"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Writing about things we know nothing about.

Covering statues.
Everyone knows they are there.

Like Charlotte Catholic.

I wasn't there.  I only know what I read.  And formed an opinion.  And wrote about it.

I don't write for a living - I don't get paid to keep up posting for ad revenue.  Why do I do it then?

Evasion.  Attention.  Looking for a reaction.

Seriously meddlesome.

One could even imagine they know enough to be the spiritual director of priests.  I say that because I came across a blog post by a lay person pretty much doing that - even suggesting remedies for what ails a priest.  Well intended, no doubt.  Convinced of one's good intentions, to be sure.  Qualified?  Not so much.

Convinced of our own self righteousness?

Especially when we think we are.

Reading bloggers I don't like helps me to see my faults.


  1. Many lay persons are qualified and gifted spiritual directors, and many priests seek lay directors specifically for non-clerical guidance and a safe space to reflect. I strongly agree that the internet is no place for spiritual direction.

    1. I would never go to a lay person for spiritual direction.

    2. There is no need for you to, as there are many priests who are gifted spiritual directors.

    3. "non-clerical guidance and a safe space to reflect" is not necessarily spiritual direction.

      I noticed you seem to like offering spiritual direction - perhaps you should start a blog.

    4. I'm normally not online this much. I've been home with a stomach flu and a sick cat, and found your blog interesting. I'll stay away from now on.

    5. Sorry. Feel better.

  2. The wind blows wherever it pleases... St Francis was never an ordained priest.

    Some Pharisees, teachers of the law, considered Jesus a Galilean and not therefore eligible to be the Messiah. Their knowledge was imperfect.

    When we fail or choose not to see Jesus in others (made in the image of God) we miss out on a wonderful opportunity to be led by the Holy Spirit.

    “I shall ask the Father and he will give you another Advocate to be with you forever, that Spirit of truth who the world can never receive since it neither sees or knows him; but you know him, because he is with you, he is in you.” (John 14 : 16-17)

  3. BG: I would go to a lay person such as a monk or a nun. I may even ask a qualified educator for spiritual advice. Likewise I would go to a qualified deacon. I would prefer a priest with the option of making sacramental confession. I prefer going to a priest and do so. I also believe a priest would always do better going to another priest for spiritual direction.

    I say I would never go to a lay person - especially one who charges per visit-per hour - because I do not consider spiritual direction, the care of souls, as a business. If I wanted a therapist I'd get one. My understanding of spiritual direction is more monastic I suppose. Nevertheless, in something as intimate as matters of conscience, one must be very careful and prudent - and it is always the soul's prerogative to make such a choice. I know of lay spiritual directors who have done great harm to troubled souls who naively believe they should surrender themselves in unquestioning obedience and allow others to tell them what to do or lead them astray. This can happen with priests as well.

    BG - like many Catholics these days, you seem to see Pharisees everywhere, especially in those who disagree with you. We are all Pharisees and act like them from time to time. Yet as lay people we are not 'teachers of the law' per se - we are sheep who can easily be led astray by charismatic events, persons, or our own conceit.

    What suits me for spiritual direction is quite simple and readily available.

    Today there may be many knowledgeable and gifted spiritual students and writers, even those who live very devout, contemplative lives, there are also many charlatans who assume they are qualified spiritual directors, when in fact they are not. Some will take your soul if you let them.

    Blind leading the blind - everyone falls into the pit.

    But then again, you have Medjugorje on your side, so you know best.

  4. Golly, well, yup. My urge to consider blogging again has been fixed for this week. You provide an excellent service for me, Mr. Button. :)

    1. I'm glad to be of help. :)

  5. Hi Terry, you explain your position well, far more eloquently than I could ever hope to. But I don’t why you seem so touchy about me using the word pharisee in my comment. I wasn’t disagreeing with anyone, simply sharing my own experience. I don’t see pharisees everywhere, that’s simply a presumption or your part. In fact I attempt to see beyond any label people choose to place on others.

    I’ve just spent the past four weeks (since Ash Wednesday) in hospital undergoing open-heart surgery. I witnessed the suffering Jesus in every bed, be they Moslem, Sikh, Christian, unbeliever or anything else. I saw the image of God in every person, be they patient or carer. I witnessed the Wind blowing where it chooses and not stopping to ask if the person was a Pharisee, a Catholic, a priest or spiritual director.

    God uses each of us in all situations to make his love known and present.

    As for Medjugorje, did I even mention the place? :)

    1. Sorry - I'm a little gun shy from comments - not in the best spirits - I'm very sorry. All the best!


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