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06 February 2011

Away from Dogmatism

Recently, my two posts on pastoral care really caught the attention of my small community of readers.  Suddenly, the free tracking device provided by Google suggested that a lot more people were reading my thoughts than I could have expected.

For the most part, the response received in response to what I wrote was greatly positive.  But, there were, as there always are, detractors.  One in particular caught my attention.  It came from someone I respect greatly; we do not agree on everything, but I have always found this particular person to be deeply concerned with my vocation and my development as a friar and future priest.

Our pastoral encounter -- there was no judgement in the comments offered to me -- made me question just how careful I am in what I publish.  For the most part, I think thrice, write twice and post once.  But, every once in a while I shoot from the hip without proper reflection.  I'm not sure if I did so in the pastoral care posts -- but I came mighty darn close.

Thus, if my posts become a bit more nuanced in the future, it is by design.  The past few days -- both on the blog and in my classes at the School of Theology and Ministry -- have convinced me that nuance is what is most missing from our theological discussions.

I recall a quote that consistently haunts me ...

At the very least, theology means 'watching one's language in the presence of God.'
 Gerald O'Collins, SJ, Jesus Our Redeemer, p. 2

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