Bookmark and Share
My Photo


    Opinions expressed on the Insight Scoop weblog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Ignatius Press. Links on this weblog to articles do not necessarily imply agreement by the author or by Ignatius Press with the contents of the articles. Links are provided to foster discussion of important issues. Readers should make their own evaluations of the contents of such articles.


« Conscience "is not equivalent to our thoughts or our opinions or our judgments." | Main | Enter Modernism »

Monday, August 16, 2010



sadly, i'm hearing that kind of language in rcia class--from the catechists! (i'm there as a sponsor)


This whole line of thinking reminds me of being caught in a kind of spiritual adolescence. I don't think that people who speak this way realize that they are telling on themselves. St Paul and BXVI for that matter speak well (of course) about spiritual maturity and the need to, "grow up."


G.K. Chesterton reflects on the Quaker doctrine of the Inner Light in "Orthodoxy," published in 1908:

"Only the other day I saw in an excellent weekly paper of Puritan tone this remark, that Christianity when stripped of its armour of dogma (as who should speak of a man stripped of his armour of bones), turned out to be nothing but the Quaker doctrine of the Inner Light. Now, if I were to say that Christianity came into the world specially to destroy the doctrine of the Inner Light, that would be an exaggeration. But it would be very much nearer to the truth. The last Stoics, like Marcus Aurelius, were exactly the people who did believe in the Inner Light. Their dignity, their weariness, their sad external care for others, their incurable internal care for themselves, were all due to the Inner Light, and existed only by that dismal illumination. Notice that Marcus Aurelius insists, as such introspective moralists always do, upon small things done or undone; it is because he has not hate or love enough to make a moral revolution. He gets up early in the morning, just as our own aristocrats living the Simple Life get up early in the morning; because such altruism is much easier than stopping the games of the amphitheatre or giving the English people back their land. Marcus Aurelius is the most intolerable of human types. He is an unselfish egoist. An unselfish egoist is a man who has pride without the excuse of passion. Of all conceivable forms of enlightenment the worst is what these people call the Inner Light. Of all horrible religions the most horrible is the worship of the god within. Any one who knows any body knows how it would work; any one who knows any one from the Higher Thought Centre knows how it does work. That Jones shall worship the god within him turns out ultimately to mean that Jones shall worship Jones. Let Jones worship the sun or moon, anything rather than the Inner Light; let Jones worship cats or crocodiles, if he can find any in his street, but not the god within. Christianity came into the world firstly in order to assert with violence that a man had not only to look inwards, but to look outwards, to behold with astonishment and enthusiasm a divine company and a divine captain. The only fun of being a Christian was that a man was not left alone with the Inner Light, but definitely recognized an outer light, fair as the sun, clear as the moon, terrible as an army with banners."

Anil Wang

Whenever I hear, "return to 'basic Christianity,' the faith of the first disciples - what some would call 'Gospel Christianity" from any Protestant sect I think back to the first disciples and the people who sat at their feet. They willingly died horrible deaths.

For what? To tell people God loves them and that they should tell others that God loves them? For fellowship? There's not enough meat here....I can see a source of quiet strength if hardship falls on you, but I don't see anything worth dying for and I don't see enough to risk your life for.

There's more than 'basic Christianity'....much more than can be put into words. Even the Church Fathers couldn't put it into words, though they tried. The 2000 years of Catholic and Orthodox history is still trying to put it into words and is not yet done. Every John of the Cross, Mother Teresa, St. Francis, Terese de Liseux, an countless others add to the texture of the tradition that was passed down.

Terence M. Stanton


Folks interested in "basic Christianity" or "Gospel Christianity" might want to take a long, hard look at "Catholic Christianity".


Regarding Anne Rice “quitting Christianity”:

I applaud Anne Rice’s move to leave the Catholic Church.

By definition, a Catholic is someone who affirms the tenets of Catholicism. If Anne Rice does not, she rightly should renounce membership in the Church. I wish other, self-professed Catholics such as Nancy Pelosi would follow Anne’s lead. Benedict 16 said that he prefers a smaller, purer Church. I concur. Dissenters within the Church do nothing but poison the faith of those around them.

Anne’s proclamation puts her in the company of others who want to ignore or twist Jesus’ teachings to their own needs. Nothing new here…it’s been happening for 2000 years and will likely continue. Her statement that she remains “committed to Christ” is laughable since one cannot be committed to Christ without being committed to His teachings thru the Church that He established…a church complete with the hierarchical structure of bishops, deacons and presbyters, dogma, specific moral requirements: a religion.

She will no doubt recast herself as “spiritual but not religious”, which is an attempt for her to tie herself to the Lord without having to actually submit to any sexual restrictions, hard beliefs, difficult moral code, etc…in other words: "I have Jesus on my terms, not His".


Diane, you hit the nail on the head.excellent work,thank you.sandy

kathleen prantner

But their souls, their poor souls. Wilful ignorance may be the saddest thing in the world.. Prayers and eye-rolling may be about the best we can do, and let God handle the grace part of it...

The comments to this entry are closed.

Ignatius Insight


Ignatius Press

Catholic World Report


Blogs & Sites We Like

June 2018

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Blog powered by Typepad