Wordpress Theme designed and provided by Wordpress Power Themes

EXCERPT: LCC Catechism

 

about this bookwhere to buy this bookexcerpt (free sample)

A Catechism of the Liberal Catholic Church

 

From Chapter One

O Lord Christ, who dost dwell in the hearts of all and has taught us that without love, our doings are nothing worth, grant us strength so as to cast aside selfishness and pride, grant us grace seriously to lay aside the unhappy divisions which beset us. Help us to lay aside all hardness of heart, and all that may hinder us from the understanding of our brethren, that we may live together in the spirit of unity and concord, through the glory of Thy holy Name.

Prayer for Christian Unity from the Liberal Catholic liturgy

This is a catechism, a word that comes from the Greek word for “teach.” Many western religions put their fundamental teachings into a catechism. By stating what a religion believes, the catechism draws a line that separates itself from others (the “nonbelievers”).

This is a catechism that seeks to unify, not divide.

Here you have the most fundamental teaching of the Liberal Catholic Church: we try not to divide. We go out of our way to honour and respect all spiritual pathways, and we don’t insist that you become a member of our denomination in order to “get to heaven” or to take part in our services. We want you to join us, but we don’t insist on it.

Our clergy are there to help you on your spiritual pathway, regardless of what that pathway is. Some might call this noblesse oblige. We call it following the instructions given to us by our Lord and Master: The Christ.

The most distinctive characteristic of the Liberal Catholic Church is that we do not think or act like we have the only winning ticket in the great Cosmic Lottery. We love you just the way you are.

“Liberal”

The word “liberal” comes from the Latin word for “free.” We strive to be free and generous in our thinking and our actions. We try to let you be as free as we are, so we try to avoid bigotry and divisive dogma.

We are taught that if you want to receive love, you have to give it. Some people use the word “karma” to describe this attitude. We would say that we receive love through the very act of giving it. We receive love, not as the result of something, but during the very course of giving love. The love we receive is not a kind of after-the-fact reward. The love we receive occurs in the moment – in the Eternal Now.

“Catholic”

The word “catholic” is often translated as “universal,” and that is a fairly good definition. It actually comes from the Greek word that means “whole.”

There is a subtle difference between being universal and being whole. If you are Universal, you can be many different things all at the same time, like a Universal Wrench would be a wrench that tries to fit every imaginable bolt. The word Universal is a way of saying something is a generic fit for everything.

If something is whole, it is a healthy fit, a fundamental fit. A universal church can divide believers from nonbelievers, while a whole church sees God’s hand at work everywhere. A universal wrench may destroy some innocent bolts as it tries to force itself into the project. A whole church would say, “Oh, you’re a nail not a bolt, so why don’t you just use this hammer?” We don’t insist you be a bolt, so to speak.

We can be catholic — universal or whole — without having millions of members. Most of our churches are small and intimate, and that is just the way we like it.

Our smallest churches are still an asset because of the energies that its members generate. On Sunday, we break the bonds of this earthly life and raise our spirits. Then God’s energies come to join us. Finally we spread this energy out to the neighbourhood or community.

Our liturgies help us individually and as members of our churches. They also send out energies to the community as a whole. We bring together the physical plan and the spiritual plane, and all of mankind is energized as a result.

“Liberal Catholic” 

The Liberal Catholic Church is a wonderful spiritual banquet, and it will never run out of nourishment for your spiritual enrichment. The moment you think you understand everything, you will stumble onto some new aspect of living a holy life. Even after years of study, you can still be surprised by a new insight.

This book is for beginners. You may choose later to continue exploring the mystical aspects of our church, but you need a strong foundation first. This book is that.

There is no Christian denomination that offers you such a wide variety of ways to express your faith, but let’s be

sure your long and rich journey has a good foundation.

A Map of Life

The word religion comes from the Latin word meaning “to tie” or “to bind.” The idea is that we are bound to God, and God is bound to us.

Fulton Sheen, a bishop of the Roman Rite in the 20th century wrote about a troubled traveller, who gets vivid impressions of nearby mountains and rivers, but gives no overall view of the Grand Scheme of Things.

If you encounter an awful traffic jam in Japan or a rude hotel employee in France, those impressions may be the Biggest Deal to you. In the grand scheme of things, they aren’t as important as a war or a lasting peace.

Bishop Sheen said that religion offers a “map of life.” A map gives an overview of the relationships between parks and museums and roads, and it shows how to get from Point A to Point B. In fact, it probably shows several pathways between points. You have options and choices.

The Liberal Catholic map is a scale model of life, but it is not life itself. Maps prove nothing, but they show how seemingly unrelated components are all part of the same landscape. Our map shows that the hill is merely an extension of the valley. The map shows, as computer guru Ted Nelson once said, that “everything is inter-twingled.”

Each traveller through life has an individual itinerary. Some are out on a mission, while others are merely enjoying the sights.

The Liberal Catholic Church honours your spiritual journey, whether you are going from Point A to Point B, or Point A to Point F. You are a child of God with free will and a mind of your own. We have a map to offer you, but we try not to get in your way when you are deciding which road to use.

With that, Bishop Sheen starts to spin around in his grave. He did not believe and would never say that one itinerary is as good as any other. The bishop would say that only the path highlighted by the Church of Rome was valid. His sense of individualism would be limited. He would say that once you

see the overall picture of the Map of Life, then it is obvious which road is the one that leads to God.

The LCC will try to honour all the roads as well as quite a few cross-country junkets. A good map does not mandate a single destination. There are several good destinations and plenty of sights to see along the various paths.

And as there are different itineraries, temperaments vary from one traveller to the next. One may prefer to slide down a big highway in a luxury vehicle, while others prefer the communal nature of a big and popular mass transit system. A few of us want to jettison all the standard ways of getting to our chosen destination, grab a backpack, and head off on our own.

Every traveller can benefit from having a map, regardless of the destination and regardless of the conveyance.

 

Things to Ponder — Things to Discuss

  1. What is religion?
  2. What does “liberal” mean?
  3. What does “catholic” mean?
  4. Is the Liberal Catholic Church a Protestant denomination? Orthodox?
  5. Why are you interested in the Liberal Catholic Church?
  6. What do you expect from the Liberal Catholic Church?
  7. What do you feel the LCC expects from you?
 
 

Leave a Reply

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.