Holy Mystery of Love

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darinhouston
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Holy Mystery of Love

Post by darinhouston » Sat Jan 23, 2021 3:31 pm

Did anyone notice that the Jesuit priest giving the inauguration prayer prayed to a generic "God" and then finished in the name of the "Holy Mystery of Love" ?
Be with us, Holy Mystery of Love, as we dream together. Help us under our new President to reconcile the people of our land, restore our dream, and invest it with peace and justice and the joy that is the overflow of love.

To the glory of your Name forever.

Amen.

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kaufmannphillips
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Re: Holy Mystery of Love

Post by kaufmannphillips » Sat Jan 23, 2021 9:39 pm

And?
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"The more something is repeated, the more it becomes an unexamined truth...." (Nicholas Thompson)
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Jason
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Re: Holy Mystery of Love

Post by Jason » Thu Jan 28, 2021 12:46 pm

Jesus talked about people (especially professional clergy) who pray in such as a way as to draw attention or admiration to themselves or "be seen by men." This is probably what Jesus had in mind. But I also don't know this gentleman's heart so I could be wrong. I do tend to be cynical of most things involving professional clergy though.

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darinhouston
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Re: Holy Mystery of Love

Post by darinhouston » Thu Jan 28, 2021 2:41 pm

I'm suggesting he went out of his way to avoid using the name of Jesus or the Father in a way that could be seen as a clear prayer to the Almighty. Holy Mystery of Love sounds like some sort of spiritual vaguery that you might hear from a Deist/Spiritualist.

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kaufmannphillips
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Re: Holy Mystery of Love

Post by kaufmannphillips » Sat Jan 30, 2021 5:27 pm

darinhouston wrote: I'm suggesting he went out of his way to avoid using the name of Jesus or the Father in a way that could be seen as a clear prayer to the Almighty. Holy Mystery of Love sounds like some sort of spiritual vaguery that you might hear from a Deist/Spiritualist.

He did acknowledge that "We are a people of many races, creeds and colors, national backgrounds, cultures and styles." America has a long tradition of civil piety. It's not unusual for faith leaders to tailor their prayers, in a civic context, to avoid specific dogmas that might alienate some citizens.

But then again - in the space of just a few moments, he referred to the archbishop John Carroll, King Solomon, the epistle of James, and Pope Francis. It was a pretty Catholic set of remarks.

The language "Holy Mystery of Love" is not surprising in the context of American Catholicism over the past several decades. It fits a style I've experienced in contemporary Catholic writings and public prayer.
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"The more something is repeated, the more it becomes an unexamined truth...." (Nicholas Thompson)
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darinhouston
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Re: Holy Mystery of Love

Post by darinhouston » Sun Jan 31, 2021 10:47 am

kaufmannphillips wrote:
Sat Jan 30, 2021 5:27 pm
darinhouston wrote: I'm suggesting he went out of his way to avoid using the name of Jesus or the Father in a way that could be seen as a clear prayer to the Almighty. Holy Mystery of Love sounds like some sort of spiritual vaguery that you might hear from a Deist/Spiritualist.

He did acknowledge that "We are a people of many races, creeds and colors, national backgrounds, cultures and styles." America has a long tradition of civil piety. It's not unusual for faith leaders to tailor their prayers, in a civic context, to avoid specific dogmas that might alienate some citizens.

But then again - in the space of just a few moments, he referred to the archbishop John Carroll, King Solomon, the epistle of James, and Pope Francis. It was a pretty Catholic set of remarks.

The language "Holy Mystery of Love" is not surprising in the context of American Catholicism over the past several decades. It fits a style I've experienced in contemporary Catholic writings and public prayer.
I think that's the point of my post - modern Catholicism isn't boldly about Christ, it's some institutional version of religiosity that want to appeal to people on a basis other than Christ or even the Father. Civil piety is something else, but it sure doesn't seem like a Christian prayer. Like sending good thoughts in lieu of prayer. When we speak into the Universe, loosely, or in the name of some generic "love" -- something tells me God is offended.

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kaufmannphillips
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Re: Holy Mystery of Love

Post by kaufmannphillips » Sun Jan 31, 2021 12:07 pm

darinhouston wrote:Civil piety is something else, but it sure doesn't seem like a Christian prayer. Like sending good thoughts in lieu of prayer. When we speak into the Universe, loosely, or in the name of some generic "love" -- something tells me God is offended.

I imagine you are familiar with the adage - to each thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heavens.

Including: a time to be bold, and a time to be discreet.

