Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What Does The Future Hold?

Homer Simpson is not a representative of the next stage of human evolution.


The Progressive Catholic Voice has a new post about a trip to interview Hans Kung taken by organizers of the American Catholic Conference.  ACC is organizing a national meeting of reform minded Catholics to be held in Detroit in June of 2011.  The following short excerpt gives Dr. Kung's view of the future of Catholicism.

In a relaxed atmosphere, Dr. K√ľng expressed his views about the future of the Church. As he sees it, the institution we know will die soon, to be replaced by communities following the gospel of Jesus, with informal liturgies and a sacramentality related to life in community. He is very devoted to developing relationships between Christianity and non-Christian religions, the attempt to discover a global ethical commonality, and ultimately, a global understanding of God. What he sees emerging is a spirituality related to the human condition and stages of life, to replace institutionalized rigidity.

Dr. Kung is describing a vastly different Catholicism from the one currently in place.  I find his take on the future to be the highest probability for Catholics in many global locations if only because the priest shortage leaves very little alternative.  His idea of communities with informal liturgies was successfully demonstrated in Brazil in the idea of Base Communities, and then as successfully suppressed by the Vatican under JPII. I imagine that of all the headaches the Vatican curia currently faces, the rise of successful community based Evangelical communities in South America may be higher on the list than the Vatican is willing to express. At the rate Evangelicals are eating into the Catholic population, Catholicism could be a minority religion in less than fifty years.  It seems to me this is a very heavy price for maintaining the doctrine of our current sacramental priesthood.

Dr Kung also mentions the importance of developing a global understanding of God with a global ethical commonality.  This idea will have just as profound an impact on traditional notions of Catholicism as the idea of locally based sacramental communities. This influence can already be seen in theological trends coming from India and the Orient with their different understandings of spirituality and emphasis on both/and thinking.  It can also be seen in the American continents with the influence of Indigenous understandings of cosmology, liturgical and sacramental practices, and shamanism.  The push for these global understandings are not coming from the top down, but from the bottom up.  As such they are a direct threat to any hierarchical religious structure based in static dogmatism.

There is also another idea contained in the above trends which is not always explicitly mentioned but is definitely implied.  This is the idea that we are on the brink of another leap in human consciousness and human capability.  A leap perhaps as important as the one evidenced in the evolution of self awareness and the concomitant ability to think in context of past and future which allowed for a different relationship with time and material reality.  It could very well be that this evolution in consciousness is the reason homo sapiens is the sole representative species of humanity.  The next step, according to some future thinkers, is homo transcendent. 

The advent of homo transcendent is not just an idea being tossed around in spiritual circles, it's also being tossed around by scientists studying human consciousness, theoretical physics, and neurophysiology.  Rather than scoffing at the tales of Mayan shamans or a Padre Pio they are asking serious questions about the neural mechanisms which might be involved.  They may not yet have definitive answers, but there is a growing amount of research which indicates mystical experiences are directly related to unique patterns of neural activity.  Something is happening in the brains of some people and it's recordable.  Oh yea and in some cases that something produces changes in material reality and/or accesses unique information.

This brings up all kinds of other questions.  Some of them having to do with the kinds of information accessed and the kinds of manifested events.  For instance Padre Pio had very different experiences in the mystical realm than an Indigenous shaman even though both manifest similar abilities. It seems that we can only understand the mystical realms via the world view we have entrained in our brains.  Padre Pio had a stated and confirmed desire to become a 'perfect victim soul' and his experience confirmed this understanding, complete with physical demonic attacks.  An Indigenous shaman has a very different world view and would see these kind of attacks as a product of unexamined fears drawing this reality to the dreamer.  This is why the shamanic tradition has a training process that takes decades.  One of the main thrusts of the training is to clean up and protect the ego from disintegrating through the fear generated by mind bending alternate realities.  In a sense one point of the extensive training is to foster a kind of super sanity. 

Padre Pio, in the monastic tradition experienced a similar kind of notion, except in his case it was not evolving a form of super sanity, but super sanctity.  In the difference between those two words, sanity and sanctity, lies the potential for a great deal of tussle over the spiritual future of Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular.  More to come.

43 comments:

  1. The hierarchy, the Pope, etc is very important for the church to have. That's why us catholics do not have 25,000 demoniations like protestans. The catholic church is very vibrant in my community, no signs of slowing down. It's the liberalization of protestantism that is causing the breakups on their side.

    In any event, George Weigel takes care of Hans Kung here:

    http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2010/04/an-open-letter-to-hans-kung

    Jasper

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  2. I'm not a particular fan of George Weigel. I see Kung's observations as the most likely outcome for the Church's insistence on maintaining a celibate clerical caste. In this sense, they are not truly the reflections of a theology, just inevitable outcomes given current downward trends in the priesthood. This is not to say I haven't read much of Kung's theology as it pertains to these particular future scenarios.

