being open to dialogue created in mystery

There is much to be learned by reading, reflecting and praying with scripture. Scripture will only come alive for us today, remain relevant in today’s world, (with all its darkness, and all its grace) by us being open to the dialogue that is created in the mystery.

These words were posted by ‘Pati’ in response to comments made on an NCR Today blog post I wrote, Blame Mary for the role of women in the church today.

The post caused a bit of a heated discussion. (I wish that I could call it a dialogue.) The responses on this catholic dialogue blog are almost always well-thought out and respectful. The occasional attacking voice sticks out because it is a rarity.

The National Catholic Reporter discussion boards are a different beast all together. You hear from a diversity of voices, which is wonderful. You also hear from voices that don’t shy from criticizing, judging and condemning others. This is not so wonderful. It is disheartening and depressing.

Pati’s response speaks powerfully to the living and breathing word of God. It speaks of a faith seeking understanding with the holistic approach of mind, heart and soul.  It speaks of going deeper than the black and white world of apologetics, where the words of Scripture and church documents are used merely to defend our own view or condemn the view of another.

There is an inherent laziness in embracing the world of black and white, where right and wrong are clearly laid out and unchanging. It bypasses the need to prayerfully discern God’s word, to contemplate it from all angles, to seek the message for our here and now, to embrace it as a true guide for our actions and not just our words. It avoids the messiness of entering into the many grey areas of life, where the black and white answers lose their clarity and simplicity.

There is also an inherent laziness in arguing merely around opinions. There is always the danger of rationalizing our own thoughts to answer the needs of our own personal agendas. Fruitful and effective dialogue requires careful reasoning and reasonable thought processes from all. And it requires a prayerful and discerning heart.

(See also, An informed conscience…please!)

2 thoughts on “being open to dialogue created in mystery

  1. I read your article about Mary. I agree with you: she was/is a strong, creative, vibrant Woman who suffered, persevered, and whose thinking was outside-of-the-box.
    I agree with you about the laziness of black-and-white thinking, too: Jesus is PERSON, and people are far more complex and, well, PERSONAL, than narrow black-and-white thinking.
    Also, Jesus told parables so that people would use their brains, engage their imaginations, and become attuned to their hearts.

  2. Great comments, and so true! Focusing on the relational forces us to engage our hearts as well as minds…to go beyond the black and white of rules and laws. Thank you!

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