Is there a spiritual development resonating in the Catholic Church? I certainly hope and pray.
The Wall Street Journal, July 29th, issued a "News Alert" that the "Pope Signals Openness to Gay Priests." I found it interesting that this statement was considered a "news alert" in the media. But sorry as it is, I'm afraid that it may be the painful truth.
My immediate reaction was that this train is so far out of the station that I hope that the hierarchy hasn't missed it completely. Jesus led this train of love and acceptance thousands of years ago. He broke away from the "powers that were" welcoming and accepting all, even to the horror of many, befriending outcasts and dining with tax collectors. Christ put separation, distinctions and conventional rules aside only operating with the rule of Love.
I wonder how the Message was morphed through the ages.
As a Catholic nun for seven years I saw the power of the Catholic Church in making and breaking rules, baptizing and excommunicating members, and throwing a heap of guilt on those poor souls that miss their mark of perfection. The guilt and fear that many of us "guilt sponges" absorbed influenced our lifetime decision making patterns. This heavy burden of guilt is being wrung out today in baby steps.
As we wind our ways down our spiritual sojourns each of us has to find the Light along the way. We have to balance the rules of the Church with the tugging of our heartstrings and the call that we feel deep inside our souls. Yes, the Spirit does speak to each and every one of us directing our destinies. We do not have to solely rely on the official rulings of the Church.
As I read the Wall Street Journal Article, I recalled my own personal spiritual struggle with the Church's interpretations of "right and wrong" and "black and white." I had to learn my "7 Secrets to Guilt-Free Living" that gave me the courage and permission to break away from Church dictates and to follow my heart leading to my own happiness.
My first secret seems so appropriate for today: "Don't let religion get in the way of your relationship with God."
I was taught (many years ago) that there is one true Church and following those rites, rituals and rules of the Catholic Church would lead me to heaven. Many of us embraced that thinking, but in practicality it has not served us. Many struggle searching to find more meaningful expressions of our true spiritual beliefs.
With the growing number of "nones" and "spiritual nones" (those choosing "none of the above" in the religious category), we see a mass exodus from traditional religion.
Christ will never leave His church. Perhaps in reality, all the many sexual, financial, and other scandals that the Church has been battling have been the Spirit at work. I see the Spirit giving us ample reason to question the traditional Catholic doctrine moving us back to the original "Message of Love."
Although there may be a spiritual development dawning in the Vatican, I now eagerly await its full realization. How long does it take for a "signal" to initiate an overdue "call to action"?
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