A Catholic Jew Pontificates

I love opinionated non-PC people. This blog is to vent my opinions on life, the universe and everything. Which is 42 which in gematria is "My Heart" (LBY) according to Rabbi Abulafia. The Divine Heart is the centre of everything.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Apollo and his Nine Muses

Apollo watching the nine muses dancing

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Year of Jubilee and the Blood Moons

There seems to be alot of misinformation going around about the Blood Moons and the dating of the Jewish Year of Jubilee (known as Yovel in Hebrew). One of Israel's mystical Rabbis Amram Vankin is warning the Jewish people to do prayer and repentance as these Blood Moons are a sign of events to come. The Rabbi said recently "In these critical times, am Yisrael [the people of Israel] must join together to pray to Hashem [the Lord] to send us Mashiach Ben David [Messiah son of David]." Rabbi Amram Vankin prophecied some years ago that the 44th president of the United States would bring bloodshed to the Jewish people. Vankin based this on the Hebrew word for blood, "dam," which has the value of 44 in gematria. Vankin taught this before Obama was elected as the 44th President of the United States of America. The next of the Blood Moons which is the final one of the four comes on the 8th of September during the Jewish High Holyday of Tabernacles (Sukkoth). Some believe this will herald a economic collapse in September.

Some writers however are claiming that 2015-2016 is the year of Jubilee. According to the Rabbis of Orthodox Judaism the Shemitah year (7th Year of Rest) is happening now 2014-2015. Orthodox Jews today do not keep the Year of Jubilee only the Shemitah. There are many disputes among the Rabbis about whether the Jubilee years occur on the 49th or 50th Year. Of course some of the Jewish Sages believed that the Shemitah cycle of 49 years without a 50th year Jubilee was used during times of exile and the Shemitahs with a 50th year Jubilee was used when not in exile and all the tribes were present. All are agreed whether the Jubilee was on the 49th or 50th year that the Jewish people do not celebrate the Jubilee until the end of the exile and the gathering of the tribes.

 In 2016-2017 the modern State of Israel celebrates 50 years since its foundation. The concept of a Jubilee being 50 years is found in the prophecies of the Jubilees of Rabbi Judah ben Samuel in 1217. He may be reflecting a tradition of another Jewish calendar used in mystical circles in which the Jubilee cycles of 50 began in 3984-3983 BC whereas the 49 year Jubilees is the one found in the Book of Jubilees and matches the Orthodox Jewish counting of the Shemitah years. 

The Book of Jubilees found in Hebrew in the Dead Sea Scrolls teaches that the Jubilees date from Creation which Orthodox Jews say occurred in 3761-0 BC. It also teaches that the Jubilee cycles are 49 years confirming those Sages who taught this. The Book of Jubilees related that the giving of the Law and the entry into the Holy Land occurred during the 50th Jubilee cycle. The 50th Jubilee Year would have been in 1311-1310 BC.

The 118th Jubilee since Adam left the Garden and the 68th Jubilee since the Israelites entered Israel under Joshua will occur in 2021-2022 AD (5782 AM) so this Year 2014-2015 AD (5775 AM) is the sixth Shemitah year of the 118th Jubilee cycle. Thus the last Jubilee Year (the 117th and 67th Jubilee) occurred in 1972-1973 AD (5733 AM).The years leading up to the 117th Jubilee saw the rise and fall of the two antichrists Stalin and Hitler.

Seven Shemitahs of the 118th or 68th Yovel. This 118th Yovel cycle began on 27th of September 1973 and will end on 26th of September 2022.

1.  22 Sept 1979- 11 Sept 1980 AD (5740 AM)
2.  4 Oct 1986- 24 Sept 1987 AD (5747 AM)
3.  16 Sept 1993- 6 Sept 1994 AD (5754 AM)
4.  30 Sept 2000- 18 Sept 2001 AD (5761 AM)
5.  13 Sept 2007-  30 Sept 2008 AD (5768 AM)
6.  25 Sept 2014- 14 Sept 2015 AD (5775 AM)
7.  7 Sept 2021- 26 Sept 2022 AD (5782 AM)

The next Jubilee Year (Yovel ) after 2022 will be in 2070-2071 and the one after that will be in 2119-2120 (5880) which will be 12 times 490 years since the start of the Jewish Calendar in 3761 BC. Moses was born in 1431 BC (2330 AM) according to the Book of Jubilees.

