Tag Archives: Francis E. George

Is it possible to be spiritual and not religious and still be Christian?

The question I seem to come back to: who cares? In the context of the practice of religion where we often seem to slice the pie in half: spiritual and religious, one wonders even we know what the words mean. The archbishop of Chicago, Francis Cardinal George, wrote about this topic in his column for Easter in the Catholic New World. The Cardinal outlines the issue pretty well: religion is becoming an isolated affair (some use the word private but I think it is better to say isolated since many families rarely talk about transcendent things with each other), that a question of authority disappears when you “when you make it up as you go along” and what it means to say there is an objectivity of what is true, beautiful, good and one is no longer easy to hold as a given. What exactly is religion?  Not to mention, many of our friends are now saying that the faith community as less and less credibility and the community of faith is trite. The missing element here is that Christianity is not about a set of rules, it is about a person; the practice of religion is not about the worship of myself, but the worship of a personal God revealed through the biblical narrative and seen in the sacraments; Christianity’s truth is weak unless it is about conversion, vocation and mission made manifest in the life we share with others. As Cardinal Geroge said,

Meeting the risen Christ spiritually therefore depends upon believing in him religiously. We are given the gift of faith in the sacrament of Baptism, in which we are configured to the risen Christ. Faith perdures, even when there’s not a lot of spiritual tingle in our lives! “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief,” is the cry of a religious person who asks Christ to take him beyond his own spiritual experience into a new world where bodies as well as minds share in God’s grace. Faith takes seriously everything that comes from God. The faith-filled person is sure of God and distrustful of himself. Unlike faith in God, experience is often wrong in religious matters.

Here is the full text of Cardinal George’s “Easter 2013: I’m spiritual but not religious.”

In short, it is impossible to call oneself Christian and not be honestly engaged in the weekly practice of worship with the faith community and worthily receive the sacraments.

Saint Katharine Drexel

Katharine Drexel with children.jpg

God of love, you called Saint Katharine Drexel to teach the message of the Gospel and to bring the life of the Eucharist to the Native American and African American peoples; by her prayers and example, enable us to work for justice among the poor and the oppressed, and keep us undivided in love in the eucharistic community of your Church.

His Eminence, Francis Cardinal George, OMI, said in his book, The Difference God Makes, “It is is precisely as a disciple of Christ that Katharine taught Americans how to be true to themselves as Americans.” Look at pages 55-58.

George is right, she is one of the greatest women of the Church in the United States, Saint Katharine Drexel. May God raise up more like her! May Saint Katharine beg the Holy Spirit for His grace.

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Cardinal George to present “Jesus of Nazareth: the Infancy Narratives”

You are invited to the book presentation of Jesus of Nazareth: the Infancy Narratives by Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI), presented by Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., the Archbishop of Chicago.

The American Bible Society1865 Broadway, New York, NY 10023.

Please RSVP to MSarci@americanbible.org.

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Cardinal Francis George details keeping Catholic faith part of American consensus

English: Coat of arms of Francis cardinal Geor...

Chicago’s archbishop, Francis Cardinal George, soon to be 76, spoke to 45 members of his Archdiocese Pastoral Council on November 17th about the need to clarify what we as Catholics believe and how we ought to live if we want to make a contribution to any of the national dialogues. For example, had the topic been center stage at the time of the meeting, the cardinal may asked a question like, given the tragedy in Newtown, CT, how would an informed and reasonable Catholic respond to matters: of mental health, to the Second Amendment, to God’s role in our life with such violence?

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The law has betrayed its own vocation, Cardinal George tells

You can always count on Francis Cardinal George, OMI,  to speak the truth. He is always very clear, always on target when looking at the American cultural situation. On September 30, 2012, he celebrate a votive Mass of the Holy Spirit and delivered a homily for the annual Red Mass, at which he  said, “There are times the law is a a cause of scandal.” The following paragraphs give a sense of what the Cardinal said. The rest of the homily may be read here.

What is left now
to our common life is whatever a legislative majority or the often-manipulated
whims of popular majority opinion will tolerate. That is no longer a classical
Constitutional legal order. The law has betrayed its own vocation.

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About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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