Wednesday, 2 March 2011

"Then to hell with it.”

Overheard the other day on the car radio on a (rather predictable) radio discussion programme, a description of the Judeo-Christian tradition - " a religion created by men." As Bishop (later Monsignor) Graham Leonard  repeatedly asserted, this is the fundamental division among Christians today: between those who accept the revealed nature of the Christian Gospel and those who see religion first and foremost as a human activity. Is it a human search for the divine or the result of God's search for us, with all the authority that conveys?
I have to say I'm really not interested in a religion "created" by anyone - only in the quest for the one revealed to us by God. In fact, I'm tempted to quote the American novelist Flannery O'Connor and say (as she did on the subject of the so-called "symbolic" character of the Eucharist)  if it's a human construct, "then to hell with it.” *

* This is Flannery O'Connor in her own words:

"Well, toward morning the conversation turned on the Eucharist, which I, being the Catholic, was obviously supposed to defend. [Mary McCarthy] said when she was a child and received the Host, she thought of it as the Holy Ghost, He being the 'most portable' person of the Trinity; now she thought of it as a symbol and implied that it was a pretty good one. I then said, in a very shaky voice, 'Well, if it's a symbol, to hell with it.' That was all the defense I was capable of but I realize now that this is all I will ever be able to say about it, outside of a story, except that it is the center of existence for me; all the rest of life is expendable."

1 comment:

  1. Dear Fr
    Couldn't agree more! Oftentimes my students were aghast when I told them that I'm not in the least bit interested in religion or in religious studies, and that I think the revealed faith is opposed to religion. Fr P


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