Here’s the thing. I cannot explain to myself, today, why it still fascinates me to be part of such a long and tangled tradition. I know the institution is imperfect but the story is still diamonds which flash in the light.
Mary Jane Miller is a contemporary thinker, perhaps eccentric with plenty to glean from stories told through iconography. When I hear an expressions like “ new evangelicalism”, “new age”, “new liberal” I pause thinking, is there anything really new? I stand on the periphery of the true Catholic faith because I myself feel rebellious wondering if there is something new being said today. I do not think it is new, it is more like the diamond of love being seen in a new light, same light, same diamond.
Since Vatican 2, the attempt to repackage the faith in a more attractive way to a contemporary audience has been, quite sad and somewhat self-defeating. The lack of enthusiasm for the holy church makes me hesitant about being vocal about trying to convince my friends there is something “new”. For me, the very attraction of the Church was that it remained the opposite of “new.” New converts are drawn to the Church not through fear or obligation, but instead by the promise and love for an “Expansive Eternity.”
There is room for the spirit of innovation, even science is approaching the divine. The secular environment is littered with escapees from the organized church looking for space to explore what feels like spiritual and the other worldly. I believe spiritual Aw is not new, it has always been here, only the human “being” is changing. The Aw is becoming re framed, along with the language we use to describe it.
The organized church offers liturgical learning and sophistication, steeped in tradition and easily approachable in many formats and disciplines. Catholics, adults and children continue to be attuned to the atmosphere of reverence when in church. Holiness is not “New” it is where we are called. The interconnectedness of spirit as we walk together is a dimension still unexplored. I would say Eternity, Oneness, Mind, Soul and Body are all being rethought in deeper formats. What is available in the world today for new insight is exciting and can leave you breathless. There is wonder and mystery revealed in what you have always seen but never noticed. It is “new”, you could not stay in the Catholic Church if it wasn’t.