    The multitude of Protestant denominations isn't due soley to progressive or liberal trends. Protestantism has a history which is rife with splintering over dogmatic issues of all kinds.

    The fact is both Catholicism and mainline Protestant denominations are losing far more people to individual spiritual seeking with no denominational affiliation than anything else. In other words all these losses are not proving to be anyone's gain. Neither Hans Kung nor George Weigel are dealing with this fact.

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  3. Come join the Orthodox! ;)

    Gabriel Bunge just did! 30 years as a hermit Benedictine monk. Who knows how many before he became a hermit? Now he's Orthodox! Lots of folks finding it a good home - when the RCC is becoming less and less able to provide pastoral care.

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  4. Regardless of any possible good intentions on Kung's part, he is simply dead wrong. One may have age, human wisdom, academic degrees....but yet be lacking the true knowledge of God.

    And to be Blind as to what Time it is.

    There is simply no Time left for the utopia he speaks of - even if that were a good thing. To be sure the 'institution will die soon'. But not to be replaced by another human construct.

    In plain English: God has had enough.

    The Church organization has failed miserably for nearly 1700 years to correctly teach the Gospel.By their personal example, and by words. Instead, they made a living off the Gospel.

    Corporate dissolution & reorganization will simply not be allowed by the Creator. He will directly intervene, as man has proven himself so utterly stupid & greedy.

    Humanity has NOT grown or evolved spiritually as a whole. Aside from technological improvements, we are no better then humans before the Flood. And very much akin to the citizens of Sodom & Gomorrah. For one simple reason: Man is hopeless mired in sin & deception. Rather then seek the truth of God, the vast majority of men are perfectly willing to be deceived.

    One need look no further then in the mirror to see this.

    All organized Christianity has utterly failed God, as it has been self serving. And Time is now up, as foretold.

    Those who will not See will be like those of the days of Noah. Who laughed & ridiculed what he prophecied. Who made fun of the ark he built at God's command. Who mocked God, and continued on in their own folly.

    ...until the rain began. Saw the ark shut up against them. And bewailed their doom, imploring the God whom they had mocked & been willingly Blind & Deaf to.

    With one exception: this time it will be with fire.

    Anon Y. Mouse

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  5. Any equation of Padre Pio with Mayan shamans is coming close to blasphemy.

    Pio's abilities were by the power of God, Who willed that he have & use them for God's purposes.

    Whatever the Mayan shaman had was of the Devil. As they neither knew nor served the true God. It's that simple.

    Yet any perceived similarity between Pio & those Shaman (and the powers/abilities) is only superficial at best. Satan, being an angelic being, has the powers which God gave to him & all angels. He still retains these. And as he said: "it is given to me...and is for me to give to whom I please".

    Thus any perceived 'powers' which one in the service of Satan has is that of the fallen angels. He imitates God in the use of these powers. Hence his power to deceive men.

    The great knowledge of God given to those like Padre Pio IS 'super sanity'. Because, by the Will of God, he is allowed to know certain things hidden from men. Knowledge shared by the angels of God.

    Demons (fallen angels) do not like it when a man is beloved of God & is given such knowledge by God. Because it is a soul which is harder for them to deceive, much less keep from salvation. And as he will use the powers to save other souls....snatching them from the Devil. So they will attack such a man much harder then others.

    This was experienced by Pio - who was even allowed to see them, which most cannot.

    One may make all the scientific/pseudo-science/psychological explanations one wishes. But they fail, as they cannot explain the power of God. At best, they merely hint at it.

    As we learn from Enoch, the Devil & his minions know this all too well. And intimitely know the complex mechanisms of humans. And of the universe. Enoch was allowed by God to learn of both - from the Angels AND the Fallen Angels.

    What elements of human 'science' are doing (and have done...) is to try to both analyze & manipulate this. The elements which have done this are linked to Opus Dei.

    Anon Y. Mouse

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  6. Colleen,
    Glad you are back. Thank you for your time and energy to inspire us.

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  7. Mouse I sure hope you aren't totally disappointed if it turns out that God is not going to destroy the world in order to punish the crap out of us backward and self centered humans.

    Shamans are used to being accused of cooperating with Satanic entities. After all the Spanish Inquisition operated out of Mexico City for centuries and they weren't targeting Franciscans. Eventually though it was shut down and the shamans left alone because it finally dawned on the Inquisitors that what ever shamanism was it wasn't necessarily Satanic and shamans did not react to standard exorcism techniques. French Jesuits had the same experience in North America.

    The types of abilities Pio exhibited are universal cross cultural human abilities. They are somewhat rare, one because they are genetically rare, secondly because they are enculturated out of children--especially in the west, and finally because it takes a life time of working with these talents to really bring them forth.

