Forays into the frontiers of thought in faith, science, history, mysticism, and movies. Follow along with Dominic de Souza, Catholic entrepreneur, ever-learner, and lover of Wisdom.
This substack is a place where I’m journaling my thoughts, and sharing my working theories. I reserve the right to make mistakes and change my opinion, so take it with as much salt as you want. For me, I’m seeking Holy Wisdom in all things.
Though its not always a comfortable journey, it’s a worthwhile one.
Under a scorching sun deep in an American desert, Catholic Frontier burst into my mind like a flame I couldn’t put out.
Technically it was in an air-conditioned waiting room in Arizona. Anyway…
I was sitting at my wife’s side as she was getting intensive medical treatment, and had nothing to do but pray, read, and think.
And the more I learned, the hungrier I got. I realized I’d never drank from the flowing springs of Eden, a Wisdom tradition and mindset that runs wild and rampant through all of human living. The little that I did get growing up was still strong enough to blaze my soul. The brutal simplicity of the Beatitudes broke me open.
Now, 5 years later, I’m so excited to bring this project into focus. I’ve been reading a book a week for almost several years, aching to share what’s on my mind. The patterns I see.
I’ve scoured the internet looking for people having the conversations I want. Now I realize that I should step up. Friends like Grail Country and The Center for Sophiological Studies have changed my life.
So welcome to CatholicFrontier. I’m your host, Dominic de Souza, a passionate Catholic founder of SmartCatholics, LegendFiction, and DreamAgain. Father to a gorgeous daughter. Husband to a glorious wife. Media and movie dork. Professional designer and marketer. And I will discover my voice, whether in this life or the next.
(Love that movie.)
Why CatholicFrontier? What’s with the logo?
Christians do not have a monopoly on the truth. Nor even a monopoly on Christ. The sooner we ‘get’ that, the better equipped we are to deal with reality.
It’s quotes like this from St Augustine that have pulled the scales from my eyes: “The same thing which is now called Christian religion existed among the ancients. They have begun to call 'Christian' the true religion which existed before.”
Human history is the progressive self-revelation of God to humanity, within the primal gospel of creation itself. This in-blazing of Wisdom will always already be there, no matter how many cultures of continents or constellations we cross.
Even a simple reading of myth, culture, history, and spirituality, shows that this is true. Most Christians are unnecessarily afraid of the error mingled with the blinding beauty found in religions, science, and spiritual paths. His Holiness Pope Francis has been my personal mentor and guide in getting down from the marble plinths of the past, rolling up sleeves, and actually shutting up. To set the museum aside, and focus on the festivals, fiction, and field-hospitals of right now.
This is the Catholic Frontier. It’s not out there. It’s ever only right here. Right inside you, inside me.
I’ve chosen the Burning Bush from the Old Testament as my logo, an ancient and stirring symbol of theosis - of humanity fully alive in God. Blazing and not being destroyed. Constant self-renewal. Like most things in the Old Testament, ancient myth, and human psychology, I doubt this symbol meant much back then.
It has taken the person and presence of Christ to reveal such secret meaning. To prove to us that God doesn’t rest until every human is fully alive, with His own life. Every human at every level of loss and distance.
Every human is a burning bush, in different levels of flame. This Hebrew Christmas tree symbolizes the Wisdom of God, once known as Shekinah. The Sophiologists call her Holy Sophia, First Archangel of Creation, the Metaxu between divinity and creation. Her icon is Mary, just as Christ is the icon of the Father.
Our frontier of faith, science, history, and culture is going through intense renewal. This return to sources, and celebration of development in tradition and ecumenism, have forced a ton of shadow work within our own structures. The glory of God is to conceal a thing, and the glory of a human to search it out.
The island of knowledge grows in all directions. The more we learn, the less we know. The more we discover, the more ‘coastline’ we have to explore and discover. This can send us into spirals of ravening idea-scavenging. Or it can prompt us to our knees, and ask for the insight to refresh our outlooks, climbing further up and further in to see how it might all fit together.
And as far as we’ve come, we’re still just beginning. We are Seekers and Lovers of Wisdom. We are ever foraging the frontiers of God’s self-revelation. It’s a challenging and confusing path sometimes, because we brush up against the chaos of half-distilled ideas.
But this is a close ally to mysticism, the path of actual personal experience of God and the sacred mystery of reality. It has, and will always be, the other lung of our Church. Structural and dogmatic religion lives in tension with mysterious and experiential mysticism.
If Christians aren’t listening, or haven’t evolved a spiritual capacity to understand, the Holy Spirit keeps blowing into any open mouth. To our joy, we will find these chants coming out of unexpected corners of the world, the haunting song of Christ struggling through the mangled beauty of other people.
My Mystery School
In our time, it sometimes seems desperately passe and naïve to be Catholic. So many answers are given by psychology, science, and rationalism. So many check out because scandals of spiritual abuse, rank tribalism, or a refusal to wrestle with science, shamanism, and spirituality.
I’m done with that. So done. I’m tired of Catholics ignoring the speed and depth of development in our last century. Stunning names like Teilhard de Chardin and the sacredness of evolution, the systematic mysticism of Rudolf Steiner, the gentle prescience of Richard Rohr, the incisive psychology of Jordan Petersen, the mythic religiosity of Valentin Tomberg, the dark radiance of St John of the Cross, the riveting spirituality of the Russian Sophiologists, and so many more.
I’m so done with Infernalism driving our evangelization, with Marian prophecies turned into bats, with the Eucharist being turned into an idol for beating our enemies, for our faith being seen as a straightjacket against exploration.
Three things spur and anchor me in my search for meaning, and a step-by-step renewal of catechesis to my child and friends:
My hunger and love of learning, an inveterate curiosity to understand how the world works, to celebrate the good, true, and beautiful wherever it is found, and whoever says it, because all truth comes from the Holy Spirit.
A deepening of faith in the lovingkindness of God, and the restful trust that comes when I accept that he holds the future, and every moment of my life, and will never stop hounding and wooing me - and every human being - to find him.
A presence to the humanity of other people, especially in my wife and child, who force me out of the clouds of learning and into the grit and grace of raising a family, being an attentive husband, and a supportive father, allowing them the pace and speed of their own journeys.
These are my mystery school, the process of initiation and incessant self-renewal. Each one of these breaks me open, forces me to my knees, and act like counterweights when one becomes imbalanced.
If all this intrigues and interests you, reach out. Tell me why. I want to meet you!
Join my free community at SmartCatholics.com, send me a message. Or subscribe to this substack.
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