Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274),
said that knowledge of what is loved, precedes love. Contrary to
Five pages of non-biblical scholarly work develop this
theme and precede direct engagement of the readings. The insight of love overwhelming knowledge is
the great contribution of
Hierarchical abuse of power over sexual scandals is
the scandal of today. Three researchers,
The credentials of the researchers are significant. Doyle is an active Catholic priest who authored the report several decades ago that predicted the scope of the abuse scandal. Doyle and Sipe are both canon lawyers. Sipe and Wall are both former Benedictine monks. Sipe is a practicing therapist who has studied the sexuality of Catholic clergy for many years. They love the Church and know of what they write.
The authors portray love overcoming the terrible truth of scandal,
The long, sad history of sexual abuse by clergy has been written. Now the church—priests and people—have a chance to write a different record—one of mutual concern and effective protection of the vulnerable, and support for the trustworthiness and integrity of the clergy.
As important as truth is, love, can overwhelm truth. How else account for the fact that my wife
still loves me, after 42 years? Agneta
According to Schreurs, since
Dealing with the unexpected, such as what the readings record happened at Pentecost, is an important aspect of religious life. I was reminded of this observation when a lady on the hospitality committee at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church explained dealing with the unexpected as an act of Faith. She had taken Friday, May 5, 2003, off from work in order to be with her grandchild on Grandparents Day at the school. She, then, expected to spend the afternoon gardening. Instead, the parish asked her to host a reception after a funeral that day.
When I suggested to her, almost in the following words of Schreurs, “in order for [spiritual] growth to occur, it is vital to remain open to the dynamic unexpectedness of self, of life, and, above, all of God,” she agreed and added other personal examples. My experience with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People [NAACP] exhibits that same openness to changing reality.
As Schreurs words it, “Engaging in spiritual change is basically engaging in a [mental] healing process.” Not only individuals, but society needs mental healing. There is a developing historiographic trend placing religion at the center of the civil rights movement. That is something to which I would like to contribute as a Christian and as a member of the Newport News Branch of the NAACP.
Continuing to develop what mental health means for religious people, Schreurs asserts, “In the Christian tradition `contemplation’ means a wordless prayer, in which you `forget yourself because you are paying full attention to God as he manifests himself at the actual moment to such an extent that you may become totally absorbed in it.” Forgetting oneself in contemplation means forgetting any dichotomy between truth and politics. Human lovers can do the same thing. Such contemplative love is blind to any dichotomy between truth and politics. As is well-known from common experience, blind love can come at an enormous cost.
Schreurs observes that tragic historical experience has made everyone wary of all authorities and ideologies claiming to be pre-eminently trustworthy, including the Biblical God. Schreurs never mentions a Pope who claims to be infallible. Healthy, overwhelming blind love is not of the pay, pray, and obey stripe. Schreurs writes, “The God of the biblical religions asks for obedience not slavery, for trust not blind docility.” Schreurs explains, “for the first time in human history, belief in God has become implausible in Western civilization, and to the very same extent it had been plausible for earlier generations.” Where Schreurs writes, “the ideas and ideals connected with the religious view have become implausible to many modern minds,” I think the reason is Church bureaucracy letting Church politics overwhelm truth, especially as found in modernism.
The Church has a long history of conflict with modernism. Modernism is about accepting truths, such as the ones Galileo proposed, before the institutional Church is prepared. The work of Lonergan is about systematically preparing the Church for such acceptance. To be complete, however, Lonergan needed to get into Church politics, something he avoided as best I can tell from a light perusal of secondary sources.
Significantly, the Great Depression was the driving
force and inspiration behind the philosophy and theology of Lonergan. Cardinal
It seems to me that modernism is a Church term for
liberalism. Liberalism not only has a modernistic side, but also a
conservative side. Josephite professors
at the minor seminary,
In the Nineteenth Century, political liberals lost
their intellectual footing with the political disasters of the Revolutions of
1848. The Revolutions of 1848 were not
successful. Liberals were in disarray. In order to become organized in the
On the positive side engaging liberalism, Catholic economic thought from Rerum Novarum (1891) to Vatican II, in the words of Mel Piehl, “resisted mainstream economic insistence on disengaging economic analysis from political and moral categories, and certainly religious categories, as a way of enhancing its `scientific’ status.” These Notes and the NAACP are about integrating religious thought with all other forms and categories of thought.
On the negative side opposing liberal insights, are
four great English Catholic intellectuals,
Now to try to fit all of the above into the readings
for Pentecost, the readings begin with the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the
Apostles in tongues of fire. Significantly,
Acts 2:1 simply refers to the Apostles as they,
expanding the twelve in
Acts 2:9 mentions that some of the Faithful, hearing
the Apostles in their native language were Medes, of the diaspora of the
Anna, who greeted the Holy Family when
they presented the infant Jesus in the Temple, was a Mede. Mede was to the north, a difficult place to
reach, according to one report, news taking three years to reach
Praying constantly in the
1 Corinthians 12:6 references “different workings but
the same God.” The Church uses 1
Corinthians in Pastoral
Care of the Sick.
In 1 Corinthians 12:7, that “the
manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit,” the Greek for benefit connotes suitability and
advantage, rather than material profit.
Regarding themselves as the head of the
Church, the hierarchy likes this passage.
The point is that the Church is free to organize, as it will, whether
vertically, in a hierarchal manner, or horizontally, in a democratic manner. When the Reverend
Galatians 5:16-25 is the alternative Second Reading. Galatians 5:22-23 uses moments of the Spirit
for discernment, looking for love, joy, peace and the like against movements of
the flesh, now crucified to Christ Jesus.
Just as the Faithful have love for the Church
approaching blindness, however it may be organized, so does God manifest a
blind love for the Faithful, in John 20:22-23, “`Receive the Holy Spirit, whose
sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.’” At least
Blind love overwhelming truth works back and forth, from God to the Faithful and from the Faithful to God. Love can and does overwhelm knowledge. Thanks are to God, because loving God can never be wrong, though knowing God accurately is impossible. Only God is perfect, after all.
Before sending these Personal Notes out the first time, I review them about sixteen times. First, I do the research, and then comes the
first draft. After the first draft, come
about ten more drafts, one for each of the documentations, as I place the
footnotes. Then I go over the material
about three more times, trying to smooth transitions and clarify ambiguities. Then
Beginning Easter, April 16, I began systematically preparing for Sunday Mass by praying over the Personal Notes just before Mass begins. Again, I revise the Personal Notes, for about the eighteenth time. My reason for calling attention to the process is that I am beginning to upload changes to the website made on the Sunday itself. This means that the hard and virtual copies distributed about two weeks before each Sunday are subject to further revision on the Sunday in question. Beginning next Sunday, this notice will no longer appear here, but will appear in the attached Appendix.
For more on sources see the Appendix file. Personal Notes are on the web site at www.western-civilization.com/CBQ/Personal%20Notes
Bill Frogameni, “Books: Sex, lies, secrecy and abuse,” review of Thomas P.
 Mel Piehl, review of Within the Market Strife: American Catholic Economic Thought from Rerum Novarum to Vatican II in The American Historical Review, Vol. 111, No. 2 (April 2006) 498.
 The Roman Ritual: Revised by Decree of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council and Published by Authority of Pope Paul VI: Pastoral Care of the Sick: Rites of Anointing and Viaticum: Approved for use in the dioceses of the United States of America by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and Confirmed by the Apostolic See: Prepared by International Commission on English in the Liturgy: a Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences (New York: Catholic Book Publishing Co. 1983) 269.