    I could also add a fourth reason for their extreme rarity in the West and that's the persecution of witches and the liquidation of many genetic lines--especially female genetic lines. One of the things which makes Pio very unique is he is one of the few male stigmatists and the only cleric. At least that I'm aware of, but then his mother had some talent as well and shock and awe, the village he grew up in held their local sorcerer in some esteem. So much so that Pio's parents took him to have his future read by this man at the ripe age of two weeks. The sorcerer got a pretty accurate reading unless of course, this is all just OD spin.

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  8. "The Church organization has failed miserably for nearly 1700 years to correctly teach the Gospel.By their personal example, and by words. Instead, they made a living off the Gospel."

    It was the Catholic church that preserved the gospel for the first 1500 years. Do you think the bible dropped out of the sky during the reformation?

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  9. Courtesy of Tyndale, the English version more or less did.

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  10. One either serves God or Satan; there is not third option. Nor halfway measure.

    The topic of shamans is far to complex for generalizations, due to culture variances. But in general, they do not serve God.

    In no way do I approve of the Church's "evangelization efforts" in the Western Hemisphere. They were rooted in force & conquest, not in Christ. Mezoamericans converted en masse....NOT due to the Inquistion or the misguided attempts of the clergy, who were sent by Rome to subdue the natives. TO enable the Vatican sanctions plunder & enslavement of the native population.

    The mass conversion of Mezoamericans came miraculously by the intervention of Mary at Guadeloupe. God used her to 'Checkmate' the Vatican. And bring literally millions of souls out of the darkness of the pre-extant Satanic 'religion', into Christ. Breaking the hold of the shamans. Even converting many of them!

    Assuming the true presence of a demon, if exorcism fails, it is due to lack of faith on the part of the exorcist. Any linking of exorcism with the Inquisition is wrong. As the motivation of those involved (and their lack of faith) will backfire.

    The abilities Pio had were genuine gifts of God; only given to certain chosen souls for God's purposes. Those who are not of God who employ similar, are not operating by the power of God. These are not 'natural, genetic abilities' for the simple reason that God does not give them to all.

    ..anymore then he universally distributes any more mundane ability.

    Witches should not be persecuted, nor should anyone. Yet you are implying that they are good.

    There have been at least 300 reputed stigmatics, of whom many have been male. St Francis of Assisi & St., John of God are two more famous male stigmatics...and clerics.

    "it takes a life time of working with these talents to really bring them forth."

    No - it takes God. If He wills that one have such abilities, it shall be so. But such things are a free gift; not something to be sought. Those who seek it, were have the diabolic inverse (though seemingly identical) from the Evil One.

    As to what is to come, millions will perish. It has already begun, in initial stages of symbolic fulfillment. One need only note what is happening in natural disasters, increasingly.

    Both good AND bad will perish alike. Some will survive. But all which serves Evil will be swept away...in groups & man-made things.
    The world will not end; this age will.

    God allowed WWII upon humanity as promised chastisement for sins. Yet few would believe or have imagined the horror & carnage before it happened. Some 60 million died, leaving Europe in literal ruins.

    That was the dress rehearsal. This will be far quicker & universally devastating.

    Since man has neither learned nor repented (principally via what was entrusted to certain leaders....), thus what is foretold will come to pass.

    Anon Y. Mouse

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  11. "It was the Catholic church that preserved the gospel for the first 1500 years. Do you think the bible dropped out of the sky during the reformation?"

    The person writing this needs a reality check.

    Scripture existed before what we know as the 'Catholic Church' did. It has only existed in its present organizational form since 325AD, via the Council of Nicea. This is historic fact. It is also a great spiritual time rift.

    Until Constantine, the early Church had, generally, been true to the Gospel teaching of Christ. Teaching it by personal example; living it. Post Nicea, the Church abandoned Christ....except in lip service to the Gospel.

    Due to Nicea, the infant Vatican edited & (intentionally...) mistranslated Scripture to suit its selfish ends. Whatever could contradict its hegemony was banished.

    The Vatican has nothing to do with the Gospel...except in profiting off it. That Christ's words come down to the present day is in spite of the Vatican, via the Holy Spirit.

    There are many, previously well known & accepted as valid, scriptural texts then are in the Canon of Scripture.

    Anon Y. Mouse

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  12. "Breaking the hold of the shamans. Even converting many of them!"

    This isn't quite true Mouse. Many shamans went underground and many more incorporated the Catholic pantheon in their host of Holy Ones because they recongnized the truth inherent in Catholic spirituality and the Communion of Saints and Angels. Our Lady of Guadalupe is revered and was instantly accepted because she appeared in Indigenous clothing with Indigenous symbology and she was pregnant. She was seen as affirming aspects of the Indigenous culture. This is a point which is glossed over in the Anglo church.

    To reduce all forms of shamanism to Satanic influence is way too simple Mouse. But then the problem maybe that in my mind shamanism is mostly a technical system describing an alternate world view, while in your mind it's mostly a pagan/satanic religious system. In other words we are worlds apart in our understanding and that may be due to vastly different experiences.

