Monday, November 20, 2006

Father George is giving a homily at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Palo Alto, California.

(On a passage from Revelation) Tough, scary words are actually a message of hope.

Father George seems to be saying that the fire and brimstone is symbolic, representing the trials of daily life, and the Second Coming is literal, to be looked forward to with hope. I may be mistaken in how I understood the homily.

* * * * *

God seems to have two faces. There is the God of Henri Nouwen, the tender, motherly God who cares for his little children. Then there is the God of St. Alfonso Liguori, the angry, emperor God, who is not averse to sending his servants to the lake of fire for punishment. The first is the God of the moderns: Katherine Norris, Anne Lamott. The second is the God of the ancients: St. Térèse of Lisieux, The Cloud of Unknowing.

Which is the reality: the tender God or the stern God? I hope the first picture is the correct one, but so many ancient sources attest to the second that, with some fear, I cannot dismiss it.


At 1/09/2007 3:17 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jon, I came into your web presence accidentally. I started out on I followed something about yubnub then looked at lots of other stuff, like the ning stuff. Anyway, I was just looking at your personal posts here and had to say I think about some of the same things as pertains to God's mercy/judgment, interpersonal communications, etc.
I like your phrase "The corporal and spiritual works of mercy."
In your post of Nov 18, you write about various ways of communicating with friends and loved ones and the various ramifications of them. Then when I read the last paragraph about possible friendships with people half a world away, I knew I would write a comment.
I'm not a programmer, just a web site guy, but I have sort of "Web 2.0 dreams" too. I have fooled with CMS's and stuff like that, and I keep thinking of concepts. Not social networking specifically but more like a vehicle for meaningful publicly-contributed content. About Love, practical as well as theological - but personal, including story form.
I've made lots of web sites but this concept seems it could be so vast it scares me. Also the possibility of derailing it by spam and junk is so high.
Well, I hope some of that made sense.
I am Joe Perry in Tennessee.
Web site:

At 1/09/2007 8:03 p.m., Blogger Jonathan said...

Joe - Thanks so much for your thoughtful words on theology, Love, and the web. It's rare to find God-minded people among technologists - declarations of atheism seem far more prevalent in articles and comments - so your comment was a welcome one. Your vision of using web technologies to serve higher human purposes is inspiring. May the Muse strike you with imagination and wisdom to dream up something big for 2007.


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