The beauty of language can be found
not only in the Greek epics "Iliad" and "Odyssey"
but also in the Indian epics of "Ramayana" and "Mahabharata".
An understanding of Christian expressions of Truth
from the Eastern Orthodox
can be read in
"The Chronicles of Kiev"
and the epic-like tales of "Marko" coming out of Serbia.
Native American, Asian and tales from Oceania
present the highest qualities of humanity
(and love of God---however God was called.)
Where did this goodness,
this desire for truth,
and the exhibition of natural dignity come from?
Is it only to be found in the Western world?
Is it found only in writings of those who belong to the Catholic Church?
The study of the World's great literature
can be a foundation
to uncovering the greatness of humanity's desire
to reach to the stars,
to touch the face of God,
and then to be hugged by that God in return.
The Catholic Church has long listed “Universal” as one of its Marks.
But the term “universal” is deceptive.
Is it that the Church is found all over the world
(a tribute to the men and women missionaries)?
That is only a geographic sense of universality,
and the Church isn't thinking here about possible intelligent beings
on other solar systems---when using the term “universal.”
While geographic universality is no small achievement,
geography does not even begin to touch upon
the spiritual/philosophical concepts of universality.
Bede Griffiths' vision is so much wider, deeper and more sensitive
than anything we have seen expounded
recently from the Catholic Magisterium.
Since the pontificates of John Paul II and Benedict XVI,
Christian denominations seeking to become part of the Catholic Church
must adopt its doctrine, discipline and also its schizophrenia
especially in dealing with married men as priests,
women as priests, and with the lives of gays/lesbians.
The Catholic Church has shown little desire to discuss
with an open mind
the universality of the separated churches that are called "Christian".
If the Catholic Church is unable to engage in dialogue
(openness to listening as well as to speaking)
with other Christian confessions,
how will it be able to dialogue with peoples of other cultures, other religions?
What the hierarchy is doing now
is beating a retreat back to the fortifications of Trent.
That world is structured, settled,
and has a hierarchically ecclesiastical typology
that, in reality, thumbs its nose at those who are searching,
who value the prophetic and the charismatic,
at those who call themselves the People of God.
Benedict XVI favors Augustine's concept of reality,
the City of God (Benedict's concept of Church)
vs. the City of Man,
the relative, secular modern world.
In Benedict's "City of God"
the inhabitants must be prepared to engage in battle with
the pagan concepts of secularism and relativism.
Those who do combat
must embrace obedience, unity of thought,
compliance, docility, regimentation,
and discipline under their superiors:
the hierarchy and of course, the Curia and the Pope
(Commander in Chief).
The real tragedy is that
instead of helping people of all religions grow in their Faith,
Catholicism has been relegated by its hierarchs into being
just another competing "ism."