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  13. It would seem that you do not comprehend the term 'conversion' in its Christian context.

    It means to be changed. Not mere assent to an idea. Nor joining a group. To be 'born again', as Christ said.

    The insinuation that millions of Mexicans became Catholic because they found Mary's appearance as an Indian woman 'affirming' is beyond childish. That is an overt denial of the action of the Holy Spirit simultaneously in the souls of millions of people. Saving their souls. And short circuiting the selfish motives of churchmen.

    Some shaman did go underground; yet many converted. Nowhere is it asserted that ALL Mexican ppl converted.

    The essence of shamanism is pagan. At the same time it may also be true that not each one is intentionally serving Evil. Yet many are. As the shaman (called by different titles) was common to all ancient pagan religions/societies, there is a common thread. As all of these societies & the religion which was the glue which held them together, were in fact worshiping Satan.

    It is also true that in such societies not everyone wanted that or literally believed that. Due to the action of the Holy Spirit, some 'pagans' were just (as Christ indicated). But a minority.

    The truth of that is shown in that most ppl will follow the herd & are not inclined to good, much less altruism. Most will do as their fellows do, unthinkingly. Or to feather their nest.

    To the detriment of their souls.

    Anon Y.Mouse

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  14. Here is a better question for your soul:

    Please explain why it is that you find shamanistic activities 'affirming', yet you reject the Rosary & Eucharistic Adoration.

    The Rosary is a form of prayer directly given to us from Heaven. Yet your comments clearly indicate your disdain for it.

    Eucharistic Adoration is literally adoring God, present in the consecrated species. Yet you consider that 'outdated spirituality', or words to that effect.

    You also have both overtly & subliminally belittled Mary - her words, and devotions asking her intercession. Yet she is the Mother of God.

    All of these things are gleaned from your words.

    One cannot claim to be a Catholic & believe in Christ..and poo-poo Eucharistic Adoration.

    One cannot claim to be a Catholic & at the same time belittle the Rosary. Ditto for the legitimate Marian devotions.

    To believe in & observe these things has absolutely NOTHING to do with accepting the 'Vatican party line'. Nor anything to do with the Catholic right wing. It is about living the true core of the Catholic Faith.

    If you have a complaint with any of this, then I suggest that you visit Him: www.savior.org

    Let Him explain to you of spiritual truth.

    Anon Y. Mouse

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  15. Mouse,
    Your vision is problematical for me. You seem to believe that you know THE Truth, but others are just plane wrong. It seems to me that humans are often both right and wrong at the same time. If your illusions that you know The Truth are fixed, then it seems to me that you, indeed, can add little to growth and development because you simply think you need not grow. Good luck! Dennis

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  16. Colleen - thrilled to see you are posting again! I look forward to reading each post and some of the more thoughtful and learned responses. Not so thrilled to see others on here who are so very, very sure of themselves and the world around them. I see enough of that every day.

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  17. rdp46 -

    "Your vision is problematical for me."

    Which part would that be? Eucharistic Adoration? The Rosary? The identity & words of Mary?

    "You seem to believe that you know THE Truth"

    Take "me" out of the picture. There is only one Truth. Read Moses & the Prophets who define the Christ & all which He did in fulfillment of Truth.

    "If your illusions that you know The Truth are fixed"

    You are stating here that Truth is subjective or subject to change. Neither is true. God does not change. Also you imply (or rather make it very plain) that for one to know Truth is illusory.

    "because you simply think you need not grow..."

    Been down this so-called intellectual road before. "Growth" in this lexicon = malleability to to the opinions & influence of the group. Those who have firmly held ideas & ideals are defined as 'unwilling to grow'.

    In reality this translates as: 'you will not sit in the amen corner'. Or 'you actually believe in something is absolutes'.

    When persons here show support for what is just & true (e.g. legitimate civil right for gay persons), then I will agree. Because this is coherent with Christ & His Gospel.

    However when attempts are made to redefine the core of the Catholic Faith or to morph it into something other then what Christ intended, one must speak up.

    The true core of the Catholic Faith is a non-negotiable item.

    Anon Y. Mouse

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  18. I don't think I used the words outdated with regards to Eucharistic Adoration. I think it's redundant. As long as the sanctuary light is lit one can do Eucharistic Adoration.

    Please find a comment of mine where I disdain the rosary or it's use a spiritual aid.

    I do not have problems with Mary in quite the way you imply. I do have a problem with your demands that Catholics rely on Marian visionaries and their understandings of what they've seen and heard. No Catholic is compelled to credence private visions. I find them interesting but don't feel the need to equate them with the Gospels.

    Finally Mouse, I don't think humanity is headed for a God driven great chastisement. I think it's headed for some serious changes, and it will involve a willingness to convert but in the end it's not about punishing and rewarding. It's about choosing to move up the consiousness food chain and the way that's done is well outlined by Jesus in the New Testament as the Way, the Truth, and the Light.

