Tag Archives: Anthony DeMello

Factors of Destruction

The Jesuit theologian and mystic Anthony de Mello tells us: “These things will destroy the human race: politics without principle, progress without compassion, wealth without work, learning without silence, religion without fearlessness, and worship without awareness.” Let’s unpack those words for a minute.

Politics without principleIn a recent poll it was found that only ad men and salespeople were less respected than politicians. Sadly our world is losing confidence in our elected leaders. There have been far too many stories of graft and corruption. The art of political leadership has been replaced by a hoard of unprincipled power brokers. What ever happened to principles?

Progress without compassion- The official death toll of the Rana Plaza collapse in Sri Lanka is 1,129, with 301 bodies still unidentified. This is without a doubt, the worst example of progress without compassion I have ever seen. Sri Lanka is a very poor country that cries out for economic and social progress, and in a way the high-dollar clothing companies who pay their workers very low wages have brought some progress to the country. This progress is without any form of compassion or care for the working conditions of the employees. Thus, the horrific results.

Wealth without work In my city of New Orleans there is an alarmingly high murder rate, and by all indications it is largely connected to the drug trade. Drug dealers are able to make large sums of money with very little work. Consequently, the destructive results.

Learning without silence The wisest and most learned people on earth know that all knowledge must be processed and analyzed. In our time of 24/7 “breaking news” much hurtful and unnecessary information is distributed without any thought or care. What has become of careful weighing of knowledge?

Religion without fearlessness The Bible tells us, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us fearful, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7) Today’s religious people spend far too much of their time fearing everything from change to stability, and forget that we have a powerful spirit that is on our side. Learn to be bold in your faith.

Worship without awareness- Worship is the presence of God. Too many people leave God out. Worship is not about being motivated but about finding the presence of the creator. When He is found we become more alive, more aware, and through that sense of His presence we truly are transformed. Challenge yourself to be keenly aware of God when you worship.

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A Name or Image

English: Monochrome version of the IHS emblem ...

The Jesuit priest and modern mystic Anthony de Mello said: “Every word, every image used for God is a distortion more than a description.”  That is a very thought provoking assertion. The implication is that man is totally incapable of truly having a clear grasp of the might and majesty of God. Perhaps that in itself gives is a very clear picture of God.

Men have spent untold hours, written thousands of books, given sermons and lectures, all trying to fit God in our own little box. In all this, He eludes the words and thoughts of the wisest and greatest among us. Every time we have him figured out, He pops a new surprise on us. A single name or thought about God is impossible.

How can we begin to capture the one who hung the moon and the stars with a simple name? Perhaps the best answer is to admit He is our ultimate mystery. In our allowing Him to be mysterious, we discover a small portion of His power and might.

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