Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 51 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Finished a good book tonight

The Yes of Jesus Christ by Joseph Ratzinger AKA Benedict XVI (Crossroads Publishing, 1991). In it were several very interesting quotes...Bon Mots as Fr. Ziemba at Orchard Lake St. Mary's used to call them (in my senior year at St. Mary's Prep I got to take a college frosh english course at St. Mary's College taught by Fr. Ziemba and we had to turn in a Bon Mot every class). It sounds surprisingly like St. Augustine's description in The City of God about the fall of Rome due to moral decadance, and our modern culture/American Protestantism as well?

Human beings oppose the truth that would demand submission of them - submission in the form of honoring God and giving God thanks (Romans 1:21). For Paul the moral collapse of society is merely the logical consequence and the exact mirror image of this fundamental perversion. When we place our own will, our pride, and our comfort above the claim of Truth, everything is in the end necessarily turned upside down; it is not God to whom worship is due that is worshipped any longer; what are worshipped are the images, the appearance, the prevailing opinion that wins domination over people. This general perversion extends to all fields of life. What is unnatural becomes normal; the person who lives against truth also lives against nature. People's powers of invention no longer serve what is good but the ingenuity and refinement of evil. The relationship between man and wife, between parents and children is dissolved, and in this way the sources of life are blocked up. It is no longer life that reigns but death, and a civilization of death has become established. (p.22)