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  19. My, my, my, Mouse, not only do you feel you are always right but you seem to believe that you are also always righteous. Let’s see, I have not been contributing all that much to this blog, but I have been reading it. During the past three months, you have called Aquinas, Schillebeeckx, and numerous contributors to this board “just plain wrong” because they had the audacity to have ideas that you do not see as true. In the last group of posts, you accused a contributor of questioning her faith in God because it seemed obvious to you that her beliefs were not yours.

    You want now to get into a fight over dogma with me by asking me just which of the dogma’s that you define as absolute do I not agree with. One of the groups that is both anti vatican and anti liberal is the Society of Pius XII. Your support for gay rights would make it seem that you are not part of that group. The cultish tactics of the Society of Pius XII and Opus Dei are divide and conquer. This is a tactic that you seem to be using in this blog and it has not worked. Colleen has been patient with your boorish attacks, but most of us see them as hateful and divide and conqueror attempts.

    From now on when you make such attacks, I will consider the source and give very little credence to your ideas. dennis

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  21. Mouse,

    Even I make mistakes, I meant the Society of Pius X.

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  22. @ Mouse

    One of the better aspects of Colleen's community here is the discussion without ad hominem attacks that plague so many other blogs, particularly in so called "Catholic" blogs.

    You have ruffled a few feathers here in the last few days. I don't mind reading your comments, in fact, I'd like to see more of your claims backed with sources so I can better judge for myself. But... even if, as I've stated before, I'm the least religious Catholic here, I'm still Catholic.

    I'd prefer we have the richness of dialog where all can contribute and have divergence of opinion without personal animosity. Is it possible?

    Thanks,

    p2p

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  23. Very sadly, it is typical of the extreme Left to refer to the core of the Catholic Faith (or those who defend it) as 'boorish'. Or to label such defense of the Faith as an 'ad hominem attack'.

    If one is denying elements of the core of the Catholic Faith....then one does not have Faith. That person needs to re-examine themselves & renew their acquaintance with God.

    Colleen - you are a very crafty wordsmith. Very cleverly backpedaling & equivocating in regard to what you have said. You have - implicity or explicity - make comments derisive of Eucharistic Adoration & the Rosary.

    "As long as the sanctuary light is lit one can do Eucharistic Adoration."

    The inner message & true meaning of this is: "Yawn....its there for those who want that". You do not believe in it.

    When Adoration & the Rosary were derided by others, you allowed it to happen without correcting them.

    As to the words Mary was sent by God to give to us in legitimate messages over the past 150 years, you make it plain that you hold them in contempt. Not only do you not believe her, you make it obvious that you consider those who believe in her words are fools.

    "No Catholic is compelled to credence private visions."

    By that illogic the Ten Commandments must be tossed out. As they were the result of literal private revelation to Moses.

    What God conveyed to Moses was to be heeded & obeyed by all. Similarly, what He imparted via Mary was directed primarily to the Vatican. Yet also was for the spiritual correction of all.

    "I don't think humanity is headed for a God driven great chastisement."

    Neither did most ppl prior to the mid 1930s. Yet it was Mary who very specifically foretold WWII as global chastisement - conditional upon human response. Since the ones directed to obey & lead in such response (the Vatican) ignored God in this, 60 million ppl died.

    Neither did most prior to the Flood of Noah.

    "...it's not about punishing and rewarding. "

    The Gospels make it very plain that God does indeed reward and punish.

    And there are indeed such things as absolute Truths.

    Anon Y.Mouse

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  24. rdp46 -

    The tactic you are using is very familiar.....

    You are transferring what is the Truth of the Catholic Faith - to me. Making it/them into 'my ideas', rather then Truth. It is also obvious that you assert no absolute truth. The two constructs are complimentary when slinging mud.

    Add to this receipe a collection of half truths & the obvious twisting of my words.

    Finally you throw into the mix, not a Kipper, but the dreaded Red Herring: associating me with the SSPX and/or Opus Dei. Even though it should be obvious to anyone with an IQ of more then two digits that I am not of either & hold both in contempt.

    Smartly done!

    You must have gone to a Jesuit school:p

    Anon Y. Mouse

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  25. My dearest mouse,

    As a finite being, I can not know absolute truth as only God can know that. There is certainly is revelation to us by HIM, but we are to Him as less than ants are to us. We certainly can have no absolute understanding of the mind of God or of exactly what He reveals as He understands it. I am not saying that there can be no absolute truth, but that is for an omniscient mind and certainly not for you or I.

