Jon Aquino's Mental Garden

Engineering beautiful software jon aquino labs | personal blog

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Beautiful correspondences in the Christian religion

In Christianity, the following things are analogous. The correspondence is rather beautiful - so much so that it is one of the things that convinces me of the truth of Christianity:

  • A wedding feast; the banquet table.
  • The crucifixion of Christ; the cross.
  • Jewish sacrifice; the altar.
  • The Eucharist; the altar.
  • The marital act; the marital bed.

I'm sure someone could easily write a book on the beauty of the relationships between these things.

Friday, December 20, 2013

When someone reports a technical problem to me, ...

... the first things I want to know tend to be:

1. What is the URL?

2. What is the error message (or symptom)?

Give me those two pieces of information, and I can get started investigating.

Classic books on programming

Yesterday I spent too much time checking out the books in 10 Books That Will Substitute a Computer Science Degree. It was discussed on Hacker News. Many of the books come from the ACM's list of classic books. To see a description of the book, click the book's name on the ACM site.

Several of the books are out of print, but some are available freely online. The ACM also offers PDFs of several of the books for purchase, for about $20.

Loving God like you love your spouse

Recently I asked my spiritual director, Sister Monica Kaufer (who is leaving Vancouver soon—boo), “What must I do to enter the kingdom of God?” She replied, “How do you love Mila?”

Following that line of thought, here are the main points from the excellent book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work and how each might apply to our relationship with God. It is interesting to note the similarities.

1. Enhance your love maps.

  • Marriage: Know the details of your spouse's preferences, history, thoughts, how the day went, etc.
  • God: Know about God through the Bible, spiritual reading, doctrine, etc.

2. Nurture your fondness and appreciation.

  • Marriage: Mediate on your spouse and what makes you cherish him or her.
  • God: Words or songs of praise.

3. Turn toward each other instead of away.

  • Marriage: Listen to your spouse when he or she makes bids on your attention.
  • God: Listen to how God is leading you (through the Bible, events in your life, in the silence of prayer, etc.).

4. Let your partner influence you.

  • Marriage: Accept influence.
  • God: Obedience (to the Ten Commandments, the teachings of Jesus, etc.).

5. Solve your solvable problems [specific problems, not tied to your spouse's character].

  • Marriage: Compromise.
  • God: Prayer (supplication).

6. Overcome gridlock [deep conflicts of character with your spouse].

  • Marriage: Cope with it, like a bad back.
  • God: (Not sure. I guess this is equivalent to St. John of the Cross's "dark night of the soul", or Job's lament.)

7. Create shared meaning.

  • Marriage: "create an atmosphere that encourages each person to talk honestly about his or her convictions"—rituals, roles, goals, symbols.
  • God: Discern your vocation, go on retreats, etc.