March 20, 2008

I'm In Love with a Dead Jesuit

He was a celibate Jesuit priest, he wore nerdy eyeglasses, and he died in 1987. Still, I think I have met the love of my life.

Quotes from Fr. Anthony de Mello:

"It is a great mystery that though the human heart longs for Truth, in which alone it finds liberation and delight, the first reaction of human beings to Truth is one of hostility and fear!"

"There is only one cause of unhappiness: the false beliefs you have in your head, beliefs so widespread, so commonly held, that it never occurs to you to question them."

"As you identify less and less with the 'me.' you will be more at ease with everybody and with everything. Do you know why? Because you are no longer afraid of being hurt or not liked. You no longer desire to impress anyone. Can you imagine the relief when you don't have to impress anybody anymore? Oh, what a relief. Happiness at last!"

"Wisdom tends to grow in proportion to one's awareness of one's ignorance."

"Suffering points out that there is falsehood somewhere. Suffering occurs when you clash with reality. When your illusions clash with reality when your falsehoods clash with the truth, then you have suffering. Otherwise there is no suffering."

"People who want a cure, provided they can have it without pain, are like those who favor progress, provided they can have it without change."

"Realizing that God has nothing to do with the idea I form of God...There is only one way of knowing him: by unknowing!"

Don't take de Mello's, or anyone's, word for it; if you're reading this blog, you have the questions that can lead you to your own answers. I think I love his answers so much because they are so simple and elegant and, in my moments of clarity, they reflect my experience.

If you're new to Tony de Mello's work, check out his books, Awareness
and Awakening.

©2008 by Carol L. Skolnick; all rights reserved.


Anonymous said...

Does it bother you that De Mello was theological incompatible with Catholicism even though he was a Catholic priest?

Marianne said...

I knew a few Catholics who more interested in love and awareness than Catholic doctrine, so I don't see that he's any different from the Catholics in my family.

Of the two books, do you have a favorite?

Carol L. Skolnick said...

I don't know enough about Catholicism to know if he was theologically incompatible with Catholicism, so I don't know what to be bothered about. I understand this was Cardinal Ratzinger's assessment of Fr. de Mello, and I don't know what de Mello thought of it himself. If his beliefs differed vastly from those of his church, why would he want to be part of it? Perhaps his interpretation of scripture and doctrine meant that he was comfortable calling himself a Catholic, and a priest, in spite of what the governing body thought. Unfortunately he's not here for us to ask him.

I call myself an American and a Jew, and I don't always cotton to the "theology" or belief system of either 100%. This doesn't bother me a bit.

Carol L. Skolnick said...

Hi Marianne,

I don't own either of them (yet) so I'm not sure - have read more snippets from the book called Awakening.