However the Masoretic text of the Bible gives a 1656 years period from Adam till the Flood whereas the Book of Jubilees gives a 1308 period and thus the birth of Noah is different. Actually the Book of Jubilees that we have, doesn't give the Jubilee for Noah's birth just the week of that Jubilee (Week 3). It should read Jubilee 16 Week 4 Day 1 as the birth of Noah around 757AM (3004 BC). The Flood occurred during  the 28th Jubilee cycle rather than the 27th. Abraham was born in the 35th Jubilee cycle rather than the 39th. 

Thus the Flood occurred around 2404 BC (1357 AM) on Jubilee 28 Week 5 Day 6. Arphaxad was thus born about 2402 BC (1359 AM) and his son Cainan was born about 2344 BC (1417 AM) in Jubilee 29 Week 7 Day 3.  Cainan's son Shelah was born around 2319 BC (1452 AM) in Jubilee 30 Week 4 Day 1. Shelah's son Eber was born around  2284 BC (1477 AM) Jubilee 31 Week 1 Day 7.  Eber's son Peleg was born around 2250 BC (1511AM) Jubilee 31 Week 7 Day 1. Peleg's son Reu was born around 2220 BC (1541 AM) Jubilee 32 Week 4 Day 1. Reu's son Serug was born around 2188 BC (1573 AM) in Jubilee 33 Week 1 Day 5. Serug's son Nahor was born around 2158 BC (1603 AM) Jubilee 33 Week 5 Day 7. Nahor's son Terah was born around 2129 BC (1632 AM) Jubilee 34 Week 5 Day 6. Terah's son Abraham was born around 2059 (1702 AM) Jubilee 35 Week 6 Day1. In the translation of numbers from the original languages to Ethiopian the text has become slightly inaccurate in some places. I have sought to correct it using the Masoretic text in hand with the Book of Jubilees.

It is of course possible that the year 3761 AM as the start of the Jewish Calendar may have not been from Creation but from the birth of Enosh the son of Seth and that Adam left the Garden in 4006 BC. Thus the pre-Flood era lasted for about 1602 years rather than 1357 years which would be closer to the Masoretic text. If that is so then it would be the 123rd Jubilee in 2022 AD since Creation. The confusion of the Book of Jubilees with the dating of Abraham may have been due to the use of two calendars that were being reconciled. If Jesus was born on December 25 4 BC then he was born in the Jewish year of 3758 AM which in the older Calendar of Seth and Enosh would have been the year 4002 SC (Seth's Calendar). Jesus was thus conceived in 3757 AM or 4001 SC. Jesus would thus have been 30 years old in 27 AD. His first Passover of his ministry was in 28 AD, the second in 29 AD and his third in 30 AD when he was still 32 years old. His final Passover was the fourth Passover of his ministry when he was 33 years old in 31 AD (3791 AM). 

Thus Jesus was born during the 77th Jubilee cycle (Week 6 Day 2) of the Jewish calendar which may have been the 82nd Jubilee cycle of Seth and Enosh's Calendar. He died during the 78th Jubilee Week 3 Day 5 of the Jewish Calendar. The 78th Jubilee Year was in 60-61 AD. The Jewish Temple was destroyed in the 79th Jubilee Week 2 Day 2.

The Shemitah year of 1994 saw the end of 6000 years according to Seth and Enosh's Calendar and 1997 was the 2000th Year from the Birth of Jesus. Thus this 118th Jubilee (or 123rd or 68th) cycle is the transitional Jubilee cycle of the fullness of times (from 1973-2022) in which 6 thousand years of human history is completed. The 6000 years of the Jewish Calendar will conclude in 2239-40 AD. The Jewish mystical Calendar of Rabbi Judah ben Samuel has 2017 as the end of the 6000 years and the 120th Jubilee of the 50 year Jubilee cycle.

The Year Jesus was born was 4 BC in which December 25 in the Roman Calendar and was also the 25th of Kislev in the Jewish Calendar. It was a Monday or possibly on the Sunday evening of 24th December. The Annunciation occurred this year on March 25 on the Sabbath which was the 16 Adar II in the Jewish Calendar and came after the celebration of Purim. Our Lady was born in 20 or 21 BC in a year when August 5 in the Roman Calendar was on Av 15 of the Jewish Calendar on a Monday. St Joseph may have been born around 41 BC on a Wednesday evening of 18 Adar or 4 March. He died on Wednesday March 19 27 AD (22 Adar) when he was about 68 years old. 

