tisdag 21 juli 2009

Sanningen är större

Fick ett citat som åter fick avbryta bloggsommarlovet... För det beskriver situationen i kyrkorna, särskilt den katolska, perfekt.

"The truth is much too large and inscrutable to be contained inside neat, tidy categorical concepts and ideas. Doctrine and theology are indispensable, but they are not enough. The Christian faith did not initially come to us as systematic theology. It came as story. The story faded and monumental doctrinal theses developed. In losing the story we have lost both the power and the glory. We have committed the unpardonable sin of transforming an exciting story into a dull system. We must recover the story if we are to recover a faith for our day. We must tell and retell the old story and in the telling of it discover and discern our own story."

Ur: "The Story of Carmel" by Tessa Bielecki and William McNamara.

22 kommentarer:

Heidi 21 juli 2009 14:12  

I suppose that may be true - if you in fact find the doctrine dull.

Personally I don't. I find the Catholic doctrine very powerful and vital. And what is totally left out in this post is that doctrine changes too. It changes over time, through careful consideration by (with few exceptions) outstanding theologists. Imo that (together with our Faith in Our Lord Jesus Chrust) is what makes the Catholic Church such a vital and beautiful place to be!

Charlotte Therese 21 juli 2009 14:33  

I just found out that those who wrote this have founded quite marvellous communities:


Judge things by the fruits...

Charlotte Therese 21 juli 2009 14:36  

Got an image that might clarify it:

Doctrine is like the skeleton of the body.

It needs flesh, skin, organs and blood as well...

If all that is taken away - the result isn't exactly a lovely sight...

Charlotte Therese 21 juli 2009 14:41  

A bit more...

The founders are a Carmelite priest (now he left to be a hermit) and a Carmelite nun.

The latter has this page:


Heidi 21 juli 2009 14:57  

Well the doctrine has flesh and blood - it has Tradition!

Charlotte Therese 21 juli 2009 15:03  

But the Spirit is quenched!

If what's left of the body can't breathe - it'll die.

Heidi 21 juli 2009 15:21  

I simply don't agree with you. I have no problem at all breathing in the Church - and most of my friends within the church haven't either. This is just your and some other people's personal opinion, and we're all entitled to personal opinions. Let's just agree to differ, shall we?

Charlotte Therese 21 juli 2009 15:33  

Good for you, Heidi!

I know many who have severe breathing difficulties in the Church.

But luckily God isn't to be found only within it.

And the best is that no indoctrination is needed either.

God makes our minds function properly again once we get out of it.

I finally feel VERY free from almost 18 years of emprisonment...

So I gladly agree to disagree with you!


Charlotte Therese 21 juli 2009 16:10  

John, a friend of mine sent the following as a comment after reading this, and said I could post it:

"I wouldn't know what to respond to Heidi - who obviously thinks that she has all the right questions and answers - about doctrines that were created by groups, councils of MALE bishops,
in response to ideas of their time they considered to be heresies.

And none of those things, like the Trinity are written in the Bible
or expressed by Jesus - he never felt the need for calling councils and contriving theorerical/abstract ideas about
His Father - he just lived as one/d with 'HIM" 24/7 in daily life and shared 'his' Will and Spirit amd mind like all real xtians do 24/7 in everyday life - just walking, talking, sleeping, eating, healing etc.

Even the Filioque was invented in around 700 or 800 CE - while those reciting in in churches think it was written in stone on Sinai, or by Jesus on the Cross or in his tomb!"

Heidi 21 juli 2009 17:08  

Unfortunately your friend John seems to have missed the obvious fact: I never did claim to have the answers=)

The Church has the answers though, and I simply follow the Church doctrine. And believe it or not - I am actually very happy with it (as are many)!

The only reason why anyone would misintepret my post is if they themselves happen to believe they have all the answers - or if they feel a need to change the Church doctrine according to their own personal views.

Could that be John's problem, you think?

Could it perhaps even be yours?

Not that it matters though, since you're as happy with your Faith as I am with mine. And there I totally agree with you; God is not only within the Catholic Church. Even the church doctrine agrees that the Church isn't the only road to Christ. I believe we are all limbs on the Christian body, no matter what church we belong to - or if we don't belong to any church. Christ is everywhere, and always present.

