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25 January 2017 Changing the Conversation (170509) Celebrating More Than 50 Years (170509) Conscience-Based Moral Judgments (170509) Dignitaries Humanae (170509) False Views on Jesus' Views on Divorce (170509) Mission and Human Rights (170509) Jesus and the Ordination of Women (170516) 29 May 2017 How much of Church Doctrine do we really believe? (170602) Trump Pulls Out of Paris Agreement (170602) 05 June 2017 Thoughts on Religious Vocations: An Open Letter to Pope Francis (170605) I can't get the institutional church out of my system (170618) 25 June 2017 Just War? Enough Already (170703) What would Teilhard say? Evolve or be annihilated (170710) Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (170719) Religion's Wax Nose (170726) American Civil Religion (170731) A Heresy of the Times (170807) Cardinal Calls for Global Church (170818) The Price of Being a Prophet (170821) The Implosion of the Roman Catholic Church (170902) Reflection on Racism in America (170913) Who am I? Where am I going? (170918) One Priest's Hopes for the Mass Translation (170925) The Edge of the Inside (171002) Selective Christianity (171016) Theology at the Cutting Edge: Healing the Political and Social Divide in America (171016) Resisting Islamophobia Is The Catholic Thing To Do. (171023) It Started With a Letter to the Archbishop (171030) Why Do We Still Tolerate Mass Stipends? (171106) Their Cross to Bear: Catholic Women Told to Forgive (171113) Papal loyalists become dissidents (171120) Echoes of Theocracy (171127) Will Pope Francis Remove the 'Warning'? (171204) Gumbleton on Nuclear Deterrence (171211) The Scandal of the 2011 Missal (171218)
ARCC News 2018
Prophets of a Future Not Our Own (20180101) 2018: Time to Become Ultra-Human? (20180118) Time for a Bonfire of Their Vanities? (20180122) Until All Are Welcome My House, My Rules: 3 Women "Rejected" (20180208) Policing the Communion Line (20180205) A Time to Judge (20180212) Mary McAleese Being Banned is Embarrassing (20180219) Correct, Don't Complicate Excommunication (20180226) Catholic Tradition, Labour, and Organizing Workers (20180305) Misogyny in the Vatican (20180312) The Unofficial Saint of the Internet (20180318) Francis Invites Change, But We Are the Change (20180325) Rediscovering the Role of Mary Magdalene as Apostle of the Apostles (20180401) Synodality and its Perils (20180409) Get rid of the clergy - But keep Holy Orders (20180415) Renewing the Program of Priestly Formation (20180429) Male and Female, in the image and likeness of God (20180506) Wedding Bans: Why Do Parishes Turn Young Couples Away? (20180513) Christian Humanism, the Path to the Divine (20180520) Mary - Prophet and Priest (20180527) A Wake-Up Call to Liberal Theologians (20160603) Canonization is right for Oscar Romero (20180610) Could the Church take a risk? (20180618) AJC expresses "Profound Concern" over beatification (20180624) The Bible's #MeToo Problem (20180701) 'Humanae Vitae' and the census fidelium (20180715) The Catholic Church wasn't always so against contraception (20180722) 50 years later, scientist's findings on birth control... (20180729) #MeToo, Your Excellency The Catholic Church needs a way to deal with bad bishops (20180812) The Catholic Church is tempted by power and obsessed with sex (20180819) Real change against abuse... (20180826) Pope Francis is facing a crisis of justice (20180829) Catholics Are Facing a Very Real Emergency (20180902) Truth and its violent consequences (20180909) The Third Millennial Catholic Reformation (20180917) Reality in an Historical-Critical Perspective (20180923) Both Prudential & Indisputable (20180930) Catholic Crossroads and Catholic Conflict (20181007) Schism or Evolution? (20181015) Theology: Stones or Bread? (20181028) White Christian America (20181102) Stone Throwing. Or Not. (20181104) Young People, Hope for the Church(es) (20181112) Who Represents the Laity? (20181118) Open Letter to the US Catholic Bishops: It's Over (20181125) From Collegiality to Synodality (20181203) The Birth of the Messiah (20181217) A Non-traditional Blessing for 2019 (20181231)
ARCC News 2019 Changing Power Relationships


A Heresy of the Times (170807)

A Heresy of the Times


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A heresy of the times
Sister Joan Chittister, O.S.B.
Today prophets of pietism tell us to "pray for peace" and "pray that God's will be done." And this is certainly important. But they do not demand that we ourselves do something to ensure either. Instead, the professional pietist in us acts as if the Book of Genesis, with its emphasis on personal responsibility, had never been written. We fool ourselves into believing that we are supposed to live in this world as if we were living in the next. We create a devil's den of complacency and call it the spiritual life. We make quietism the ideal of the age.
Every era manufactures a heresy proper to the times. Quietism is ours. We call it "separation of church and state" now, but the effects are basically the same. Rather than defend the original meaning of the proposition that no single religion shall be our state religion, we misuse the concept to silence ourselves in the name of spirituality. We ignore the public arena and call ourselves "spiritual" for doing so. We silence ourselves in the name of spirituality. We remove ourselves from things that are "passing." We aspire to "higher things" than civil justice or care for the oppressed. We forgive ourselves our disinterest in the questions of our age on the grounds that those things have nothing to do with being Christian. Only the laws and the customs have something to do with being Christian, we argue, not the gospel.
If there is a major problem in spirituality today, it may be that we do not do enough to form Christians for resistance to evil. We form them for patient endurance and for civil conformity. We form them to be "good" but not necessarily to be "holy." In the doing of it, we make compliant Christians rather than courageous ones, as if bearing evil were more important than confronting it. We go on separating life into parts, one spiritual, one not.
This tension between what is profane and what is spiritual makes all the difference between a holy life and a pious life. The pious life seeks spiritual consolation, a kind of otherworldly disinterest in the secular city. The holy life, if Jesus is any model at all, understands that one without the other is bogus. To be holy on earth we must pursue spiritual fulfillment in the midst of the sacred secular. This awareness of the prophetic power of the spiritual brought me face-to-face with the need to come to grips with a spirituality of resistance. It is, I decided, the relationship between power and justice that makes all the difference between seeking the kingdom of God and seeking spiritual self-satisfaction.

        -from Called to Question by Joan Chittister (Rowan & Littlefield)

Joan Chittister, OSB is an author and international speaker on subjects of spirituality, peace, religious life, and justice for all people, especially women and the poor. She was a prioress of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, Pennsylvania for 12 years. She writes a column for the National Catholic Reporter, "From Where I Stand". Chittister holds a master's degree from the University of Notre Dame and a Ph.D. in speech communication theory from Penn State University. She was also a research associate of St. Edmund's College, Cambridge University. A past president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, she is co-chair of the Global Peace Initiative of Women, a UN-sponsored organization creating a worldwide network of women peacemakers.

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