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So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.—2 Thessalonians 2:15

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Advent Apocalypse

The Church has, to a greater or lesser degree, always been in some kind of a mess. And, there have been some big messes. Take for example the Great Western Schism: two claimants to the papacy and a whole lot of confusion. Deo gratias, the Holy Spirit resolved that one nicely.

Those living in the trenches of the internet who attempt to defend orthodoxy and catholicity know as well as anyone the current state of the union. Our generals (bishops) are fighting amongst themselves. The Commander-in-Chief, the pope, who is only subordinate to our Supreme Commander (Jesus Christ), appears to be permitting his command to be undermined. His orders are being confused by his generals who, in some cases, are getting their information from Hanoi Hannah, Seoul City Sue or Lord Haw-Haw. That is, the mainstream muddlers media.

So, what is a foot soldier to do?

The enemy is constantly testing the walls of the fortress. Some would say that there is no need of a fortress, that a fortress mentality is so yesterday's Counter Reformation. Take a look around, folks, and you'll see that there is a trojan horse in the sanctuary of the Lord's Church. That horse has concealed within it a host of the hosts of abuses, doctrinal, liturgical and otherwise. What is the name of that horse? It's name is the name of every layman or priest or bishop who fails to identify with and defend the heritage we have received from those who have come before us.

Some have called the deliberate marginalization of our heritage a hermeneutic of rupture. There is still an agenda, albeit an agenda of a dying generation of dissenting clergy and laymen, which seeks to impose some imagined teachings the promoters of which claim were established by the Second Vatican Council. Their teachings are the product of misinformed and corrupt minds which sought to usurp the Council. The harbingers of dissent and their media allies (cf Pope Benedict and his definition of the media council) created the necessary confusion within which and from which they could then rescue people by offering a compelling but satanic vision of the Church, a vision that people were all too ready to embrace due to their weakened faith in the wake of the Council. That satanic vision is one of a world freed of chastity and obedience to the Truth of Jesus Christ.
CCC 1832 The fruits of the Spirit are perfections that the Holy Spirit forms in us as the first fruits of eternal glory. The tradition of the Church lists twelve of them: "charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity."
Warriors sense when people are being taken advantage of by pseudo-intellectuals and they come to the rescue of their brethren by calling people back to the Faith once delivered to the saints, and calling people away from the wolves in our midst who seek to rob people of their dignity. Those wolves claim their agenda is one of tolerance. Tolerance? Hardly. They want tolerance of sinful behaviour and sinful lifestyles. Their disdain for the good and holy state of life to which God calls all His children is nothing short of the disdain the devil has toward mankind.

There have been and there are currently some excellent warriors who have guided and continue to guide Catholics through the storm. The Holy Spirit has raised up many heros in our day. A few of my favourites are probably yours too: Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta; Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke; Pope St. John Paul the Great; Pope Benedict XVI; Archbishop Charles Chaput. There are many more warriors that could be named. Many are simple folk praying beneath their chapel veils.

Better to ask for forgiveness than to ask permission.

It's difficult to imagine the warrior-saint Ignatius Loyola being satisfied with a live-and-let-live approach to the Reformers' attack on the Church in his day. Indeed, saints are warriors; they act. They act now, decisively, when timely intervention is critical to the success of a mission, not sooner or later after they've had their proposed enterprise vetted by a committee ensconced in some ivory tower mentality. They think and act with the Church (Sentire cum ecclesia). They love the Church. They dive in deep, occasionally sinking down to their waste in the midst of a storm that threatens to swallow them. They know, however, to reach out and ask the Lord to take hold of their hand, for they also know they can do nothing apart from their Lord and Saviour.

“Pray as if everything depends on God. Work as if everything depends on you.”—St. Augustine of Hippo.

Saints have courage. To have courage doesn't mean you are never afraid nor that you are free of all doubt. To have courage is to place the good of others above one's own narrow sense of self preservation, to set aside one's fears and to act justly with love.

