We are far from the integral–by whatever name we might want to call it. Our race still has no idea how to have graded governance. This is as true in the Church as it is in society-politics.

As long as morals are lopped in with faith (as in faith and morals) in the unchangeable category, things appear really hopeless to me. Especially when morals are often reduced to sexual ones, and the scientific information of the modern world is not admissible evidence. Or discipline–how could you have one element of the Church (The North American, Northern European, say) have women priests and the Latin Americans-Africans-Asians not?

The Third-World Church is not ready for change in terms of homosexuality and women. The First World Church is hemorrhaging because of it.

Benedict will not, I imagine, even allow condoms as a lesser of two evils option regarding AIDS. The Catholic Church is the trans-national organization on the continent–would Christ let them suffer so needlessly? Think of the good they could be doing.

He may allow divorced and remarried communion. That would at least be something. He was right about some of the more extreme elements of liberation theology, but his use of his position as a sounding board for his own views (see John Allen’s book on Ratzinger) and his, at times, total lack of charity in dealing with the theologians of liberation was nearly unforgivable. And the Vatican recognizing the coup military state in Haiti. That’s awful.

God Bless Him indeed. I hope he accomplishes what he sets out to do, what he feels called to. He will certainly be more moderate as pope. In public anyway. The Church, the Churches need visionary leadership–this is distinctly lacking right now across the board.

Otherwise it will be simply the same old same old. Conservatives vs liberals. The liberals unable to connect into the mainsprings of sacramental, biblical mysticism. The conservatives, with their wonderful (some) liturgical style, disconnected from the mayhem and death in our world, from the very soil itself.

I offer these thoughts and meditations as a sacrifice for the pain of so many. Everyone feels the pain, traditional or progressive. That is the one thing it seems all parties can actually agree on. How broken this whole thing is.

If it be the Divine Will, I would help create a matrix, a setting for the reconciliation of these grievances, of this pain, even just a forum for those who want something beyond George Weigel vs. Richard McBrien.

And Fr. Thomas just goes about quietly building the only real cutting-edge element of the Church. Never raising his voice. Never on television giving this or that party line about the new Pope or whatever. He simply reminds the baptized of their call to union with God, to be lived out in justice, mercy, compassion for all of God’s creatures.

Why don’t people listen?

So much death in the Church–so much petrified traditionalism…on both the right and left. How can I help? What is there even to do?

Published in: on April 30, 2005 at 6:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

Death in a Dream

Dream dying,
Death, experienced,
the doorway to deathless-ness.
Surrender to the most active,
Calm abides in the midst of the most brutal.

I watched myself die in a dream. Twice.
Who is the “I’ that watches, the dreamer, the deceased, the murderer?

Twice killed in a night.

Pure darkness and the feeling of falling. Not headlong, but very rationally, very smoothly.

Then I died. Next I woke. Then I died again.

The second time poisoned.

As lucid as the dream was, only the darkness was unconditional. Even the poison was dioxin (courtesy news stories about Viktor Yuschenkov and Law & Order).

I knew it was happening and yet I knew it wasn’t real–or at least unreal compared to my waking unreality. Perhaps more real. Or not real nor unreal.

First in Boulder. Now here.

Published in: on April 17, 2005 at 11:51 am  Comments (1)  

Il Papa

El Papa murio. Mortum est. Viva el papa.

He was a great man. One the likes of which we may never see again. His presence was undeniable. Love him, hate him, no one can deny his reach, his charisma, his grandeur. People talk about someone having “it”, the unnameable but indisputable quality of remarkable existence. He had it. Of that there is no conceivable doubt.

He spoke at great lengths of the culture of life and its shadowy counterpart, the culture of death. He opened a door, he shed great light by this distinction. Unfortunately he could not always follow it through to the end. The center, sadly, did not always hold.

He toppled Communism. It will take a successor from The Third World to do the same for rampant, godless, flatland capitalism.

There are cultures of life and cultures of death. Every wave of development includes and therefore excludes. There are those that count, those within a person or a culture’s frame and therefore are granted life. There are those who outcast, and are dealt the blow of death and humiliation.

Each stage of development has its own culture of life and death. To have a culture of life necessarily co-creates its shadow. We are never innocent. We must always use power to protect, but by using power therefore abuse others. We deal blows of death and grant mercies of life every day, in every moment in every action. We are never innocent. The entire universe is a great Cosmic Sacrifice. A great radiance as well. A Great Paschal Mystery, a Feast of Thanksgiving. Only it is consciousness that feasts on itself in its myriad of forms.

He was right about much. About unconscious immersion in materialism–either economic, historico-philosophical, scientific–forgetting our true digniity. At least he had the consistency to oppose abortion, capital punishment, unjust war, and euthanasia, instead of focusing on one or the other like the liberals and conservatives do. In that way, I believed him when he said he was pro-life.

He was partial about much else. Pro-life…what of the AIDS patients who needed condoms? What about the grinding poverty of The Third World, and allowing women not to have an unwanted pregnancy in the first place and not have to wrestle with abortion at all?

Women. The question of women is a profoundly interesting one. There are really two versions of feminism. One states that women and men are equal in everything–brain power, legal status, human dignity, etc. They are right. The other states that men and women are, in many ways, profoundly different: different ways of thinking, acting, setting values and agendas, etc. They are right as well. The Pope, curiously enough fits in, in a manner of speaking, with the radical (often postmodernist) feminists. He definitely thinks men and women are different, how different vocations, different talents, different roles. The Pope just thinks that for women it is as a mother or a nun. He was wrong about the first branch of feminism (modernists)–women deserve equal treatment before the law. He basically agreed to that. For women to truly have that in the modern world, to enter the noosphere, women must have choice over their reproductive biology.

What does it mean to be pro-life? What will it mean in relation to nanobots, biotechnology, and human-computer interface?

I loved him. I love him still. I hope he prays for us. I never agreed with everything he did or said. Or left unsaid, undone. He was not an ideologue. He was sincere. Even to embarrassing degrees at times. He was a beautiful soul no matter what. He loved greatly. He loved God, Christ, The Church, and the whole human family deeply.

He has left an indeliable print on my being. We are forever linked–beyond time, beyond the grave, beyond space, beyond separation itself. God gives us a peak into each others hearts.
Pax Christi, My Brother, Holy Father.

Published in: on April 2, 2005 at 9:08 pm  Leave a Comment