    You probably are not a member of Opus Dei, but the Society of Pius X remains a possibility in my mind as your dogmatism is indicative of a rather cultish way of thinking and you attack the papacy as well as liberalism as well as anyone who has the audacity to disagree with what you believe is THE TRUTH. Some how you believe that you, not the pope,not eminent theologians are the source of what is to be believed. Your scholarship seems suspicious as most creditable scholars - scientists, theologians and philosophers know that the more they study and the more they know, then the more they have to learn. They know that to evolve as a mature scholar it takes a life time of understanding what is truth and as soon as they grasp for truth, it slips through their fingers like sand.

    As I recently said, when you attack others, myself included, I will consider the source of your ideas and it will be hard for me to give them much credence. I wish you better luck in your life. dennis

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  26. Mouse I have not made it a habit to do much correction of people's views of Catholic spirituality. I am well aware that my own personal path is not everyone's cup of tea. I am also aware that Catholic spirituality is a large field with a number of approaches. It's not up to me to tell someone their particular approach is wrong and that they should abandon their way of relating to the Trinity in preference for mine.

    As far as Marian appearances, there are 35 approved by the Vatican. This doesn't include Medjugorge or any number of others currently happening through out the world. There is so much fraud and hype associated with this entire field that I'm surprised you would find skepticism a problem. Fear sells big time, hope not so much anymore.

    The Good News was based in hope and the power of love. Jesus did not deal in fear. Fear has not been a component of my spiritual experiences. It is my very strong belief that fear kills spiritual experiences, opens the wrong doors, and is truly the work of dark side energy.

    I don't sell fear, I never have, and I never will.

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  27. Mouse says:

    "Humanity has NOT grown or evolved spiritually as a whole. Aside from technological improvements, we are no better then humans before the Flood. And very much akin to the citizens of Sodom & Gomorrah. For one simple reason: Man is hopeless mired in sin & deception. Rather then seek the truth of God, the vast majority of men are perfectly willing to be deceived.

    One need look no further then in the mirror to see this.

    All organized Christianity has utterly failed God, as it has been self serving. And Time is now up, as foretold.

    Those who will not See will be like those of the days of Noah. Who laughed & ridiculed what he prophecied. Who made fun of the ark he built at God's command. Who mocked God, and continued on in their own folly.

    ...until the rain began. Saw the ark shut up against them. And bewailed their doom, imploring the God whom they had mocked & been willingly Blind & Deaf to.

    With one exception: this time it will be with fire. "

    What you say here is no different from any right wing evangelical such as John Hagee.

    I grew up listening to the same sort of stuff as you've written above, that the end was near, that there was going to be the end of the world as we know it. All that does is instill fear. It does not preach the Gospels. It only preaches fear. It does not instill love for God or love for one's neighbor.

    I don't know how old or young you are Mouse. I can tell you that I've lived through some tumultuous times and that we've been on the brink of nuclear exchanges for over fifty years, at least. We have survived, in my opinion, only because people of faith have been praying and apparently God has much more patience than mere humans.

    I am also of the opinion that all of us fall short of the glory of God.

    Your outburst of personal attacks and unmerciful accusations towards me and others here is indicative of a spirit of arrogance and pride. You need to seriously consider how you do not promote the Gospels or the love of God by your personal attacks against persons of Faith.

    While you seem to be on the ball in some areas of discussion, what is most missing from you personally is any sense at all that you have any love.

    You know all kinds of knowledge or facts and they are in your head all right, but you have no heart to speak of or to be really proud of. There is no spiritual food from you. There is only talk, talk, and more talk about what your core beliefs are and you have no apparent connection to human beings or even a small percentage of the love that Jesus had for human beings.

    You talk the good talk but you are not walking it.

    BTW, I'm not perfectly willing to be deceived and I'm not deceived by you.

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  28. "I am also aware that Catholic spirituality is a large field with a number of approaches."

    As a catholic, I am unaware of all these approaches. Could you explain what you mean? Thanks.

    Jasper

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  29. Jasper, when one considers Padre Pio, John XXXIII, Francis of Assisi, Thomas Merton, etc and etc, one sees many approaches to Catholic spirituality. Also when one considers, Martin Luther King, the current Dali Lama, Martin Burber, and etc, etc, one sees many non catholic approaches to spirituality. It is apparent to me that spirituality does not belong to only catholicism. dennis

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  30. Then-Cardinal Ratzinger was asked, "How many ways are there to God?"

    He replied:

    "As many as there are people. For even within the same faith each man's way is an entirely personal one. We have Christ's word: I am the way. In that respect, there is ultimately one way, and everyone who is on the way to God is therefore in some sense also on the way of Jesus Christ. But this does not mean that all ways are identical in terms of consciousness and will, but, on the contrary, the one way is so big that it becomes a personal way for each man." (Salt of the Earth: The Church at the End of the Millenium, 29)

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  31. Jasper, I personally started with two very different monastic sources--Thomas Merton and Padre Pio, and then I picked up Teilhard De Chardin and St Ignatius. That was quite a few years ago. OK decades ago.

