WHY RELIGION TODAY?
Religion is a means to an end.
As such, it may be seen to have a dual purpose.
Philosophy of Life
First, it should provide a workable and progressively uplifting philosophy of life. The word “philosophy” means love of wisdom — Wisdom may be considered to be the sum total of the experiences and knowledge gained during all of man’s past lives. Knowledge alone is the function of the lower mind. Wisdom reaches far above the lower mind. It involves the whole human being, including that understanding often attributed to man’s “heart-qualities.” Wisdom gives man that true perspective with which to discover the real purpose of life — it makes possible prudent, dispassionate, perfect judgment.
Religion, then, must have a place in daily life, building the honest, unselfish, tolerant human being and producing in him/her the preference for spiritual values over material excesses. While thus raising his/her awareness to see divine life in all of God’s creation and creatures, it yet aids him/her to attach proper values to everything in existence in the universe. Seen in this light, material means have their place and are necessary; but their utilization rather than their acquisition deserves primary attention.
An obvious expression of such a philosophy of life is found in man's affinity for all Nature, a sign of a mature love and heartfelt respect for God’s creation. In the effort to understand even more fully Nature’s ways, man is helped by eager intellect that directs his studies and interests toward the divine. Truth, being what it is to each person, enlightens him increasingly as his intuitive faculties unfold. Eventually he will know God “first hand.”
Divinity of Man
The second purpose of religion is to develop a realization of the divinity in man. The root-meaning of the word ‘religion’ — to bind back — refers to man’s basic oneness with the Deity. Man IS a divine being, “created in, the image of God,” the spiritual image, that is! Religion sees in the Deity (God) a universal, all-embracing Being of abstract perfection. To “bind back” to Him implies man’s inner urge, his spiritual quest for his own perfection and resultant return to God. To achieve this he needs the experiences of many lives (incarnations) on earth. The “Laws of Nature,” all of which are divine laws, aid him in his unfoldment toward perfection. Among these laws one principle is fundamental. “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Gal. VI.7)
Religion does not mean dogma, doctrine, or denominational regulation. It does not require rigid ceremonial or ritual. It does not require institutional churches.However, ritual and places where they can be performed are invaluable tools that should be used to aid and strengthen man's spiritual development. Divine energy permeates the whole universe and is channeled through it like all other forces known to man. An effective tool for its channeling is the Holy Eucharist (Mass) as celebrated in the Liberal Catholic Church. It proves to be a medium most perfectly suited to the flow of spiritual energy, as frequently attested to by those possessing trained clairvoyant sight. The work of the Liberal Catholic Church, while seemingly of the character of institutionalized worship, is free from rigid structuring, except that in their outer forms its services provide the visible channel facilitating the transmission of that spiritual (divine) energy down to the physical level. It is essential that the mind be completely free to participate in the services of the Liberal Catholic Church according to each person’s inclinations and his/her potential for response. Thus, there can be no authority dictating beliefs, creeds, or dogmas, nor setting up restrictions which inhibit the partaking of any of the Church’s Sacraments. In all, the individual’s conscience commands supreme authority and respect.
Performed by imperfect human beings no ritual can be spiritually perfect in itself. Yet, there IS a great value in performing such a ritual or ceremony as the Holy Eucharist. It gives every human being the beautiful opportunity — and, it is hoped, the inner responsibility — to become a dedicated and effective channel through which the Deity can pour out His power and blessing over the universe. Looking at the, celebration of the Holy Eucharist with purely physical sight may not reveal any particular worthiness, except perhaps its simple beauty. But exploring and discovering the deep wisdom and tremendous usefulness underlying the purpose of the Holy Eucharist opens one’s “spiritual eyes” to an untold splendor. Thus, the philosophy of life promulgated through the work of the Liberal Catholic Church allows expression of every individual’s inner nature and furthers the steady unfoldment of his divine stature. The one great goal lying before us all is to go forward and rise upward toward a more wholesome, inspired life which will help us to become devoted and productive workers in the divine plan for His (our) world.
YOUR participation in this work will always be of great benefit to you, to the community and to mankind as a whole. The Liberal Catholic Church holds its doors open to all who find joy and happiness in reverently partaking of Christ’s Blessings.