Here is a thoughtful comment on my posting of February 6th, “Why Bother with the Historical Jesus?” It’s authored by a friend of mine, Jim Cashman (photo above), who studied with me for three years at St. Columban’s Major Seminary in Milton, Massachusetts when I was there from 1961-1967. Jim was an exchange student from Ireland, where he was ordained in 1964. Like most of us from that era, he left the priesthood after the Great Awakening which followed the Second Vatican Council (1962-’65). Jim writes:
In my view if all we have is subjective and “bias” and hence doubtful history on Jesus, then the more digging one does, especially based on modern science, the better it is for us getting to the reality on Jesus. The Jesus uncovered by science is vastly superior to the faith or propaganda-based version. I have always been dubious about taking anything on faith. It leads to too many wars! What we seek is the truth not support for our environmental brainwashing.
The thing which I regard as above debate is the focal point of your blog. I’m referring to the nature or qualities of God. Factually we know so little about that – maybe nothing. Given that reality, it seems better not to think of Jesus as the son of god or of God being Jesus, but as simply reflecting the nature of God. That seems to be the important point you make. I never had any hang-up/special needs for the divinity of Jesus or the virginity/motherhood of God. I do not feel it is central to the Jesus message. It might be central to Catholicism, but not to understanding of the meaning of my life. Why the hell am I here?
What I find central is that Jesus (like many of the prophets), reflects the core nature of God and that is Love. I feel this Love is not what we think it is. It’s not charitable foundations or helping old folks like me cross the street?
Maybe as Paul hints we are not yet sufficiently evolved or “spiritual” to accept Jesus’ very simple revelation about the nature of God as Love. Now we known in part; then we shall know fully – even as we are fully known. From Krishna to Christ this is the common unifying thread of human development: giving without any payback or satisfaction!. All of this contradicts where we are in the world of greed, self interest and now the ultimate decadence – endless ‘shopping.’
If we all take from nature only enough for what we need, then the poor we could “always have with us” – as equals. Even with the little they have, the stats show there is more happiness in the barrios than in the suburbs.
The worst outcome we could have from the present move against the hypocrisy of Rome (and Washington) is that we achieve “renewal” and leave the real task – the search for truth, for another millennium.
Keep pushing out the boundaries, Mike; we are at the early stage of evolution. And in your downtime you might find this of interest:
http://archive.org/details/ACanticleForLiebowitz The irony like. “1984”, is chilling. Jim
PS – the “stream” may need some manual help in this dramatized audio edition.