Tuesday, January 3, 2012


I was reading an article on recent changes to the Catholic mass, maybe it was over at NPR, and I pulled one of the comments to save.  It rang especially true for me as someone who was raised Catholic, but now puts little stake in the faith.  The "myth" itself is extraordinary and fascinating, but ultimately it is only that - a myth.

"As a non-believer brought up a pre-Vatican II Catholic one can attest to a very interesting fact. All over the world, no matter ones native language, any Catholic could walk into any Catholic church and follow along, in Latin with just as much or little understanding as the rest of the congregation. The idea was a shared (and hopefully uplifting) experience and this is how the word "catholic" in the broad sense is understood. There was a sense of belonging to a world-wide family where everybody was on the same page, politics aside. 

So far as understanding, believing in or not believing in god, Christ etc., of course it's all irrational. To try to make rational sense out of a myth is pointless. Just as watching or reading good science-fiction sometimes requires suspension of belief, space and time so does religion. It's all experiential not rational. That's the power of Myth and if one benefits from it, then all the better. The emphasis is on the "if". 

Language always carries cultural and emotional baggage. That's where the advantage of using a dead language came in handy, it had less "baggage" but everybody got the basic idea." 

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