Monday, December 13, 2010

Stepping out of your paradigm...

"Step out of your paradigm" 
That was the buzz word years ago in corporations - perhaps church-people and parish workers have picked it up along the way:  Nevertheless, the steps are predictable and always taken within parameters.  But life - faith - is not like that...  No, no, no. 
From Alfred Delp:
The One Who Cries in the Wilderness. Woe to an age when the voices of those who cry in the wilderness have fallen silent, outshouted by the noise of the day or outlawed or swallowed up in the intoxication of progress, or growing smothered and fainter for fear and cowardice. The devastation will soon be so terrifying and universal that the word "wilderness" will again strike our hearts and minds. I think we know that.
But still there are no crying voices to raise their plaint and accusation. Not for an hour can life dispense with these John-the-Baptist characters, these original individuals, struck by the lightning of mission and vocation. Their heart goes before them, and that is why their eye is so clear-sighted, their judgment so incorruptible. They do not cry for the sake of crying or for the sake of the voice. Or because they begrudge earth's pleasant hours, exiled as they themselves are from the small warm companionships of the foreground. Theirs is the great comfort known only to those who have paced out the inmost and furthermost boundaries of existence. - Alfred Delp on Advent

"What did you go out to the desert to see?"  What did you study theology to do?  What did you enter religious life for?  Why were you ordained?  Why were you baptized... confirmed?  "What did you go out to the desert to see?  A reed swayed by the wind?" - Mt. 11: 2-11


  1. Much liturgical abuse and otherwise has probably been committed in the name of "stepping out of one's comfort zone".

    One has to be very careful here.

    I think of Frodo. He loved the Shire. He loved it so much he went out from it on the perilous journey as a means of saving it.

    I think the that's what the desert fathers did.

  2. Speaking of the Desert Fathers.... here's some wisdom:

    Abba Elias
    Abba Elias, the minister, said, 'What can sin do where there is penitence? And of what use is love where there is pride?'

    Observe your thoughts, and beware of what you have in your heart and your spirit, knowing that the demons put ideas into you so as to corrupt your soul by making it think of that which is not right, in order to turn your spirit from the consideration of your sins and of God.

    Abba Hyperechius
    It is better to eat meat and drink wine than to eat the flesh of one's brethren through slander.

    Abba Pimen
    A man may seem to be silent, but if his heart is condemning others, he is babbling ceaselessly. But there may be another who talks from morning till night and yet he is truly silent, that is, he says nothing that is not profitable.

    Abba Xanthias
    Abba Xanthias said, 'The thief was on the cross and he was justified by a single word; and Judas who was counted in the number of the apostles lost all his labour in one single night and descended from heaven to hell. Therefore, let no-one boast of his good works, for all those who trust in themselves fall.'

    And a Desert Mother
    Amma Theodora
    The same amma said that a teacher ought to be a stranger to the desire for domination, vain-glory, and pride; one should not be able to fool him by flattery, nor blind him by gifts, nor conquer him by the stomach, nor dominate him by anger; but he should be patient, gentle and humble as far as possible; he must be tested and without partisanship, full of concern, and a lover of souls.

  3. "I cannot promise you happiness in this world (and I know you clever Americans, I've probably mis spelled happiness but and deliberately missing the comma out because I want to empahasizzzzzzzze Our Lady's words to St Bernadette. "can not promise you hapiness in this world, only in the next".
    Sorry to indulge your torture Terry, but spent one of my happiest (in the sense of anticipatory joy)Saturday afternoons, prostrating myself praying two rosaries for you. Sounds insane? Wait until judgment day. I meant that for Terry's stoppers by, I know Terry knows the truth and selfishly, anyone, anyone with an ounce of faith, I want/desire/demand(depends on my mood at the time(someone once accused me of being annoying!! Behold, I stand at the door terrified and knock!! Well, we were told to imitate. I just imitate a bit more out loud. and it is building character in you, that's waht suffering does. It is not without merit. Why else did Our Lord and Saviour have to pay such a price. Shake your own shoulders, to pray for my son, Pad on Wednesday. Terry, you are in my prayers brother, you are in trobule, but it's good trouble. St Thomas More type of trouble.I won't give up on any child of God, that is what you are, that is how you must start regarding, yourself. Please.

  4. Please pray for my son, Pad. Sorry for sounding insane, my boy's health has always been dodgy. Not sure if I have caused it. Ros, mom of five.

  5. Ros - I'm so grateful to you for your prayers - thanks you very much. I am praying for Pad.

  6. Paul you are absolutely right.

    Thanks Henry. Please pray for me.

  7. oh oh! There's desert fathers...and then there's other folks in the desert who feast on locusts. We have a way of growing on ya.

    You know, for years, I was in front of the Blessed Sacrament, content to adore. It's where He harvests wilderness criers.

    You better watch out!


    64. "Through the prophets, God forms his people in the hope of salvation, in the expectation of a new and everlasting Covenant intended for all, to be written on their hearts.[Cf. Is 2:2-4 ; Jer 31:31-34; Heb 10:16 .] The prophets proclaim a radical redemption of the People of God, purification from all their infidelities, a salvation which will include all the nations.[

    2004. "Among the special graces ought to be mentioned the graces of state that accompany the exercise of the responsibilities of the Christian life and of the ministries within the Church: Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; he who teaches, in his teaching; he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who contributes, in liberality; he who gives aid, with zeal; he who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

  8. +JMJ+

    Online columnist Fred Reed dislikes the word "paradigm" so much that when he has to use it--usually in a satire--he has someone pronounce it as "paradiggum."

    I haven't liked using the word since he started doing that. =P

  9. I hate the word too - it was so over used by people I worked with in the 1980's. I like to use it sarcastically though. All the people I've ever met stressing to step out of it were control freaks - hence my meaning of remaining within paraemeters - it's a phony dogma. I don't think I expressed myself very well in the post.


Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. If you use your real name there is a better chance your comment will stay put.