You no doubt have heard of the words RINO, not so? It means Republican in Name Only, a somewhat derogatory terms for someone who votes Republican but doesn’t really believe the conservative principles of the Republican Part (whatever they are, depending on your political assumptions). There is also DINO for Democrats in Name Only, too. I was thinking in my Lectio about a CINO or Catholic in Name Only.  Who would those people be? What would they believe? What would I believe?

Being are bit more adventuresome in Cistercian spirituality now, than five years ago, I applied this CINO label first to myself and not to others. Here are my thoughts about what it would mean, if I was a CINO.

  • I would grumble about having to go to Mass on Sunday but would do so to please my spouse or my children.
  • I would  never think of growing deeper into the Life of Christ.
  • I would think it a waste of time to do contemplation–get nothing out of it.
  • I would not want to attend anything at Church other than Mass and that for only fifty minutes maximum.
  • I would see Christ like Santa Claus, a figment of history, a myth, not a person.
  • I would write “Catholic” when I filled out the space required for “Religion” on forms but think of my Church has just a place where I must keep the rules, and, if I break a rule, I must go to confession.
  • I would not actually believe in the Real Presence of Christ nor make any attempt to grow deeper in my love of Christ.
  • I would think that love has nothing to do about my relationship with God.
  • I would think all religions are the same because, there is, after all, just one God.
  • I would not believe that morality was natural law and that the Church is the custodian. Rather, law comes from the Constitution or any government.
  • I would think that my body is my own, to do with as I please and no one can tell me what to do with it, even God, especially God.
  • I would think I belonged to a Church of the Mind rather than think that I need to grow in Christ so that I enter the Church of the Heart.
  • I believe that I am saved and go to Heaven, if I just belong to this Church and don’t do anything to love others. Matthew 25:31-46.
  • I go to Church on whenever I feel like it, even if I get bored, and don’t feel that I am getting anything out of it.
  • I don’t think I have to work to take up my cross daily with prayer and conversion of life to be more like Christ.
  • I am not know how to be happy nor enjoy my time with Christ in contemplation using silence and solitude but feel that God  deserves 30 minutes a week, sometimes, why, I am not sure.
  • I don’t pass on my heritage to my children, mainly because I am not convinced it is important.
  • I have not been in fierce love with Christ, ever, so I don’t know what it means to find someone you really love more than anything or anyone and do anything to be with that person…foreer.
  • I don’t read Scriptures, ever. Scripture is too confusing and contradictory.
  • I have not lost my faith, because I have never had it to begin with.
  • I break into confusion at the first sign someone challenges my faith and break into a sweat when I have to explain what it means to be a Catholic.
  • I have not received the Sacrament of Reconciliation in years because it is easier for me to ask God for forgiveness and give myself absolution.
  • I never do reparation for my sins or reflect on having in me the mind of Christ because it is a waste of time and doesn’t do anything for me.
  • The Church is barely alive but Christ is dead.
  • It is easy for me to practice my faith because god look a lot like me.
  • I am not tempted to do evil because I just do what makes me feel good or what I think will make me happy.
  • I believe that the whole Church is hypercritical and can’t be holy because the priests all are pedophiles and they preach chastity.
  • I don’t believe in three persons in one God. It goes against my reason.
  • The Center of My Life is all about power, money, fame, fortune, family, feeling good, making myself happy with entertainment, finding others who think like me.
  • All this religion stuff is made up by a Jewish boy who had Messianic thoughts and convinced his followers that he was god’s son and our savior. There is no resurrection, ascension, death, judgement, heaven or hell.  I just believe it as a philosophy to please others, not because I actual think it is real.
  • Reality is only made up of the physical universe and the mental universe, but not the spiritual universe.

As a Lay Cistercian in constantly need of conversion to the mind of Christ Jesus, I don’t worry about if others are CINO or not. I sit in the tax collector’s seat at Church every day (if I can), the very back bench, and dare not look up at the cross behind the altar. I repeat, over and over, Jesus, Son of David, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

The purpose of life is to love God with my whole heart, my whole mind, my whole strength and my neighbor as myself. (Deuteronomy 6 and Matthew 22:34-40)

Praise to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. The God who is, who was, and who is to come at the end of the ages. Amen and Amen. –Cistercian doxology






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