Author Topic: Labyrinths  (Read 934 times)

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Offline Caminus

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Labyrinths
« on: June 25, 2010, 06:19:48 PM »
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  • Does anybody have anything on the history of so-called labyrinths that can be found in certain medieval Churchs?  More importantly, any info on why they were suppressed or abandoned would be helpful.  I'm looking into the modern wiccan-nun use of labyrinths and of course they all make appeals to their use in medieval times in order to justify their pantheistic interpretation of the symbol.  

    Offline Caminus

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    Labyrinths
    « Reply #1 on: June 25, 2010, 06:20:41 PM »
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  • Any other related info directly criticizing aberrant spirituality within the Church would be helpful too.


    Offline umblehay anmay

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    « Reply #2 on: June 25, 2010, 11:33:01 PM »
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  • What difference would it make as long as those wiccan-nuns were invincably ignorant and had enough implicit faith that they were following the true god?   Doesn't God's infinite mercy cover them.   If you say no, then aren't YOU limiting Gods Mercy?

    Of course I'm illustrating absurdity by being absurd (ala Rush Limburgerbaugh).  

    Once you go down the Gnostic path ... you find yourself in a pasture of ....  bovine scatology.

    Offline Caminus

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    « Reply #3 on: June 25, 2010, 11:55:24 PM »
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  •  :facepalm: :smash-pc:

    Offline ServusSpiritusSancti

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    Labyrinths
    « Reply #4 on: June 26, 2010, 01:40:34 PM »
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  • Quote from: umblehay anmay
    What difference would it make as long as those wiccan-nuns were invincably ignorant and had enough implicit faith that they were following the true god?   Doesn't God's infinite mercy cover them.   If you say no, then aren't YOU limiting Gods Mercy?

    Of course I'm illustrating absurdity by being absurd (ala Rush Limburgerbaugh).  

    Once you go down the Gnostic path ... you find yourself in a pasture of ....  bovine scatology.


     :facepalm:

    Yes, God's mercy is great, but labyrinths are part of the New Age and God will not be pleased with people who accept them. People who don't know any better what-so-ever? God will most likely have mercy on them. People who have been told it's wrong and do it anyway? No mercy. Remember, the path to Heaven is slim.


    Offline ServusSpiritusSancti

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    « Reply #5 on: June 26, 2010, 01:48:37 PM »
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  • Here you go, Caminus. Here is an article on how the labyrinth got started and why it is wrong. They have been brought back by the Novus Ordo parishes so they haven't really been abandoned. Anyway, here's the article.

    SA writes: “I was told that the Catholic Church does not approve of the use of labryinths for prayer. Yet I see so many priests and nuns engaged in and teaching this type of practice. When I tell other Catholics this is not a Catholic practice, but New Age, they say it is nobody’s business how they choose to pray. I have found confusing data regarding this matter. Would you please enlighten me?”


    "The modern labyrinth movement is a troubling New Age trend that is introducing people to a non-Christian belief system that has no place in a Catholic setting.

    For those who don’t know, a labyrinth is a circular maze with eleven concentric circles and a single path which makes 28 loops – seven in each of the four quadrants of the circle. People walk the path as a spiritual device to meditate, relax, or “find their soul assignments” as New Agers like to say.
     
    The origin of the labyrinth comes from King Minos of Greek mythology who created the first maze as a prison for a wayward minotaur. It has been used ever since as a religious symbol and spiritual tool by a variety of pagan cultures such as the Mayans, Celts, and Native Americans.

    The first “Christian” labyrinth appeared in a fourth-century Basilica in Orleansville, Algeria, which contained the words “Sancta Eclesia,” indicating its use for religious purposes. The most famous example can be found at the Cathedral of Chartres in France, which was constructed in the thirteenth century and allegedly used by Christians as a substitute for going on pilgrimage to Jerusalem during the Crusades.

    However, the labyrinths in use today are not even remotely associated with these Christian labyrinths. Today’s version was popularized by an Episcopalian canon and New Age devotee named Lauren Artress who describes walking a labyrinth as a “way to find healing, self-knowledge and our soul assignments and to continue weaving the Web of Creation.”

    In her writings about the labyrinth, Artress reveals her feminist disdain for the God of the Bible. Instead, she refers to “the Source,” “the Sacred,” and “the God within,” which she claims has been “destroyed through centuries of patriarchal domination, through fears of creativity and of the traits associated with the feminine.” Artress says she prefers this “Source” to the transcendent God “out there” who “keeps track of whether we follow the rules.”

    She also says that Jesus as the Christ is too often not helpful because he is closely tied to the patriarchy. Instead, she calls people to the more inclusive “Father and Mother God” and “The Greening Power of God, the Holy Spirit in all Her mystery,” who is found in the “power of The Divine within.”

