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Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Monthly Round-Up: October's Collection Pt. 1(maybe)

Here's a sampling of some stuff I've been reading, watching, or listening to this month. October is dedicated to our Blessed Mother Mary and her intercessory prayers are the inspiration behind this post. 

If  you've never heard of Therese Borchard perhaps it's time you did.  She has a very insightful  blog entitled  Beyond Blue: a blog chronicling the daily spiritual journey of life with depression and anxiety. Now, before you go screaming into the night looking for your 24 hour ago sedated Halloween costume, give her site a try. Her
 writing defines what courage means. Not only does she provide  concise and relevant personal stories, she tackles head-on the supremely taboo issue of depression and  the spiritual life. I  admire her as writer because she's not out to hustle anyone, or prescribe the "quick fix" medication prescription that society seeks so often. Rather, she provides a more thoughtful and instructive approach knowing full well that  many people suffer from various forms of depression,
[ In my first blog post, I described my intention for Beyond Blue: "for it to become a comfortable place where we can pitch the unfair stigma of mental illness, expose our real selves, and lend each other an empathetic ear." ]. 
I think she's on to something here. What do you think? It's likely you know a family member or a friend who might be looking for some insights into the topic. Give them the opportunity to explore her site by sending this link. 

Source: CNS Photo/The Valley Catholic
Therese also writes a column for the Catholic News Service. That's where I kick off my monthly round-up with her short article found in the  entitled,  "Nonprofit group shows that real men pray the rosary". 
[“A few years ago, whenever someone mentioned the word “rosary,” I used to envision my grandmother at Mass, holding her crystal beads between her praying hands during the eucharistic prayers and throughout the second half of a church service. I certainly didn’t picture a businessman, with a cell phone in one hand, a wooden rosary in the other, telling his client to call back in a half hour because he’s one decade away from finishing the sorrowful mysteries. Apparently, I’m not the only person holding such stereotypes of the rosary.”] Read more.  
Source: The Catholic Spirit & The Northern Cross
 *** Shifting gears now.

Many folks should seriously pursue a better awareness and understanding of the opposing view.  Northern Cross editor Kyle Eller provides an opinion piece that dissects why people (especially vampire novelist Anne Rice) seemingly mis-understand or get confused over the teachings of the Catholic Church. His editorial is entitled, "Leaving church does not lead to happiness." 
["One of the best tests of honesty and intelligence is to look at how someone treats opposing views. A smart and honest person will understand and answer the strongest argument against his position. St. Thomas Aquinas is a great example — it’s sometimes said that the best-stated case against St. Thomas is the one he wrote before answering the objection. But men and women like St. Thomas are becoming an endangered species, even as our need for them increases. Some fail to understand an opposing view, either because of real limits to their intelligence or because they are unable to see past ideology or their passions. One hopes that few of the blowhards dominating our public discourse are genuine propagandists, deliberately distorting what others think, but I would almost prefer that to the many nowadays who prefer to avoid argument altogether and just call names."] Read more.
Perhaps we should call it: I'm fed up with the Church. I'll be much happier on my own, living life on my own terms!

Professor David Schultz teaches professional ethics, non-profit law, housing and economic policy, planning,  and public policy at Hamline University. He also provides a lot of hyper-pithy and creative commentary about Minnesota politics. You might know of him from his popular appearances on Twin City radio, PBS Almanac, and He also writes a local blog entitled "Schultz's Take".  I reference Prof. Schultz in this posting because I recently absorbed and reflected upon a paper of his that provocatively examines the dimension of morality, ethics, and "opposing views"  entitled Professional Ethics in a Postmodern Society. As a state employee who strives to integrate the values of service and mission -  (notable non-profit values) -  and economic sustainability (timber supply contribution to the state of MN), I definitely gravitate toward an academic discussion that involves questions about how one ought to think about values and how they can be applied in one's job.

Below is Prof. Schultz's abstract:

[The ethical values that guide the public, private, and nonprofit sectors have traditionally been seen as distinct from one another as well as from the values that guide personal relationships. However, recent trends in the economy and employment are blurring these distinctions. This commentary discusses these trends, contending that what is emerging is a new postmodern world of work. It is marked by a blurring of public and private lives as well as an increasingly fine line separating the three economic sectors. As a result, the ethical rules that apply to different facets of life and work are being challenged, necessitating a rethinking of the moral boundaries and rules governing professional behavior.]
Source: Public Integrity Issue: Volume 6, Number 4 / Fall 2004 
Alt. Source: Challenge to Minnesota ban on same-sex marriage: good law, bad politics Read More
Alt. Source: Justice Scalia: No Such Thing as a Catholic Judge Read More
Curiosity and the leafless tree? 

One ethical aspect that I personally think some of my co-workers "forget" is the importance of recognizing our unique role in natural resource stewardship. Our mission is truly for and about the citizens of the state of Minnesota -  it ought to avoid excessive catering to partisan and exclusive special interests. Although we often get caught up and self-involved with our work priorities, let's take a moment to listen...

More to follow... (maybe)... gabba, gabba hey!  Wait a minute Joey. We have some significant issues to discuss... yes,  no... ok, we both agree that we don't like Communism, but wait- are you up there with the Father? 

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