Friday, March 7, 2014

A Metaphor Worth A Thousand Words

It is said that metaphors are really important in forming religious minds and hearts.  The above photo is a metaphor for innocence betrayed.  At first it's kind of funny, until you really look at the cat's face and eyes and then it isn't so funny.  It's about experiencing something that is so instinctively terrifying at the hands of someone you trust in a place you can't escape.  A certain pope I can think of might want to meditate on this photo.  He might get why so many abuse victims feel betrayed....again by the Church.


  1. sylvesterpatsteffenMarch 8, 2014 at 3:12 AM

    If I may: metaphors are complexes of words/ ideas. I thought a comment about the "Anatomy of WORD" would be fitting here.
    Everything happens by Way of WORD; except for WORD, nothing happens; with the Power of WORD, the expansion of the Universe is compelled. WORD is the means of all communication. Every individual WORD is a universe; the multiplicity of WORDs composes Multi-verses. Electrons are captured around the WORD nucleus and are accessed in new compositional resonances with new meanings. The visual intake of a WORD stirs the intuitional wells of consciousness by way of sight stimulus; the sound intake of a heard WORD stirs other intuitions in the well of deep consciousness by way of hearing. Complexes of read WORD and heard WORD arrange complexes of ideas that perpetually expand into consciousness.

    WORD is embodied memory, the “sacred remembrance” of and the bonded connection of all things old and all things new. Within us, WORDs sing and resonate with new intuitional insights. The Resonant WORD uplifts us, enables us and empowers us, personally, individually and collectively.

    A WORD, any WORD is the nucleus center of expanding potentials of understanding. WORD is an atom. Sentences are molecular compositions of
    WORDs. WORD is first stimulus, “First Nature” of all that is; composites of sentences contain Hosts of Ideas that express and enlighten meanings at many levels by which intuitions are fed, emotions stirred and conscience compelled.

    The Sacred “Trimorphic Resonances” of WORD/ LIGHT/ LOVE authenticate all things human and Divine. WORD/ LIGHT/ LOVE together compose authentic, Sacred Remembrance, Sacred Commitment (Covenant, Sacrament). WORDs access and grow consciousness (evolution of insight) through our faculties of sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. The sound of a WORD evokes renewal (stirs the deep waters of intuitional consciousness) by way of sound reception in the ears; the reading of a WORD evokes in-sightful neural search by the messaging of our eyes; and mindful responses to intuitional stirrings enlighten consciousness and motivate conscience.

    Every WORD is a universe center, the gravity control (Godlike) of “angelic” messengers swarming in skies at different depths of control and freedom, accessed for new and expanding compositions and arrangements. Mother Nature's womb of authentic pregnancy houses all life forms, births new life and new consciousness in amniotic wells, ever conceiving, ever re- embering, ever renewing the GOD-WORD Scripture News of Evangelical Messaging. In DNA is written the compositions and texts of all organic life. Life is one Grand Symphony of orchestrated WORD. We are the privileged self-consciousness of organic life. (See John: 1, 1-5)

  2. Thank you Sylvester for your thoughtful insight.

    So to obfuscate the reality of a crisis is a death or a loss of birth or a deadening in of itself. In the beginning was the word. Where were the words of healing for the poor clerical raped kids? For in the beginnings of this recognized crisis there were no words. No words of consoling, no words of responsibility by the leadership. There was only denial and protection of the superhuman priests. This is what made this crisis so terrible. In 2002, the US Bishops decided that Bishops were not to be investigated for there enabling of this horrible sinful crime. In the beginning thee were no words, no action, no consoling of the injured, soul murdered kids only words of denial and hate. Only words of blame of messengers. We are now in 2014. Where are the words.?? Where are the resignations and firings of leaders who obfuscated truth to protect their own clerical class of superior human beings??? Who perpetuated this scandal? Where is the leadership? Who is Francis?

  3. Biblical scholarship shows that the letters of Paul were not written before 90 CE. Acts itself in the opinions of modern scholars was not written by Paul but others and not written until 100 CE. It is well known that mass was celebrated in the homes of unordained Christians and Jews for several generations before Paul...

