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Preliminary Thoughts

UNDER CONSTRUCTION--REALLY...IT IS NOT DONE!

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Last revised - March 28, 2018

 

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WE ARE ALL JUST TRYING TO FIGURE IT OUT

In my work in prison, I often run into guys who want to fight. I mean they want to fight over religion. They want to dominate and control the beliefs of other prisoners. They want to dictate to me what the bible is saying and what I must believe. I have found that the best way for me to react to them is to simply say: "We are all just trying to figure it out."

I think it is fair to say that a philosophy or a theology is the way we figure out and explain our experiences. We all pretty much see and hear and touch and have the same experiences. Then we either come up with our own explanation or we follow the explanation that someone else figured out and make it our own. "What's your philosophy of life?" should be a personal question more than an academic inquiry into what school of philosophy or religion you follow.

Imagine yourself sitting with Jesus in Nazareth watching the sun rising over the horizon. What are you experiencing? How would you explain what you are seeing? At that time, could you have figured out that the earth was not flat and that the sun was not really "rising"? Does it matter how you explain it? After
all, your explanation does not make the earth more fertile for growing crops and your explanation does not make the sun shine any brighter or change what it does. So, what difference does a better explanation make?

 

DOES YOUR EXPLANATION WORK?

For me, the best test of any explanation is: DOES IT WORK? I admire those who admit that their explanations don't work. To pretend that the "old wineskin" of Greek philosophy can explain the "new wine" of the Gospel is not okay with me. The same can be said of every other philosophical explanation that leads us through a maze of complicated reasoning only to leave us with the admission: "Well, that's a mystery."

Text Box: "“Sometime, in order to get your philosophy right, you have to peek over the fence at theology."

MYSTICS (ELDERS) DON'T TRY TO FIGURE IT OUT

I understand that mystics (the "elders") usually put all their energy into helping to guide believers through the experiences and surrenders of a life walked by faith. They more or less stick to describing their experiences (the wine) rather than giving an explanation (a wineskin) to hold the sacred wine of those experiences. They may even recommend that it is not helpful to try to figure out what is happening. I agree that getting in the water and learning how to swim is what it is all about. I agree that philosophy very often has failed us and has even misled novice swimmers away from the water. On the other hand, I think that the use of Form Philosophy (made possible by the Trinity) is extremely helpful; if nothing more, it is sure to get people to the pool and into their swimming suits. I am confident that it will get more ordinary people into the swim of contemplative and apostolic living. I believe that attracting, respecting and holding the interest of the human intellect can be a huge boost to the surrender of jumping into the water.

 

IT'S JUST TIME TO FIGURE IT OUT

Do I pretend to be smarter or holier than all those great saints and scholars who have gone before us? Not at all! I don't think Galileo was really smarter or holier than those who went before him. It was time for someone to finally figure it out. The time was ripe.

Do I pretend to understand God perfectly? Of course not! I don't even understand my own hand perfectly. But, I do understand perfectly what to do with it.

Now is finally the time for the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity to be taken seriously and used practically. When I met with my bishop some years ago to talk with him about some of the things on this web site, he did not give his approval and he did not express his disapproval. But, I think he was delighted to know that someone was really taking the Blessed Trinity seriously.

I think there is a growing number of us who deplore the way the Blessed Trinity was often dismissed as some kind of "mystery" that is not meant to be used other than to provide an opportunity for theologians and spiritual writers to tell us that "God is a community of Love." In a keynote address at the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership on May 7, 2000 in Houston, Texas it was said:
"We accept the doctrine (of the Trinity), but we don't understand it, and worse, we don't expect, to understand it."

This web site attempts to show that understanding the Blessed Trinity is essential to a more complete and practical understanding of all we know and believe about ourselves and about God.

Text Box: "We accept the doctrine (of the Trinity), but we don't understand it, and worse, we don't expect to understand it."

 

A SMALL REMINDER ABOUT LANGUAGE

One writer has said: "Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?...Park on driveways and drive on parkways? Lift a thumb to thumb a lift?…Why is it that when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible?"

But, it is not just English, is it? All languages are feeble. Verbal language is a lousy way to communicate, but it is all we have. All the more reason for us to work hard at language and to work hard at understanding one another.

If you are a "literalist," I suppose you think you can capture reality in words. In my opinion, you best abandon this web site until you discover the disturbing truth that words are never adequate to capture the reality.

I am trying my best to choose the most helpful words and images. Please try to understand the meaning behind the words and images.

Text Box: "Verbal language is a lousy way to communicate, but it is all we have. All the more reason for us to work hard at language…."

ANOTHER SMALL REMINDER

There is a saying: "“When the wise man points to the moon, the fool looks at his finger."

Could it not be true that Jesus, authors of the Bible, Popes, saints, theologians, philosophers, song writers, poets and even honest atheists were all pointing to the same truth? Can we be wise enough to look to where they were pointing instead of to where they were when they pointed? Once more, I believe that they all were pointing to the ultimate truth that THERE IS NO SEPARATION. I submit that only the Trinitarian Distinction drawn from the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity allows us to finally give an adequate explanation of where everyone is trying to point. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO POSSIBILITY OF SEPARATION (EVIL/DEATH).

Text Box: "When the wise man points to the moon, the fool looks at his finger."

MY PERSONAL PLEDGE OF ORTHODOXY

In my experience, the consequence of using the Trinitarian Distinction has been almost universally supportive of these bottom line teachings in Catholic tradition: Creation, Incarnation, Cross, Resurrection, Kingdom, Roman Catholic Church, Sacraments, Mary, Real Presence, Sin, Forgiveness, Purgatory, Ascension, Assumption, Original Sin, Immaculate Conception and so much more.

Sorry, an
ETERNAL Hell is NOT supported by this philosophy. (In my experience, it is always dangerous to threaten the existence of Santa Claus, Satan or an Eternal Hell. I will take that chance.)

Why bother to start a philosophical journey when you know it will only come to a dead end? If possible, why not start with a simple set of givens that allow you to carry every one of your beliefs to a logical conclusion? I submit that the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity holds the key to such a set of givens that, once fully accepted, can make your explanations absolute and plausible.

One of my philosophy professors used to say in his Louisiana drawl:
"Sometimes, in order to get your philosophy right, you have to peek over the fence at theology." I am suggesting that we skip Greek philosophy and make the theology of Trinity itself our philosophy. The simple Trinitarian Distinction, although it is a revealed mystery, starts our journey by giving us two absolutely distinct (yet, inseparable) kinds of being. With those two categories, our poor little minds can at least explain the magnificent experiences documented in science and religion. I guarantee that anyone who is willing to fully embrace this new "wineskin" (Form Philosophy) will be delighted and enchanted by how well it works to hold the new wine of the Good News. (See: “Why Make Is So Complicated?”)