It's Simple! - But NOT So Simple!

by August, 2004

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On the plane from Czcheck to Russia, I was sitting by side of a young lady.

- You speak English?
She smiled : "Of course! I'm from Victoria, California"

- Oh! Great! You go to Russia?
- Yes! You, too?
- Yes! Just for a tour in some countries in Eastern Europe that were under the communist government.
- As for me, I come back for the second time, not for a visit but for a mission
"Mission!?" I said to myself, more or less being aware of my tentative talking to her.

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Lunch was served. I made a sign of cross. She looked at me : "you're Christian?"
- More than Christian, Catholic! You?
- Christian!
We laughed...

After a few words of self introducing to each other, it seems that everyone feels more comfortable talking and sharing...
She is a 19 year old student attempting to learn different languages: German, Italian and Russian, "for a mission of not quite a Denomination but of the Church of the Missionaries (?) that has branches in different countries, especially in Germany, Italy and Russia. I'm living in each country for about 3 or 4 months, learning language of each country."

- As a Catholic, she said, what do you believe?
Surprisingly looking at her, I tried to answer her with a really humorous tone : "In God, of course!" And we together laughed..
.

- As a Christian, I said, do you believe in Mary, we call her "The Most Blessed Virgin Mother of God"?
This time she looked at me as like as to examine my attitude. Still friendly smiling, she answered : "why yes! we do believe it! But to tell the truth, what does it matter 'virgin mother' or 'not virgin mother'?" We again laughed...


After a brief sharing about faith, work of faith, and "mission"... I told to her:
- For me, my concept of human beings, of faith, is a little bit simple: we all believe in God the Creator. Whatever name you call this Creator. Let's say God, Sky, Supreme One, or something else. There is ONE Creator, and only one. We all are created, His creatures.Thus, religion, for me, consists in two parts:
1. One: good relationship between Creator and created;
2. Two: good relationship between created and created themselves.
Isn't it simple?

- Yes! it's simple! She replied

A few seconds later, we both shouted at the same time: "But it's NOT so simple!"
Laugh and big five...

- Why yes! I said, NOT so simple! Do you know why it's NOT so simple?

She replied, almost promptly : "the politicians, the theologians, the philosophers... make it NOT so simple!"

***

[from Journal 1, Epilogue ]

I also realize that whatever is derived from any structural forms - whether socio-political organizations or religious groups or denominations - is changeable and/or to be changed, even to disappear in harmony with the demands of the inevitable evolution of creatures.

Only the essence or the very nature of the creatures, which can be summarized as follows:

1. the perfect inter-relationship between the Creator and His creatures,
2. the perfect inter-relationship between creatures themselves,

has been and will be forever.

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Pope Francis tells Catholic theologians to listen to worshippers

Published December 06, 2014

VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Francis urged the Catholic Church's top theologians on Friday to listen to what ordinary Catholics have to say and pay attention to the "signs of the times," rather than just making pronouncements in an academic vacuum.

Francis, whose near-disdain for theologians is well-known, told the International Theological Commission that they must "humbly listen" to what God tells the church by understanding Scripture but also by taking into account how ordinary Catholics live out their faith.

"Together with all Christians, theologians must open their eyes and ears to the signs of the times," Francis said.

Made up of leading theologians from around the world, the commission is a permanent advisory body to the Vatican's theological and orthodoxy watchdog, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Both are headed by Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, a conservative German theologian appointed by the theologian pope, Benedict XVI.

The congregation is known for disciplining Catholic theologians whose writings or teachings stray from church doctrine. It has been criticized for issuing these notifications without consulting the academics or giving them a chance to defend their work.

Francis has frequently complained that theologians are holding back the church in its mission to evangelize and work with other Christian communities. Just this past weekend, returning from Turkey, Francis spoke about the need for the Catholic and Orthodox churches to walk together on the path of unity.

"What are we waiting for? For the theologians to reach agreement? That day will never come, I assure you," Francis said. "I'm skeptical."

Francis has instead spoken frequently about what he calls "theology on its knees" a more merciful type of theology that isn't focused so much on rules and regulations but meeting the faithful where they are to help them reach holiness