Here is my initial e-mail response to the contributor who raised questions about my article on Oprah and Tolle. Following that is the contributor’s e-mail response. Isn’t it wonderful when people can truly dialogue?! I intend to comment on Richard Rohr’s essay on Tolle in the days to come. Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers who provide us with God’s compassionate and steadfast love!
-N-, thanks for your e-mail and for engaging in discussion about Oprah and Tolle. I especially appreciate the attachment from Richard Rohr who is one of my favorites. Can you tell me where this piece from Rohr appeared?
I would like to include your e-mail (anonymously) in my next post with a link to Rohr’s piece and allow people to take that in and then respond over the next couple of days.
Initially, let me say this. I’m disappointed that you found my article condemning because nowhere do I condemn them. The first thing I do is give Oprah credit and thanks. Then, I clarify, pointing out conflicts with Catholic spirituality. Nowhere do I claim that Oprah and Tolle are anti-Christian or anti-Catholic. Rather, I point out that their assurrances of total compatibility with Christianity and Catholicism must be taken with caution. Rohr himself indicates that, “there should be no conflict for a mature Christian.” However, we cannot assume that all Christians who are pursuing Oprah and Tolle are mature in their spirituality. Rohr is at a level of spirituality (much like Ghandi) where he recognizes the oneness of everything. Many are, as St. Paul said, “infants in Christ” (see 1Cor. 3:1-3). Without spiritual maturity, one can easily succumb to relativism which is not the same as recognizing the oneness of everything. In the end, my article is a lament that the Church is not doing a better job of doing what Oprah and Tolle are succeeding at (see the last 2 paragraphs of my article).
For all of these reasons, I am happy to engage in conversation with you. I’m not interested in telling people what to think…I’m just trying to get them to think! Thanks for writing. -joe
Hi Joe, I stand corrected.. . . . . thank God!
I over reacted. There seems to be so few items that get through to engage the general public on a spiritual level that I’m overjoyed when even my Saturday morning “hair-bender” can excitedly talk about the book and watches the series on the internet with interest and a willingness to engage what she has heard. If only our Bishops could catch the general public’s interest with like topics. It’s really sad when only an “Oprah” type of public figure has the standing with a large chunk of the American public to be able to even present topics such as this – and seemingly get folk’s attention and to talk openly to others about what they have been experiencing from this series of talks by Oprah and Tolle.
I agree with, it’s not optimal – but it appears Tolle is onto something and given the maturity level of spirituality with the general public, it’s worth discussing.