22 February, 2013

Q&A: Pastoral Care and the Thomasine Creed

Q: Is a Thomasine bishop always a "harbinger of disquet?" What about situations where disquiet would be a detriment to someone's well-being. How do Thomasine bishops address pastoral care of the grieving or the dying?

A: I suppose I walked right in to that one. Now I've got egg on my face. How you choose to interact with someone is a fairly situational thing. So, if I were speaking with someone who was agitated, grieving, or going through the dying process, I would certainly be mindful of what I said and how I said it. There are times in these situations where it is beneficial to be both a comforter and a "harbinger of disquiet." With individuals who are dying, there are times when disquiet is helpful and comfort is harmful. As with all things, anyone in this situation ought to do his or her best to meet the person they're talking with where they are.

Q: I notice you speak strongly against religious or theological "speculation." Do you feel this is congruent with the existence of a Thomasine Creed? Is your Church's creed not also theological speculation.

A: Here is the text of the Thomasine Creed for anyone who is unfamiliar with it.
I seek the illumination of the Light of Truth.
I seek reintegration with the Living Father, the Ruler of Rulers, the Silence and the Deep.
I seek the annointing of the Mother, the Holy and Comforting Spirit, who is the front of all wisdom, to guide me to find that which internal, invisible, universal and secret.
I seek the knowledge of the Master, the Living Jesus, upon whom the annointing of Truth, Light and Life was given.
I seek to remove the veil of the Wicked Ones, so that I may obtain true understanding and attain liberation.

 Creed comes from the Latin word Credo, which is usually translated "I believe." If we were to translate the Thomasine Creed into Latin the first word would be Quaero, which means "I seek." The Thomasine Creed is a reminder of what the Thomasine initiate does or aims to do in his or her practice. As a meditation, we also focus on the meaning of particular words and phrases in context. For example, what does it mean to seek reintegration? What is "the Silence and the Deep?"

The Thomasine Creed doesn't invite the initiate to speculate about the nature of the Godhead or about morality or about supernatural events; it actively encourages you to do something. The creed is usually commended to an initiate as a meditative practice in a specific way at a specific time.

I'm not sure if I answered your question or merely dodged it with a bit of tom-foolery, so feel free to let me know if you're not satisfied with my answer.

Two posts in one day. I think that's a record for me. If you're lucky I'll not post again until March.

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