  4. "The Greek words, episkopoi (overseer), and presbyteroi (elder) are synonymous with the English bishop and priest."

    Smartuckus it's this exactly that I was think about. In Native traditions and some others, an 'elder' is not synonymous with a ritual leader. In fact, in some cases an elder, as far as teaching or passing on the traditional culture and spiritual understanding, is more important than a ritual leader. It is not uncommon for a recognized elder to also be a ritual leader, but it's not necessary. Elders in this sense, are actually closer to overseers than priests...or maybe rabbis in the Jewish sense.

    I see that Apostles as true Elders, not priests as we know them, and I see very of our priests as true elders. Pope Francis is one of our 'elders' as was Benedict in this sense in his papal incarnation. As Prefect of the CDF I would not have classified him as a elder. I suppose I'm not making much sense throwing Pope Benedict in the mix. LOL

  5. Sorry most modern Biblical scholars do not seem to agree with you or what you wrote to Colleen...

  6. That just simply isn't true.

  7. Your last paragraph is worth the price of admission. Great comment and one to be read and reread for it's depth. I especially liked this sentence from further up in the comment:

    "WORD is first stimulus, “First Nature” of all that is; composites of
    sentences contain Hosts of Ideas that express and enlighten meanings at
    many levels by which intuitions are fed, emotions stirred and
    conscience compelled."

    It was precisely this I was trying to get to with the above photo and caption. Of course, it doesn't work at all without the WORDS in the caption.

  8. Unfortunately, the wrong word was chosen as the nexus point for the abuse crisis response. The word chosen was 'priest'. The word that should have been chosen was 'child'.

  9. Biblical scholarship does not suggest what you have written
    at all.

    First of all, no one can say for certain exactly when anything
    was written as none if the original New Testament writings exists

    However, there are other factors that help us determine date
    ranges. For example, when he wrote his First letter to the Corinthians, of which
    Paul is undisputedly considered the author, we know he was in Ephesus, as he was
    establishing a church there, on his third missionary journey; we know
    this occurred between 53 and 57 AD.

    Most biblical scholars agree on
    roughly these dates for the New Testament writings:

    James - 50
    First Thessalonians - 52-53.
    Second Thessalonians -
    Galatians - 55.
    First Corinthians - 53-57.
    Second Corinthians -
    Romans - 57-58.
    Philippians - 62-63.
    Colossians -
    Philemon - 62-63.
    Ephesians - 62-63.
    Luke - 63.
    Acts -
    First Timothy - 65.
    Titus - 65.
    Second Timothy - 66.
    Mark -
    Matthew - 67.
    Hebrews - 67.
    First Peter - 67-68.
    Second Peter -
    Jude - 68.
    Apocalypse - 68 AD (some think) or 95 AD (most modern)

    That's a far cry from what you have asserted.

    Most biblical
    scholars believe Luke wrote the Acts of the Apostles, not Paul.

    In the
    earliest Christian times, Mass was certainly said in private homes, but the
    sacrifice was not offered by anyone unordained. Again, it is clear from the
    biblical texts and early Christian writings (Clement 1, Hermas, Didache etc.)
    that the priests and bishops were ordained, and that their primary function was
    to offer sacrifice, to teach, and to baptize.
    Most of the early Christians
    were Jewish; the concept of a sacrifice for sins by a priest as a necessary part
    of worship was fully understood and practiced. A deviation from this would have
    been quite foreign.
    The Levitical priesthood was established by God to
    prefigure the Catholic priesthood precisely to prepare the Jews for

  10. Colleen, we're not speaking about Native populations. We're dealing with a civilization with a culture and set of traditions all their own, prepared by God over time for the coming of their Messiah. As I explained, the words priest, presbyter and sacerdos are interchangeable and synonymous. Furthermore, that's exactly how the earliest Christians understood it as the historical record clearly indicates.
    I wouldn't classify any of the popes of the last 50 years as Elders or good stewards. To me, they've all been failures and have behaved like anti-popes.

