Post by on Jun 12, 2015 23:00:50 GMT
I am a Catholic and I'd like to express what I believe to see if its alright. As this board is on atheism I thought I'd just start with that.
Having been an atheist when I became a believer I really like the Little Flower's story and her suffering of not knowing God towards the end of her life. I think somewhere I read that she said how much she sympathised with unbelievers, you know had compassion for them in their suffering of not knowing God.
You know I thought this was great. It was like a new way to approach atheism. Its a cross. Its suffering.
(As an aside - it could be a suffering and cross which is induced by the bad representation of God by us the Church, holding us responsible. Actually, considering our Lord's huge problem with the religious people badly or misrepresenting Him, I think yes definitely we are responsible to some measure by our failure to represent God as He really is, and anyone who thinks the Church represents Christ well or successfully in todays world I think must be joking, I mean I don't represent it well nor my parish, certainly not my diocese. And also, considering the secularisation of Europe over the past centuries doesn't this suggest to us that for some reason from the Middle Age we started to badly represent God until we've arrived at the gaping whole in our representation today which has resulted in the post-Christian era we live in today. I prefer this theory than the idea we are a remnant-because the idea that we are a special remnant today has a connotation around it that we are elite, and doesn't encourage us to take responsibility as Christians for our neighbour's Godlessness -end of aside).
So if atheism is a cross. Without patronising atheists but genuinely loving them, we would actually see their lack of joy of knowing God, and the sureness of his values, as suffering. Deep down when I was an atheist, if I was given the choice between believing in God or not, clearly being a logical man, and clearly as most people are to some degree logical in weighing the advantages/disadvantages of a choice, I think most atheists would if the scales fell from their eyes as they did with me, would in the light of day choose Christ. Therefore when someone discovers the treasure in the field is a mystery in God's time, and as I said is somehow to a degree a shared responsibility. You know I don't know the Bible that well as you can probably tell but in the New Testament I don't think atheists were the main culprits. It was the bourgeois and their bourgeois "Church" which killed Him. It was the bourgeois mentality in the religious authority who wanted honour from the world which he attacked, which he really got angry about, and because of which you could say is why He gave the priesthood a distinct ethic in contrast to laity; that as official representers of Him they should be careful of seeking honour from the world. These religious instead of speaking to the people in the people's own terms, you know as our Lord did with fish and bread and trees and sheep, these religious hid used traditions to disguise their bourgeois desires for worldly honour.
Considering all this, I don't know why some Catholics militantly have a bad feeling and use bad tones against atheists. In my view, considering the anger of God towards those who mis-represent Him, and who are supposed to represent Him, and on whose well representation the very salvation of people and their happiness of their lives on earth depends..............considering this, wouldn't it be healthy for our priests particularly but the laity too, to have a general council of examining in what way they are failing Christ's ethic he gave them especially, that is to be careful not seek honour from the world.
The sweeping statement I will make at the end is that if anyone has eyes and a heart they can see our Church seeking honour from the world not only dramatically in the last century till now, but also I believe slowly and gradually in the whole modern era, as it was influenced and fascinated by the discourse, artistic, intellectual, moral fashions of the power centres. What a bourgeois Church we are.
And personally seeing that our Lord was the perfect representer of Himself, wouldn't we be better off speaking to the people "in their own terms" more often. I certainly don't mean in the terms of the power centre which currently the bishops think are the peoples own terms. I mean in opening the peoples hearts to wonder, to life, to the realities of Him - as a poet can, as I believe Chesterton was trying to do, as I believe the Church should be encouraging all its priests to do, to speak a living language which inherently contains a new vision, a vision which is odds with the words and vision of the power centre, a vision in which people really can see God again in all their lives. To me our bourgeois church, is, though having attempted to change course (Vatican II being a complete failure, to say the least, but giving credit it was an attempt) shares responsibility for the suffering of atheists.
I mean no offense to my fellow Catholics, I'm just putting down a train of thought, and hopefully, people can help me change it if its sinful and put me in better standing. Its better to bounce such thoughts off other orthodox Catholics then out on the streets as it were.
Jesus is Lord!