    Today I might start with Richard Rhor, and like Dennis advises other spiritual sources such as the Dalai Lama, Paul Tillich, Ghandi, Mother Theresa and Black Elk of Black Elk Speaks.

    For more Catholic sources one needs to check out Theresa of Avila and John of the Cross and of course, St. Francis.

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  32. Oh my Prickliest it's so strange to find myself in complete agreement with Pope Benedict. Thanks for the quote.

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  33. God has indeed revealed absolute Truth to Man. The problem is that most are unwilling to comprehend it.

    Note the use of the word 'unwilling', not 'unable'. If illiterate or semi-literate peasants can have the things of God directly communicated to them, then Truth is comprehensible to all. But it must be unlocked by God.

    Scripture is not literature. The Key to unlocking it is Faith, which is a gift from God. One should ask for it (and greater levels of it) in prayer. Only thus with Faith does prayer accomplish its purpose. And only through Prayer & Faith can Scripture be unlocked, through the action of the Holy Spirit.

    Scripture is not comprehended & correctly imbibed via pure academia.

    In the Gospels, Christ speaks of the End of these Times. In perfect coherence with the Prophets & with Revelations, which was yet to be penned. He does indeed speak of chastisement. These things are integral to the Gospels, expounded upon in the Epistles.

    As to these 'warnings' they are given out of love, that those who would heed should be saved.

    Anon Y. Mouse

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  34. Mr. Ratzinger's words are easy to dissect.

    First, he does not believe in God....he merely pretends to. He is very learned in theology & philosophy, but that alone does not equal faith.

    Secondly, this is a man who has publicly rebuked God, thus blaspheming. Any further consideration of such a 'man' as Christian much less of the Catholic Faith, becomes moot.

    What little Josef has done is a very demoniacally clever trick. Watch carefully:

    Each of us was created as unique persons as an act of love by God. No two of us is the same. We are on earth to work out our salvation. Thus, logically, the road for each individual will be different....what is best for that soul, by the Will of God. In & through Christ is the ONLY way to Heaven. A soul destined from all eternity for Heaven will get there by the action of the Holy Spirit.

    By contrast, what Ratz says is completely different:

    "We have Christ's word: I am the way. In that respect, there is ultimately one way..'

    He has very subtly denied that Christ is the only way to salvation. Brilliant....in a devilish way!

    "...and everyone who is on the way to God is therefore in some sense also on the way of Jesus Christ."

    Ratzy has here denied the Divinity of Christ & oneness with the Father. The 'way' of Christ is here reduced to an option, of which he has (at best) nominal tolerance for. This stands in direct contradiction to:

    "No man cometh to the Father, except by Me".

    The Prophets & the Just dead who lived before Christ were not in heaven, but in the 'abode of the dead'. After His death, Christ 'descended into hell' that these souls would see & know Him. Thus entering Heaven through He who is the only Way. Thus, there will be a Way, through Christ, for the just who do not know Him.

    But as to Herr Ratz, what else would we expect from a devoted Collaborator with the Obra?

    Anon Y. Mouse

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  35. "He has very subtly denied that Christ is the only way to salvation."

    No, he didn't. He just isn't so arrogant about who goes to heaven as you mouse.

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  36. Mouse, you certainly enjoy pushing buttons here, don't you? Your youthful arrogance is obvious and does not serve you well. I hope that you can eventually experience life beyond the length of your whiskers. There is a big world out there that you are missing because of your narrow experience and reading. You need to taste life more, experience other people and their religious ideas through a heart experience not just through your immature intellect.

    Your approach to us on this blog is very self-righteous and I imagine very self-gratifying. I wonder why you even bother to engage us errant ones. Perhaps we should start addressing you as Pope Mouse the First. You pontificate in ways that even the Pope would envy.

    When I was in high school my friend D. and I would scoff at Protestants saying, "what do they know, we have the Pope after all?" Our dismissal of others was very reassuring and comforting. We had the answers. We were right with God and they were not.

    Continued Below...

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  37. To Mouse.....Continued from Above...
    Your ideas are so rigid and so obviously not your own that it has been difficult for me to take you seriously at times and I have found myself laughing at some of the things you say. But you have attacked all of humanity, other Catholics/Christians here and have demonized non-Christians, turning the spiritual leaders they have chosen to follow - the shamans - into agents of the Christian devil. Child, you have no intelligent understanding of the spiritual life of indigenous people. You denigrate them by mouthing the words of others; your opinions are unexamined and plainly chauvinist. These are silly, childish opinions which perhaps are seen as just childish foibles by others on this blog but these disgusting ideas have brought great suffering to many people over the life of our Church.

    I know this blog is open to all but people are engaging you to no value in my opinion. And yes I am very condescending and unashamedly so in your situation.

    Get a life young man, stop this silly blogging and go out into the world with more of an open heart than you have shown us here.

