I WONDER…: THE SCHIZOPHRENIC CATHOLIC

I wonder if there is such a thing as a schizophrenic in religion, such as a person that has two personalities and exists in two sets of behaviors within that personality type. I do not refer to the duality that exists when Baptism makes us heirs to the kingdom of heaven, while we have citizenship on earth.

My thoughts go to a person who says they are Catholic (and that can range from a social Catholic all the way to a Lay Cistercian or other Lay Oblates, such as Benedictine, Franciscan, or Dominican, to name only a few).

  • Here are some observations. I try not to judge (although I still do).
  • Catholics who go to Eucharist because their mom and dad did.
  • Catholics who say they are personally against Abortion but vote to make it legitimate.
  • Catholics do not recognize that they are cross carriers and heirs of the kingdom of heaven.
  • Catholics are social butterflies and try to please their spouse and give example to their children, without believing in what they profess in the Creed.
  • Catholics believe so because it is life insurance (fire insurance?).
  • Catholics profess one thing in private and something totally different in public (denying Christ three times like St. Peter).
  • Catholics who have never tried to grow deeper in Christ and feel the weight of discipleship.
  • Catholics who have never read The Catholic Catechism or accessed USCCB’s website. (usccb.org)
  • Catholics who have gone to church faithfully their whole life but don’t know what conversion of life each day, means.
  • Catholics who have compartmentalized their Faith within the Church walls and without.
  • Catholics who call others names, and race and body shaming others while smugly thinking they are superior.
  • Catholics who think their Faith is keeping the rules (which it is) but not growing deeper into Christ’s love in their hearts. It is mercy I seek, says God, not sacrifice.

Read the following text as a prayer and as something you want in your life to keep you balanced and on track.

Denunciation of the Scribes and Pharisees.

1a Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples,

2* saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.

3 Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice.

4b They tie up heavy burdens* [hard to carry] and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them.

5* c All their works are performed to be seen. They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.

6* d They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,

7 greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’

8* As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’ You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.

9 Call no one on earth your father; you have but one Father in heaven.

10 Do not be called ‘Master’; you have but one master, the Messiah.

11e The greatest among you must be your servant.

12f Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

13* g “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the kingdom of heaven* before human beings. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter.

[14]*

15* “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You traverse sea and land to make one convert, and when that happens you make him a child of Gehenna twice as much as yourselves.

16* h “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If one swears by the temple, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gold of the temple, one is obligated.’

17 Blind fools, which is greater, the gold, or the temple that made the gold sacred?

18 And you say, ‘If one swears by the altar, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gift on the altar, one is obligated.’

19 You blind ones, which is greater, the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred?

20i One who swears by the altar swears by it and all that is upon it;

21 one who swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it;

22 one who swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who is seated on it.

23j “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You pay tithes* of mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier things of the law: judgment and mercy and fidelity. [But] these you should have done, without neglecting the others.

24* k Blind guides, who strain out the gnat and swallow the camel!

25* l “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence.

26 Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may be clean.

27* “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth.

28m Even so, on the outside you appear righteous, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.

29* “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees,* you hypocrites. You build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the memorials of the righteous,

30n and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have joined them in shedding the prophets’ blood.’

31o Thus you bear witness against yourselves that you are the children of those who murdered the prophets;

32 now fill up what your ancestors measured out!

33p You serpents, you brood of vipers, how can you flee from the judgment of Gehenna?

34* q Therefore, behold, I send to you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and pursue from town to town,

35so that there may come upon you all the righteous blood shed upon earth, from the righteous blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.

36 Amen, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

SEVEN FAMOUS LAST WORDS THAT PEOPLE TELL ST. PETER WHEN THEY GET TO HEAVEN

Here are my ideas about what people who are atheists, agnostics, and schizophrenic Catholics, including myself, do when we first get to heaven.

St. Peter greets each person outside the walls with a smile and handshake. “Welcome to Heaven,” he says, “show me your tattoo and give me the password.” People would likely soil themselves, but there are no pants, no soiling, nothing, just you and St. Peter. I show him my tattoo and the password, and he tells me to wait next to him.

  • “You know,” he says, looking at me, “I get a lot of crazy statements when people first get here and get over their shock.
  • One human said, “Who do you think you are, spoiling my afternoon grilling with my family. Get me out of here.”
  • Another told me, “Why didn’t the Catholic Church tell me about this and what the password is? What is this tattoo you are talking about? I don’t have any tattoos.”
  • Still, another woman told me that the Scriptures did not mention this and that I was wrong to betray the Word of God.”
  • I had another one, an atheist, tell me to “Go to Hell.” At least he was honest. I like that.

Do you know what the tattoo is? How about the password? I am not going to tell you. Life is about trying to find out what it means to be fully human, to move to that next level of our evolution, but one that requires me to choose to do so. It is not the collective conveyor belt of “the spine of reality” that happens because we are travelers in the river of time as it flows inexorably from creation to Omega (Teilhard’s Chart (unattributed)). I own 82.8 years of this time on the river and have accumulated many experiences along the way that contribute to who I am as a human being. Based on what I know, my consciousness speaks to me that the tattoo is the sign of my Baptism, the cross. This means that I am an adopted son (daughter) of the Father but it also means that I am raised beyond the paranoia and schizophrenia of ordinary living by the power of Christ, the power of knowledge, of love, and of service to others. Christ alone has the power of the Resurrection to allow me to tag along as I daily seek to convert myself more to that of being fully human, and less to my mere human self. It is a constant struggle, one that has a password for those who are aware of the process. It is the sign of the fish (Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior). Anyone who utters this name does so by the power of the Holy Spirit.

With humility and obedience to the Father as my attributes, I can only stumble forward each day, confronting whatever is in my path, knowing that, whatever comes my way, I am walking with Christ.

uiodg

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