Friday, February 7, 2014

What Catholic Traditionalists - And Other Christian Conservatives - "Don't Get"

Pope Francis: "Mercy makes the world... more just."

The Thinking Housewife And The Vilification Of Pope Francis by Catholic Traditionalists

More Catholic Than The Pope: The Radical Catholic Traditionalist Movement

"What You Need To Know About The Man Who Claims To Be Pope"
"Church Traditionalists Livid At Pope For Washing Feet Of Two Girls On Holy Thursday"

Alan: In the conservative Christian mind, law and punishment are primary. 

Rigid literalists (whenever they want to be... but not when enjoined to love their enemies or pray for those who persecute them) are constitutionally incapable of understanding mercy as foundational to The Divine Milieu. 

Although they will not be persuaded in this life, mercy is the cornerstone of salvation - an essential sine qua non

To live a Christian life, we must "put on' - however feebly - the "mind of Christ," a mind that does not make way for prissy punctilitiousness to displace mercy.

Mercy is not, as conservatives think, an add-on or an eccentric indulgence that occasionally (and with no perceivable rhyme-or-reason) ensues stern judgement. 

Mercy and justice are joined at the hip and together work toward restorative justice, not brute punishment, which - as our prisons inform us - only induces further degeneracy. 

Although I would flee the thought, it is, I suppose, possible that conservatives are only "satisfied" by punishment and thus lust for The Lake of Unquenchable Fire.

The possibility of temporary lostness I can entertain. 

A soul's deletion from Being seems possible.

But eternal re-enactment of third degree burns... on top of third degree burns... on top of third degree burns? 

The very thought is rooted in sadistic projection.


If you were blessed with a newborn baby and could arrange The Universe in which your child would live, would you even think to postulate as one of Life's possible outcomes "inescapable, irremediable, unaliviable torment?"

True, we are not God.

But that "God" is not God either.

Matthew 9:10-13

10-11 Later when Jesus was eating supper at Matthew’s house with his close followers, a lot of disreputable characters came and joined them. When the Pharisees saw him keeping this kind of company, they had a fit, and lit into Jesus’ followers. “What kind of example is this from your Teacher, acting cozy with crooks and riffraff?” 12-13 Jesus, overhearing, shot back, “Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? Go figure out what this Scripture means: ‘I’m after mercy, not religion.’ I’m here to invite outsiders, not coddle insiders.”

Or, if conservatives must have a more obfuscatory traditional translation, here is the one I grew up with.

Matthew 9:10-13

Douay-Rheims, 1899
10 And it came to pass as he was sitting at meat in the house, behold many publicans and sinners came, and sat down with Jesus and his disciples. 11 And the Pharisees seeing it, said to his disciples: Why doth your master eat with publicans and sinners? 12 But Jesus hearing it, said: They that are in health need not a physician, but they that are ill. 13 Go then and learn what this meaneth, I will have mercy and not sacrifice. For I am not come to call the just, but sinners.

1 John 4:13-21

13-16 This is how we know we’re living steadily and deeply in him, and he in us: He’s given us life from his life, from his very own Spirit. Also, we’ve seen for ourselves and continue to state openly that the Father sent his Son as Savior of the world. Everyone who confesses that Jesus is God’s Son participates continuously in an intimate relationship with God. We know it so well, we’ve embraced it heart and soul, this love that comes from God. 17-18 God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love. 19 We, though, are going to love—love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first. 20-21 If anyone boasts, “I love God,” and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both.

Or, if conservatives want a traditional, more obfuscatory translation, here's the one I grew up with.

1 John 4:13-21

New Living Translation 
13 And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. 14 Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 All who confess that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. 16 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.
God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. 18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. 19 We love each other because he loved us first. 20 If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? 21 And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their Christian brothers and sisters.

Alan: Those who still fear punishment are not yet perfected in love... which begs this question: "How should the imperfect behave while still suffused by imperfection?" 

Until we overcome our fear of punishment, we should at least refrain from counseling others to believe in vengeance, vindictiveness, retaliation and retribution. 

Rather than muddy the water with any of the fears that are alien to God-Love, we would wisely step aside, ceding leadership to those already free of fear. 

Once released from fear, the commitment to love friends and foes alike -- the virgin and the whore, the pristine and the putrid -- is the same mission. 

Lacking this singularity of purpose, we shun The New Covenant by taking refuge in the self-justifying fearfulness of The Old.

Here is The Master's summary:

It is rankling for us fault-pocked humans to realize that The Claustrophobia of Fear is more bearable than the unbounded Openness of Freedom

Generally speaking, humans crave the oddly comforting walls of narrow (and narrowing) confinement, and in those cramped confines we declare our own demons "angels of light," while attacking others' demons as quintessentially satanic. 

Concordant with the cultural traditions of our species, we have all grown up with the entire allotment of primordial fears -- "darkness" and "death" foremost. 

But as long as we remain in thrall to dark-death-fear, we would wisely look to those who have outgrown their Terror of Night and are now free to preach the everlasting gospel of love, forgiveness, compassion and mercy with "no room at the inn" for fear, punishment and retaliatory contempt.

To the fearful, "the quality of mercy" seems secondary but only because the full incarnation of Mercy came after The Old Testament's Thunder Sky God

Yes, The New Testament is secondary: it did indeed come later. 

But the last shall be first. 

At some point, it becomes necessary to quit our obsession with Ermine Capes, Monarchical Majesty and other ecclessial minutiae -- to live in The Light as children of God and not as distant cousins on the shady outskirts of Love Supreme.

How the plank got there...

"Any Religion That Needs Fear To Thrive Is Bad Religion"

Pope Francis: "Mercy makes the world... more just."

In his address from the balcony above St. Peter's Square on Sunday, March 17, 2013, Pope Francis told the crowd that he wanted to talk about mercy, saying he was inspired by a book about forgiveness that he was reading. Citing the author, an elderly German cardinal, and praising him as a "top-notch" theologian, Francis quipped: "Don't think I'm making publicity for my cardinals' books!" drawing a roar of laughter from the crowd.

As they waved national flags and banners proclaiming their faith, the pontiff exhorted his listeners in a brief homily, some of it delivered off the cuff, to remember that without divine compassion and forgiveness, "the world would not exist."

"God's face is that of a merciful father who is always patient," the new leader of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics said. "A little bit of mercy makes the world less cold and more just."


I had already begun the above essay when the following exchange took place. 

It elaborates the themes of feel-good retribution and humankind's need for mercy - not only to "save" others but to save ourselves.

Pax tecum


Dear Tig,

Thanks for sending Laurel Dalrymple's "Does It Help To Get Angry At Someone With Addiction?"

Although Laurel does not say so explicitly, she communicates the eye-opening insight that an addict's anger is in fact a contagious disease that often infects "innocent" bystanders.

Once infected, it is up to the newly-dis-eased to overcome their addiction.

If we view out-of-control political attitudes as anger addictions, Dalrymple's article constellates another dimension arguably more significant than her point of departure.



On Fri, Feb 7, 2014 at 2:14 AM, NH wrote:
This is wonderful.
----- Forwarded Message -----
From: DG
To: NH
Sent: Thursday, February 6, 2014 2:24 PM
Subject: Re: Dinner tonight ?
A friend posted this on Facebook ... thought you might find it interesting

No comments:

Post a Comment