    Michael Ferri

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  38. I agree with Michael Ferri, Mouse.

    In a perfectly harmless writing of mine you decided it was time to attack me. BTW, not Christian of you, let alone truly Catholic, like as in being an example yourself of Christ.

    And for some stupid idiotic reason you seem to think we are the extreme left. You have no idea what you are saying. The extreme left does not even know this blog is here, in my opinion.

    You need to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling and let go of any pompous & arrogant notion that you can save anybody else. You better start really concerning yourself with your own spiritual health before getting in line in any sect's parade that marches in lock step in doom and gloom against humanity and everything that is against the teachings of Jesus Christ for us to "love one another."

    If you have not figured out how to even try to love others then you can not say that you know or understand Jesus, let alone even truly love God. If you don't clean up your own act to enabling yourself even to obey the first commandment, in the end, you will fall and you will fall hard and fast into judgment and Moses will judge you.

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  39. Michael and butterfly,

    Mouse has revealed himself to be but a common troll, and his involvement here is obviously meant to do nothing other than push other people's buttons. If no one responds to him, he might go away.

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  40. Agreed Prickliest. I really hate the thought of monitoring comments because well, I was never a good hall monitor, and such a step would kill the conversation more than it's currently getting killed.

    We've all got the point. Mouse has suddenly become a pre Nicean jihadist and the rest of us are going to hell in a hand basket. It's time out for Miller Time.

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  41. "Your ideas are so rigid.."

    Typical. Anyone who actually firmly believes in something in conflict with 'the group' is thus deemed: rigid. A classic example of psychological manipulation. Classic trigger to induce conformity, or to isolate those who will not conform.

    Thank you for proving my point: that the extremes of the Right AND Left do not serve God. And will use similar tactics for the same goals.

    "..a pre Nicean jihadist"

    The inference here is that what Christians believed prior to the Council of Nicea was somehow wrong. On the contrary: what was believed by the overwheming majority of Christians then was coherent with Christ & His teachings. Both in the specifics of 'dogma' & in living the Faith.

    Your issue here is that I will not conform to you....and whatever it is that you believe in. That succinctly defines the matter.

    "...Moses will judge you"

    Moses is not God. Christ is; and it is He alone who will judge us all.

    To Michael Ferri (or whoever is using that nom de plume....)

    You will think what you may. But my age, gender, occupation, life experience, academia are both irrelevant & none of your business.

    As to non-Xtians - those who plainly state that they are so have my respect. Disagreement, but respect: due to their honesty in stating their belief. For those who pretend to be Catholic (yet are not) I have little patience. Especially for those who lead others the wrong way. Because, regardless of intention, they are of lie. They are serving Satan. Even if unwittingly.

    One does not claim to believe in Christ & at the same time condone intentional murder (i.e. Abortion).
    A charitable solution for women in crisis pregnancy has been stated, over & over. But all & sundry have chosen to ignore it, preferring to (subtly) support Abortion.

    None of this has anything to do with official Vatican policy, Opus Dei or any other 'group'. But rather of Christ & His Gospel.

    A Gospel which VERY plainly states that sin is very real, we all need to repent & to pray for true Faith. Without which there is no salvation. Christ very explicitly defined salvation & damnation. That there are consequences. Especially for those who claim to know Him....but do not.

    Shamanism is not of Christ. While not every shaman is knowingly serving the Devil, the great potential for evil is there. Those who are foolish enough to follow this do so at their own risk. Native ppls are not intrinsically evil. Yet they can be deceived by Satan just as anyone can. What the Church did in 'converting' such ppl was wrong in general. But that does not change the reality of intelligent evil, not of the existence of Satan.

    You clearly state that you think the things of God to be 'childish'. There is still a little Time left; I would suggest you use it wisely.

    Anon Y. Mouse

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  42. "The extreme left does not even know this blog is here, in my opinion.."

    That statement is both untrue & frankly hysterical. Like what you said about Paypal....

    "In a perfectly harmless writing of mine you decided it was time to attack me."

    No, that is simply not true. What you stated made it appear that you espoused some neo-paganism/new age of other occult related concepts. I asked for clarification. You could have simply answered the question, thus defining precisely what you meant & believe in. Thus clearing up any possible confusion. And as I very clearly indicated, if I was wrong in my perception, an apology would then have been proferred.

    Instead, you responded in a rather hysterical defensiveness. Methinks thou doth protest too much.....

    In this defensive mode, you have now blame-shifted all manner of evil to myself. That is reality.

    Anon Y.Mouse

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  43. Colleen,

    I understand your hesitancy in monitoring the comments. I don't think deleting them is the answer, either.

    That's why I would encourage others, those who are here to participate in a friendly conversation, to ignore the trolls instead of giving them the attention they crave. When they don't get the reactions they're looking for, they will go elsewhere. It just takes a bit of cooperation on the part of everyone else.

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