Praying to the God That Ain’t

Should we be surprised if the pseudo-mystical ecumenist babblings of neo-modernists lack coherence? I’m sorry if the question was abrupt in its asking. Let’s back up…

There’s this book review in NCR, “Praying to a God who is larger than religion,” which, I confess, I read. One might think the Dark Side has its allure, but there is neither proximate nor remote occasion of sin reading this drivel, unless your mind has been pre-digested by body-snatchers from Zork, or maybe the works of Richard McBrien — which are almost the same thing. For the rest of us, NCR’s review offers nothing but mortification of the eyes, and of and intellect.

The book reviewed is WE SIDE WITH THE MORNING: DAILY PRAYERS TO THE GOD OF HOPE, By William Cleary, published by Sorin Books, $15.95. Regina Schulte is the reviewer.

Here is the real meat (or tofu, if you will) of the review:

In this book of daily prayers, he offers thoughtful moments of communion with a God larger than any religion — a God that is neither captured by nor confined to one, a God we now view as beyond all human imagining.

Cleary has told that he shares the prayers with spiritual but nonreligious persons in mind. Consequently, all traces of religious doctrines and traditional pious embellishments have been filtered out. There is no “Father, Son and Holy Ghost” in them; no Jesus nor Virgin Mother.

Rather, the praying person addresses the Creator, the heart’s desire, the divine energy in evolution, the God we cannot definitively name. Here, God is not a warm fuzzy to be cuddled and fawned over, but this does not deprive the prayers of affective warmth. It is their spare, no frills, presentation — one might call it “nakedness” — that creates a sense of intimacy between the person and God.

If the God you are praying to is not the God in Three Persons, you are praying to the God Who Ain’t, the Great Void, the Cosmic Donut Hole.

Jesus, all Divine and Virgin Born, revealed to us the subject of our adoration, thanksgiving, reparation, and petition. The highest, deepest, broadest, and most liberating spirituality is that which begins with the Incarnate Word and terminates in the Trinity, One of Whom He is, and Which He came to reveal. This is because Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

But to the Notre-Dame-Mastered, and Marquette-Doctored Regina Schulte, that’s all a bit… well… trite. After all,

In light of a more contemporary worldview and its effects on religious thought, our long-held image of God as a patriarchal tribal deity (or a God “we can pinch”) is no longer credible.

From unholy mystical scatology, libera nos, Domine!