Click below to read Jo O’Sullivan’s latest blog:“Why do I bother ?”
Why do I Bother A response to Jo O’Sullivan’s Article
This article has opened up a train of reflections that have been with me for a long time.
Jo outlines the challenge of Church Reform and Renewal from the perspective of three categories of people.
(1) There are those who consider that to invest energy in labouring towards Reform and Renewal of a Church embedded in a 2,000-year tradition is to labour in vain. They have given up on the institutional version of Church and seek a meaningful way of life elsewhere. For them, to struggle for reform and renewal would be to confront insurmountable forces.
(2) There are those who elect to remain with the status quo, considering the groups struggling for Reform and Renewal as ‘a bunch of cranks trying to destroy the Church.”
(3) Then there are those who ‘aren’t in the least bit interested, seeing Church as ‘a great big con-game, a scam of massive proportions – the result of poor fools needing to have a simple answer to “Where did we come from?”’
I would like to share some of the questions that have been with me for some time, arising from Jo’s reflections on her interaction with Group (1). My questions are concerned with religion/spirituality, and beliefs/faith. In her final evaluation, Jo speaks of
‘the religious code that has formed me’
‘the core beliefs in that religious code’
‘the structures which allow me to access a faith community’
‘our spiritual journey’
Questions on Religion, Spirituality, Beliefs and Faith.
Did Jesus preach a religion, or did he preach and exemplify a way of life, centred on listening in awareness and responding in love and respect to God, and listening in awareness and responding in love and respect to one another?
Was his mission to convert people to a religion, forming religious people, or was it devoted to living and preaching a way life centred on and leading to the reign of God on earth as detailed in ‘the Beatitudes? (Where are the holy Joes?)
Did he promote listening to the preaching and following the example of religious leaders without discerning the voice of God through them?
Jo outlines her basic beliefs with examples from life in a faith community. What comes across is an experience of a community with a strong spirituality, listening in awareness and responding in love and respect to God, and listening in awareness and responding in love and respect to one another, founded on faith in God and in the One who throughout his life on earth exemplified the living out of this faith and, one could add, is still with us.
The above is just the front carriage of the train. Teresa Mee
I think that is a false trilemma.
People don’t pigeon hole into three neat categories. Some also believe that the Church’s teachings are absolutely correct, but there is a proliferation incompetent management and corruption in the Church, particularly at Bishop and Cardinal level.
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