So you see, just because I agree with the Church doctrine doesn't mean I'm a rigid fanatic. In fact I am very happy for you that you feel free (although I can't help wonder why someone freely would stay in a "prison" for 18 years when they don't have to - because I do assume you know that people are free to leave the Church any time they want?!)

Charlotte Therese 21 juli 2009 17:33  

I of course can't answer for someone else, but if John wishes, I guess he'll send an answer after reading this.

As for myself, I don't feel the need to define mystery. It falls flat to the ground at each attempt someone makes.

I'm happy to just be with God.

I once thought the Church was the only way to the whole Truth (as much as there is to know about it), so how could I ever think of leaving it? So I stayed and suffered. And it was a great suffering. Maybe it would in fact have been better to leave, but as I felt very much called there once, it wasn't easy. I was happy in the beginning. Then no longer.

And it just got worse as I saw how narrow and strict human (not Divine) rules destroyed life for so many persons, including me, and how God was as if shut out, and how everything pretty much boiled down to ritual and paragraphs.

I leave things open now. I'll go where the Holy Spirit leads me. And I'm very happy with that.


Charlotte Therese 21 juli 2009 17:49  

P.S. Just to clarify: I don't say that God can't be found in the Church.

I've found a closeness to God also there - in the Eucharist most of all.

But there's so much else that isn't good - renewal is desperately needed...

Maybe that's why I'm still called to be there.

Heidi 21 juli 2009 19:02  

I'm very glad for you. It's important that we listen to the Holy Spirit to find our way! And to tell you the truth I need no one to define the mystery to me either. But I appreciate the way RCC defines it. And when I entered it 23 years ago I was fully aware that I may not always agree on all Her teachings. But She is God's body on earth - Christ founded Her Himself - and no other church defines Christianity the way She does. That's why I'm staying. What was a prison for you is freedom on earth for me.

I suppose if you have too many illusions of the Church solving all your problems once you convert it might be harder. Because the Church cannot solve anything for either one of us. That responsibility is ours and ours alone. The Church - Christ - can only guide us.

I'm not saying that's the case with you, but many people do make that mistake when they convert. And those who do often end up disappointed and lost in a tradition they don't quite understand. It often makes them urge for another way of defining Christianity - preferably their own personal way, based on their feelings rather than on common sense. Unfortunately the result is rarely any good.

You seem very secure in your own Faith though, and that's a great thing! But I must say that for someone who believes in listening to the Holy Spirit you seem surprisingly convinced that others don't. Just because the Church views don't agree with yours they're not necessarily less divine than yours.

Best Wishes
In Christ

Charlotte Therese 21 juli 2009 19:19  

I recognize your thinking very much as it once was mine and I believed it was true.

I'm really so glad I'm no longer emprisoned (first without even realizing it, and thinking like you that I was happy in it).

I can't remember having any illusions when I became a Catholic. But I didn't see the whole truth about the Church back then. I didn't know about any scandals, had no access to the internet, but mainly to saint biographies... :-)

So I had a very pious start. And learned about the teachings etc.

But I've later found that everything is good for something - also the struggle and suffering may bring important fruits that helps faith mature.

Now I trust in God, that's all.

And I've learned discernment of the spirits the hard way.

So yes, I think I have a very clear view of what is true and thus from God - and what isn't. And by that, I don't say that others don't.

I leave it to God and to everyone's own discoveries along the path...


Anonym 21 juli 2009 21:13  

What Heidi chose not to see, is that then Fr McNamara says that "[d]octrine and theology are indispensable..." but forgetting the story is what's hurting us today. God gives us freedom and we lock ourselves in cold word games.

While the Church seems to be going backward, and in some ways it is, I do not think restoring a sense of sacred beauty is all bad. I have sat in suburban parishes and almost cried, the liturgy was so pathetic.

When I sit in the Novus Ordo in Latin, I am carried away to the heights of Mt Carmel and yet, gently put down to go out into the world. Many different ways exist to "participate"--much of what is called participation, at least here in the West, is all about ego. If the theology of Vatican II is wedded to beautiful and inspiring liturgy not the insipid "show" that takes place in way too many places, we can grow.

Likewise, I have felt lifted at simple liturgies celebrated around a picnic table as well as liturgies of the Byzantine Catholics. Quiet Masses with no music speak to me as well.

Now we do need to get rid of the excesses in dress for the traditional bishops etc! Gloves and trains are from a bygone era, of course, and that mindset needs to go as well.

