Fidelity to the Word
Our Lord and His Holy Apostles at the Last Supper

A blog dedicated to Christ Jesus our Lord and His True Presence in the Holy Mystery of the Eucharist

But Christ having come a high priest of the good things to come, through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation, nor yet through the blood of goats and calves, but through his own blood, entered in once for all into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption.

Hebrews 9:11-12

Saturday, May 06, 2006

My fellow buddhists & I


You fit in with:

Your ideals mostly resemble those of the Buddhist faith. Spirituality is the most important thing in your life. You strive to live by all of your ideals, and live a very intellectually focused life.

0% scientific.
40% faith-oriented.


My buddhist friend was upset at the poor treatment she receives at work. I tried suggesting that the the suffering we endure in this world is a path to understanding. She seemed skeptical. I don't know whether it has anything to do with our conversation, but after that she borrowed some videos from her temple, and now thinks that the cruelty inflicted on her might be payback for cruelty she inflicted on others early in life. There might be something to that.


In the hopes of being able to present the truths of Catholicism more intelligibly to my friend, I visited our local public library to see whether it has anything on Catholicism and Buddhism. It does have one book: Living Zen, Loving God, by Ruben Habito, described as a practicing Catholic. I do not think my friend is a Zen Buddhist, but maybe the book will have something useful.

At first glance, things did not look good. I opened the book at random to page 13, and read:
What we are really seeking deep in our hearts cannot be found by looking "outside".
On second glance, it is not much better. I opened to an account of the good Samaritan (page 82). After quoting Luke's gospel, the author writes:
We tend to read this passage as moral injunction: "Help your neighbor in need." While that may be one valid reading it would not do full justice to what is being presented to us here.

It begins with the question of the lawyer, "What must I do to attain eternal life?" Let us plumb the depths of our being and really hear this question. This is the very question we ourselves are asking in our hearts, although we may put it in different ways:
What is true living?
How may I live an authentic life?
How may I realize who I am, and live my
True Self
each moment of my life?
"Eternal life" thus is not life after we die, the extension of some form of consciousness that will go on after our biological death, but something that is available here and now.
Thus? The author has not even mentioned life after death and thinks he has already disproven it. I wonder, not for the first time, just how Catholic liberal Catholics are. Mr. Habito may be a fine Buddhist, and does ask some worthy questions, but his answers are not those of a Catholic. Compare his first quote above with this from St. Augustine:
Our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee
God may touch our hearts, but He is not confined to our hearts, and He is immeasurably greater than our hearts. I'll start this book from the beginning, and maybe find something that can help my friend, as the two of us stumble towards our final destinations.

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