Warm greetings to all of you here ...
I am writing to introduce myself and a new site Cor Jesu Sacratissimum
This website is also a humble attempt by my wife Kim and myself at supporting Catholic culture in a hostile secular and increasingly New Age culture ...
By way of introduction, I will say that Second Spring is a site that I have admired for years as one of the BEST ...
And that I regret that I have never supported it, despite receiving several complementary copies of the journal - and a kind email from Stratford once, which has never been forgotten.
I regret ... there is one major reason for this lack of support. It is quite extreme circumstances ... at least by first world standards. Much of the last years I have been in third world circumstances in first world countries. Which has served to open my heart to what is really going on in most of the world ...
I only mention that because my regret of lack of support IS genuine. In other circumstances, my support would have been more evident.
My background is perhaps unusual, inasmuch as I was once passionately committed to the New Age movement - and was liberated from that movement via a book Stratford has mentioned numerous times: Meditations on the Tarot.
I say VIA a book deliberately - for the true liberator was Jesus Christ.
Kim and I converted to Catholicism in Easter 2000 and we are both now deeply concerned about the threat the New Age poses to the faith ...
This is a key theme at our site ...
Another theme is traditional Catholicism of the Latin Mass ...
Years of searching and suffering through countless Masses in six or seven countries - I´ve moved around a lot, but try to go to Mass daily ...
Have brought me to conclude that the Novus Ordo is a catastrophe. Yes hundreds of Masses in Ireland, France, Spain and more with so so little priests ... Often the priest feeling he needed to be a comedian ...
I do not write those strong words, without, as I say, years of searching and suffering ... I could not have written them even a year or two ago.
I have moved from a position of almost unqualified support of the reforms engendered by Vatican II, moved painfully to a position more akin to that of many indult traditionalists ...
I notice that in the extensive and admirable links section at Second Spring, there are not so many traditionalist sites ...
And I notice that at the traditionalist sites there are not links to Second Spring!
Two divided communities it would seem ...
Our new site still in construction will finally be giving a small crumb of support to Second Spring by linking to it ...
I will also be linking to people like the Fraternity of St Pierre, the Institute of Christ the King etc ...
I wish both communities would speak more to each other.
Time is pressed. And my internet time limited. But after my signature for any of you who care to read further, I am pasting in my latest blog entry.
And after that I paste in one from my wife Kim ...
I think the first tends to introduce myself and many of my course concerns in perhaps as good a way as any ...
With my warm appreciation and deep respect for all that Second Spring is doing
PS. Before pasting in my latest entry, I will also give just a little bit of context for it
from a previous entry -
" here it seems to me is a principal difference in the way that New Age spirituality and Christian spirituality often manifests. Thus, elsewhere at this site, one may find that I quote from the backcover of one edition of Eckhart Tolle's New Age bestseller The Power of Now.
"The Power of Now can transform your thinking … The result? More joy - right now! " So opines Oprah Winfrey. Then the blurb tells us:
"To make the journey into the Power of Now, we will need to leave our analytical mind and ego behind … We can find our way out of psychological pain. Authentic human power is to be found by surrender to the Now … the present moment where problems do not exist. … It is here that we discover that we are already complete and perfect."
As insufficient as a backcover blurb must necessarily be, I think we have here an indication - at least - of the enormous gulf between the values of a certain New Age orientation and Christianity.
For contrary to the common New Age idea that all spiritual paths amount to the same thing in essence, it would seem evident that there is an enormous gulf between an orientation that posits an already existent perfection , with a goal of finding one's way out of pain by "authentic human power" and arguably leaving our human-ness "behind" - versus an orientation that is about the fallen-ness (and not perfection) of the human condition, which embraces suffering (rather finding "a way out"), which emphasises the need for Grace (rather than "human power") and embraces human-ness (including the analytical mind) rather than leaving human-ness behind …"
Posted on 01 May 2009 by roger
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 traditional Catholic - 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 …
Posted on 29 Apr 2009 by kim
I will never forget my first Latin Mass. It was incredible.
With the priest facing the tabernacle, his back turned to us, it was as though he was leading us to our Lord.
The beautiful robe the priest wore seemed to cover us all, being an instrument in this sacred journey. Each and every prayer and word spoken was sacred, again aiding the route to the Lord.
The music was beautiful, the attitude solemn and serious.
For this is a solemn and serious event. It is not a place for the banal and mediocre.
One that made my soul sing. I felt so deeply nourished.
An elderly Irish lady dear to me, once spoke of her experience of the change of the Mass in the 1960's. She said that with the old rite, she was looking directly towards God in the tabernacle. Whilst with the new rite she was looking into the face of a man.
I found this a very striking comment. What do you think?