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Author Topic: Struggling With Reconciling Paganism and Christianity  (Read 10366 times)

sionnachdearg

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Re: Struggling With Reconciling Paganism and Christianity
« Reply #75 on: February 15, 2016, 11:15:07 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;186634
I haven't read the poem myself, only a study of the poem. I don't think it's available online.

Another poem of Old English lit is The Dream of the Rood, which is online and combines Christianity and animism/nature worship.

About:
The Crucifixion story is told from the perspective of the Cross. It begins with the enemy coming to cut the tree down and carrying it away. The tree learns that it is not to be the bearer of a criminal, but instead Christ crucified. The Lord and the Cross become one, and they stand together as victors, refusing to fall, taking on insurmountable pain for the sake of mankind. It is not just Christ, but the Cross as well that is pierced with nails. The Rood and Christ are one in the portrayal of the Passion—they are both pierced with nails, mocked and tortured. Then, just as with Christ, the Cross is resurrected, and adorned with gold and silver.[12] It is honoured above all trees just as Jesus is honoured above all men.

 
Thanks I will have to read it.

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Re: Struggling With Reconciling Paganism and Christianity
« Reply #76 on: February 15, 2016, 11:41:02 pm »
Quote from: Demophon;185509
Lately I have been having some problems reconciling different religious traditions that I practice. I have been a practicing pagan of some stripe for over a decade, and I was not raised in a religious household in which we went to church regularly or anything, but in the past three years or so I have been going to church. I am even working on a graduate degree in Christian theology right now, which is an... interesting experience. Somehow I ended up really involved in the wider Church community....

 
I pretty much a twin with you except my pagan path is a bit different focus. I wasnt raised in a religious family. I went to church on my own at 14, left at 18, became Catholic at 30, left Catholicism (as in stoped practicing) since then.

I love Catholicism. I cant reconcile myself with some of the theology but if I was real serious, I mean more serious than just taking the sacraments, Id be full time Catholic non stop.

What I do to help with that balance is when I honor my ancestors and grandmothers, I do so at the Church. I take the Eucharist for them and I pray for them in the heaven they believe in. I take myself out of the situation and be a channel from me to them.

With what youre saying, I honestly think maybe re-explore the Church. Maybe go to episcopalian. They have woman preachers and are starting to have gay rights and marriages.

If you feel paganism in you cant change, maybe go to Church for the services and not take the Eucharist? If you believe in the Divine, confession and forgiveness from god is forgiveness from the Divine. I think the dogma and sacraments are kinda weighing you down.  There are other liturgical churches. Lutheran is one. Methodist-though I dont know what their stances are on social topics.

Were I live it is All Christian. Everyone is either Catholic or protestant. Its rare you find pagans that actually live here rather than passing through.  The only think I can think of is going to a Uniterian Universalist (UU) church and see if that helps. Its a dramatic change from Catholicism and some UU churches arent very nice about organized religion givent their history. If you find a good church ask them about their CUUPs (Coven for Unitarian Universalist Pagans) I believe and start there.

Its a lonely religion. I told mself one time maybe the reason I love Catholicism is because it does have pagan elements in it. Its alright to go to church and all that. I dont know how comfortable are you about taking the sacraments without being part of the Body anymore.

Explore it.  You dont have to leave your pagan side. You can find god anywhere. Try not to limit god to the Church and god/s to paganism for that matter.

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Re: Struggling With Reconciling Paganism and Christianity
« Reply #77 on: February 16, 2016, 12:15:21 am »
Quote from: ReligiousGypsy;186705
I pretty much a twin with you except my pagan path is a bit different focus. I wasnt raised in a religious family. I went to church on my own at 14, left at 18, became Catholic at 30, left Catholicism (as in stoped practicing) since then.

I love Catholicism. I cant reconcile myself with some of the theology but if I was real serious, I mean more serious than just taking the sacraments, Id be full time Catholic non stop.

What I do to help with that balance is when I honor my ancestors and grandmothers, I do so at the Church. I take the Eucharist for them and I pray for them in the heaven they believe in. I take myself out of the situation and be a channel from me to them.

With what youre saying, I honestly think maybe re-explore the Church. Maybe go to episcopalian. They have woman preachers and are starting to have gay rights and marriages.

If you feel paganism in you cant change, maybe go to Church for the services and not take the Eucharist? If you believe in the Divine, confession and forgiveness from god is forgiveness from the Divine. I think the dogma and sacraments are kinda weighing you down.  There are other liturgical churches. Lutheran is one. Methodist-though I dont know what their stances are on social topics.

