By Jon Sweeney
Jon Sweeney, a self-described “evolved Protestant” and famous spiritual author, has lengthy been occupied with the Catholic Church. notwithstanding, it wasn’t till he used to be a tender missionary within the Philippines that he really started to comprehend the Church’s traditions, mysteries, and spiritual ideals and its carry on those that stick with the culture. As he explains, Catholic spirituality is all approximately responding to the elemental secret of Jesus, the incarnation, and what all of it intended first and foremost in addition to what it ability today.In virtually Catholic, Sweeney deals an appreciation of Catholicism, weaving within the tale of his personal explorations with these of others who've additionally been drawn to this custom. He unearths himself interested in the Church’s historic and medieval traditions out of a wish to connect to the inner most and widest paths at the means. millennia of saints and practices and teachings and secret shape a connection for him to the very beginnings of Christianity.
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Extra resources for Almost Catholic: An Appreciation of the History, Practice, and Mystery of Ancient Faith
Joan: Of course. That is how the messages of God come to us. —George Bernard Shaw, SAINT JOAN 1 I used to live my life entirely from within what I would call a Protestant worldview that sees humanity as essentially separated from God. Protestants tend to emphasize the gulf that divides us, emphasizing how right belief may bridge the gap. It was once just me and my Bible and my pastor, discerning the truth—or so I thought at the time. But in fact, I simply had not yet discovered the teachers and saints who already surrounded me, the tradition that supported me, and the myriad ways that God was not separated from me but woven into all of my relationships.
The Catholic imagination sees the world from a perspective that is messy and particular and mystical. God is here. God is with us. We are generalists. ”9 So was mine. A Protestant mind wants to pull strands apart, dissecting and critiquing them, while the Catholic mind winds strands together. Take their different approaches to understanding a portion of scripture, for instance. The Protestant approach might be to break down the verses into phrases, analyzing the original languages, and applying some modest textual s a c re d s p ace s a nd pla c es 39 criticism to show how what was once said may be applied to today’s situations.
One of the surest signs of an inner spiritual life is the frustration, anger, and enthusiasm of the lapsed, the doubter, the one who has intentionally put himself or herself on the outside looking in. 22 d o u bte rs an d b eli ev er s , a t hei s t s a nd agn o stics 23 Doubt is the most powerful fuel to faith. Even when doubt batters belief (our ability to agree that something is true) like a ship at sea during a nor’easter—even then, doubt fuels faith, our wanting to believe. I feel far more comfortable with people who have doubted than I do with those for whom belief always seems to be a lock.