“Anonymous” has left a comment under an old post of mine, Asperger’s and Religion. I want to share it with everyone because it contains a lot of jewels, and I don’t want people to miss them because the post is old. But don’t worry, fans: I’ll be writing another post today about my Matthew daily quiet time, though something tells me that these comments from “Anonymous” will get a lot more replies. I’ve corrected some of the spelling and punctuation, which I’m just saying because there may be a law about that (who knows?). Enjoy!
I’m an Aspie Catholic myself and I totally agree with all the comments on this issue.
It’s great to know that I am not alone in my thinking. Where i come from in Asia, Catholicism has become rather “feel good” and “charismatic” with emphasis on “healing” and other “touchy feely” activities. I absolutely cannot stand hugging or joining hands with strangers, even though they may be fellow Catholics, and I hate it when I am made to feel “unloving” because of this. Anyway, I have solved the problem by looking for more “traditional” churches. Another trick is to go for early morning mass. I find that these hyper folks tend to be more subdued when deprived of sleep!! Would just like to add my two cents worth about why Catholicism is suitable for Aspies.
Latin chants. I find Latin music and Latin prayers which are sung especially soothing to my senses. It happens even when the priest uses English to chant. I suspect it repeats the “spinning” experience that we Aspies are known to like.
Ignatian Spirituality. I highly recommend this to all Aspies. Years ago, I read the “Catechism of the Catholic Church,” and a lot of it did not make sense to me. For me, codification of Catholic doctrine confused more than clarified my faith issues. Because of this, I was lapsed in my faith for a long time, but this was before I learned about the Jesuits and their highly scientific and methodological approach to doctrine and spirituality. Before I came across the Jesuits, almost every catholic or priest I knew always said I used my head too much. I was made to feel that to be a good Catholic or Christian, an Aspie had to suspend his highly logical and critical mind and “listen to Rome.”
The Dominicans are highly logical as well, but I find some of their stuff a bit ” beyond me.” One last thing. Would an Aspie ever become a good missionary, priest, or pastor? It’s quite a complex question. On one hand, an Aspie’s preference not to socialise would make him unsuitable. On the other hand, an Aspie’s hyper-sensitivity means that he will be acutely aware of life issues like injustice, suffering, and other morality issues. This is one issue I grapple with even as a lay Catholic. On one hand, I want to put my faith into action to help the poor and the marginalised. On the other hand, I have an aversion to working with people. Religion has pretty much been “me and my God,” and I have no clue whatsoever on how to go beyond that.