Monday, January 24, 2011

Organic Catholicism : It's not only about being environmentally sensitive of our carbon footprints

But that is definitely part of it, because if we live as Catholics our footprint will naturally be smaller because a holistic life is naturally less dependent on consumption.

Organic Catholicism isn't a type of Catholic, but is instead an exploration of and explanation of an aspect of what all men by nature have in common. It's an exploration into how we are organized and how we can understand that organization in the context of the modern world we find ourselves in.

Organic Catholicism is back to nature, as in back to our nature. It looks at the world around us according to our nature, which in turn is to look at the world simply.

Organic Catholicism in the title to this blog is a double entendre where the first meaning is how Catholic society needs to occur. Catholicism as a societal entity needs to occur as a natural process, as opposed to being in some manner just created out of whole cloth.

Organic Catholicism in the second sense refers to how Catholic society needs to exist. Organic Catholicism is taken in this sense as a holistic understanding of man which is to say that which is ordinary to man in his totality as individual, family, and society, and their ordering to each other and to God.

Using a subject which I've written on previously and which also serves well as a paradigm because it's so easy to see and holistic in itself. A holistic understanding is, for instance, the difference between ecological breastfeeding as natural child spacing as opposed to NFP as natural child spacing. The first is holistic while the latter is imposed by technical device. NFP only appears to be holistic because it's typically compared to that which is even further removed, i.e. artificial birth control devices.

Which is not to say that NFP is evil, but it is to say that it's natural to man in the same manner that penicillin is natural to man. God created them for our use, but they're use is extraordinary as opposed to ordinary.

The first, Ecological breastfeeding, is how God intended us to live, the latter, NFP, is used because of some defect requiring an additional assistance. I'm perfectly aware that in America virtually no one ecologically breastfeeds, and of those few who try, only a few succeed at stopping ovulation. But the defect is not in Gods creation but in our society. And as opposed to correcting ourselves, we choose to use some gadget, i.e. NFP, to mask the error.

Ecological breastfeeding is a part of a larger holistic totality of the family where ecological breastfeeding, as with all other parts, is ordered to the whole and where each part, such as how we nurture our children. How we direct, clothe, and feed our children must in turn each be itself rightly ordered for the good of the whole.

A whole which likewise includes our society so that nurturing and directing likewise includes inculcation into the society around us into it's customs and mores.

And where the family in turn is seen by nature as being part of a larger whole. A holistic understanding is the ordering of the family into a community. Because while the family is prior to the community, it is not sufficient unto itself but is by nature part of a larger social order where it's in turn rightly ordered to the good of that society. And in turn that same society is ordered to the good of the family according to subsidiarity. An error commonly made by homeschoolers.

And in turn all of society is finally ordered to the individual person, because each man is willed by God each for his own sake.

And so organic simply means that which is organized according to its nature. Whether it be the nature of the family or the nature of society at large. Which sounds simple enough, and to a certain extent is, just as the natural law is simple enough.

God made us so that we are by nature directed to live according to our nature, just as the natural law likewise internally directs us to live according to our nature. And just as fallen nature has disordered our appetites so that we must make an effort to right order ourselves according to the natural law, so likewise must we do the same in the ordering of the family and society at large.

With the difference that ordering of the family and society is practical where fixed principles are applied to everyday life so as to order these practical matters according to those fixed principles. The principles, i.e. our holistic understanding of man, set the limits, because by nature to all things there is a limit, but within those limits what is required is prudence to apply those principles to particular circumstance.

For instance, whether we discipline our children this way or that can vary within the limit. So likewise in all similar matters.

Also read : All of God’s Creation Seeks Stability

Also read : Living according to human scale

Also read : Seeing the world through Catholic eyes

Also read : Home schooling : the medicinal choice

Also read : White Plastic Crosses / sanitizing catholicism for mass marketing appeal

Also read : Trolley cars and the neighbors we never see

Also read : The Impractical versus the Practical and knowing where each fits into our lives.


  1. I see what you're saying and tend to agree. I'm a BOM instructor, but that doesn't mean I think NFP should be the default position, you know? I find that ecological/cultural breastfeeding is great.

  2. There is nothing organic about Christianity or Catholicism. In fact they are deeply anti-organic or antagonistic to both the natural, and thus by extension human beings, because we are completely entangled in multiple mutual relationships with the natural world (and even the stars and cosmic forces), and are completely dependent of the health of the natural world for our sustenance and well-being, both "individually" and collectively.

    There are three root presumptions at the base of the Western world-view.
    1. We are inherently separate from The Living Divine Reality -
    The Divine as wholly "other"
    2. We are inherently separate from the World Process - the
    World as wholly "other"
    3. We are inherently separate from other human beings, and all
    other sentient beings - all beings as wholly "other"

    Where there is a presumed other fear spontaneously arises. what is more when anything is presumed to be "other" we also spontaneously objectify the presumed "other", and in one way or another seek to gain control over the objectified "other", and eventually seek to destroy the objectified "other".

    Which is to say that our entire "culture" is saturated with fear, and engaged in a relentless never-ending war against all "other" human beings, the World Process altogether, and The Living Divine Reality.

    The fiction of separateness - and the denial of the universal characteristic of prior unity - is a mind-based illusion, a terribly deluding force, and a profoundly and darkly negative act.

    The individual and collective denial - and active refusal - of the Universal Condition and Intrinsic Law of prior unity is the root and substance of a perpetual, and self-perpetuating< universal crime against humanity, performed by every one and all of humankind itself.

  3. Anonymous,

    On first reading I thought you were simply a pantheist, but on second reading it appears to be that you to have a rather shallow and modern understanding of the Catholic Faith.

  4. How does "Organic Catholicism" square away with HBD ( Modern genetics and bio-history suggest "human natures" (not "human nature"). Just curious....

  5. Anonymous writes : "How does "Organic Catholicism" square away with HBD"

    Perhaps this will help : As I write elsewhere "we observe that different societies will each have a different senses of what is beautiful, and we further observe that the cause of the difference is a difference in cultural memory of each society because the difference between what each society considers to be beautiful reflects the cultural memory differences between those compared societies.

    By cultural memory, I mean that societal memory that inculcates the members of the society. This memory includes not only customs and folk traditions but formation of the appetites.

    For example, we observe this difference between societies when there's a notable marked difference in the visible appearance of the women of one society in comparison to the women in a different society, with each society considering their own to be beautiful in comparison to the women in a another society.

    Take the example of apparitions of Mary. Our Lady of Akita is visually different from Our Lady of Guadalupe according to cultural difference of what is considered attractive in the female form. She appears to each, not as she is bodily in heaven, but according cultural notions of beauty in each society."

  6. U all (including the author) are overthinking..just be.