Catholic Wisdom

Don't worry, I'm not about to set up a shrine to Our Lady of North Bristol.

It's just that from time to time I find the odd snippet from the Catholic wing that strikes a chord and which I think is worth repeating.

Third stream Christian groups - which I have written about elsewhere - have historically been happy to learn from the best of the Catholic mystic tradition while retaining a solid adherence to the authority of Scripture and an evangelical understanding of salvation/justification.

It is in that spirit that I offer the following quote from Scott Schaeffer-Duffy who with his wife Claire started the St. Francis and Theresa Worker House in 1986 (inspired by the example of Catholic civil rights activist Dorothy Day) in Worcester, Massachusetts:

"We confess to being fools and wish that we were more so.... We seek an irrational and personalist way of doing things that trusts in the miraculous power of God.... Without government aid, salaries, grants or institutional help from the Church, and often without many volunteers, we feed and house people, deliver aid in war zones, confront local and national injustices, and still manage to have happy personal and family lives. That's pretty miraculous to me."

Although I may not choose to use the word "irrational" and although I would see "help from the church" as a good thing, nonetheless, I share with the writer the desire for a church that is weak, as far as human might is concerned. Such a church consciously rejects the mechanisms of power and influence that govern much human activity in the political, economic and military spheres. This same church is powerful in its adherence to the gospel, its seeking of another Kingdom, its commitment to prayer and its experience and expectation of God's active and supernatural involvement.

I think Paul had something similar in mind when he said: when I am weak,then I am strong.

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