Our Lady was assumed at the age of 75 or 76 in 56 AD on the 15 August in the Julian Calendar and the 13th August in the Gregorian Calendar which was the 15th of Av (Tu B'Av) a Friday evening (Sabbath Eve). The Talmud considers this mysterious festival of women as the most important with Yom Kippur being second. Among the early Jewish believers this became a great festival of the Virgin Mary which they secretly kept after they reentered the Jewish synagogue after the 4th century. This is not only the Feast of Our Lady's Assumption but according to the servant of God Luisa Piccarreta it is the Great Feast of Divine Will.

Are the Blood Moons heralding the time of the Grey Wolf as prophesied by St Hildegarde in which "the error of errors will rise from Hell to Heaven". Does the Grey Wolf also allude to Turkey which many prophecies mention as the force which the Great Monarch defeats?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Mystery of the Shekhinah: Male and Female

Shekhinah is often seen as an equivalent to the Presence (Face) of God by many Jews and Christians. However the Shekhinah is feminine, the male is Shekhen. This word means 'dwelling' and is linked to the term mishkan for the Tabernacle or Temple. In a sense the Shekhinah is the vessel or dwelling (temple/ ark/ mishkan) that the Dwelling (shekhen) Presence or filling or Blessing dwells in. We could say that the female Dwelling (Shekhinah) is the noun and the male Dwelling (Shekhen YHVH) is the verb. Of course human words are inadequate to fully explain these divine mysteries and the use of the terms male and female in regards to God should not be read in a literalistic, vertical or ontological manner. 

The terminology used to describe these mysteries should be understood in a mystical, lateral and metaphysical manner, as much, if not more so, with the heart as with the head. Levinas' concept of 'ethical transcendence' of a face to face encounter with the other can open one up to the theology of intimacy which is at the heart of all true mystical theology. The mystical 'male' and 'female' intimate encounter and cleaving is at the heart of all authentic mysticism. John Paul II's "Theology of the Body" is one example where many coming from an ontological approach misunderstand its full thrust and purpose centred in intimate encounter with the Divinity.

Jesus in his divinity is the uncreated 'male' Presence (Face), Wisdom (Hokhmah) and Shekhen (Dwelling) of God and the Spirit is the uncreated 'female' Presence (Face), Wisdom (Binah) and Shekhinah (dwelling). Jesus in his humanity is the created icon of his divinity (Divine Son) as created male presence (face), wisdom and shekhen (dwelling) as the Son of Man. This distinction between created and uncreated draws on Holy Scriptures teachings on Wisdom (Sophia) and St Augustine's use of the terms uncreated and created Sophia.

St Joseph as the icon of the Father is also a created male presence (face), wisdom (Hokhmah) and shekhen (dwelling). Mary is the created icon of the Spirit and of God's Womb or Divinity (Essence/ Ousia) as created female presence (face), wisdom (Binah/ Sophia) and shekhinah (dwelling). She is a dwelling or vessel full of Grace (God) and is God-like. She is not of the essence of God but she is the true icon of that essence (ousia or atzmut). Ousia and atzmut are in the feminine form in both Greek and Hebrew.

The ousia /atzmut (essence) of God is the Divine Will which within the Godhead is Pure Act or the One Act. That Act in the movement of descending is the Divine Volition- the Father manifesting in Creation in the Son through the Spirit united to Our Lady and St Joseph in Eternity. St Maximillian Kolbe spoke of the Holy Spirit and Our Lady being in synergy. Our Lady is God's created blueprint (umanuta) for all creation and St Joseph is God's created Template (komah) for creation. 

The God-man Messiah is thus Son of Mary (from the essence or flesh of Mary) and Son of Joseph (from the concept or spirit of Joseph). They are the created and conceptual image and likeness united in Jesus that Adam (male and female) was made in. Our Lady is the created mystical Voice (Bat Kol) that brings forth or bears the Word (creative act) into Creation, St Joseph is the created mystical tone of that Voice and Luisa is the created mystical sound of the united voice and tone of the Word. That Word is also a Song and Our Lady is the created mystical melody and tune of that Song, St Joseph is the created rhythm or tempo of the Song and Luisa Piccarreta (and in her are united all the souls who live in Divine Will) is the created mystical harmony in all creation. 

