My latest Venture: an Update

A development that has emerged from my ‘birthday’ Mass in January, and a number of things that I have written, and said in various media interviews, about Church doctrine and language, is that, with the co-operation of Noirin Ni Riain, I have been working with a small group of people, about fifteen in all, over the last couple of months. This is a varied group, women and men, younger and older, with a variety of different positions as regards religious institutions. But we have discovered that we have a few very central things in common:
-We are all deeply committed to faith in a spiritual dimension to life.
-We accept that a great many people in this country no longer respond to religion as it is presented by the various church institutions; they find certain church doctrines not credible, and a lot of church language is meaningless to them.
-While many have completely lost interest in anything spiritual, there are still a great number who believe that there is more to life that the purely material, and who are searching for a deeper dimension to their lives.
-We agree that trying to find a new language and expression of spiritual realities, in a way that would communicate to those who have lost faith in church institutions, is a worthwhile project.

So now we think we are ready to move from discussion to action. We are going to plan an event, at which we will present some of these ideas. We hope to use various forms of communication, be it music, poetry, ritual, silence, the spoken word where we need to. We have a lot of work to do yet before we have a meaningful presentation put in place. But there are a couple of things that I think we will be trying to illuminate:
The advances in Cosmology have opened up for our time a new understanding of the wonder of the universe, and that creation is not a historical event, but rather an ongoing and wonderful reality.
The ancient theologians, on whom so much of our church teaching is based, ‘knew too much about God’. We will try to restore the Mystery, and reflect a little on how this changes our understanding, and our relationship with that Mystery.
We are created in Love, we live our lives under the guidance of Love, and our destiny is total integration into Love.
The way we connect with this Mystery is to live our lives in love, in the giving and in the receiving.
The future of Faith will depend on ending divisions between believers, being open to listening and learning from each other, so that ‘we may all be one’.

At the moment it is looking as if our first attempt at a public event will be in Cork, sometime in late July. But we will have more definite information on that in due course.