Sanctify yourself and you will sanctify society.—St. Francis of Assisi 

The nation doesn’t simply need what we have.
It needs what we are.—St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)

Dissonance

I'm pretty good at embracing and correcting little messes: a messy desk; a messy car; a messy wallet. I'm not good with bigger messes, public messes. Messy liturgies, for example. Liturgies, that is, that are routinely made messy by well intentioned (and not so well intentioned) musicians and priests. More than frustrating is the readiness or ease with which some priests and laity excuse their part in making Mass a mess. Nor does the "all that matters is that the Mass was valid" argument mitigate the frustration nor excuse laxity. The use of said phrase or some version of it by the offenders is especially annoying. It smacks of the self absolution of the devil. As for the well intended consolers, the phrase might apply once in a blue moon, but not every Sunday. Habitual carelessness and avoidance of the rubrics is simply inexcusable. Having it—excuse making—become a tired leitmotif to which Catholics constantly refer or project on to circumstances that are a collage of dissonance and dissent merely adds insult to injury.

The Nuclear option?

In such circumstances where priests and people discard reverence and the artful celebration of the Liturgy, it would be too easy to flip the apocalypse switch and engage the Sons of Thunder protocol: "Lord, shall we call down fire to consume them (Luke 9:54)? "Them, as in, those people who have zero compunction over their cheapening of the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. After a brief and mostly unsatisfying wander down divine retribution lane where liturgical abusers are imagined to have been cast into a hellish nightmare (of their own making) wherein they are forced to sing Gather Us In for eternity, the imagination which put them there gradually returns to reality, accompanied by a smattering of guilt. Just a smattering, no more.

Chesterton wrote:
“Dear Sir: Regarding your article ‘What’s Wrong with the World?’ I am. Yours truly.”
It's days like today... and yesterday, and the day before yesterday, and the day before that... when the index finger of truth could be pointed at the other person in the room (or the grocery checkout lineup or the cafeteria queue or...) and say 'You are what's wrong with the world, you ignorant, rude, self indulgent so-and-so!' Imagine that confrontation occurring in any number of public places, accompanied by a sugarcoated seasonal ditty croaking from a crackling speaker hidden above an aging fluorescent lighting fixture.

The most powerful weapon to conquer the devil is humility.
For, as he does not know at all how to employ it,
neither does he know how to defend himself from it.—St. Vincent de Paul

Perhaps, then, this Advent can be a time to refine one's embodiment of the humble warrior, a faithful Catholic ready to take up arms to defend chastity and battle the tyranny of false teaching promoted by false prophets.

Let us pray that we may be ready for the return of the Supreme Commander, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who will return in all His glory.

2 comments:

  1. Some advice from a christian albeit not a Catholic. Good advice for the miles christi.

    "Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more, you should never wish to do less". - Robert E. Lee

    ReplyDelete

"A multitude of wise men is the salvation of the world(.)—Wisdom 6:24. Readers are welcome to make rational and responsible comments. Any comment that 1) offends human dignity and/or 2) which constitutes an irrational attack on the Catholic Faith will not go unchallenged. If deemed completely stupid, such a comment will most assuredly not see the light of day. Them's the rules. Don't like 'em? Move on.

We are not just material beings, but spiritual persons with a need for meaning, purpose, and fulfillment that transcends the visible confines of this world. This longing for transcendence is a longing for truth, goodness, and beauty. Truth, goodness, and beauty are called the transcendentals of being, because they are aspects of being. Everything in existence has these transcendentals to some extent. God, of course, as the source of all truth, goodness, and beauty, has these transcendentals to an infinite degree. Oftentimes, He draws us to Himself primarily through one of these transcendentals. St. Augustine, who was drawn to beauty in all its creaturely forms, found the ultimate beauty he was seeking in God, his creator, the beauty “ever ancient, ever new.”―Sister Gabriella Yi, O.P.