Lenten Thoughts: How a blog can be a Spiritual Exercise.

To give a confession to my blog readers(the few of you there are, the less if I continue this habit of posting randomly and without order) I often forget I have a blog that needs updating. These past few months have been difficult for me spiritually and emotionally, and the worst part is I’m still not even sure what the cause of it was.

Every blog I have ever had has fallen away in the litany of concerns of my daily life. It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of day to day activities and forget about other things which are not as pressing.

Or at least don’t seem as pressing.

This Lent I’ve been thinking about discipline. I intentionally sort of set aside philosophy this Lent, and focused rather on spiritual classics and digging into the Scriptures as well. It has always been a fault of mine that I am not terribly consistent in my workflow and am not very good at self-motivating towards my own goals. This is why I love the structure of Academia, someone at least puts a deadline on you and consequences for missing it.This is not me defending myself on account of not being in an Academic setting.

What I am apologizing for is being undisciplined. I am not saying that I am lazy, but that I lack consistent and regular devotion to a single thing. I am not good at being a ‘disciple’. A disciple wakes and learns from the master and then emulates the master. I have not practiced that in any sense. Thus, hopefully I can use my blog as a tracker of discipline. If I am studying Scripture, Philosophy, History, or really anything, I should be able to come up with at least a few words to say about it every week. Thus, if I am updating my blog, it is because I am being disciplined in my studies. If I am not, then I am not being disciplined in my studies.

There is however an obstacle that I would like to point out to some of the topics I have mentioned in past blog posts that I was working on.

Lack of Sources that are readily available: For my Third Part of Aquinas’ Five Ways, I was planning to integrate Avicenna’s argument from contingency to discuss it in contrast with Aquinas’. However, up until recently, I was having trouble locating its source material. I have found references to it in other philosophy blogs, and discussions of it in other commentary texts, but never an actual transcript of the argument. It wasn’t until I found a reference to Avicenna’s argument on Edward Feser’s blog 1 that provided a link to the source material in an anthology that I was able to locate it. I still have not recieved it, but have opted out of doing that particular bit since Feser does such a good job on his blog of explaining and discussing Avicenna’s argument. I will make reference to his post about it in my post on Aquinas.

Additionally: other sources are hard to find. I was planning on writing a dialogue between Pelagius and Augustine, but source material on Pelagius is hard to find. It is a lot of work piecing him together from sources that are entirely hostile to him. Augustine, Orosius, Prosper, Marius Mercator, and Jerome are all hostile to his view and it is difficult to get the nuance of his position from it. (Not impossible, just…difficult.) It is easy to reconstruct it from Semi-Pelagian and other later views, but it is hard to get at the man himself, so I may just opt out of doing this particular topic. 2 It was not to be a discussion of Pelagianism vs. Augustinianism, but between the men themselves. Which will probably make me scrap this.

Also, several of my interests are hard to track down their works in English. While my ability to read Latin is existent, it is far from fluent, I depend on others to do so for me. I have no skill with either Greek or Arabic, and unfortunately these are the languages most of my interests primarily exist in. If I ever need help finding a source I will be sure to mention it in my post.

Thank you all for your patience.

  1.  http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2013/05/avicennas-argument-from-contingency.html 
  2. Since the views are distinct from the man I am hesitant to equate him with Pelagianism like Calvin has been with Calvinism. (Which is interestingly debatable: https://www.calvin.edu/meeter/Was%20Calvin%20a%20Calvinist-12-26-09.pdf

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