“I’m spiritual, but not religious.”

The amusing Eye of the Tiber (go visit!) hits it on the head with this one.  Funny… but not!

Lapsed Catholic Confirms She Is Still Spiritual

Sherman Oaks, CA–27-year-old Sara Matson confirmed to friends yesterday that she was indeed still very spiritual despite no longer attending Mass. Matson, a World Religions teacher at St. Francis Xavier Catholic School in Sherman Oaks, California reported to her friends that she feels her creator’s presence everywhere. “Not that there’s anything wrong with going to church,” Matson later confirmed. “There’s also nothing wrong with not going to church. And actually, if you really think about it…since our creator, call her what you will, is in everything, then really, everywhere is church, if you kinda think about it like that.” At press time, Matson has asked her friends not to judge her, since you don’t define another when you judge them, but rather, define yourself.

She’s, like, totally spiritual.

Perhaps after the school let’s her go, she’ll get an offer for a staff position with the National catholic Fishwrap.

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  1. Philangelus says:

    Author Rob Kroese has a great response to “I’m spiritual but not religious.”


    His take? It’s a cop-out. It’s smug. It doesn’t answer the question about what a person believes.
    The “spiritual but not religious” label points to three possibilities, as far as I can see:

    1. The person has done a thorough study of the world’s religions, found them wanting, and took a different path.

    2. The person is largely ignorant of religious beliefs but has been blessed with a mystical understanding that allows him or her to see the shortcomings of any “man-made” religion, and took a different path.

    3. The person is largely ignorant of religious beliefs, has no real wisdom to offer, and is parroting an answer that he or she has heard various celebrities use in interviews with some success.

  2. Michaeleus says:

    California. That explains it right there.

    If I were the principal of this school I would purge this person, and any of her fellow travellers in the faculty and staff, as soon as possible.

  3. Banjo pickin girl says:

    Hilarious! So good to have a Catholic version of The Onion.

  4. The Masked Chicken says:

    Before anyone gets going, the Eye of the Tiber website is a satirical site. Think,” Catholic Onion.” Often, however, their satire hits a bit too close to the truth, as in this post.

    The Chicken

  5. Clinton says:

    I realize Ms. Matson doesn’t exist, and that the article is satire– but who among us has not
    heard those same fatuous statements uttered in all seriousness?

  6. Charles E Flynn says:

    Search on page for the word “spirituality”:

    “Proust is important for everyone”.

  7. VexillaRegis says:

    Oh, this one I have heard before!

  8. Sieber says:

    Well, there is a St. Francis de Sales in Sherman Oaks.

  9. The Masked Chicken says:

    Being spiritual is like being musical – having a sensitivity to what is music. Now, since there is only one Spirit, but many spirits, being spiritual without the Spirit is like a musically inclined person playing a funeral dirge at a wedding. If one’s spiritual sense is attuned to the Holy Spirit, then he will, naturally, send you to religion (specifically, the Church), since all true cooperation with the Holy Spirit leads one to be bound (religio = a binding) to him, since love seeks to be bound to the Beloved.

    The Chicken

  10. mamajen says:

    I think I know that girl…

  11. Michaeleus says:

    Okay…I admit it…I fell for it hook, line and sinker! But, for what it’s worth, I had a good reason as there are *sooooo* many catholics like this fictional person out there…

  12. GT333 says:

    Haven`t most of us heard this a hundred times? I have often told someone with this viewpoint that Satan is far more spiritual than any human could be and he HATES religion! The Church is the train that keeps us on the right track to God, and properly orients our spirituality to Him. Otherwise, we will wander off with deceptive spirits who are masters at leading us away from the Lord! Some of the greatest Saints tell of nearly being deceived themselves.

  13. frjim4321 says:

    I think this is the sentiment of a person who for a variety of reason has lost confidence in religious institutions but still has a sense of the divine and/or community.

    We seem to be hearing this comment very often these days. We need to ask why are so many people alienated from organized religion?

    Happily in part it would seem that this is part of the “new evangelization” movement.

  14. Angie Mcs says:

    Go into any bookstore or on line and you will discover, a section called “Spirituality”. Hundreds of books, dozens of authors, all assuring us how we can find that emptiness within ourselves which we long to fill.. But they share a common denominator;” You can have this and still keep everything you want, be anyone you want, don’t have to give up anything, and still be a GOOD PERSON.” You are able to set up your own perimeters while becoming spiritual beings. And when it doesn’t work for long, you can go back to the bookstore and try another path to spiritual enlightenment.

    Yes, this is a satirical piece, but behind good satire there is always an element of truth.

  15. onosurf says:

    No sarcasm, this story made me sad.

    File this under: Fruits of VII.

  16. Mike says:

    Very funny…er, sort of.

    I actually heard about the same thing, nearly verbatim, from a female rabbi at a Reformed Synagogue. They sounded like Jewish Episcopalians!

  17. Clinton says:

    Michaeleus, don’t beat yourself up– we’ve all seen some very peculiar people indeed attach
    themselves to Catholic institutions. It’s almost a commonplace that someone like the fictional
    Ms. Matson would teach at a (fictitious) Catholic school.

    The last time Fr. Z posted a bit of satire from Eye of the Tiber, it was a bit involving the
    “Womenpriest” group. One commenter posted a link to the actual Womenpriest website, and
    on a whim I went to look around. The very first biography listed was for a “womanpriest”
    named Judy Beaumont. Among all of the details of Ms. Beaumont’s career as a priestess, it
    mentioned that in the early 2000’s she and her ‘life partner’, also a “womanpriest”, moved to
    Florida where Ms. Beaumont took a job as the Director of Faith Formation at a large parish.
    It’s not clear if priestess Beaumont was upfront about her gig as a priest-impersonator or
    about her ‘life partner’. Evidently no one at the unnamed Florida parish knew how to google.

    So yes, the Matsons and the Beaumonts are out there, and they’re employed by a parish near

  18. jbpolhamus says:


  19. jesusthroughmary says:

    They need to stop picking actual parishes for these articles.

  20. mamajen says:


    While there are certainly some people who have had bad things happen to cause their disenfranchisement with organized religion (the abuse scandal, misappropriation of funds, and grumpy unwelcoming people spring to mind), in my experience there are many many more who simply want to be able to pick and choose which rules they follow. Not surprisingly the obligation to attend mass is one of the first ones they throw out the window. They like to cling to the Catholic identity simply so they can seem brave, rebellious, interesting, whatever when they flaunt their complete disregard for rules that Catholics are meant to follow. I think that people who truly want to be part of the Catholic Church always find their way back.

  21. frjim4321 says:

    mamajen, yes i do agree there is some of that (people rationalizing their laziness about church attendance, etc.). It certainly is a factor.

  22. LisaP. says:

    I think there are different strains of this. Some of it, which I have less patience for than I should, is a kind of “adjectivism” or “accessorization” — it’s not really about what you believe, it’s about how you want people to see you, how you want to be viewed. It is not in any way limited to religion, many people live their lives accessorizing this way, it’s part of the modern world’s view that “branding” is important. I’ve been there myself. It’s when you feel you need to present a life resume everywhere you go, a list of who you are. It’s a very anxious way to live your life, think about how vicious fashion circles can be and then consider living every aspect of your life as if it were being judged by some American Idol judge or audience.

    The other strain is simply quietism.

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