Civil prayer is not Christian prayer - it is community prayer, in a social context that involves multiple faiths. Some Christians choose to participate in this kind of prayer, as a means of building bridges. Shall we imagine that the Holy Mystery of Love fails to understand their intent and their purpose?

darinhouston wrote: I think that's the point of my post - modern Catholicism isn't boldly about Christ, it's some institutional version of religiosity that want to appeal to people on a basis other than Christ or even the Father.

Modern Catholicism has a different temperament than modern Evangelicalism. Human movements have different personalities, just like human individuals. Some humans thrive in institutional formats; others chafe. Some humans prefer the work of building bridges; some are happy warriors.

America, in particular, has created a social environment where people self-select into religious communities. This reinforces differences in group temperament and personality, as (another adage) birds of a feather tend to flock together. Over time, it becomes more and more challenging for different faith communities to understand and appreciate each other.
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"The more something is repeated, the more it becomes an unexamined truth...." (Nicholas Thompson)
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darinhouston
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Re: Holy Mystery of Love

Post by darinhouston » Sun Jan 31, 2021 3:34 pm

We'll have to agree to disagree on this one. If one is reluctant to use the name of our Lord or to otherwise make clear you are praying to him due to civil sensitivities, then one should not agree to participate in some generic spiritual prayer to an unknown God. When Paul was in these circumstances, he made it clear that their unknown God was Yahweh. Quite the opposite. There is never a season to be reluctant to overtly declare or proclaim the Lord in our prayers, though there might be a season not to participate in a pagan "religious" setting where it is not permitted. One of MANY reasons we could discuss why one should not participate in something like the Masons, for example.

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kaufmannphillips
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Re: Holy Mystery of Love

Post by kaufmannphillips » Sun Jan 31, 2021 5:52 pm

darinhouston wrote: We'll have to agree to disagree on this one.

I shouldn't expect otherwise.
darinhouston wrote: If one is reluctant to use the name of our Lord or to otherwise make clear you are praying to him due to civil sensitivities, then one should not agree to participate in some generic spiritual prayer to an unknown God. ... There is never a season to be reluctant to overtly declare or proclaim the Lord in our prayers, though there might be a season not to participate in a pagan "religious" setting where it is not permitted.

One's sensibilities, here, depend greatly upon one's theological outlook.

Modern Catholic teaching is relatively generous toward other people in other faith traditions. I quote the Catechism at some length:
'Those who have not yet received the Gospel are related to the People of God in various ways.'

...When she delves into her own mystery, the Church, the People of God in the New Covenant, discovers her link with the Jewish People, 'the first to hear the Word of God.' The Jewish faith, unlike other non-Christian religions, is already a response to God's revelation in the Old Covenant. To the Jews 'belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises'....

'The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day.'

The Church's bond with non-Christian religions is in the first place the common origin and end of the human race: All nations form but one community. This is so because all stem from the one stock which God created to people the entire earth, and also because all share a common destiny, namely God. His providence, evident goodness, and saving designs extend to all....

The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions [a] search, among shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as 'a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life.'

If one sees members of other faiths as having a relationship with the holy community - and if one sees other religions as potentially involved in the divine plan for salvation, despite their imperfections - this is likely to affect one's outlook toward exercises in civil piety. Such events are an opportunity for communion with fellow humans, who like us are on an incomplete journey toward a spiritual destiny. And our behavior in communion with each other can impact our journeys and destinies and our relationships with each other.

In this regard, let me point out that public prayer is not simply a dialogue between the human individual who is speaking and the divine. It is a conversation in community with the individual, the divine, and other humans who are present. It's wise and responsible, in this conversation, to use words that make a positive contribution in the context of the community. And on some occasions, at least, that may mean opting for discreet choices in the language one uses.

Different things are called for in different moments, at different junctures as relationships develop. We may not know, in a given situation, whether it's a suitable time for one of our "pagan" counterparts to be confronted with a specific declaration of dogma. Perhaps, given their personal development, such a confrontation might yield more harm than good. This is why we should be sensitive to the holy spirit, benefiting from divine wisdom as to how we might best conduct ourselves in each situation.
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"The more something is repeated, the more it becomes an unexamined truth...." (Nicholas Thompson)
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darinhouston
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Re: Holy Mystery of Love

Post by darinhouston » Mon Feb 01, 2021 10:20 am

Specific declaration of dogma?!?!?! I'm only talking about boldly proclaiming our prayers in the name of our God and not turning them into some sort of generic metaphysical poetic spirituality discourse friendly to a pagan civil ceremony. And not being afraid to pray in the name of Jesus so it's clear where our faith is placed. If we can't do that, what's the point of a priestly invocation?

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