Only posts tagged with: Co-dependency | Display all
Apr. 27 at 12:41pm
Devra recently linked at facebook an interesting and helpful Patheos article by Fr. Dwight Longenecker on the problem of cults and cultlike behavior among the religious. I was glad to see it: for one, because the difference between healthy relations and dysfunctional ones is a key interest of mine personally (I've addressed it before, including here), and for two, because I think we have an epidemic on our hands, and too few of us are adequately aware of it. There's a reason for our unawareness.
...cult like behavior is often very similar to authentic and Spirit filled Christian communities. A cult will often look like a good, authentic and dynamic Christian community. In fact, the cult …
Even Plato built into his allegory the concept of the Cross, I think. Those who have left the cave would like to stay out there in rapt contemplation of the good, but they have to return into the cave to tell the others about the existence of this other world. In return they are ridiculed, beaten and crucified. Hence the good is never only for oneself; it has to be communicated, even at the risk of one’s life. Worldliness denies the necessity of such heroism. And I think we are all tempted to construct a kind of Christianity which feels more comfortable than the one Christ instituted. The denial of some of the key demands of Christianity today is an expression of this attitude, I believe.
Dec. 4 at 10:59am | See in context
These are interesting points, Sam! The Transfiguration is indeed a taste of Heaven (and gets us out of the cave briefly) and I, like you, can empathize with St. Peter that it would be nice to build some tents and remain there. I guess it shows how we’re all for the spiritual life, as long as it doesn’t involve the Cross. The temptation to run away from the Cross remains present even for the spiritually minded.
Worldliness is another way of doing it; one seeks Heaven or something like it, that ultimate satisfaction or happiness in the here and now, and fools oneself thinking that it can be found in this world. Happily these things fall to dust and ashes, and this acts as our wake-up calls.
Dec. 4 at 10:58am | See in context
A friend once told me that the allegory of the cave was fittingly answered in Christ's Transfiguration.
But even there, Peter's response is somewhat worldly: "let us make three tents..." Was he being selfish or crafty, like when he told the Lord that he shouldn't go to Jerusalem to be crucified? Was he avoiding suffering?
It seems to me that he just wasn't seeing the reality that Jesus was clearly communicating about himself, even after God the Father broke in and said, '...listen to Him".
Nor do I see the reality clearly in the world. My wife and I are going through De Montfort's "Consecration", and are faced with this first set of meditations "overcoming the world". It's difficult to believe Christ, "take courage, I have overcome the world" and still undergo a kind of defeat before victory.
I resonate with Peter's craftiness, avoidance of suffering, desire to stay on the mountaintop and refuse descent!
"It is all too tempting to see oneself on a crest moving forward, while looking down on those poor fools in the past who were not yet the lucky inheritors of the post-modern age"
Dec. 4 at 9:39am | See in context
"Weaknesses force us to leave behind the logic of power..."
That's what it's all about: abandoning the logic of power, and absorbing the logic of love.
It's a hard lesson to learn. We so hate to admit impotence. We're so attached to power. We're so used to admiring it, and to despising weakness—in others and in ourselves.
Nov. 30 at 2:38pm | See in context
Yes, I'd seen both John Allen's comment and Pope Benedict's. I agree with both of them.
Nov. 21 at 11:19am | See in context
Perhaps the classic expression of this idea belongs to none other than the outgoing pope, Benedict XVI, who as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was asked on Bavarian television in 1997 if the Holy Spirit is responsible for who gets elected. This was his response:
I would not say so, in the sense that the Holy Spirit picks out the Pope. … I would say that the Spirit does not exactly take control of the affair, but rather like a good educator, as it were, leaves us much space, much freedom, without entirely abandoning us. Thus the Spirit’s role should be understood in a much more elastic sense, not that he dictates the candidate for whom one must vote. Probably the only assurance he offers is that the thing cannot be totally ruined.
Then the clincher:
There are too many contrary instances of popes the Holy Spirit obviously would not have picked!"
Nov. 21 at 9:55am | See in context
I am not sure why you would guess that one way or the other.
In any case, I came across an article from John Allen that touches upon the role of the Spirit in selecting a Pope. Perhaps it is worth considering. He says:
"…the traditional Catholic conviction [is] that a conclave unfolds under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. In 2005, this idea was summed up by Cardinal Ennio Antonelli of Florence, who said God already knew who the new pope was, so it was simply up to the cardinals to figure out what God had already decided.
Some pious souls take that to mean that it’s inappropriate, even borderline heretical, to suggest that politics are involved. Yet Catholic theology also holds that “grace builds on nature,” meaning that the spiritual dimension of a papal election doesn’t make it any less political.
Anyway, one shouldn’t exaggerate the role of divine inspiration. As one cardinal put it to me after the election of Benedict XVI, “I was never whapped on the head by the Holy Spirit. I had to make the best choice I could based on the information available.”
Nov. 21 at 9:54am | See in context
The Yves Congar reference to this article is clutch. he got me thinking about this...
An interesting study would be the interrelationship between virtue (both cardinal and theological) and persons. I have heard it said that the "virtues are the muscles by which we love others"
As relates to John XXIII, his calling for VCII challenged the laity to 'flex' their muscles in the Church!
Nov. 19 at 4:41pm | See in context
Patrick, it's very likely that you and I have different critics in mind. The ones I have in mind were ingnorant and ill mannered.
I have no complaint against those who respectly raise questions over wording, or who ask for clarification from the Vatican--especially if they have a particular competence regarding the point in question. (So, for instance, a Catholic economist might raise questions about the Holy Father's way of talking about banking or capitalism, out of concern that his words might be misunderstood to indicate an endorsement of government welfare.)
My complaint is mainly against those who presume to tell the Pope what he should and shouldn't do in prudential matters. I have found otherwise faithful Catholics openly sneering at the Pope, or scorning him as a "typical liberal" or a "Bernadine Catholic" or "a blatant modernist" or "liberationation theologian." I have read others saying he should stop giving interviews; he should wear the red shoes; he should move into the papal apartments, etc.
Even so, though, I'm guessing that some criticism that you would deem "respectful", I would deem disrespectful, no matter how mildly it was worded, or how sincerely it was intended.
Nov. 19 at 11:30am | See in context
The questions regarding the Popes and schools of philosophy were raised rhetorically because I am trying to understand the charism that belongs to the divine office of the Papacy beyond that of what the Church—as far as I’m aware—has already articulated.
Nov. 19 at 10:30am | See in context
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