  11. The Jews themselves were an indigenous population in their time and they did have a separate ritual priesthood, biblical scholars, rabbis, and revered prophets and elders. They did not have all religious/spiritual roles wrapped up in one path, as for the most part does contemporary Catholicism with the ordained priesthood.

    I actually agree with your take on the Popes of the last fifty years, but Benedict comes pretty close. Unfortunately he was a hopeless administrator, not that elders are generally expected to be administrators, and way too in love with his own theology. He also didn't operate with much of a group which is one major difference between Francis and Benedict. Francis really seems to be using his group of 8 Cardinals as a group of elders for which I do give him some credit. This isn't quite the group of elders I would have chosen, as it's not at all representative, but it's a start.

    Your dates are quite different from the ones I was familiar with--they are more in line with the dates I had in mind as belonging to the "Q" least for the synoptic Gospels. On the other hand, I guess some recent biblical scholars consider Mark might just be the Q source.

    I still disagree that the historical record clearly indicates that the earliest Christians understood things the way we do, but that's what com boxes are for.

  12. actually, the rabbinical priesthood did not come onto the scene until after the destruction of Temple of Jerusalem in 70 AD.

    I can't quite agree with the notion that the Jewish Elders weren't primarily priests. It wasn't until the Hellenistic period that certain priestly vocations started falling into the hands of non-priests, and those that did were never sacrificial in nature. For example, most of the Pharisees were priests. But the Pharisees weren't a type of vocation; the Pharisees were separatists who by the time of Christ had evolved into more of a political group; who accepted both Scriptural and oral traditions and used their primarily priestly status as a means to dominate the political arena and secure power. The Scribes, traditionally priests who were responsible for transcribing religious texts, had evolved into the legal arm of the Pharisaical doctrinal/political movement. They were still mostly priests, but functioned primarily as lawyers by the time of Christ. Thus the Scribes were slowly becoming a secular group, rather than a priestly group.

    The Sadducees represented the political/doctrinal adversaries of the Scribes and Pharisees. Still mainly priests, their traditional responsibilities included tending the Temple. They rejected the oral traditions and accepted only scripture as their doctrinal authority. They also rejected the doctrines of life after death and the resurrection of the body of which the Pharisees did believe. There were other priests who did not belong to either political group; many still belonged to the Essenes.

    The rabbinical priesthood evolved from the Pharisees. Of course, the Pharisees did not practice what they preached. Doctrinally, Christ aligned Himself with the Pharisees, admonishing the Jews of His time to do as the Pharisees commanded, but not what they did - they were hypocrites, and Christ obviously wanted nothing to do with their politics.

    A direct comparison between the modern catholic /modern catholic priesthood, and the Pharisees of Christ's time is so obvious it drips sarcastically from the pages of history.

    If anything, the early Christian priesthood was a restoration of the sacerdotal priesthood, having nothing to do with the politics of the Jews or Romans. I'm sure that was by the design of the Apostles and Early Fathers.

  13. I love Micheal Voris. May God love you all.

  14. I will say one thing. That there is a much loved priest who is a frequent guest in my house. My small son adores him and they play maniac games of table football. And I sit and watch them. Not because I don't trust him - I do. He's a kind, gentle, honest man with some rather politically incorrect views on the Church (he'd agree with a lot of what you write here, Colleen). But because he's now uneasy with being left alone with children, in case an accusation is made later. He's happier if someone is in the room so that nobody can say later that something happened. And I consider that heartbreaking. I have nothing but compassion for the victims of clerical abuse, and nothing but outrage about the system that permitted the horrors to happen. But there are collateral victims as well, and people like this beloved priest is one of them. God help us all.

  15. You are all so misguided. I pray for God to touch your hearts and bring you back into the fold.

  16. We face the same kinds of issues in mental health and I am always aware of the fact I can be accused of inappropriate contact so we are never alone in a closed room with a client, especially in the residential settings. I've often thought priests should be given at least a little training in the concepts of transference, counter transference, projection and reaction formation. They might get a whole lot better at preventing situations and relationships that cross boundaries.