March 4, 2013

Timothy Shriver’s March 1 op-ed, “The Vatican needs a mystic,” was inspiring. Mr. Shriver’s solution to the Catholic Church’s loss of spiritual bearings was to sound a call for the “pursuit of the purest love of God.” But it was unfortunate that he used as his model for this change the teachings of the mystics. Instead, it is in the life of the ordinary churchgoer where the revelation of a living God must first take place.

As a boy, my mother would take me to Mr. Raju, a goldsmith in Bangalore, to get her gold rings. Mr. Raju had a son, about my age, who was severely handicapped and under his daily care. Many years later, I returned to the city and went to visit Mr. Raju. He was quite old. I asked him how his son was doing. He said to me: “Every day that I take care of my son, who is now a man, I learn more and more about my God.”

Reginald N. Shires, Silver Spring

To Timothy Shriver, I say, “Amen.” Having once been a devout Catholic, I applaud Mr. Shriver for his op-ed. After studying the works of Saint Teresa of Avila, Saint John of the Cross and Hildegard of Bingen, I sought to experience God firsthand, and I feel that I have. In order to do that I needed to leave the church and strike out on my own. That was more than 40 years ago. The cost was high but worth it.

I have studied most of the sacred texts of all the major religions and find that mysticism is the path that is God-centered. This path brings the faith of which all of the Gospels speak. The Catholic Church, if it is to survive, must get on that path once again. 

Can it? I don’t know. Humanity and times have changed, and people have outgrown the superstition that kept them tethered to the church (the organization). People are in need of their own inner connection to the wisdom of the universe. 

Carolee Egan, Oakton