Thursday, July 20, 2006

Plug This! The Discalced Yooper

The upper peninsula of the state of Michigan is characterized by a certain independence, one that occasionally gives rise to talk of succession from the bulk of Michigan, or from the Union altogether. Residents of the "U.P." refer to themselves as "Yoopers," and their location brings them closer to Wisconsin than to the rest of the state that lies "below the bridge."

Conversely, there are those in Wisconsin who identify with the Upper Peninsula. One of them inhabits the Catholic blogosphere...

http://discalcedyooper.blogspot.com

M Z Forrest lives (reluctantly, I gather) in Manitowic, Wisconsin. He is married and has a newborn; other children, perhaps, but it's hard to tell at this distance. His weblog purports to be "contemplative on politics, economics, and religion." Forrest's musings on events of the day are current, but in the sense of "after the fact," or pertaining to the broad view.

And it is a view undertaken through a Catholic lens -- not to be confused with the all-things-to-all-people mentality that permeates the official statements of certain bishops' conferences. It is, rather, a matter of playing smart with one's material wealth, knowing that all things come from God, for the betterment of man in this "valley of tears" awaiting the Next Life. This can be applied not only to providing for one's family, but to playing the stock market. After all, even Christ Himself shed light on the resourcefulness of the steward in his parables. To wit, these issues are taken on with the same combination of thorough research and Chestertonian common sense that is applied toward matters of faith.

This is one Yooper that deserves a closer look, and will get one, by the discriminating Catholic blog watcher.

[UPDATE: A more thorough review of this Yooper's archives will show that Mr Forrest, with the recent arrival, is now the proud father of three children.]

5 Comments:

At 7/21/2006 11:53:00 AM, Blogger M.Z. Forrest said...

Thank you so much for the free advertising and the compliments.

 
At 7/21/2006 04:36:00 PM, Anonymous Deacon DW said...

And it is a view undertaken through a Catholic lens -- not to be confused with the all-things-to-all-people mentality that permeates the official statements of certain bishops' conferences.

Actually, I think that was the Apostle Paul's official statement, rather than of certain but unidentified "Bishops' Conferences." I'm not sure if you're saying this in reference to "playing smart with one's material wealth" or something else. When it comes to wealth, by all means share it! When it comes to Bishops' Conferences, listen closely. Typically, the buck stops at the bishop.

 
At 7/21/2006 11:16:00 PM, Blogger David L Alexander said...

DW:

The reference was to the tendency of statements from the bishops' conference to set a premium on offending the least number of people, or being inspired by a mainly secular agenda, as opposed to a grounding in Catholic social or moral tradition. That tradition does not presume "property rights" to be an absolute, but to exist for the greater good of mankind, in preserving a just social order. Mr Forrest's writings are consistent with that teaching -- which you'd know if YOU'D "listen closely."

St Paul also teaches (officially, I assume) against giving away one's wealth to the point of being poor oneself.

 
At 7/22/2006 02:33:00 AM, Anonymous Deacon DW said...

St Paul also teaches (officially, I assume) against giving away one's wealth to the point of being poor oneself.

Sorry David, I'm not familiar with that particular teaching of St. Paul. Perhaps you might point me to it?

The link, which I attempted earlier was 1 Corinthians 9:22. It'll either work this time, or it won't--the anchor is a mile long.

I am familiar with M.Z. Forrest's blog and occasionally I read his posts. I wasn't arguing against his financial advice or anything that he had to say. It was just that your statement regarding things seen through the "Catholic lens" as being opposed to the official statements and directives of certain bishops' conferences was a little confusing to me. I only hoped that you'd be willing to point out exactly what your dissenting issue is.

Whenever you get that Bible verse I'd appreciate it.

Peace-DW

 
At 7/22/2006 09:34:00 AM, Blogger David L Alexander said...

"I'm not familiar with that particular teaching of St. Paul."

It would be 2 Cor 8:9-15, the first reading from the optional memorial of St Paulinus of Nola, June 22. A footnote reads as follows: "Paul introduces the principle of equality into the discussion. The goal is not impoverishment but sharing of resources; balance is achieved at least over the course of time..."

" It was just that your statement regarding things seen through the 'Catholic lens' as being opposed to the official statements and directives of certain bishops' conferences was a little confusing to me."

Confusion indeed. I suppose it is as much a matter of clarity as it is catholicity. That is how I and many others of my acquaintance have found certain pastoral letters of the bishops' conference in the last 25 years. That and the desire to appease various pressure groups, as in the one on the role of women. If you're a deacon, you've probably had occasion to read about such controversy in the Catholic press. For me to "point out exactly what your dissenting issue is" would require a post unto itself, I'm afraid. Sorry to leave it hanging like that.

I'm hoping for "Plug this!" to be a regular feature on mwbh. It is intended to be an introduction to a different weblog every week, not a complete run-down of everything the author has to say. And so I invite you to continue reading the Yooper. I'm learning stuff about money and finances that's pretty handy. Oh boy.

 

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