An Uncomfortable Spiritual Autobiography

I guess since I’m starting this new Catholic blog, I should talk a little bit about my religious life, or my spirituality. Or however you call it. This is awkward.

This is awkward because, first, of course, I’m the least well-placed person to discuss my religious life and spirituality. And second, because if I have to describe my religion, “Catholic” should suffice, shouldn’t it? No? Okay.

(And third, because autobiography, especially coming from a 27-year-old, is almost always cringeworthy.)

When I was younger and I had to, I called myself a “John Paul II Catholic.” Then I called myself a “John Paul II and Benedict Catholic.” And then a “John Paul II and Benedict and Francis Catholic.” I see no contradictions between our last three popes, all of whom I profoundly admire, and see as being in total, beautiful harmony.

In terms of my own spiritual history, I was brought up as a cradle Catholic in a Catholic family. I sometimes wandered away from faith, never in thought (I don’t ever remember seriously not believing the Nicene Creed is true) but often in deed. I didn’t doubt that Jesus Christ had risen from the dead–I just didn’t want Him at the center of my life. I got serious about faith, first, after meeting my wife and, second, after taking the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises (in this version, which I highly recommend), and so am now interested in Ignatian spirituality.

My writing on faith (here’s a sample) tends towards the theological, and sometimes the ecclesiological, the pastoral and the spiritual. But I spend a lot of time (in my ignorant way) worrying about theological questions.

I hope that gives you an idea of what you’ll see in these pages–though I’m sure it doesn’t.

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  • Theodore Seeber

    That’s better. There’s hope for me not being blocked from this discussion, given that.

    There’s much to admire in Ignatian Spirituality. The two things I tend to have a problem with are academic freedom, and “plus signing” sin out of existence.

    For that reason, I doubt I could get past Week 1 of that link, though it does intrigue me. I’ve been infected too much by the American version of Freedom, corrupt license and absolute right to private property and private sexuality. I reject it of course, but I have problems in my rejection imagining a version of freedom that doesn’t include the right to do evil.

    • Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

      If that is how you see spiritual freedom, then I really really recommend that you do the Exercises. :)

  • niknac

    Why do you think so few of your cohort, especially young women, agree with you?

    • Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

      Very few people agree with me on anything.