Were I live it is All Christian. Everyone is either Catholic or protestant. Its rare you find pagans that actually live here rather than passing through.  The only think I can think of is going to a Uniterian Universalist (UU) church and see if that helps. Its a dramatic change from Catholicism and some UU churches arent very nice about organized religion givent their history. If you find a good church ask them about their CUUPs (Coven for Unitarian Universalist Pagans) I believe and start there.

Its a lonely religion. I told mself one time maybe the reason I love Catholicism is because it does have pagan elements in it. Its alright to go to church and all that. I dont know how comfortable are you about taking the sacraments without being part of the Body anymore.

Explore it.  You dont have to leave your pagan side. You can find god anywhere. Try not to limit god to the Church and god/s to paganism for that matter.

 
Not to be 'that guy' (but totally okay with being that guy), I would strongly advise against receiving sacraments in a Catholic church unless you're in full communion with the Church, or in communion with a church which the Vatican recognises as being valid for intercommunion purposes -- which I believe is limited to the Orthodox, and only in very specific circumstances. It's rude and disrespectful otherwise, esp. since no priest would willingly provide the sacraments to a non-Catholic (or excommunicated Catholic) who identified themselves as such.
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Re: Struggling With Reconciling Paganism and Christianity
« Reply #78 on: February 16, 2016, 10:36:22 am »
Quote from: sionnachdearg;186628
I hope you will read at least Anam Cara from John O'Donohue. I really enjoyed it as well as Eternal Echos. Two of his books are his poetry which is also very good. I really would like to know someone else's opinion on his presentation. I found in particularly refreshing of the importance of the Natural world. You can feel the Celtic influence of how every land feature has its own story (hard to explain this, better if you read his explanation). He also references pre-Christian religion including the Tuatha De Danann and the interconnection of the Other world and the world of man. He blends the spirituality of Ireland and Christianity in a beautiful way.

This may have been easier for me to believe in growing up Quaker. From the time I can remember first learning of Christianity I was taught the the world/nature was sacred and must always be treated with respect. There was no church we would go to since the entire earth was Gods Church. Meetings were in family homes or could be outdoors and there was no one person to lead a service since everyone had the light of God in them and so everyone was expected to speak. I was taught from the beginning than all life has a soul and need to treated with respect.

From what I have learned from Celtic beliefs there was an intimate relationship with nature with the Supernatural and the world of man overlapping considerably with the Goddess of the land connecting with the God of the tribe being important for the land to be productive and fertile.

 
I'm reading a discussion about the Irish transition to Christianity that makes quite a bit of sense with what I know of Germanic paganism as well. To summarize:

The consensus is that Irish pagans often didn't have a strong philosophical attachment to their beliefs but rather an attachment to magical figures and places that helped them in mundane matters. So it wasn't a big deal to Christianize those figures and places, since a magic well and a holy well aren't all that different in purpose.

Since the role of magic was more important than any particular faith or dogma, Christianity was accepted as a new and stronger form of magical manipulation. The perception that magic could influence the physical world (ex. weather, fertility) was part of the European "agrarian consciousness", and once Christianized, that magical capacity existed within one source rather than in many different sources.
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Re: Struggling With Reconciling Paganism and Christianity
« Reply #79 on: February 16, 2016, 11:46:28 am »
Quote from: Castus;186711
Not to be 'that guy' (but totally okay with being that guy), I would strongly advise against receiving sacraments in a Catholic church unless you're in full communion with the Church, or in communion with a church which the Vatican recognises as being valid for intercommunion purposes -- which I believe is limited to the Orthodox, and only in very specific circumstances. It's rude and disrespectful otherwise, esp. since no priest would willingly provide the sacraments to a non-Catholic (or excommunicated Catholic) who identified themselves as such.

 
I dont consider myself an ex-catholic. I have a intimate relarionship with the Church. I dont consider what I do "pagan" as it overlaps a lot if not all of Catholic practices. I honestly dont think there is a confliction in what I believe just I express it differently.  

Its not not being party of the body. Any already confessed Catholic can take communion. On the other hand, if thry believed I lossed my salvation then of course taking communion is i lnappriopriate. I side with Santeria and Espirimento teachings when it comes to folk traditions and catholic teachings.

Different way of seeing and interacting with the church. Not wrong just different.

If the OP (cant remember if he said he was Catholic) still professed and still connected to the sacraments in his eyes, reconciling by going to the priest and telling Jesus that this will be his last communion would help. If he feels he still find that inner connection with the church, it would depend on what "pagan" things he does.

