Friday, June 10, 2005

Let's try this again...

Welcome back. We're going to try a new system this time. This blog has been reconfigured for "members only." It wouldn't have been my first choice, but we were vandalized when comments were open to everyone. I hope this won't restrict anyone from posting, but sadly, it seems to be necessary. I'm not even sure it will ultimately address the problem which we've been experiencing but we'll see.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Perception Is Reality?

A newspaper article reported on two old Japanese soldiers who had been hiding on an island in the Philippines, unaware that WWII was over. They originally hid because they never got the approval from the Emperor to go home. Imagine living in fear for 60 years, afraid of something that doesn't exist, not knowing all is forgiven and you can just go home. What a metaphor...

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Is this what Jesus would do?

I must admit to being a bit saddened by the events of this past week. This blog was overtaken by a group of ultra-conservative folks who have a view of the Catholic Church which most of us learned and rejected back in the 1950s and 60s. Perhaps there are still many people around who believe in a vengeful God who will send us to hell for our transgressions, but I'm not one of them.

I do feel that conversing with these people can be worthwhile for some, but it's not appropriate for this blog so, for the time being, I've removed the setting which allows comments. What I originally had in mind was intelligent and civil conversation that would explore issues which are unfolding in the Catholic Church of the 21st century. Maybe it is naive to think that this could be the case. But we will try again in a short while and see what happens.

I do feel threatened by people who invade the space of others in an aggressive way. Our conservative visitors not only monopolized the blog but they also vandalized our VOTF NJ website by casting hundreds of ballots on a survey and nullifying all the results. They speak in the name of Jesus and act in a way that Jesus never would. If anyone out there has some encouraging words to offer, please hang onto them. They will be most welcome and appreciated when this blog opens up again.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

What constitutes dialogue?

This blog has been an interesting exercise.

What had started as a place for dialogue has turned into a marketplace for paranoid ideas, vicious ranting, and threats about eternal damnation - all in the name of Jesus!

This is not Catholicism as I understand it, and taking the cue from our bishops, I get to make the rules here. So here they are:

No more posts about hell, fire, punishments, catechisms, the Magisterium and no long scripture quotes. No sermonizing, chastising, criticizing or politicizing. If you have a genuine question or concern that you'd like to share, and would welcome intelligent discussion about it, please feel free to post. If not, please start your own blog.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

On Being Divine

Let's start a new thread here. There seems to be a lot of discomfort out there with the notion of our own divinity. We are not God we cry! That's blasphemy!

Yet we are the body of Christ. No part of the body can exist without the others says St. Paul. We are the light of the world says Jesus. Christ has no body but ours says St. Teresa.

Does God exist outside us? Can there be a God without every part of creation? The traditional view would have God separate from us, but we know that God is among us, that God is alive in our connectedness.

When we look at our kids, we see God alive. When we see the beauties of nature, we feel the breath of God. God is within these wonders of creation. God is living in this crazy conversation that we're having on this blog! As we used to memorize in the Baltimore catechism, "God is everywhere."

So are we not divine? Or is that word so frightening because it conjures up all kinds of responsibilities that we are not ready to take on.

Isn't it just easier to think that God is "out there" calling the shots, and all we have to do is obey? Is it comforting to call ourselves "God's children" because then the parent tells us what's right and wrong and we don't have to figure it out by ourselves?

These are questions - not answers. Let's explore this issue - not give sermons about it.

Monday, May 23, 2005


I've been thinking a lot about these posts. I have the sense that this is not dialogue, but rather people adamantly stating their points of view with no room for disagreement. We cannot hope to grow if we are not listening.

Long ago, those of us who grew up in the Catholic Church rejected the idea of souls burning in hell. It's not even part of our theology in a literal sense any more. The God of wrath and vindictive punishment is stuff of the past. We know our God is pure love, and that is what we emulate.

I'm taking down the posts which I feel are mean-spirited. This is a place for intelligent conversation - people speaking and listening - and ultimately growing. You're welcome to participate with those parameters in mind.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Is anybody there? Does anybody care?

Today, I read about a reporter who lost his job with the US Jesuit Conference because he wrote something suggesting that we dialog about homosexuality.

Today, I read on this blog that we all have to obey the catechism or go to hell.

And where is the outcry?

If this church ends up in the hands of Carol, and Seeker of the Way and Myers and their ilk, we will all be responsible.