Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Pearls before swine.

Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine - lest they trample them underfoot and turn and tear you to pieces...

Today's Gospel.  Every time I hear that I think of writers - and now, with instant publishing on a blog - bloggers.  We often write our deepest, most sacred thoughts - be they camouflaged by parody and humor, or blatantly expressed with pathos.  Of course our thoughts aren't always holy - but they are deeply personal and if we are foolish enough, they come from the depths of our soul - thoughts that should be for God alone.  When we reveal these things, we sell our birthright for a meal, as it were.  Our spirit becomes dissipated and distracted.  Not all our thoughts should be publicized at every opportunity.

That's the secret of real art.  A painter shouldn't have to reveal more than he paints - he shouldn't have to add a narrative.

I'm not there.

That's the title of the 2007 film on Bob Dylan.  I love the title - it means something much different to me than what is intended by the creators.  The Beatles Abbey Road album, for which this blog is named, holds a special meaning for me much different than what the artists intended.  My secret for myself...

That said - I love that expression - or 'having said that' ....

I feel sorry for some of the Catholic bloggers online.  Especially those who document their lives on line as a means of support.  It's a bit like imagining the world is your friend.  Discussing your family, your friends, you work, your accomplishments, your failures, and so on.  The more unstable often go into great detail about what most would keep private.  They can be quite convinced they are offering a public service by doing so.  They are tell all writers.

Some of the converts online can be rather remarkable in so far as they document all the ups and downs of their conversion, their 'evolution' in doctrine and devotion.  I feel sorry for them.  The most dramatic are usually the most disturbed... psychological issues.  In such cases I feel sorry.

The importance of being earnest.

There's a story out today that the Holy Father may have said the seers at Medjugorje tell lies.  The translation of what he said is faulty - so don't attribute a great deal of credence to that.  However, if that were the case, many important Churchmen would have been deceived - or guilty of propagating deceit...  The Holy Father is supposed to have commented on the locutions and messages.  I find my take on such things is in agreement with what the Pope is reported to have said...
That's pure superstition to think the apparition itself is needed for graces. He then says:
"Maybe there are more personal phenomena. Some letters have reached me, but you see that there are more psychological issues… We have to distinguish good things…"
Later it is reported the Holy Father shared this reflection:
"The theme of the apparitions, to be clear. Try to see the side of the locution. So, as I said, it will be from one extreme to another. Sometimes this phrase almost physically embodies a vision and sometimes it can be a mere inspiration , "says the Pope seeking concepts to express what he thinks about these phenomena. " For example ," he continues, "those people who feel that Our Lady tells them something have a voiceover in prayer and then say: Our Lady told me that ... Of course. They express it in a way that it seems that she appeared to them … But that the seers are protagonists and organize scheduled appearances … that is a sin that may accompany a great grace. " - Te Deum

The Internet - blogs and Catholic editorials and news portals can be similar.

We talk about our personal experience, our insights in prayer, our understanding of theology or mysticism, we have a voiceover in prayer ... and we seek to guide others.  Then we protest and complain when others point out that we are charlatans ... flawed human beings who have a tendency to pontificate.

I knew a nun who went to adoration to compose poems.  I knew another who went to adoration to hear her locutions.  They both published them.  Both works were equally banal.

Blogs are like that.


  1. So true - from one who made all those mistakes!

  2. Pearls before swine?
    Cardinal Napier agrees with me

  3. Agreed. Some Are quite vitriolic and show the blogger to be in such a sick spiritual state. They are echo chambers unto themselves

  4. Terry - your post had me thinking about a firm guideline we have in our secular Carmelite community: No discussion of personal spiritual experiences - the kinds of things that are best left for confessors and spiritual directors. As it periodically explained for new people, everyone is at different stages and everyone has a story to convey. There can be pride involved in discussing very personal things that come to us in prayer. And, there are ways to convey spiritual learnings without being specific about an experience that has apparent supernatural origins. St. Teresa was very good this way, where if someone didn't tell you, you wouldn't have known she was speaking about herself. Other saints were very reserved about telling others about presumed supernatural experiences. They might speak to a confessor or spiritual director about them, but to casually tell others about these things, or make them public, was often difficult, and sometimes under obedience. They did not want others to think they were special. That is one of the flaws that can result from such behavior, but it is a very stealthy form of pride.


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