There’s a passage in Mark’s Gospel in which Jesus’ disciples complain that someone — one who is not one of them — is casting out demons in Jesus’ name. It seems that fundamentalists of all ages have held a belief that there was only one way to get to the kingdom; only one way, and that was through Jesus.
This belief was has been characterized as “a little intolerant,” by a humble holy man who also said that it was wrong to hold to the conviction that “those who do not have the truth, cannot do good.”
“The Lord created us in His image and likeness, and we are the image of the Lord, and He does good and all of us have this commandment at heart: do good and do not do evil. All of us,” the new voice seemed to be calling out to me from the Wilderness in the Year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Thirteen.
‘But, Father, this is not Catholic! He cannot do good.’
“Yes, he can. He must. Not can: must! Because he has this commandment within him. Instead, this ‘closing off’ that imagines that those outside, everyone, cannot do good is a wall that leads to war and also to what some people throughout history have conceived of: killing in the name of God. That we can kill in the name of God.
And that, simply, is blasphemy. To say that you can kill in the name of God is blasphemy.
“The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone!
‘Father, the atheists?’
Even the atheists.
And this Blood makes us children of God of the first class! We are created children in the likeness of God and the Blood of Christ has redeemed us all!
”And we all have a duty to do good. And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace. If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter: we need that so much. We must meet one another doing good.
‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’
“But do good: we will meet one another there.”
I was simply flummoxed when I read what he said. It mirrors so perfectly with what I’ve been slow to realize over the past number of years. That He is the father of all, and not just those who hold to a particular dogma (or any or no dogma for that matter). That our God smiles with paternal adoration of the atheist scientist or the agnostic guitar player – both of whom exercise their talents as he intended. That we are all participants in the DNA of the divine. Freaking amazing.
Ain’t it cool, Wolf.
Catholics — no, people of all faiths, or no faiths at all — have someone who understands that no religious group has a monopoly on love and compassion for our fellow man and woman. He’s got a real “bully pulpit” to spread more understanding whether the clergy of his own flock like it or not!
Go, Friar Pope. Go!
I’m not sure what “magis” means, but I take it you like what the Friar Pope Francis has said about those not following a certain church dogma : doors are open for all doing good!
Jersey Joe reminds me of a joe from a place I call “Old Poplar Town” near the holy city of Ogden. It was magical, mystical and imaginationable place and time!
Magis refers to the Jesuit philosophy of doing more, for Christ, and therefore for others. It is an expression of an aspiration and inspiration. It relates to forming the ideal society centered around Jesus Christ.
The roots of the phrase are ascribed to St. Ignatius’ exercise of doing more for God. He would encourage people around him during his time by asking: “What have I done for God? What am I doing for God? and What MORE can I do for Him?”
…and Contoveros reminds me of an intelligent and thoughtful man, who, even at an early age, lived life seeking the truth and doing good!
Holy Mackerel Andy!
Magis is a cool way to live. Do more for Christ. Do more for Jehovah, for Allah, for . . . the Great Goodness in the Heart of all loving and compassionate Athiests.
I prefer to use the word, ”Shekinah”, what the Jewish Kabbalist call the feminine side of God, to symbolize the unsymbolizable, if that is such a word. (Had I paid more attention to my Jesuit teacher in Bishop Neumann High School, I might have had better knowledge. And grammar.)
This way, I honor God, the feminine, as well as the Sufi “Beloved,” and the unadulterated, unconditional, eternally-outpouring Love that is in — and of — every aspect of all the universes now and forever. Amen.
Let me also throw in a little “Namaste” too!
I promise I will do more.
(And have a lot of fun while I’m at it!)
Thank you JerseyJoe.
I also want to tip my hat to Susan Stabile, an Internet friend, who turned me on to the Friar Pope’s latest humble act in her following story: http://susanjoan.wordpress.com/2013/05/23/who-will-we-meet-in-heaven/
You have learned well, Grasshopper!
This fills me with hope!
Me too, Viv!
I felt an opening that was not there before, and I was almost flabergasted (ain’t it a great word?) to see the response to Atheists!
it’s a great word and great news too.