The four faces of Genesis 1 - the face over the deep (tahom), the face over the waters (mayim), the face over the expanse (rakia) and the face over the earth (aretz)- are these four faces who ''sing'' together in the beginning (bereshit) bringing forth the unfolding of all Creation as a beautiful and harmonious Song. With the fall of the angels and the fall of man the song becomes distorted and in need of restoration and renewal by these same four faces (Jesus, Mary, Joseph and Luisa) moving in the unity of the Holy Spirit for the glory of the Father. This restoration will bring back the balance of male and female, masculine and feminine into perfect harmony. 

Will we see a time when we have a Jesus-like Great Monarch (Davidic King), a Mary-like Queen-Empress, a Joseph-like Pope and a Luisa-like prophetess working in harmony for the coming of the Kingdom of the Divine Will on earth as it is in Heaven?

Monday, March 09, 2015

Benedictine Monks of Divine Will

A male branch of the Benedictine Sisters of Divine Will in Italy is now up and running called the Benedictine Monks of Divine Will. They have a charism similar to the Little Eucharistic Brothers of Divine Will except the Little Eucharistic Brothers of Divine Will are more like friars than monks or maybe a cross between friars and monks. Maybe a new name of Miars or Fronks should be coined.

In the December 2014 Newsletter of the Benedictine Sisters of Divine Will they report on the monks.
Another little house of Nazareth...at least with God’s grace, that’s the goal. Thanks to your prayers and the generosity of our bishop, Msgr. Andrea Turazzi, the Benedictine Monks of Divine Will have been provided with a monastery to set up their own little house of Nazareth in our diocese –La Pieve di Carpegna, translated as
the rural church of Carpegna. Striving to model their lives after the Holy Family, our brothers, like us, seek to accomplish nothing “big” on the outside. Our greatest ambition involves simply learning to love God and neighbor as Jesus, Mary and Joseph did in Nazareth, fulfilling God’s Most Holy Will in all things.
“The guys”, as we affectionately like to call them, officially began their “little” mission with an entrance mass celebrated by Father Elijah Joseph on the evening of October 6th, feast day of St. Bruno, founder of the Carthusian order.

The millennia-old church, now entrusted to Fr. Elijah and his community, was packed with both old and new friends, including three priests from the diocese who concelebrated the mass and wished to offer their prayers and fraternal support. Two young men, Ander Andreani and Michele Magini, received the Benedictine crucifix as a sign of their commitment to the community, said good-bye to their family and friends, and started on their monastic adventure together.

Since then, Fr. Elijah has been able to bring daily mass and
Eucharistic Adoration back to the country church as well as introduce weekly Divine Will prayer meetings, all while forming the two new monks under his care. If you feel the Lord may be calling you to be a part of their family or just want more information about the Benedictine Monks, you can contact Father Elijah Joseph at padreelijah@gmail.com

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Inspiration of Father Michel-Marie Zanotti-Sorkine

I have written before about the amazing Hebrew Catholic priest Father Michel-Marie Zanotti-Sorkine who transformed his parish in Marseille over a ten year period. He has now moved but he is having a great influence on others. On the website of the Urban Missionaries of the Heart of Christ it states:

"... His example has not gone unnoticed.  In fact, he has even inspired the good Archbishop Leonard of Brussels to found the Fraternity of the Holy Apostles after Fr. Zanotti-Sorkine's example.  The Fraternity has begun with three priests and seven seminarians, and has recently found a home in the once-closed old St Catherines'.  Like Father Zanotti-Sorkine, they walk highly-secularized Brussels in cassocks, and they bring the Gospel and sacraments to those who wouldn't otherwise seek them.

Fr. Zanotti-Sorkine has given us a model for how to re-evangelize the West.  He offers something old and something new to bring his people to the wedding feast of our Lord.  With his traditional dress, devotion to the confessional, and reverent mass he has reached deep into the time-honored treasures of the Church, and has been called another Cure of Ars.  His commitment to walking the neighborhoods is reminiscent of the early Franciscans and Dominicans, and represents the perennial missionary spirit of the Church.  He has also been adept at using modern technology to reach people through various forms of media: books, interviews, online sermons and even music..."

As I mentioned in my last post on Father Michel-Marie his parish in Marseille has been given to some young priests from the Emmanuel Community. On this blog of an Emmanuel seminarian back in 2013 mentions this new community in Brussels. 

