Watching a recent episode of the Regeneration podcast triggered a thought about lockstep-thinking vs free inquiry. Ours is an era of discovery and renewal, but it’s also a pandemic of narcissism. I’m just going to rant here. I might change my mind, and decide this was all irresponsible. But it's a kaleidoscope of thoughts that I can’t get around. And it’s why I’m doing what I do with SmartCatholics, LegendFiction, this project - CatholicFrontier, and the new projects I dream about.
I just started a course in mystical theology where we will be reading the great mystics, and spending time in lectio divina, drawing closer to Christ.
Romans 12 I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
It's a life-long process, and the Holy Spirit is a necessary guide. Prayer and scripture are essential.
I was in a cult in my 20s. That experience is what led me to the Church. Why? Because I saw the absolute necessity of the Magisterium.
You love the Church deeply and so it pains you deeply to see the foolishness of men. When I was considering becoming Catholic, the last thing I read was a history of the Church by a secular scholar. By the end, I was absolutely convinced the Church was established by Christ, because if it was a human institution it would have self-destructed long ago. The barque of Peter has veered from the rocks to the maelstrom and back again, but the gates of hell have not prevailed. Anchor yourself to Christ and turn everything over to Him. We can't do anything, but He can do everything necessary.
Sorry for the lecture. If I read you all wrong, I apologize.
I agree with so much of what you wrote here. Your expression "head-based faith-thinking" (something to avoid) reminded me of one of my favorite quotes from, I believe, Theophan the Recluse (an Orthodox monk): "Put your mind in your heart." Whenever I find my theological reflections getting too abstract and drawing me away from, rather than deeper into, intimacy with God, recalling Theophan's advice to "put your mind in your heart" helps return me to a more spiritual poise where theology is secondary to just being with the presence of God as best you can in that moment.