So, with school finally over for a few weeks (hate having an exam on the last day of the exam period!) I got to reading. Picked up an old book containing essays by St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Francis of Assissi. So far I'm partway through Augustine on "The Immortality of the Soul". Interestingly, some sentances do not translate from Latin (I assume it was written in that) to English.
So, are his views accepted by mainstream Catholics, or even non-Catholic denoms? Some of his ideas (how predestinanation and grace interact) seem fine while others (that a fact is eternal and all things that are eternal are of divine attribute) seem to be some kind of hallucengenic dream.
Also, what is the general opinon on all three of these guys- since I've actually heard their names, I figured they must be kinda important.
Last (boy do things get backed up in the exam period), my gf met someone who claims to be a monk of st. Benedict. But... he calls himself a lay-monk, he consumes alcohol, he is married, he practices zen meditation. This does not sound very Catholic to me and as far as I understand the definitions of the words- a layman can not be part of the clergy and viceversa, so WTF is a lay-monk?! How can a member of Catholic clergy be married? And why practice zen meditation? Who was st. Benedict and did he try some of these things?
sounds like questions for St Kolbe. I like some of Augustines stuff, but I dont agree with all of his stuff at all. I think these guys just tried to explain what they understood as the truth in the best way they could at the time they were around.
thats just my .02
"So, are his views accepted by mainstream Catholics, or even non-Catholic denoms?"
I think it is a common misunderstanding amongst non-catholics to believe that catholocism is very rigid in its belief system. There actually is a decent breadth of lattitude. So some are conservative while others liberal, some lean toward the mystic experience while others are more exoteric. They are all very important saints. Look at the difference between Meister Eckhart and Padre Pio. Both catholics. Very, very different in terms of philosophy.
"Also, what is the general opinon on all three of these guys- since I've actually heard their names, I figured they must be kinda important."
I like all 3, particularly St. Thomas. I was raised catholic and St Francis is my confirmation name & saint.
"he calls himself a lay-monk, he consumes alcohol, he is married, he practices zen meditation. This does not sound very Catholic to me and as far as I understand the definitions of the words- a layman can not be part of the clergy and viceversa"
Clergy are allowed to drink. Collared priests can drink. Monks invented Champagne as well as many other alchoholic beverages. He's in good company.
Many of the orders have lay monks. I don't know that much about Benedictines, but I assume they may. There is nothing wrong with meditation--- zazen, the technique of zen breathing meditation-- does not make you a Buddhist, it makes you someone who practices breathing meditation. Many christians meditate-- which they would define as a form of prayer. So called "centering prayer", a form of meditation not related to breathing forms of meditation, is a pretty fast-growing phenomena that's been around for 1,600 years or so.
A lay monk is a married monk who still gets laid.
There are married catholic priests as well.
If I know in my mothers diocese there is a priest who converted from anglican (episcopalian?) who was married while he was a anglican priest and so no he is a married roman catholic priest with kids.
Personally, I think priests should be able to marry and have families. Or at least the catholic church should have some orders who are allowed to marry and some who are not.
Eckhart is on my reading list, but that's not in the immediate future.
On the Zazen, while in Judaism there is nothing formally wrong with it (the meditation), it is really delving into a grey area (since we have Kabbalah)- esp. if one opens the meditation with the traditional prayer praising the Buddha and the Buddhist community. I would assume Christians have similar concerns.
I was unaware lay-monks exist. The way the Christian world was explained to me, you are either laity or clergy. What is the function of this middle position?
"Eckhart is on my reading list,"
Meister Eckhart is excellent! He has some very deep and interesting stuff to say imo.