    Artress openly admits that neopagan journalist and Wiccan priestess, Margot Adler (author of Drawing Down the Moon) and New Ager Jean Houston, one of the founders of the Human Potential Movement, influenced her modern labyrinth movement.

    Such a firm New Age foundation certainly explains why the emphasis for labyrinth walkers is always upon the self rather than on God.

    Knowing the belief system of the creator of the modern labyrinth movement hardly makes this so-called “meditation tool” very appealing to Christians. But this doesn’t stop retreat centers in need of the Christian market from presenting the labyrinth in ways that will appeal to them.

    For instance, some try to “Christianize” it by using terms associated with the Christian mystical tradition although the meanings are radically different (something that is never explained to the walker!).

    For instance, the three stages of a typical labyrinth walk are referred to as the purgation, illumination and unitive stages, all of which have meaning in the Catholic mystical tradition. But purgation doesn’t mean turning away from sin and embracing the gospel as it does in Christianity; it means “letting go of the details of your life.” Illumination means to “receive what is there for you to receive” rather than the Catholic concept of illumination which is a new closeness to God after a deeper conversion. The unitive stage in labyrinth language is when one “is joining God, your Higher Power, or the healing forces at work in the world” not achieving transforming union with God as is taught in the Catholic tradition.

    Other retreat centers simply present their labyrinths to the faithful in terms so nebulous no one can figure out what it is, such as this snippet from a retreat center’s website: “When you stand at the threshold of the labyrinth, you stand at the threshold of your own consciousness, ready to step from the exterior to your own interior space, that interior space being represented by the labyrinth.”

    Labyrinths are also used in a variety of pagan rituals, many of which can do serious harm to the soul. For example, after publishing an article about the labyrinth in our diocesan newspaper, I got a phone call from a woman whose son had begun to run with a crowd of young men who were all wearing a strange symbol on a chain around their necks. Ever since he began running with this crowd, he stopped going to church and no longer believed in God. It was not until she opened the paper and saw the picture that we ran along with the article that she recognized the symbol her son was wearing  – a labyrinth!

    The labyrinth might be the hip thing to do at retreat centers these days, but one hardly needs to rely on such a devious device to find God, meditate, or make sense out of life."

    This article is from Ihla.org

    Offline Caminus

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    « Reply #6 on: June 26, 2010, 10:22:19 PM »
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  • Thanks, that's pretty much what I've been able to find.  The article only touches on their presence in old churches and doesn't deal with the significance.  If I am going to expose these people, I need to find out their true significance or original purpose/justification and most especially why they were suppressed shortly afterwards.  Afterall, they appeal to these very "labyrinths" in order to justify their modern existence.  It's difficult to offer a counter argument if I don't know the whole historical story.  I suspect it has something to do with the medieval's penchant for symbolism which was appropriately mystical whereas today, due to rampant false mysticism, they simply do not comprehend what they previously had in mind.  

    Offline umblehay anmay

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    « Reply #7 on: June 26, 2010, 11:11:00 PM »
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  • Quote from: Caminus
    Thanks, that's pretty much what I've been able to find.  The article only touches on their presence in old churches and doesn't deal with the significance.  If I am going to expose these people, I need to find out their true significance or original purpose/justification and most especially why they were suppressed shortly afterwards.  Afterall, they appeal to these very "labyrinths" in order to justify their modern existence.  It's difficult to offer a counter argument if I don't know the whole historical story.  I suspect it has something to do with the medieval's penchant for symbolism which was appropriately mystical whereas today, due to rampant false mysticism, they simply do not comprehend what they previously had in mind.  


    But Caminus, you live in the hypothetical world of "I can't judge because of the infinite mercy of God".    How can you possibly set any objective limits on God's mercy?


    Offline Caminus

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    « Reply #8 on: June 27, 2010, 04:08:27 PM »
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  • Would you be quiet?  It's obvious you don't know what you're talking about.

    Offline ServusSpiritusSancti

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    « Reply #9 on: June 27, 2010, 04:55:06 PM »
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  • Quote from: umblehay anmay
    Quote from: Caminus
    Thanks, that's pretty much what I've been able to find.  The article only touches on their presence in old churches and doesn't deal with the significance.  If I am going to expose these people, I need to find out their true significance or original purpose/justification and most especially why they were suppressed shortly afterwards.  Afterall, they appeal to these very "labyrinths" in order to justify their modern existence.  It's difficult to offer a counter argument if I don't know the whole historical story.  I suspect it has something to do with the medieval's penchant for symbolism which was appropriately mystical whereas today, due to rampant false mysticism, they simply do not comprehend what they previously had in mind.  


    But Caminus, you live in the hypothetical world of "I can't judge because of the infinite mercy of God".    How can you possibly set any objective limits on God's mercy?


    Read my reply to your original post above. You must understand that very few people make it to Heaven. You seem to think lots of people make it to Heaven. I wish that was true, but it isn't.


     

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