The “Benevolent” Burial of Christianity

Gratitude to Bellator Dei for graphic.

This weblog received a very interesting comment to the last entry, from my “known friend”, John.

My friend’s response, I thought, raised a number of important issues and questions – both explicitly and implicitly. I have wondered if John is implicitly asking something, when he observes that New Age spirituality and a “rigorous” Catholicism are not “commensurate”. Like the proverbial apples and oranges – is there any point to comparing them or critiquing the one from the standpoint of the other?

Now for the traditional Catholic believer, the answer is likely to be clear. Certainly my own answer as a Catholic in love with the tradition – and who in his past has drunk all too deeply from the New Age spring – is clear. The answer is that there is a point indeed.

And that point has to do with the loss of the Christian Mystery in the Western World – and its falsification and burial by New Age teaching. Although this interment is often unconscious, even benevolent in intention.

There is a worldwide tragedy of well-intended people who completely misunderstand Christianity and on the basis of that misunderstanding are working – whether consciously or not – to supplant it with something they consider better. I speak from experience: I was once such a person myself …

Thus all of these are grave matters I believe – which need to be raised into consciousness.

And it is one intention of this weblog to attempt that, as creatively and lovingly as I can. For bitter polemic serves no-one …

Dear Reader, what do I do, what do you do – if you have faith like myself and if you believe the Mystery of Christ is being buried?

What do you do if, like me, you look out on a world of ruthless capitalism and ecological collapse, and you believe that the Mystery of Jesus Christ contains unfathomable, inexpressible answers … resources … help … “Answers … resources … help” – these words are woefully insufficient, I know.

Yes, what do I do? And in the present context, how do I respond to questions from those who do not share my belief?

Should I respond?

Yes. I join with Pope Paul VI in acclaiming “The new name for love is dialogue.” Yes, Paul VI whose unhappy pontificate presided over the catastrophe of the new Mass, the destruction of Tradition and much else that threatens the Catholic Mystery in the world today.

But how, how to respond to non-believing friends?

Perhaps with this. I believe what people like my friend John and I share is a concern for moral values.

And I think we are agreed that to some extent in any case, religion shapes moral values.

Now clearly there is a Christian religion. Less clearly, but certainly to me, there is a New Age religious system. Yes certain to me, after my decades of involvement with it.

And also crystal clear to me is that this New Age religion is advancing different values to that of the Christian and Catholic religion.

Now it is not a matter of bitterly attacking the values of the New Age religion – though this is a temptation many a traditional Catholic can succumb to. (Just as many a New Ager attacks Christianity – often again unconsciously and subtly – but with insidious effect).

No I do not think polemic helps. What can help, as I say, is raising consciousness as to what is at stake here.

To continue speaking in terms my non-believing friends can understand, I will be asking here – what kind of moral values come out of New Age-ism as opposed to Catholicism?

And this is what I have been trying to do here already. I am suggesting for example, that a set of values that is about getting beyond pain, getting to personal power, getting beyond the analytical mind will lead to very different results both for the individual and ultimately for culture than a set of values, which embraces suffering, appeals to Grace rather than individual power and does not repudiate human-ness (e.g. thinking).

There, that is some kind of response for the non-believer – a response which does not necessitate belief in Jesus Christ.

For the traditional Catholic believer of course, I can give a very different answer. It will be a response that involves our shared faith that our world needs Jesus Christ and consciousness of Jesus Christ as He becomes present in the Sacraments of His Church …

From Amazon US:

These books can also be found in our Amazon UK store here. The following titles also have Reviews at these links: (Puritan’s Empire) (Meditations on the Tarot) (When Corporations Rule the World).

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