Let the story and earthy mysticism live!!

Love, BroYo

Charlotte Therese 21 juli 2009 21:25  

Yes, Yossi, the story that is spoken about is often neglected, swept under layers of dust. Or put on a piedestal, too high above people.

When it was rather supposed to be a living reality that everyone can connect to, identify with somehow.

Not just words, words, words.

Not just definitions.


Heidi 21 juli 2009 23:15  

What Heidi chose not to see, is that then Fr McNamara says that "[d]octrine and theology are indispensable..." but forgetting the story is what's hurting us today. God gives us freedom and we lock ourselves in cold word games.

"What Heidi chose not to see..."

Interesting! Just because I am happy and content with the Church - I "chose not to see"? Is that how you address those who do not agree with you, Yossi? Well, I suppose it does protect you from having to come up with any good arguments...

Charlotte - we both have a right to our views. The fact that mine agree with the Church while yours don't doesn't mean either one of us is wrong or right. We both have a right to our conclusions and to our opinions.

I have the same knowledge as you have about the Church. (In fact, I gathered the facts before I converted=) I just happen to see it differently from you.

We're both free if we choose to be. So please don't be so patronizing as to imply that you're more enlightened than me just because you chose to leave the Church and abandon Her doctrines! I'm sure you must know better than that!

Best Wishes
In Christ

Charlotte Therese 22 juli 2009 11:12  


I never denied you having whatever view you like.

I just reflect on my journey here. I've been where you are during a decade or so, and that finally left me more and more empty and made me feel emprisoned.

Maybe you'll reach that point one day too? Or maybe not, as you seem to be very fixed in your thinking, not leaving room for any alternatives than what is said from authority.

I haven't abandoned any of the teachings that are from God and thus true. But I question manmade rules and un-Godly behaviour in Church leaders and others who call themselves Christians - but that's a whole different thing.

And - I haven't left the Catholic Church, and have no intention of doing so in case it doesn't get very clear that I must do so one day to survive spiritually. And only God can show me that.

Look at what you've written and see who's patronizing here...

I published a quote I found inspiring - and pretty much all you have done is attacking others...

Again - look at the fruits... Your own fruits, for once.

Charlotte Therese 22 juli 2009 13:19  

Hello again Heidi...

John sent a comment to what you wrote:

"Converts always think they know better than cradle RC's or Orthodox, who were born and grew up in the faith!

All of them are so over-intense in the beginning and many think they feel called to the priesthood of religious life!

Ask any experienced RC or Orthodox priest.

+John (archbishop, and monk for 40 years)"

Heidi 22 juli 2009 15:14  

You must be over sensitive indeed if you think that anyone who doesn't share your view on the Church is attacking you. I only expressed that I disagree. Now, maybe you are the one who should look at YOUR fruits. Being selfrighteous, as you are, is seldom wise.

And regarding John's comment - I wouldn't pay much attention to it. In fact I think it's hilarious. After all, it does apply to you as well. You are after all a convert, and you are after all claiming to have the answers that no one else does...

Now, perhaps John is a bit confused about his beliefs, and needs to redeem himself. That's fine. But you might think twice before you let someone who obviously has real issues with faithful Catholics. It's often a sign of intolerance, you know.

Besides, I didn't exactly convert yesterday. So give John my very best and tell him that it was a good try - but not good enough. Because after all the Church has the answers, not one single monk or archbishop or whatever.

Come to think of it, it's kinda interesting that you actally point out that he's been a monk and archbishop - like that would make him more important than the rest of us. I thought you preached to go your own way and not pay too much attention to authorities... You're contradicting yourself, Charlotte.

Best Wishes
In Christ

Charlotte Therese 22 juli 2009 15:27  

I think I've seen enough of your nasty and - indeed, you describe it well - selfrighteous comments by now. Have a look in the mirror, please, before you try to fix how you think others appear, or think that you know better than them by leaning on authority (yes, again - that's what you're doing - not I).

I've only quoted what John wrote. And you answer by attacking (yes!) him again.

I leave you to God now - and feel sorry for our Creator as he must have a very hard time dealing with you.

Charlotte Therese 22 juli 2009 15:32  

Just a glimpse of irony:

The same McNamara which you turn against to begin with is clear about where he stands with doctrine and theology, which should have made you happy and not caused what we've seen here.

Hilarious is the word.


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