For me, what I do under paganism is only that because the media and secular advisement sees it like that. Most Catholics who practice teachings etc from their culture find no confliction. Its very different from neopaganism. I dont identify with that.

Depends on how he practices and defines paganism. Not the word.

Castus

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Re: Struggling With Reconciling Paganism and Christianity
« Reply #80 on: February 16, 2016, 02:57:55 pm »
Quote from: ReligiousGypsy;186739
I dont consider myself an ex-catholic. I have a intimate relarionship with the Church. I dont consider what I do "pagan" as it overlaps a lot if not all of Catholic practices. I honestly dont think there is a confliction in what I believe just I express it differently.  

Its not not being party of the body. Any already confessed Catholic can take communion. On the other hand, if thry believed I lossed my salvation then of course taking communion is i lnappriopriate. I side with Santeria and Espirimento teachings when it comes to folk traditions and catholic teachings.

Different way of seeing and interacting with the church. Not wrong just different.

If the OP (cant remember if he said he was Catholic) still professed and still connected to the sacraments in his eyes, reconciling by going to the priest and telling Jesus that this will be his last communion would help. If he feels he still find that inner connection with the church, it would depend on what "pagan" things he does.

For me, what I do under paganism is only that because the media and secular advisement sees it like that. Most Catholics who practice teachings etc from their culture find no confliction. Its very different from neopaganism. I dont identify with that.

Depends on how he practices and defines paganism. Not the word.

 
See, and I understand why you feel that way, certainly. But if one is working with the Catholic Church, than there certainly is a right and wrong way of doing things. And not to put too fine a point on it, but you're doing it wrong.

Without prejudice to the prescript of can. 194, §1, n. 2, an apostate from the faith, a heretic, or a schismatic incurs a latae sententiae excommunication; in addition, a cleric can be punished with the penalties mentioned in can. 1336, §1, nn. 1, 2, and 3. (1983 CIC 1364:1)

From this, because -- and I don't mean to be rude here -- your beliefs are quite clearly, flagrantly heretical (i.e. in knowing opposition to the established, authoritative doctrines of the Catholic faith which confirmed Catholics promise to faithfully obey) you have thereby incurred an automatic excommunication. Which in itself isn't remarkable, I'm fairly sure that most of the born-Catholics on TC (myself included) labour under such a sentence. However, even if your excommunication was not handed down by a local bishop, you are still forbidden to receive any sacrament besides the sacrament of penance/reconciliation (AKA you can go to confession any time you want).

The reason I'm pointing this out is best illustrated by this example:

You go to Mass at a local chapel. You do everything you're supposed to do, you go up and take communion, then you go sit back down.

What has just happened here is that you tricked the priest, through a lie of omission, into dispensing Catholicism's holiest sacrament to someone who is forbidden to receive it; something which he probably would never ever do knowingly. In fact, if he were to give you communion even though he knew of your heresy, he would be violating canon law as well (1984 CIC 1367). At the risk of stating the obvious, this is a mean and disrespectful thing to do. Which is why, in my humble opinion, one shouldn't do it.
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“A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, “You are mad; you are not like us.” — St Anthony the Great

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Re: Struggling With Reconciling Paganism and Christianity
« Reply #81 on: February 16, 2016, 03:18:21 pm »
Quote from: ReligiousGypsy;186705
With what youre saying, I honestly think maybe re-explore the Church. Maybe go to episcopalian. They have woman preachers and are starting to have gay rights and marriages.

If you feel paganism in you cant change, maybe go to Church for the services and not take the Eucharist? If you believe in the Divine, confession and forgiveness from god is forgiveness from the Divine. I think the dogma and sacraments are kinda weighing you down.  There are other liturgical churches. Lutheran is one. Methodist-though I dont know what their stances are on social topics.


I'm currently in communion with the Anglican (Episcopalian in the US) Church, and attend a parish with an Anglo-Catholic churchmanship, meaning they emphasize the Catholic heritage of the Church of England and are "Catholic" in liturgical style, but they are under Anglican authority rather than being in communion with the Holy See of Rome.

The liturgy is nice, but I find the "Catholicism" of the Anglican Church to be pretty superficial. I guess in spite of thinking that all that mattered to me in Christianity was "high" ritualism, it turns out I do prefer a more genuine community with sincere faith rather than just a group of liturgy snobs who only value choral music and drinking sherry.
 
Quote from: Castus;186711
Not to be 'that guy' (but totally okay with being that guy), I would strongly advise against receiving sacraments in a Catholic church unless you're in full communion with the Church, or in communion with a church which the Vatican recognises as being valid for intercommunion purposes -- which I believe is limited to the Orthodox, and only in very specific circumstances. It's rude and disrespectful otherwise, esp. since no priest would willingly provide the sacraments to a non-Catholic (or excommunicated Catholic) who identified themselves as such.

