Catholic Interest

Interesting things Catholic

  • ..the devil's in the details..
  • ... John 5 25-29 ...
  • National Shrine in Wash. D.C>
    Add to My Yahoo! << # St. Blog's Parish ? >>

    Monday, October 22, 2007

    Weakland is not Augustine, and prayer



    This Sunday's readings theme.. the answer to prayers.

    Isn't a child's 2nd impression of God that He really doesn't answer prayers. I would think so. That's a tough thing for a child to know. The answers are God's answers, not human answers. Perhaps Weakland's tree story can help.

    I ran across this vintage Weakland '86 story at of all places the Call to Action site. And as it was with Weakland, you get some good, and some bad.

    First the good. Here's a great Weakland story about how God always answers prayers. If that's not what Weakland had in mind, let's make the best of it.

    link

    I want to close with a story. Three young trees were growing up side by side in the forest. Each tree was dreaming. Each tree was dreaming in a very selfish way. One tree said, "I want to be a part of a luxurious house, where all kinds of fancy well-dressed people will come and stroke me and say, 'What beautiful paneling!"' The second tree said, "When I grow up, I want to be the mast of a ship, where everyone will see me, and I will carry the flag." The third tree said, "I don't care for the sea, but I want to do the same thing on land. I want-- to be the top of a great tower, so that all who pass by will look up and say, "Ah, that must have been a great tree." Now the first tree that wanted to be part of a luxurious house was chopped down and made into a manger for a baby. The second tree that wanted to be the mast of a ship was cut down and made into a simple plank where someone could sit in the bark and teach. The third tree that wanted to be a tower was cut down and made into the beam of a cross.

    Those 3 lucky trees got one heck of an answer. Perhaps they were not explicitly praying, but as I said, let's make the best of it.

    Now the bad. An interesting peek into the thinking of Weakland, and other Call to Action type folks. A little rant against Augustinianism. From a man who felt like "St. Sebastian, full of arrows. I remember when I was a young monk, we had table reading and we used to read the martyrology, the lives of the saints. There was one monk -- I identify very much with him -- who the martyrology says was stabbed twenty-five times, eighteen of which were fatal."

    Ouch. Sounds like a persecution complex. And after all, we did persecute him right out of the diocese, so perhaps he was right in some way.

    And by the way,--and I say this very seriously,-- there is a new Augustinianism permeating the Church today. I sense it everywhere. It is almost as if the world is so evil, we are going to pull back from it and create our little perfect world. We are going to get rid of the divorced, the gays, and everybody else that gives us problems. We are going to pull back and live in our own perfect society. Such a tendency is out there, a total negativism toward the world, and therefore you detach from it and get above it, a little bit transcendent. That is all foolishness. Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes, says there is only one model now: compenetrability. You and I live in a world that is mixed. The wheat grows up with the tares. If we detach ourselves, the detachment is for the world, not from the world.

    He sensed it everywhere while full of arrows, bravely marching on. There is no Augustinian that withdrawing from the world, does not withdraw for the world. All contemplative orders withdraw only to serve.

    "It is almost as if the world is so evil, we are going to pull back from it and create our little perfect world. We are going to get rid of the divorced, the gays, and everybody else that gives us problems. We are going to pull back and live in our own perfect society."

    Did Weakland see avoiding sin an attempt to "create our little perfect world"? I think yes. Did Weakland see holding to the sinful nature of divorce and homosexual acts a way to "get rid of the divorced, the gays, and everybody else that gives us problems". Yes again.

    Avoiding sin does not create a perfect world, it brings down a fire that Jesus wished was already lit. Avoiding sin is tough work that brings the world into contrast. Greys go away. Everything looks less perfect. Weakland misunderstands the motive.

    Weakland also thinks it is an attempt to get rid of folks who "gives us problems". That's a near miss, but a big miss. They don't give "us" problems (we have problems enough of our own), but they have problems that they themselves carry. And for the sake of their eternal souls, if the problems are public, they need to be pointed out. As the 2nd Sunday reading said... "be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching."

    Well anyway, I found Weakland's '86 chat interesting in that it is found in Call to Action's "foundation documents" section. Some views through the dark glass that through persistent patience and teaching can be cleared up with time, we pray.

    0 Comments:

    Post a Comment

    Links to this post:

    Create a Link

    << Home

    catholic interest.