Oblate Program at Belmont Abbey, NC

Stretch (prt 3)

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Psalm-prayer-webThe letters in the New Testament were written to deal with certain problems within the different communities of the early church, yet people insist that if it is not in the scriptures then it can’t be part of Christianity. So for many, the sacraments are thrown out and each is left to their own devices to deal with whatever the Holy Spirit is telling them. I guess each becomes infallible in ways that no pope would even begin to claim. Of course the Catholic Church brought the reformation about by its own inner corruption, and its refusal to turn back to the Gospel message. The reformation in the long run helped the church, too bad it had to wait until it was too late; the break to this day, is a scandal to those within and those without.

Perhaps it is in prayer where we can come together, for we all pray to the same Lord, we belong to one body, and truly when we pray as Christians, with Christ, we all represent mankind, in all of its need for mercy and healing. If we began to show the world the compassion of Christ and stopped using the scriptures to back up some private theology, often based on a myopic understanding of God, who becomes merely a projection of our own broken and fallen humanity (an idol), perhaps some progress could be made. Until that happens, we will be mocked not for our faith in Christ, but because of ignorance and a narrow minded stance, that is self created and not enlightened by the love and of the Holy Spirit. Conversion is a constant, both for the church as a whole and for each individual in particular.

Until we learn that Christ is truly in the least. Which for each of us that would mean I imagine someone different. Until then, we are treading water. For in not deepening our understanding of what that means, we miss the whole point of what Christ was trying to do. To lead us into loving our neighbor as ourselves, and to truly see Christ not only in others, but as truly being one with them, identifying with them. For to condemn those outsides is one of the most common human propensities we have. Believers of all strips do this as will as non-believers. Its fruit is contempt, which leads to a de-humanization of others and violence is not far away. Sin means we are free, yet also prone to take the easiest way, and that way is the opposite of what Christ taught and in fact what other people of different faiths are also taught. We have much in common with all people of good will, for the work of God’s Spirit cannot be limited to just any one religion or theology, for in God we live and move and have our being. To grow in depth of understanding does not in anyway affect doctrine, it just changes limiting perspectives.

 

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