Saturday, August 21, 2010

The very, very pious.

Catholic pop-culture.
In his book, Spiritual Direction and Meditation, Merton mentions the popularity monks of 12th century England enjoyed as spiritual directors, often credited with the ability to read souls.  "It was the same kind of credulity that led people to frequent the recluses and anchoresses immured near village churches, who, though doubtless quite pious, had a universal reputation for being gossips."
So you see, sometimes people can mistake piety and devotion for authentic spirituality and holiness.


  1. I know I'm still up at a horribly wicked hour; I'll be out all day tomorrow; just wanted to say "kudos", Terry.
    Piety and devotion. Great.
    Authentic spirituality and holiness. Even greater. Far greater.
    Absolutely needed! Thanks!

  2. If I can see the love Christians have for sinners, ( so that would include me) I know they are loving with God's heart and approach them.

    If folks are too pious, I can feel inadequate in their presence. This is my problem of course, but if they are also loving, their love bids me welcome.

    Someone should write a poem about that. Oh wait, they did already, Francis Thompson's Hound of Heaven.

  3. I'm a very pious person
    - Generally on Fridays and Sundays as long as the traffic isn't too bad.

  4. I forgot to put the ;) so people will know I was kidding.

  5. This is self-criticism BTW - not directed to anyone else.

  6. You mean it wasn't all about MEeeeee????? :-P

  7. Actually, I am at once attracted to and repelled by 'church people', for all the reasons you stated here and in all your other articles.

  8. Georgette, Me too! I'm attracted to Christ whom they carry within their chest but then when I see the their sin of haughtiness it's totally repulsive.

    Kinda like a beautiful woman from behind- with long luxurious hair and when she turns around she apears to be about 80 with no bra and she has a cigarette dangling from her lips.

    (I'm not gay BTW, just really observant.hahahaha)

    Example as follows.

  9. +JMJ+

    For some reason, this makes me think of the fairy tale Donkey Skin. The princess is in disguise, wearing the hide of a donkey, and while she has it on, her true identity never crosses anyone's mind for a single moment. It's true that piety might be just a mask under which there is no holiness, but it's also true that many annoying faults may be a "donkey skin" under which a saint goes unrecognised.

  10. I have been told by several people that I am "too religous." Well..alot of it is the Carmelites spirituality..but many people seems to think that Daily Rosary, Adoration, Daily Mass, prayers at meals, etc are EXCESSIVE, and those activities are things that "old women" do....

    For some reason it does seem to be a turn off to the supposedly "good Catholic" men....when I was in a Catholic singles group a few years ago people were amazed how much time I spent in prayer and sipritual reading daily..and this was before I joined the Secular Carmelites. Most people seemed to be content with meal blessings and that's it..

    Although being in Utah the Mormons for the most part are very "religious" people, so talking about time spent in prayer and study and church attendance and activities does not seem so foreign to them..

    I did have several people ask me too why I don't use the kneelers at church, and kneel on the hard concrete floor...well for me it is a tiny bit of personal penance that I can do, and when my knees can't take it any more I'll use the padded kneelers... But I was also surprised that people noticed...


  11. Last line: possibly the best line you've ever written (in my opinion).


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