 
Not to worry, I know the rules. I don't receive communion in the Catholic Church yet. If I go up at all during communion, I cross my arms over my chest and receive a blessing from the priest. However, I am thinking of being received into full communion with the Catholic Church this coming Eastertide, as long as nothing happens between then and now to make me think it's a terrible idea.

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Re: Struggling With Reconciling Paganism and Christianity
« Reply #82 on: February 16, 2016, 03:28:17 pm »
Quote from: Demophon;186752
However, I am thinking of being received into full communion with the Catholic Church this coming Eastertide, as long as nothing happens between then and now to make me think it's a terrible idea.


Congratulations! :D
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“A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, “You are mad; you are not like us.” — St Anthony the Great

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Re: Struggling With Reconciling Paganism and Christianity
« Reply #83 on: February 16, 2016, 04:51:34 pm »
Quote from: Castus;186750
See, and I understand why you feel that way, certainly. But if one is working with the Catholic Church, than there certainly is a right and wrong way of doing things. And not to put too fine a point on it, but you're doing it wrong.

Without prejudice to the prescript of can. 194, §1, n. 2, an apostate from the faith, a heretic, or a schismatic incurs a latae sententiae excommunication; in addition, a cleric can be punished with the penalties mentioned in can. 1336, §1, nn. 1, 2, and 3. (1983 CIC 1364:1)

From this, because -- and I don't mean to be rude here -- your beliefs are quite clearly, flagrantly heretical (i.e. in knowing opposition to the established, authoritative doctrines of the Catholic faith which confirmed Catholics promise to faithfully obey) you have thereby incurred an automatic excommunication. Which in itself isn't remarkable, I'm fairly sure that most of the born-Catholics on TC (myself included) labour under such a sentence. However, even if your excommunication was not handed down by a local bishop, you are still forbidden to receive any sacrament besides the sacrament of penance/reconciliation (AKA you can go to confession any time you want).

The reason I'm pointing this out is best illustrated by this example:

You go to Mass at a local chapel. You do everything you're supposed to do, you go up and take communion, then you go sit back down.

What has just happened here is that you tricked the priest, through a lie of omission, into dispensing Catholicism's holiest sacrament to someone who is forbidden to receive it; something which he probably would never ever do knowingly. In fact, if he were to give you communion even though he knew of your heresy, he would be violating canon law as well (1984 CIC 1367). At the risk of stating the obvious, this is a mean and disrespectful thing to do. Which is why, in my humble opinion, one shouldn't do it.

 

No priest I have ever met insulted my beliefs and how I identify with the Church and the sacraments. Santeria may have a different perspective in their approach to Catholic teaching, but I believe their faith is inline with the Church. It just makes sense to me..

I have not shared my practices. Catholics light candles just as I do. I do not pray to any pagan gods, Catholics dont likewise. And so on. The difference is I express things differently.

That and excummunication (as told by the priest) as mainly focusing on priests.  Layman who are excummunicated are mostly breaking marriage vows without church recoilliation. What I love about the Church is that you they dont throw you out the door as I know some protesant churches do. Maybe some Catholics are few in between who are harsh but that is not my experience.

I will never be an ex-catholic.

Please respect that.

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Re: Struggling With Reconciling Paganism and Christianity
« Reply #84 on: February 16, 2016, 04:56:20 pm »
Quote from: ReligiousGypsy;186758
I will never be an ex-catholic.

Please respect that.

No, of course not. The sacramental character of baptism means that no-one is ex-Catholic, technically speaking. Not me, not Jack, not you, not anyone.

Excommunicated Catholic, however? Well... that's a different kettle of fish. I can see that my argument has slid off you like water off a duck's back however, so I'll be on my way...
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“A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, “You are mad; you are not like us.” — St Anthony the Great

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Re: Struggling With Reconciling Paganism and Christianity
« Reply #85 on: February 16, 2016, 05:11:53 pm »
Quote from: Castus;186759
No, of course not. The sacramental character of baptism means that no-one is ex-Catholic, technically speaking. Not me, not Jack, not you, not anyone.

Excommunicated Catholic, however? Well... that's a different kettle of fish. I can see that my argument has slid off you like water off a duck's back however, so I'll be on my way...

 

Being Catholoc is very personal. I see the faith attacked all the time. Im attacked all the time when I was practicing. I get defensive when it comes to things that are personal to me.

