Thursday, April 26, 2012

Where are all these enormous circles?

The following quote from a poem by Edwin Markham is often cited by persons or groups who perceive themselves to be marginalized or excluded from the Catholic Church for one reason or another:

He drew a circle that shut me out —
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in.

I do not wish to question the perceptions of these persons or groups; the marginalization or exclusion they feel may indeed be very real.  What I wonder about, though, is whether, in quoting this part of Markham's poem, they actually intend to "draw a circle" that takes in the very person or group they feel is excluding them.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Perfectae Caritatis - Vatican II on consecrated religious life

(The material below comes from a post originally written three years ago.  I'm posting this again now, in April 2012, because of the news surrounding the LCWR in the United States.)

Perfectae Caritatis (the decree on the renewal of religious life), among others from Vatican II, could really have benefited from headings. It's not much to ask for. I mean, I finally caught on that the first couple words of a "paragraph" (really, a group of paragraphs with a single number) indicated the content matter for that numbered paragraph, but the organization of the document didn't jump out at me at first. For those of you reading along at home (and you are reading the documents of Vatican II, aren't you?), here's the breakdown of Perfectae Caritatis:
  1. Introduction (1)
  2. Principles of Renewal (2-6)
    1. Five General Principles of Renewal
    2. Call to Renewal
    3. Authority in Carrying Out the Renewal
    4. Dedication to Evangelical Counsels and Contemplation
    5. Sources of Renewal
  3. Types of Religious Life (7-11)
    1. Contemplative
    2. Apostolates (Active Communities)
    3. Monastic
    4. Lay Religious
    5. Secular
  4. Evangelical Counsels (12-14)
    1. Chastity
    2. Poverty
    3. Obedience
  5. Religious Lifestyle (15-18)
    1. Communal Living
    2. Papal Cloister
    3. Habits
    4. Education and Formation
  6. Lifecycle, Work, and Governance (19-24)
    1. Founding New Communities
    2. Community Identity (Ministry and Mission)
    3. Discontinuing a Community
    4. Combining Similar Communities
    5. Conferences or Councils of Major Superiors
    6. Fostering Vocations
  7. Conclusion (25)
I hope that's helpful for you, for when you read the documents of Vatican II.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Catholic Piazza

This morning I received an email from a woman in the UK named Margaret who invited me to participate on a Catholic forum she started up recently:

I've registered and, after the Easter weekend, I'll endeavor to participate there.  I tend to be more active on forums than blogs, for whatever reason.