"...The seminary here in Namur is the official seminary of all the French speaking seminarians of Belgium. So, we have here seminarians from Namur, Brussels, Liège, etc. all gathered in the same place… There are also seminarians here from Redemptoris Mater, the neo-catechumenal community based here in Belgium, as well as seminarians from a new community – The Fraternity of the Holy Apostles, who are inspired by the ministry of a very famous priest in Marseilles in the South of France named Père Michel-Marie Zanotti. I’ve heard echoes around here of him being almost like a young curé of Ars. His parish is apparently completely on fire  and his reputation is spreading quickly here in Europe. I only know very little about him, as Marseilles is at the other end of the continent and I’ve never had the opportunity of going there. I know he goes everywhere in a cassock… he’s a very good preacher… he’s taken extraordinary care of the liturgy in his parish… Anyway, he’s inspired a whole bunch of young men to establish among themselves this new community that is now studying for the priesthood here with us in Namur..."

The Fraternity of the Holy Apostles (Fraternité des Saints-Apôtres) have taken over a run down parish in Brussels called St Catherine and renovated it and its shrine of the Black Virgin or Madonna.

 Three of the new priests of the Fraternité des Saints-Apôtres

Originally Father Michel-Marie was to move to the Rue de Bac in Paris but in the end he moved to the Shrine of Our Lady of Laus. This shrine was a favourite of St Peter Julian Eymard. Is God moving him to a safe place as the Catholic prophecies speak of Paris being destroyed by fire and Marseille engulfed in a time of upheaval in France?

 Father Michel-Marie at Laus in the French Alps

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Zohar and the Mystery of Seven Voices

The Zohar is a work of deepest meditation and contemplation on the text of the Torah. This dark, hidden and mystical reflection on the Divine truths and mysteries is a feminine act at the deepest level of Marian interpretation of the Torah. This is the mystery of the seven voices of the Torah or the Seven (Sheva) who is the voices (oral dimension) of the Torah (see Exodus 20:15). The people of Israel saw this (zot) Voices as a being of flame and fire. As the lady or woman (Isha) of fire (aish) manifested in the burning bush to Moses so she was manifested to the people of Israel on Sinai. This is the fire of the Torah which engraves the letters of the commandments in our heart. "Who is she (mi zot?) that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array? " (Song 6:10).

The Zohar discusses this mystery of Seven (sheva) in Zohar Hukkotai 3:115a-b. There is a triune dimension to Seven. As uncreated Seven she is Holy Spirit, as created and unfallen she is Our Lady Miriam (united to the Holy Spirit) and as created, fallen and redeemed she is the very little Soul of Divine Will (Luisa (Nukvah) united to Our Lady and each soul who lives in divine will united to her). We can contemplate the mystery of seven (sheva) at the level of the three mothers as aleph (Holy Spirit), mem (Miriam) and shin (Luisa).

This mystery of the Seven is the mystery of redemption and sanctification connected to the mystery of the Red Heifer. This is the mystery of purifying fire that appears as punishment, judgement and chastisement when it is actually, cleansing, purifying and restoration. Seven sorrows, seven sins and seven levels of Sheol are transformed into Seven joys, seven gifts and the seven heavens.

 Zohar 3:115 links Seven with the concept of 40 minus 1 strokes which alludes to the Messiah's 39 stripes in the mystery of the Scourging at the Pillar. Our Lady is also El Pilar (God's Pillar). The Messiah receives 39 scourges but in a sense the more intense stripes are received by the maternal gaze of his Mother - these stripes are burnt in fire on her soul and heart. Is there any sorrow like unto her sorrow? Her seven sorrows makes reparation for our sevenfold sins (see Leviticus 26:18).

This passage of Zohar speaks of Sheva as Shemittah (release), Sheva (seven) heself and Bat Sheva (daughter of seven)- the three together are Beer Sheva (Well of Seven). 

" Rather what does Scripture mean by saying sheva. Behold, Sheva is confronting you! Who is She? (Mi zot). Shemittah (Sabbatical) who is seven, called Seven, as it is written: at the end of seven years you shall make shemittah (release)... She is called Sheva (Seven) and also Bat Sheva (Daughter of Seven). What is the difference between one and the other? Well, seven - by herself, to make shemittah (a release), to execute or destroy judgements, to liberate or free completely. Daughter of Seven- joined to another, to illumine, to reign in dominion, to reveal the kingdom on earth. In all ways she is called Sheva as is written...Be'er Sheva (Well of Seven) is the Well of Isaac, and all is one entity."
 In a sense we can say that the Holy Spirit  releases the soul, Our Lady as co-redemptrix destroys the judgements against us and Luisa helps complete the process of sanctification that leads to the kingdom of the Divine Will on earth reigning in souls. This section of the Zohar is layered with deep mystical meanings of the mystical Womb- both the uncreated, eternal Womb or Well (or Depth) that is the very essence and Divine Will of the Divinity and its created icon the Immaculate Womb or Well of the Mystical, Celestial and yet Earth-born Mother, perceived through 70 faces of mystical contemplation and meaning. In a sense the Immaculate Womb of the Mother is the Well within the Well and Deep calling to Deep.

