About “Uninformed Conscience” John F. Kavanaugh, S.J. says “If a nation or church forms its people to accept assertions blindly, without supporting evidence, it will form a community not of moral agents but of menaces. They may be sincere, but they will be sincere menaces.” [AMERICA, June 21-28, 2010, pg 9]
Conscience speaks to the meaning of Eucharist. If we buy in to the Eucharistic Theology of the Cosmic Christ, we must be open to the vital coinage of death. The multiplication of many from one is the miracle of divine/ human hypostasis, the miracle of the largesse of symbiotic life. The amplification of life speaks to the truth that less is more, that unless the seed dies there is no flourishing and amplification of life.
Individuality resources multiplicity even as multiplicity resources individuality; spirituality is resurrection-consciousness, the energy of prevision and provision that does not die but transforms and transfers into multiplicity. Resurrection is the consciousness of self-reflective vitality.
About Eucharist, right as grain says it best. It is in dying that we live; it is in giving that we receive; that we become one with Other—the personal oneness of Eucharist in the Cosmic Christ.
Wisdom is Eucharistic consciousness, the intentional embrace of transformation. In mindfulness we become the “good seed” that greens the greater abundance of life. The greening of life from the dying seed informs the adage “better to give than receive.” And so must be our individual relationship with each other and nature.
What Self Donation Is is about living the fulfilled, abundant life of informed conscience, not by blind submission to cultural death as imposed by worldview blindness of staticism and centrism. Faith in absolutism is blind; openness to evolution is visionary. Absolutism misinforms conscience and cultures premature death; transformation informs and matures open life.
“Eucharist is a process of self-donation, naturally (ex opere operato, what nature does necessarily) and nurturally (ex opere operantis, the minfulness we bring to nature) in what nature already requires. Focus is on the “nurtural” aspect of Sacrament, that is, on the personal, mindful contribution we bring to processes of being/ becoming human in the evolving cosmos.
“Individual life is an arrow in time, unstoppably moving through marker events of life (what are mysteries of the rosary, stations of the cross) challenging consciousness to purposeful reflectivity. The Graces of the Holy Spirit specify what mindfulness is about, what intentional Eucharist is. Taken together and in context, the marker events of Sacraments bring consciousness to higher reflectivity, to greater grace.
“Evolution is the revelation of the divine to consciousness in mindful unfolding; it is conscious transformation being wrought in the human person by the working of Spirit—mindfulness. Christian living is motivated in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and reveals the working of Spirit in the personal/ communal bonding of grace, of the “natural” working (gifts of Spirit).
“Faithful living is the perpetual “greening” of religion—the organic flourishing of authenticity—the intentional enlightenment of moral consciousness. Eucharist is inner spirit/ matter transforming human potential to higher consciousness and purpose, the inherent process of Intelligent Design. We personally reveal the Holy Spirit to the cosmos and to each other. This is the mission, the commission, the “sending” that binds us in word-made-flesh community, a harmony that is reflective of divine harmony, Trinitarian Community. “Go teach the whole world in the name of Trinitarian harmony”.
Nature announced my birth with the fanfare of a February Blizzard in Iowa; Nature’s Overture is the background also to the drama behind my name and nickname. I was schooled in the drama around these events early in life and it’s been played out to me many times since. Wittingly and unwittingly, the theme of Nature’s Overture replays throughout my lifetime.
My mother chose for me the baptismal name Loras in respect for the first bishop named to the Dubuque diocese. On July 28, 1837, Pope Gregory XVI appointed Mathias Loras to be first bishop, whose name attaches to Loras College. Bishop Loras is credited for his guidance in establishing Catholicism in the territories. I would like very much to have been named Loras; my middle name Laurence echoes her first choice. My early and earnest wish to be a priest of the Catholic Church was a desire planted and encouraged by mom and dad.
But, the parish priest objected. He insisted that my name be that of a recognized saint of the Church. I’m told that my mother’s response to him was that I might make the name Loras the name of a saint. The pastor didn’t buy in to that. Why mother gave in, but also, why she chose Sylvester, I will never know. I do know that my oldest brother, J.R. “Rich” Steffen started calling me Pat, and Pat is still the name I mostly go by.
I surmise that my mother’s decision of naming me after an early and little known pope-saint (and the nickname given me) was a statement of objection, i.e., of disproval for pastoral interference over mother’s name choice. My lifework in exposing hierarchical overreach and speaking truth to power is ironic. Pastors, let mothers choose baptismal names for their children.