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On Earth as it is in Heaven
on April 11, 2012
Mike Crosby has always had a "consuming zeal for the house of the Lord." It seems to be his prophetic charism and destiny as a son of Francis to heed the call, "repair my house." In book after book, he looks at the Church he loves and the message of its Founder and asks why the two don't mirror one another more fully. In this, his latest book, he brings the discussion to full flowering, transcending previous works while including all of them in a well researched and documented scholarly study that is at the same time accessible to the average reader. Taking full advantage of his years of experience and reflection on Institutional Catholicism he brilliantly brings the discussion into a 21st century context with which to not only understand where the crises lay, but to also look ahead to a "way" through. Institutional Catholicism is dying, unsustainable in its present structure.
The first two parts of the book lay open the present problems and explore them within Jesus' Gospel of the Reign of God. The golden thread of promise and hope for the future that he weaves through the book is the model of Trinitarian relationality, a "communion of persons in loving relationship." This model is a mutual, reciprocal, equal exchange of energy creating ever new potential and possibility. The "mystery" of the Trinity is laid bare as Crosby unveils its hiddenness as the blueprint or archetype within which the whole creative process unfolds and with which it is branded from the beginning, imprinted on its soul and containing an inherent "economy" which meets the needs of all persons in the relationship. This is the "Gospel" Jesus revealed. This is the direction of the whole creative process and the true "Kindom of Heaven on Earth." The degree to which Institutional Catholicism is able to mirror this Trinitarian model is the measure of how well it fulfills its role as the "Sacrament of Christ in the world."
The pearl of the book lies in the last section where Crosby brings the discussion in to 21st century language using the lens of "seven contemporary sacramentals" as the "way" (DAO of becoming a kindom Catholic): The Cosmic Way, The Christic Way, The Way of Consciousness, The Way of Connectedness, The Contemplative Way, and the Way of Community. Edwina Gateley says it best in her endorsement: "A provocative, honest, and thoughtful read for any Catholic committed to renewal and a more meaningful and faithful model of church for our quantum age."