Luisa (who is Nukvah/ Female and lower or earthly mother) is the mouth of the Seven (Sheva) voices of the maternal and mystical Well called Miriam (bitter seas). The 70 becomes multiplied by 7 which is the power of the forgiveness of the Messiah leading to Teshuvah (return) to Eden and beyond. 70x7 or 490 is the gematria of tamim (perfection/ completion) which is when the Divine Will is done on earth as it is in Heaven.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Pope Francis and Unity in the Spirit

Alessandra Nucci wrote in regards to Pope Francis attitude to other Christian groups:"... it must be said here that “sheep-stealing” is not Pope Francis’ purpose. The late Bishop Tony Palmer was careful to point this out: “Pope Francis pulled me up on more than one occasion when I used the expression ‘coming home to the Catholic Church.’ He said, ‘Don’t use this term.’ He told me, ‘No one is coming home. You are journeying towards us and we are journeying towards you and we will meet in the middle. We will meet on the road as we seek each other.’” This is confirmed by Pope Francis’ remarks in Evangelii Gaudium: “We must never forget that we are pilgrims journeying alongside one another. This means that we must have sincere trust in our fellow pilgrims, putting aside all suspicions or mistrust, and turn our gaze to what we are all seeking: the radiant peace of God’s face” for “it is not just a matter of being informed but of reaping what the Spirit has sown in them, which is also meant to be a gift for us.”...".

When one is a new Catholic one often thinks of their formal entry into the structures of the Catholic Church as a coming home. We have heard the terms "Rome sweet home" and "the Journey home". We often see this entry as a break with our past allegiances. However once I had been a Catholic for some time I realised my whole faith journey should be appreciated and valued and that the journey is not to Rome as our Home but our home is in heaven and in the kingdom of God. Rome may be part of that journey for some of us that join the Latin or Roman rite of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Faith and Church are not limited to its physical or earthly structures- it is the mystical body of the Messiah. Jesus made Peter the first Pope or Rock of the Church long before he went to Rome. At first he was the Jerusalem Pope and then the Antioch Pope and then the Roman Pope. If a future Pope should decide to remove the Papacy elsewhere then that would be within his papal power. 

Just as Pope Francis wants us to see our relations with other Christian groups as a meeting on our journey so we should see our relations with Judaism. Father Arthur Klyber a famous Hebrew Catholic priest of orthodox Jewish background taught that orthodox Jews who believe in the Messiah are already with us on the journey. The Russian Orthodox priest Father Lev Gillet says that we are in communion with Judaism through our shared belief in the coming and mission of the Messiah. 

I believe that the Holy Spirit has been guiding the mystical and spiritual traditions of both Christians and Jews so that one day in the eschatological future we will see the ingrafting as taught by Paul in Romans 11. Each tradition will enrich the other for the glory of God in the Kingdom of the Divine Will. Pope Francis' concept of meeting or encounter is similar to that proposed by the French Jewish philosopher Levinas which has its roots in the Scriptural concept of "face to face" encounter. As I have written elsewhere:

"...Levinas would seem to provide a dance –like post –modernist way of philosophising that leads one back to the biblical and ethical priority of loving kindness and mercy, which is important for all believers- Jews and Christians. His concepts can also be used in a Hebrew Catholic theology as part of a philosophical choreography for encountering the truths of faith that is relevant to the post-Shoah and post-modernist generations. Those who are locked into a systematic, vertical, argumentative and modernist mindset will become lost and dizzy in the twirls and leaps of this mystical and Levinasian approach....".
Maybe this would explain the reaction to Pope Francis of those Catholics of a more structured and rigid mindset. They fear becoming lost and confused in the twirls and leaps of the teachings and actions of Pope Francis. I for one look forward to the adventure of Pope Francis' mystical Tango that will lead us to enriching encounters with others and the Other (God).


The Mystical Dance: A Rendezvous of Levinas, Jewish Mysticism and Genesis 1 from a Hebrew Catholic Perspective

Reflection on Levinas, Stein and the Shoah

Messiah, Levinas and Mitzvot: A Reflection on Three Readings