart. — Sayings of the Desert Fathers First, to begin even to approach an awareness […]

God and Evil — Part 1 (An Intellectual Approach)

See the introduction to the discussion on God and evil. An Intellectual Approach Herbert McCabe, in chapter 3 of God Matters (this chapter alone is worth the price of the book), calls this question a philosopher’s question and a trap or impediment for many trying to enter the mystery of God. In the style of […]


God and Evil — Part 2 (An Intellectual Approach)

See part 1 or the introduction. Exhibit A — Evil Suffered Evil suffered is “a necessary concomitant of certain kinds of good’. To be crude about it, shit happens, and it logically follows that it has to happen. McCabe uses the analogy of a lion eating a lamb. It is obvious that the lamb suffers […]


God and Evil — Part 3 (An Intellectual Approach)

See part 2 or the introduction. Exhibit B — Evil Done First, as stated above, evil suffered requires two things and is “concomitant of certain kinds of good”, that is, a defect in one thing arises when another thing achieves its own good. Evil done, on the other hand, involves one thing and is “not […]


God and Evil — Part 4 (An Intellectual Approach)

See part 3 or the introduction. Thus the defense of exhibit B is different from exhibit A. Since there is no good at all, except incidentally, in a morally evil act, in evil done, there is nothing created there, hence an action of God. A morally evil act as such is an absence of something, […]


God and Evil — Part 5 (An Emotional Approach)

See part 4 or the introduction. An Emotional Approach The first section of this multi-part post discusses the mystery of God and the mystery of evil from an intellectual approach, via McCabe (and St. Thomas Aquinas). The conclusion is that evil is not logically inconsistent with an omnipotent and good God. This is not very […]


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