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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Spirituality: A Religious Belief by Anthony de Mello, S.J.

A religious belief… is not a statement about Reality, but a hint, a clue about something that is a mystery, beyond the grasp of human thought.

In short, a religious belief is only a finger pointing to the moon. Some religious people never get beyond the study of the finger. Others are engaged in sucking it. Others yet use the finger to gouge their eyes out. These are the bigots whom religion has made blind. Rare indeed is the religionist who is sufficiently detached from the finger to see what it is indicating— these are those who, having gone beyond belief, are taken for blasphemers. (One Minute Nonsense (1992), p.134)


  1. This is a really intriguing quote from one of my favourite authors. Is he referring to his own situation in the part "taken for blasphemers" as I know the Church distanced themselves from his writings in the past ? I also like a lot of Richard Rohr and Ron Rolheiser's writing but I think that some of their work has been pilloried by ultra conservative groups

  2. I don't really know his motives for writing this, but I think the Church scrutinized his work for other issues.

    The thing to remember about ultraconservatives is that they always existed in the church and always will. Back in the earliest time, the schools of Antioch and Alexandria conflicted with one another. The church grows because of the tension. Today's rising ultraconservatives will soon be teaching a generation of progressives who rejected their teaching. The pendulum swings and through it all the Spirit advances the work of Christ.