Tuesday, October 31, 2006

On questioning

Some men who question doctrine may be heretical, others may not be. "Material" heresy--a matter about which religion has been mistaken--is not the same as "formal" heresy. And men have been lost to the church in this creative mix. It is not heretical to attempt to explain and define doctrine by bringing in other truths. This is not merely innovation. Aquinas applied Aristotle and other nonchurchmen to deepen the understanding of doctrine.

I agree that Tradition does not change, it is either accepted or rejected, but it is not rejecting Tradition to creatively question. In any case, the Magisterium will always correct us. Perhaps one should not question with the world watching; then again, why not? Many people today are simply bored with religion.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Can There Be Truth Outside of Catholicism?

Here is part of a letter Dr. Rama Coomaraswamy wrote to the Le Floch Report regarding the presence of Truth outside of Catholicism.

There have always been Catholics who can recognize the presence of Truth outside of Catholicism.

...“Consider the words of St. Iranaeus: “There is only one unique and the same God the Father, and his Word has been present to humanity from all time, although by diverse dispositions and manifold operations he has from the beginning been saving those who are saved, that is, those who love God and follow his word, each in his own age.” (Against Heresies, IV, 28, 2) And again: “Christ did not only come for those who, since the time of the Emperor Tiberius have believed in him, nor has the Father exercised his providence only in favor of people now living, but in favor of all without exception, from the beginning, who have feared God and loved him and practiced justice and kindness towards their neighbors and desired to see Christ and hear his voice, in accordance with their abilities and the age in which they were living.” [ibid, IV, 22,2 (SC bis, p. 688.,)

“Christ is the first-born of God, his Logos, in whom all people share. That is what we have learned and what we bear witness to. All who have lived in accordance with the logos are Christians, even if they have been reckoned atheists, as among the Greeks, Socrates, Heraclitus and the like. ” Justin Martyr, Apology I, 46 (PG 6, 397)

St Allbert the Great; “Examining the teachings of pagan philosophers in the light of sound reason, he demonstrated clearly that they were in fundamental accord with the tenets of the faith.” From the second Nocturn of St. Albert the Great, Nov. 15. )(Breviary Pius X). One could provide many similar quotations from the saints.

St Thomas Aquinas held with St Ambrose that all Truth, no matter where it was found had the Holy Spirit for its author, and further that extrinsic proofs could be used in support of the Catholic Faith. Indeed his Summa is full of quotes from extrinsic sources.”...

For the complete letter see:
http://leflochreport.com/site/index.php?Dr.-Rama-Coomaraswamy

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Sermon on the Mount according to Vedanta

Here is a section of a book review by Paul Rooke on "The Sermon on the Mount according to Vedanta" by Swami Prabhavananda, Vedanta Press, Hollywood, CA, 1992; 110 pages, ISBN 08874810507

Swami Prabhavananda lived in the United States from 1923 until his death in 1976, and acquired a deep understanding of both the Bible and the western approach to religion. He had the highest respect for Jesus as a spiritual teacher and often used his words to elaborate and exemplify the themes he was explaining. This short book, originally published in 1964, is a thorough analysis of several chapters from Matthew from a principally Hindu viewpoint, with frequent references to Buddhism. Lucid and inspiring, it provides many valuable insights for daily living and the spiritual quest, as well as understanding of key issues in comparative religious studies.

..."The central theme of the Sermon on the Mount is that the whole purpose of one's life is to seek perfection and realize God. But what is perfection? Christ taught that it is union with the Father and must be sought within. It can never be found in the external world of things, for as Jesus proclaimed, "The Kingdom of God is within you." The author compares this idea with that of sat-chit-ananda (immortal life-infinite knowledge-eternal love and bliss) as expressed in the Vedas. Developing the theme of sin and maya (illusion) in Christianity and the Vedas, Prabhavananda advises that an obsession with worldly things masks the perception of our fundamental element, the unifying essence within us all. All religions have as their ultimate objective a union with the Absolute, however this may be described. This goal has been called samadhi (Hinduism), nirvana (Buddhism), and mystical union (Christianity), and all faiths emphasize the need to be purposive about realizing it. The four main paths in the Vedanta are karma yoga (selfless work); jnana yoga (discrimination between the ephemeral and the eternal); bhakti yoga (devotion to God, the path followed by the majority of religious believers); and raja yoga (meditation on the supreme reality). This last path may be said to include the other three, and ``a balanced spiritual life demands a harmonious combination of all four yogas, [although] one or another usually predominates, depending on the temperament of the aspirant.'' Christ's teachings can easily be assimilated into these four paths, with devotion emphasized most strongly."

Here is the URL. http://www.theosophy-nw.org/theosnw/world/christ/xt-prook.htm

Comment on the above statement: Swami Prabhavananda is speaking of what is defined as the Involutionary Inward Path in the Evolutionary Christian Church, which is shared by all the revealed religions. Our mission is to include the other half of religion, the Evolutionary Outward Path, which is the path of material-spiritual evolution to the God first seen in the Inward Path.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Politics in its place

Claes G. Ryn said it well, (August 28, 2006,The American Conservative) Conservatism has been too enthralled by politics..."To recover, American conservatism would have to reorder its priorities and most especially put politics in its place. America’s crisis is at bottom moral-spiritual and cultural. Though a new alliance of homeless political groups is desirable, a realignment would be unavailing in the long run unless the old obsession with politics were also broken. The issues most needing attention will make the eyes of political junkies glaze over."

Read the full articule: http://www.amconmag.com/2006/2006_08_28/article19.html

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Slow Ways

Why do men remain radical for so long?
The mystic songs of religion and
intuition seem to drive them
away. Science, which is here to stay,
has often been a school for
radicals--think of Bentham and
Marx--with Sabbaticals of PhD’s
replacing convocations of
bishops. The slow ways of tradition
are as hard to precisely define
as the Gothic line. Have our
universities created a better
world than our churches? Slowness
is key. Bend the twig of tradition
and you avoid decay and rot. Cut
the tree down and even the benefits
of science fall to the ground.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Rumi poem

Evolution is the prime process visible in the universe, says Raymond Cattell, and other scientists. But according to Jelauddin Rumi, and other mystics, “everything you see has its roots in the unseen world.” Here is the poem:

“Everything you see has its roots in the unseen world.
The forms may change, yet the essence remains the same.
Every wonderful sight will vanish, every sweet word will fade,
But do not be disheartened,
The source they come from is eternal, growing,
Branching out, giving new life and new joy.
Why do you weep?
The source is within you
And this whole world is springing up from it.”

Jelauddin Rumi

Sunday, October 01, 2006

What Conservatism Conserves

I think Traditionalists are damaging their cause by rejecting evolutionary theory, it is disheartening to see an otherwise wise thinker trying to discredit the theory of evolution.

What seems to be overlooked is the knowledge that God is "Spiritual," the theory of evolution is Material, they are different, yet they are unified: the material world is the expression of God and the Spiritual. The Spiritual is on the material continuum, from the simple to the complex.

Science is fine when put in its place. Civilization adapts to new circumstances. As Claes Ryn said in his essay in The American Conservative (Aug 28, 2006), we need to apply our humane Traditional heritage in finding and promoting the good, the true, and the beautiful. This is what Conservatism conserves, not merely conserving something that already is achieved. The realization of God does not negate the material world or science, but it can help in freeing us from the evils and suffering that can be caused when science and culture are used immorally.

Both the soul and the body evolve to God, so there really is not a separation.