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Re: Struggling With Reconciling Paganism and Christianity
« Reply #86 on: February 16, 2016, 05:22:28 pm »
Quote from: ReligiousGypsy;186763
Being Catholoc is very personal. I see the faith attacked all the time. Im attacked all the time when I was practicing. I get defensive when it comes to things that are personal to me.

 
I see, but I wasn't attacking you; just pointing out that a practice of yours is probably disrespectful from an orthodox Catholic viewpoint. But I digress.
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“A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, “You are mad; you are not like us.” — St Anthony the Great

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Re: Struggling With Reconciling Paganism and Christianity
« Reply #87 on: February 16, 2016, 08:49:23 pm »
Quote from: Castus;186759
No, of course not. The sacramental character of baptism means that no-one is ex-Catholic, technically speaking. Not me, not Jack, not you, not anyone.

Excommunicated Catholic, however? Well... that's a different kettle of fish. I can see that my argument has slid off you like water off a duck's back however, so I'll be on my way...

In fairness, that's a fairly fiddly distinction to most laypeople.
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Re: Struggling With Reconciling Paganism and Christianity
« Reply #88 on: February 17, 2016, 06:25:16 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;186736
I'm reading a discussion about the Irish transition to Christianity that makes quite a bit of sense with what I know of Germanic paganism as well. To summarize:

The consensus is that Irish pagans often didn't have a strong philosophical attachment to their beliefs but rather an attachment to magical figures and places that helped them in mundane matters. So it wasn't a big deal to Christianize those figures and places, since a magic well and a holy well aren't all that different in purpose.

Since the role of magic was more important than any particular faith or dogma, Christianity was accepted as a new and stronger form of magical manipulation. The perception that magic could influence the physical world (ex. weather, fertility) was part of the European "agrarian consciousness", and once Christianized, that magical capacity existed within one source rather than in many different sources.

 
I find your ideas very interesting and agree with your conclusion. This could suggest that the gods/goddesses were not as important deities as we sometimes perceive them. It was a very peaceful transition with the greatest concentration on conversion oriented to the Chiefs and those in political power. The significance of the land and natural places remained intact and thus the great fires still were burned on Tara with celebrations around the time the light enters the passage of the hostages (Imbolc and Samhain) but with new names to replace the old. That is also why i think John O'Donohue was able to blend the two so well in his book Anum Cara without feeling he had compromised his catholic faith.

It was interesting that the Roman church was less concerned about the use of the Germanic Gods/Goddesses names in the British Isles than about the rituals. There was little concern to use oestra - Easter for the name of one of the most important Christian holidays and the Roman Church hand no problem using the Gods and Goddesses names for the days of the week. This could be seen as there was less emphasis on the Gods and Goddesses and more on the ritual and beliefs. Thus It was not hard to substitute Christ for deities but a greater task to change the rituals and belief of the pre-christian religions.

On other example is how in the folklore there was such a blend of the christian and pre-christian beliefs. In the fairy tale Guleesh we find a young man drawn to one of the fairy mounds to witness several of the faeries changing ordinary objects into horses and asking Guleesh if he would go on and adventure. He went with them from Ireland to France where he was told they were to save the a princess from marrying someone she did not love. He helps them but on return start to feel guilty for taking her so he "crosses them" after they return so that he can return her to her home. When he does she losses her voice so he takes her to the Priests house to care for her and help her gain her voice. Despite all he tries the priest is unsuccessful so Guleesh return to the mound sometime later and finds the faeries. They are angry and crossing them yet the tell him there is a plant which if prepared the correct way will restore her voice. He does this and to his surprise she regains her voice and they find they are in love. In this fairy tale Guleesh is clearly Christian but still believes in the people of the sidhe and they still have powers that the priest could not undo. This seems an example of the blending of the religions where the people see themselves as Christian and turn to the Church but still retain the pre-christian beliefs of the power of the land.

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* In Memoriam

Chavi (2006)
Elspeth (2010)
Marilyn (2013)

* Cauldron Staff

Host:
Sunflower

Message Board Staff
Board Coordinator:
Darkhawk

Assistant Board Coordinator:
Aster Breo

Senior Staff:
Aisling, Jenett, Sefiru

Staff:
Allaya, Chatelaine, EclecticWheel, HarpingHawke, Kylara, PerditaPickle, rocquelaire

Discord Chat Staff
Chat Coordinator:
Morag

Cauldron Council:
Bob, Catja, Emma-Eldritch, Fausta, Jubes, Kelly, LyricFox, Phouka, Sperran, Star, Steve, Tana

Site Administrator:
Randall

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