[quote=AlmostCatholic]From some of the other threads I started, I realized that I don’t have many intellectual questions left about catholocism, but I did realize I have some psychological baggage.
And hence you have zoned in on Luther who also had some psychological baggage? We know that he was brutally beaten by his father as a child and entered the monastery to – in his own words – save his life. He loved the monastery, felt safe there, even loved visiting the Vatican; he also became such a brilliant Biblical scholar that he rose rapidly in the ranks of the Church.
It is my perception:
a) that the Wittenburg Plague shocked him into a kind of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder relapse and he began a downward spiral of suspicion, alienation from community, and scrupulous self-mutilation. Oh, he had a majorly disordered trust, I think.
b) many non-Catholics do not reject the reasoning behind all Church teachings; they reject the reasoning behind teachings which point to trusting the Church.
I wonder if, for Luther, all his “Alone” theories could actually be summed up in “Trust Alone” as something he felt he could not or would not do.
[quote=AlmostCatholic]To just dismiss them as heretics seems almost painful.
The great heresies were profoundly instructive on what goes on in the human soul in the search for God. Understand the heretics, but also understand that their heresies are still profound errors.
[quote=AlmostCatholic]I have also seen some of the apologetics sites with articles connecting Luther to Hitler. I can’t think of a worse apologetic approach. No protestant is going to come to Rome by being attacked like that.
Um… Hitler’s philosophies were not exclusively about death camps, although the death camps were certainly morally repugnant. The comparison of Luther and Hitler is a questionable apologetic approach not because it lacks validity but because it attempts to tackle advanced questions without ensuring that a firm foundation in the basics is in place.
[quote=AlmostCatholic]So now, if I became Catholic, would I have to stop liking M. Luther?
Understand Luther. Understand the heresies. For that matter understand Hitler. And understand the destruction wrought to families of those lost as a result of Hitler’s disordered thinking.
That would be like moving to England and having to start thinking of George Washiington as a Traitor.
Do you see the difficulty I’m having.
Here’s what I see in others. You do the math.
It is extraordinarily difficult (humbling) to change focus from what one thinks are advanced discussions in order to learn the basics.
It is also extraordinarily difficult (humbling) to change focus from theorizing about religious questions in order to actually deal with one’s own personal darknesses and barriers against trust.
What goes hand in hand with those difficulties is that Protestantism offers a kind of status based on the notion that the individual is the interpreter, the arbiter.
But that ‘power’ distracts from the powerlessness of unresolved trust issues.
Catholicism offers no status in the world nor any distraction from powerlessness in the world.
Even a solid knowledge of Scripture and of Holy Tradition and of Magisterial Teaching and Greek and Hebrew and Aramaic and Latin and so on gets you zero status and zero distraction from vulnerability in the Catholic Church.
Catholicism is truly a persecuted religion in our society. Moreover we have many rebels within the Church.
St Francis of Assisi said:
… [FONT=Arial]O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.[/FONT]
(emphasis mine) Being Catholic in many ways is the death of the ego (for some folks a very slow death). It is truly a humbling experience to be Catholic. But witness the utter humility demonstrated by Jesus in the Stations of the Cross. Compassion is our sharing – if you will – in the Passion of Jesus. Which means we get to be overlooked, misunderstood, misrepresented, and victimized with Him; hence the prefix ‘com’.
We get to suffer. No skipping right to the Glory part. Jesus didn’t skip to the Glory part. Jesus asks us to follow him. Not skip the Cross and meet him at the Glory part.