The White Robed Monks of St. Benedict
An Awakening Church: A Catholic Papacy
Foundation (page) Source: A Monk in The World: Cultivating a Spiritual Life by Wayne Teasdale. Novato: New World Library 2003.
With organizations such as the Parliament of the World's Religions, the World Conference on Religion and Peace, the Temple of Understanding, and the World Congress of Faiths, the human race is awakening to bonds of community and commonality. This awakening grounds in spirituality, an interspirituality that is "a willingness and determination to taste the depth of mystical life in other traditions." (63)
Within this context, the Church can occupy "the central place of matrix." As matrix, the Church:
"The vision of the church as matrix sets the stage for a renaissance of catholicism that unites past and present with the future. All that the church has been in her best moments, all that the present requires and the future asks, she can bring together, making a bridge for herself to other traditions... If the Church can embrace true diversity and pluralism represented in the world's great religions, then she can achieve true catholicism that is more than geographic universalism. The challenge now is for the Church to become universal in that metaphysical sense. "(68)
- would be a welcoming place for all the religions, an ecclesial vision of the nature of the Church ad extra.
- is a mother who offers her womb for the development of this new form of cultural and spiritual life to take shape.
- achieves a genuine universal spaciousness that allows diversity without violence to her self-understanding and mission.
- might strive to become a container for all humanity's noble aspirations.
- would no longer see members of other traditions as outside her life. (63f)
How is this to be accomplished?
Idealism and pessimism and/or realism and optimism aside, the awakening Church as matrix occurs only within the heart/mind of each individual awakening to his or her own divinity in one's own humanity and one's own humanity in one's own divinity. We are all Children of God — by whatever name or no-name. To what is it that we awaken: that we each are the creator of our own experience, we each are the perceiver who creates the perception, we each are the believer who creates the belief, we each are the story teller who creates our story. The spiritual/mystical traditions coalesce in the same experience of unicity: a letting go of who, what, how, when, where, and why we think are and awakening to just who are actually are when we surrender all of our self-created facades.
There are many ways in which this awakening can occur. Sometimes Life itself gives us a gentle nudge (subtle or not) with illness or a life-changing event. Other times, we ourselves take the initiative with a formal meditation or chanting practice. Yet others involve ourselves directly in the human experience of death by hospice work or growing human life in child care. Some us may awaken through being consciously parent or consciously child. Or a myriad of other paths that lead to the same destination: awakening to who we are.
We must let go of our habitual way of being, a habitual way of thinking and feeling. We realize that our beliefs are just that — beliefs. We create them and through them we can either kill others who do not agree with us, cajole others into false agreement, or surrender to the dignity present in each of us and respect one another being who we actually are. We do not get caught up on our judgments about our self-created perceptions of the other (really but only a reflection of who we each are in the moment, given that the universe we each know is but a reflection of our own selves (R.D. Laing).
If we were to summarize this awakening process into one word, we could return to the Rule of St. Benedict and the opening word: Listen!
Peace and joy!
White Robed Monks of St. Benedict
White Robed Monks of St. Benedict
Post Office Box 27536
San Francisco CA 94127-0536 USA
Page URL: http://www.whiterobedmonks.org/matrix.html
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