The World Age of Scorpio (1109 – 1500 AD)
I’m revisiting Saint Thomas Aquinas to demonstrate how individuals on opposite sides of a moral or religious opinion are actually connected through karma.
“At the age of nineteen Thomas resolved to join the recently founded Dominican Order. Thomas’s change of heart did not please his family. In an attempt to prevent Theodora’s interference in Thomas’s choice, the Dominicans arranged to move Thomas to Rome, and from Rome, to Paris. However, while on his journey to Rome, per Theodora’s instructions, his brothers seized him as he was drinking from a spring and took him back to his parents at the castle of Monte San Giovanni Campano.
“Thomas was held prisoner for almost one year in the family castles at Monte San Giovanni and Roccasecca in an attempt to prevent him from assuming the Dominican habit and to push him into renouncing his new aspiration. Political concerns prevented the Pope from ordering Thomas’s release, which had the effect of extending Thomas’s detention. Thomas passed this time of trial tutoring his sisters and communicating with members of the Dominican Order. Family members became desperate to dissuade Thomas, who remained determined to join the Dominicans. At one point, two of his brothers resorted to the measure of hiring a prostitute to seduce him. According to legend, Thomas drove her away wielding a fire iron and two angels appeared to him as he slept and strengthened his determination to remain celibate.
“By 1244, seeing that all her attempts to dissuade Thomas had failed, Theodora sought to save the family’s dignity, arranging for Thomas to escape at night through his window. In her mind, a secret escape from detention was less damaging than an open surrender to the Dominicans. Thomas was sent first to Naples and then to Rome to meet Johannes von Wildeshausen, the Master General of the Dominican Order.” (Wikipedia)
You may recall that the Albigensian Crusade was part of an effort by Dominic to dissuade Cathars from the errors of their ways.
Preaching to the Cathars
“In 1203, Dominic de Guzmán joined Diego de Acebo, the Bishop of Osma, on a diplomatic mission to Denmark for the monarchy of Spain, to arrange the marriage between the son of King Alfonso VIII of Castile and a niece of King Valdemar II of Denmark. At that time the south of France was the stronghold of the Cathar movement. The Cathars (also known as Albigensians, due to their stronghold in Albi, France) were a heretical neo-gnostic sect. They believed that matter was evil and only the spirit was good; this was a fundamental challenge to the notion of the incarnation, central to Catholic theology. The Albigensian Crusade (1209–1229) was a 20-year military campaign initiated by Pope Innocent III to eliminate Catharism in Languedoc, in southern France.
“Dominic saw the need for a response that would attempt to sway members of the Albigensian movement back to mainstream Christian thought. Dominic became inspired into a reforming zeal after they encountered Albigensian Christians at Toulouse. Diego immediately saw one of the paramount reasons for the spread of the unorthodox movement- the representatives of the Holy Church acted and moved with an offensive amount of pomp and ceremony. In contrast, the Cathars generally led ascetic lifestyles. For these reasons, Diego suggested that the papal legates begin to live a reformed apostolic life. The legates agreed to change if they could find a strong leader.
“The prior took up the challenge, and he and Dominic dedicated themselves to the conversion of the Cathars. Despite this particular mission, Dominic met limited success converting Cathars by persuasion, ‘for though in his ten years of preaching a large number of converts were made, it has to be said that the results were not such as had been hoped for’.” (Wikipedia)
Do you see where I’m going with this? I identify with the Cathars, and Thomas Aquinas joined the Dominicans. Are we connected? Are we, hell!
I’m beginning to understand how we might actually be on both sides of every question.
I rest my case, M’lord.