Whither Church?

Many people today,
especially those born after Vatican II,
not programmed as a youngster
(like I was)
simply do not believe
the core doctrines and dogmas
on which Catholicism is based,
and, frankly, neither do I.

They don't care about issues
like the virgin birth, immaculate conception, original sin,
consubtantiation, and bodily resurrection.
.
They just do not buy into
the whole concept of Atonement (Redemption) Theology
and do not believe Jesus died because of their sins.
Their God
did not require the death of Jesus
to Love humanity again,
and is not some white-haired old gent
sitting in judgment.

They don't busy themselves thinking about,
or going off to study such concepts
and the literal interpretations placed on them
by fundamentalist preaching.
They have lost respect for the authorities
who try to perpetuate or promote
medieval, simplistic and literal interpretations
of such beliefs and concepts.

The disillusionment
is fed by the Catholic Church misunderstanding
of human sexuality,
affirmed by Humanae Vitae
 and, specifically, the matter of artificial contraception.

When Church leaders are so obviously way off base on birth control,
one wonders how many other subjects of their supposed authority
are beyond their comprehension?

But the issues go a long, long way further
 into the institutional core creeds and beliefs,
 beyond questions about sexual plumbing
 and who can do what with whom.

Unfortunately,
Francis seems unwilling to take
any of the fundamental dogmas and beliefs of Catholicism
back to the drawing board.
His audience is basically
the poor people of Third World countries.
He doesn't seem to understand
those of us in the affluent, educated, first world
leaving antiquated institutional religion behind.

His strategy of showing the mercy and compassion of Jesus and God
 to the poor of the world
who are often living in situations
 that simply ignore many of the dogmatic norms
 that Church hierarchy sees
as absolute and unchangeable
may well give Catholicism a fresh breath of life
in the Developing World.

But Francis may not have the slightest impact
 on what has been happening with allegiances
 to Institutional Church
 by ordinary educated people
 in the Developed World
who have left
and are moving on.

Generosity

Whenever the Buddha was teaching,
he would always begin with thoughts on Generosity
because it can bring so much joy and self-respect.

This is a good platform
 from which to look at all of life’s experiences,
including very painful ones,
and not feel overwhelmed by them.

We all have something to give.
It might not be material.
It might be paying attention to someone.
It might be listening fully.
It might be smiling at someone,
or thanking them.
These are all displaying
Generosity of Spirit.

Generosity is the bread and butter
of feeling connected in my life
 to myself, to others,
and to life itself.

To start,
I take a deep breath,
relax my grip,
and take a chance
on
Generosity.

It usually pays happiness dividends
for others
and for me.

Dead in Dogma

Suspicious

of religious doctrines, dogmas, rites, and rituals
am I.

They tend to
diminish and even undermine
the elegance of life’s mystery.

I choose
an experiential grounding where
I can engage directly and creatively
with the Sacred
resident in the fabric of Creation itself,
not in someone’s interpretation and dogmatization
of it.

I try to live within the mystery of life,
holy and profound,
encapsulating all of my life’s experiences.

Religious dogma and doctrine
are incapable of apprehending
this mystery
in a direct and proactive way,
exploiting and desecrating
Creation.

My Growth
is not about
the right doctrine (orthodoxy)
but about Living the mystery (orthopraxy).

Yours?


Out of My Mind


I have been unable to
Find Contentment
in my mind.

I think Peace and/or Contentment
might only be resident
in my Heart,
in the presence of the image
of my Origin,
my true Nature.

I have learned that
my Heart
is not merely the seat
of my emotional life,
but primarily
an instrument of insight,
designed to navigate
along my vertical axis,
staying in alignment
with my true Being.

My Heart
is a vibrant resonant field,
a homing beacon
between all the realms of reality,
able to create
a synchronous resonance
between them.

Jesus’ parables
seem to be saying,
Get Out of Your minds;
Move into Your Hearts.

Dualistic thinking,
Right or Wrong,
In or Out,
seems resident in my mind;
There is no such dualism
in my Heart.



Whose Body and Blood

The woman said,
when she held him for the first time in the dark of a stable,
after the pain and the bleeding and the crying,
‘This my body, this is my blood’.

The woman said,
when she held him for the last time in the dark rain on a hilltop,
after the pain and the bleeding and the dying,
‘This is my body, this is my blood’.

Now, dry old men,
in brocaded robes and pointed hats 
belying barrenness,
ordain that she cannot say it to him now.  

Light and/or Dark

They convinced me
they were the source
of Light
and that I should not
Venture
(out of the bushel)
into
Darkness.

Despite their dire warnings,
I heeded the call of the Spirit
and
Ventured Out
only to discover 
it was darker
IN the bushel
than Out.

The True Source
cannot be confined
to any bushel.