One way to look at the differences that conservative hierarachs and the Pope have is the analogy of shoes and socks. Francis says that people must first know they are loved. Show mercy and forgiveness. Show acceptance and inclusion. Everyone wants to feel loved. This is basic. It is the putting on of the socks. They have to go on before you put on the shoes. The Conservatives, focused on doctrine, rules, right order of things as they see it, are trying to put on the shoe first. And once the shoe is on, everyone must know how to tie a proper knot. Improper knot tying means rejection. The world is made up of those who can tie knots "properly" and those who cannot, or chose to tie their shoes differently, if at all. Still, the sock is omitted. Can you really feel loved, secure, if you know it is based upon "correctness" as defined by a certain group? Jesus came to love.
his followers could not come close to getting all else of which Jesus spoke until they knew they were loved, accepted first. Then they could be challenged. Only then could they begin to live out the gospel.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
I travel some here and there to new towns for my work. When I am about to go to a new town, I make plans for taking care of my spiritually and physically. Where will I run and when? Where will I find support for my own spiritual journey those days? When and where will I eat what? You would be surprised at how little planning is done by the hosts when I travel. The housing is something over which I accept whatever is given. If we are serious about caring for ourselves, don't leave it in the hands of others. We are the center of no one's universe. Plus, some people live in such chaos that it is the new normal for them. I have a rather low chaos bar. How about you?
Monday, October 20, 2014
Running is a great metaphor for the developing a spiritual life. Both take time, effort an discipline. When I first start running, say after an injury or a bout of laziness and sloth, my body rebels if I try to do too much. It may rebel a little even if I do a little. I must do something the next day in the physical fitness area, e.g. stretching, walking, active stuff. Day by day, the running gets easier and I can do more with seemingly less effort. I find solitary prayer to be the same way. After a period of ignoring my interior life, frustrated at my flabby soul, I decide to do some practice. I decide to do it for today. Just do today. It is difficult at first. Focus might be lacking. The mind is amiss. Thoughts rule. It is a start. Then I ask myself when I will do this tomorrow? I plan a time and place. Day by day, this solitary prayer becomes a bit easier. It can become a habit, with discipline, commitment and effort. Spiritual and physical exercise on a daily basis usually means that something else will be dropped. A day is just so long and no longer. I have found that desperation is a good starter.
Sunday, October 19, 2014
In my reading I was reminded that atheists are not the same as pagans. Atheists believe that there is no God. Pagans do believe in gods. They worship gods. In modern paganism there is the worship of money, status, sport stars, hollywood actors and actresses and rock stars just to name a few. It is not easy to be an atheist. You have to work through a lot of stuff to arrive there. The intellectually lazy, and self-absorbed are not atheists. They simply do not bother with the god question at all. Maybe they are their own god. Who can say.
Saturday, October 18, 2014
A recent commentator at the Bishops' Synod said that we are not going to change any doctrines that the church has been practicing for years. Prior to the invasion of Poland by the Nazis in 1939, the Polish military was enamored by its use of horses in war. Military horsemanship had been practiced for a long time. It was part of their military tradition. Why change? The Nazis came at them with modern weapons such as newly designed tanks. Holding onto something simply because you have always done it that way can be costly.
Friday, October 17, 2014
Someone asked me about reincarnation. Here is my take on it. Personally, I don't want to come back and have to be a teenager again or an adolescent for that matter. Too much stress, anxiety, uncertainty and busyness. I believe that when I die the energy that made up Terry Ryan is dispersed back into the universe to eventually be used to make something else. My hope is that I lived a good enough life, that my energy has a lot of positive stuff about it, and so it is more available to make something of goodness. I don't believe that it will make another Terry Ryan. I am done and something of me has gone to the Great Mystery I call God. What is it that goes to God? Well, that might be another blog!
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Time and time again, I see a jogger out on the trails with Fido, their pet. The jogger is trying for a twofer: time with Fido and getting some exercise. But I can tell that Fido is not into fantasizing about being buffed, sculpted, or fit. Fido does not care for this jogging. Humans program their exercise. Dogs don't. They run when they want and as long as they want. Jogging is not their thing. The tongue is hanging out, lumbering along to keep up. Dogs are faithful, I will give them that. This all reminds me that not everyone is interested in what interests me. I try to avoid twofers, that is, "Let's get together and do something I like." Dogs are our best friends, and sometimes that is not such a good thing for a dog.