05. July 2019 · 2 comments · Categories: Colloqui

July 05, 2019

In this issue:

A Crisis Of Identity: A renewal of the mind to God’s will

Deacon’s Diner: Food for a restless mind

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: http://deaconscorner.org. Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.


  1. Deacon Chuck,

    I thought I would drop you a line and let you know I was still occasionally checking in on your blog and enjoying it as well. I admittedly find it difficult to draw conclusions from your opinions, but I read with interest your entry on the Amazonian synod. I appreciated that it seemed less judgmental in it’s tone than much of your other writing.

    I respect the churches efforts to reach out to it’s congregations and gain understanding of differentiated needs. It is not a hard jump for me to make that the needs of Amazonian people are much different than mine in many ways due to the reality of their lives. It demonstrates the churches understanding of diversity within our faith and it’s mission of discipleship. A fundamental aspect of that discipleship is the willingness to listen, understand and respect the needs of it’s members.

    That is a good thing whether you or I agree with it or not.. Those discussions leads to spiritual and institutional growth. The church and it’s members need that in order to sustain the mission of spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. While It is comforting to some to believe that there is only one answer to complex issues, that is not the case in reality.

    This time after Pentecost is a good reminder that we hear the gospel message in our own way in order to understand and spread it. That includes you, me and the people of the Amazon. Synods such as the one that occurred in Reno recently are a good opportunity to reach out and discuss ideas in a respectful manner. They are not a threat to the fundamental ideals of our church. Take care and I hope you are well.

    • Thank you, John, for your thoughtful comments. I cannot help but wonder at times whether anyone ever bothers to read anything at all these days. Whether we agree or disagree, it seems to me, our conversations are just so much that, honest conversations, not the usual rants or diatribes filled with invectives. Civil discourse has nearly become extinct and we are much the worse because of it. As you say discussion leads to growth, we learn from each other, and that is a good thing, indeed. While I would never suggest either of us to be of the stature of G.K. Chesterton or George Bernard Shaw, I cannot help but think of their relationship next to ours. Chesterton called Shaw his “friendly enemy” and Shaw said of Chesterton, “He was a man of colossal genius.” Diametrically opposite in their beliefs, they showed the world that respect was of far greater value than disrespect, that friendship did not require full and complete agreement, and that conversation need not mean conversion.
      Of your comments overall, I take issue with very little. I would, however, humbly suggest revisiting my essay from a slightly different perspective, for I fear you have somehow missed an important point. There are those within the Church who are of the mind to fundamentally change it, to in every sense of the word create a new church, a church not in keeping with the gospel of Jesus Christ. You suggest that we should hear the gospel message in our own way in order to understand and spread it. That, it seems to me, is the argument made by those who would alter the Word of God to suit their own purposes. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the Word of God and the Word is immutable and true, now and forever. Who are we, creatures of Almighty God, to suggest a different interpretation based on a diversity of opinion or cultural differences? And yet, there is a more fundamental issue so pervasive these days and that is ignorance, both culpable and inculpable. Instead of investigating why the Church holds to certain dogma and doctrine, too many merely choose to disagree or too often lay unthinking claim that the Church is wrong because they disagree with what the Church teaches, what Christ teaches or what God commands.
      In my most recent essay I wrote: “When God becomes myth, the devil laughs. Those who would argue there is no God will likewise argue there is no devil for if there is no Good there can be no Evil. It is easy to be good when there is no evil.” I then relate something I heard in a video, which, while I could ask you to simply read the entire essay (which I hope you will do,) I will simply reproduce it here for I believe it germane.

      Steve Bollman, founder and president of Paradisus Dei and the developer of That Man is You! illustrates this from personal experience. Prior to 2002, Steve was a professional energy derivatives trader in Houston, Texas. At a business meeting, over dinner and far too much alcohol, one trader claimed to be a “good man.” The others at the table argued over how he could make such a claim, what objective standards could he apply to justify his being a “good man.”
      Someone suggested using the Ten Commandments as an objective test. Steve was the only one at the table who knew all ten and in their proper order. The good man? He admitted to honestly observing two: IV — Honor thy father and thy mother and V — Thou shall not kill, but only with certain exclusions for abortion, euthanasia, suicide, contraception, etc. Bollman remarks further that the average for the group, excluding himself, was 2.5 with half having broken number VI — Thou shalt not commit adultery.

      My point here is that any disagreement goes far beyond strictures demanded by the doctrine and dogma of the Catholic Church whose head is Christ himself when we find neither a need nor the desire to obey the fundamental commandments of Almighty God. The working document of the Amazon Synod suggests and promotes fundamental changes to the doctrine and dogma of the Catholic Church including acceptance and institutionalization of pantheism and paganism. As Cardinal Walter Brandmuller has noted the document is heretical and breathes apostasy and thus must be condemned in its current form.
      If I may, and I shall, suggest that while I welcome discussion and conversation on everything I write, I find myself a bit perplexed by your appreciation to my seemingly being less judgmental in tone with my opinions. I am perplexed because it has never been my intention to be “non“judgmental or to not offer my opinion. They are my opinions and I’m sticking to them. That does not mean that my opinions are always right or my judgment impeccably correct. What it does mean is that I have them and am more than willing to pass personal judgment on what I believe to be an injustice or error. It also means I am willing to admit to having them, something few are willing to admit these days. But, and this is important, what I write is not mere opinion, but truth based on facts and well-researched documentation. It is important to know the difference. As I state in the masthead, Colloqui’s “mission and purpose is to encourage serious discussion, to promote reasoned debate, and to provide serious content for those who hope to find their own pathway to God.” I thank God for your conversation and insight. I pray you will continue our conversation. God bless.

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