Friday, August 09, 2013

"Silly Religion"

This is a follow-up of my 2007 post about Fr. Benedict Groeschel's Stumbling Blocks, Stepphing Stones. In it he talks about two types of what he calls "silly religion" the manifestation of which in Christians discourages others from believing.
I an ego-centered religiosity which is filled with its own self-righteousness. This may be seen in either the abrasive attitude of the so-called ultra-orthdox, who are so reminiscent of the scribes and pharisees, or the cool, detached position of those who consider themselves intellectually superior. Both groups are involved with religion more as a psychological expression of their own needs or as a social force than as a living faith. Such attitudes represent immature forms of faith. Their faith has been truncated by self-seeking, a lack of trust, and a fear of making a real commitment to God. (p. 35)
We intellectuals are often tempted by the second version. The result is an inability to engage in simple, direct devotion to God or the saints--for fear of seeming childish or fundamentalist. Think of de Montfort's "critical devotees."

We tend to believe that the intellect alone is the locus of salvation--and forget that holiness is as much a matter of the will as the intellect. It really is the actions we take and the choices we make that manifest our reception of the grace of salvation. And we really need to be able to approach the living God as a little child, totally dependent, on our knees--in trusting devotion.

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