These days, being almost finished Ilia Delio's The Unbearable Wholeness of Being, I find myself fascinated and pondering her emphasis on what it means to be Catholic. In most parts of the world, and certainly in my Irish Catholic background,
"Catholic" was very clearly defined and denoted clear separations from the rest of the Christian world. I recall not being allowed to play with Protestants under pain of mortal sin and confessing that I went into a Protestant Church with my friend, and being
given penance for it.
Delio revives the original meaning of the word, for - as she says "blind faith is ripe for deception." And on to say "The word catholic connotes a divine presence of wholemaking or leavening the stuff of life to create
a greater whole." Quoting John Haughey, SJ, she highlights that "catholicity means openness and in contrast to what is incomplete, partial, sectarian, factional, tribal and selective. The term catholicity promises a worldview that is universal...connoting
movement towards universality or wholeness." (p.149)
I am deeply moved and challenged by this recovery of the meaning of "catholic." How to open, allow, unfold in its direction?