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Poverty Celibacy & Obedience : A Radical Option for Life [Paperback]

By Diarmuid O'Murchu (Author)
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Item description for Poverty Celibacy & Obedience : A Radical Option for Life by Diarmuid O'Murchu...

The author of "Quantum Theory and Reclaiming Spirituality" offers an original work that expands the meaning--and potential for good--of the three traditional religious vows.

Publishers Description
Many people hold the view that the vows of poverty, celibacy, and obedience embody laws or regulations that govern a religious or monastic lifestyle. Diarmuid O'Murchu offers a very different understanding of the vows, based on a much more ancient tradition.

O'Murchu claims that the vows are first and foremost about values and not about laws. And in this provocative work he suggests that the Eastern concept of nonviolence is a core value of the vowed life in all the monastic traditions known to humankind.

At a time when all forms of religious commitment are being questioned, this value-oriented approach is refreshing and reassuring. O'Murchu holds up each vow like a jewel, turns it, lets light shine on it, and presents it with a new glow, a new understanding. Not only vowed religious, but everyone interested in living these core values will appreciate his insightful and challenging views.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: The Crossroad Publishing Company
Pages   135
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5.75" Height: 8.5"
Weight:   0.45 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 1, 1999
Publisher   Crossroad Classic
ISBN  0824514734  
ISBN13  9780824514730  

Availability  0 units.

More About Diarmuid O'Murchu

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Diarmuid O Murchu is a graduate of Trinity College in Dublin, a member of the Sacred Heart Missionary Order, and the author of "Jesus in the Power of Poetry" and "Quantum Theology.""

Diarmuid O'Murchu currently resides in London.

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1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
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6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Worship & Devotion > Devotionals
8Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Education
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Reviews - What do customers think about Poverty Celibacy & Obedience : A Radical Option for Life?

There is so very little which I can usefully add to the excellent review here by the Reverend Father Condon, so let me say ditto.

You may discover this same excellent explication of our vows in a later edition by the Pauline Sisters Bombay Society (2001) at ISBN-10: 8171764479 under Poverty, Celibacy and Obedience ; A Radical Option for Life but we are grateful for this present economical edition from the great spiritual printing house Crossroad, as this theological treatise by a well published member of the Sacred Heart Missionary Congregation truly opens up to us the infinite depths of the meaning and the message and the mystery and the mission and the significance of our traditional vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, founded upon the firm and brave and gentle ground of non-violence.

Once we begin to understand underlying principles we can understand applications. Thus once we understand the underlying chords and scales in music we may begin to improvise and to live correctly yet freely. Once we understand our calling to Christ through Saint Augustine's famous epigram above, we live in Love and in freedom and in dignity, as the most recent Papal promulgations compel us. Once we understand the underlying principles of our religious vows, we find in them not restrictions but freedom and love and joy.

Often when we stay with the exteriors, we establish house rules, we find limitations, we find death of the life of Love. When we reflect upon the principles we find the freedom of God, who is Love. When we dwell upon the exteriors we invent ways around them and thus violate the principles while convincing ourselves that we observe the vow. Thus Jesus commands us to Love our enemies, yet we wind up centuries later pleasing the Empire by inventing a contorted and unholy "just war" theory which violates the principles of Jesus. As O'Murchu reminds us here "In fact, the principle was so widely abused that St. Thomas Aquinas in the Thirteenth Century affirmed that war is always sinful, even if it is occasionally waged for a just cause (p. 7)."

Thus we find religious communities whose individuals take vows of poverty yet which communally own great properties and excuse their limousines as property of the community, while violating the underlying principles, poor friars enjoying a wealthy house. Thus we discover the profound and criminal scandal of the Vatican Bank.

O'Murchu here calls us back to the foundational principles through a renewed and most ancient perspective. We have all heard of the underlying virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity as walking hand in hand with uour vows. Here we find a fresh and close and profound examination of the vows in the most traditional light of non-violence.

O'Murchu opens with an analysis of the principle of non-violence throughout the history of the Church, complementing this presentation with an examination of other tradition's principle of non-violence, including Gandhi's ahimsa and satyagraha, and their application as agape by the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther, Jr.

In fact, O'Murchu compellingly exhorts us that the vows are not only designed for individual salvation in the after-life, but build in fact the Kingdom of God here and now, compelled, as the recent Apostolic Exhortation by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI Sacramentum Caritatis: el Sacramento de la Caridad: una Exhortacion Apostolica Postsinodal reminds us, by the Eucharist in ipse.

O'Murchu thereby brings us a fresh and profound means of contemplating our religious vows and their integral application in our lives. Having defined non-violence admirably, O'Murchu applies it to each of the vows, showing how each vow is a demonstration of commitment to nonviolence, in areas of economics, sexuality and in humble submission to God's Holy Will, rejecting earthly powers and dominations for the Kingdom which comes, which we make real within our Holy Vows.

Highly recommended for all Catholic religious and indeed for all practicing Catholics seeking to live our Faith in a materialist and individualist and aggressively greedy and sensualist land. Please see as well the other writings by this great spiritual thinker including Consecrated Religious Life: The Changing Paradigms.
A refocusing of the reason for people living a vowed life.  Apr 27, 1999
A delicious millenial retransformation of the vowed life as a paradigm for oppositiional values in this age of law and order. O'Murchu defines the vows of religion in their pan-global concept as quintessential guideposts for the people of the 21st Century. Explicating Adrian Van Kamm's broad notion of the vows' "value radiating" essence, O'Murchu defines the vows in the context of guidelines of virtue and as the antitheses of violence. Courageously countering the catatonic obeisance to structure under the aegis of an endemic patriarchy, O'Murchu posits the idea that the male hierarchic structure of religions and cultures must accede to an expansion and an enlivening of the vows as living entities, as opposed to the vows as restrictions upon life. O'Murchu's quixotic example relative to celibacy is that human sexual urges and divine creation come together from the same energy to birth universal life. Repression will bring nothing but void. Essentially developing the positive qualities of vowed life as vows of mutual sustainability (poverty), relatedness (celibacy), and mutual collaboration (obedience). Fr. O'Murchu challenges the reader to reassess their role in living the vows and calls the male hierarchs, of all religions and cultures, to refocus and redefine the violent parameters of the vows as they have been developed over the past ten thousand years, to the pacific, harmonic tranquility of relatedness which calls humankind to virtue. O'Murchu supports and sustains his thesis through an anthropological and paleontological diagnosis of virtues in history and scripture, thereby indicating the original intention of vowed life in Eastern and Western cultures. Taking his hypothesis a major step forward, he argues that civilzation must return to the vowed life according to its original function as the beacon and as the goal for all living.. He argues that we must radically subsume the femininity which has been excluded from the consciousness of humanity these past three millenia. A must read for all male hierarchs, particularly those hierarchs who dominate the major contemporary monotheistic religions. To neglect reassessing vowed virtue and restoration of ideals and goals, O'Murchu asserts, will hasten the demise of Christianity and culture as we know it, due to the unconscionable continued violence of present vowed life, as misdirected against human nature. Reading this work of O'Murchu is a joyful emancipation for all others interested in redirecting the ideals and goals of humankind. Fr. Wm.G.Condon, csc e-mail

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