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.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Why many and possibly most Jesuits have lost their marbles.

Marbles: mission; orthodoxy.

One gets the sense that members of the Society of Jesus are frequently given to lauding sociology, psychology... astrology?... any-ology above theology when orthodox theology should be the subject that dominates the Christian disciple's imagination.

A generalized criticism must admit exceptions. Exceptions which, nevertheless, tend to prove the rule.

Our current pope, himself a suitable representative of the modern Jesuit way, has been eager to 'meet the sinner where you find him,' echoing the mantra of progressive Jesuitism, which is to say the common Jesuit approach to evangelization. The problem with that vision or the priority given to what some have labelled "mercy" is that too often sinners are left where they are found and not called to a higher state, i.e., to the holiness that is made possible by the grace of God.

The Church has high expectations of her children because Jesus Himself has high expectations for His disciples. The Sacrament of Matrimony is a restoration of the dignity of marriage, not a relaxation. If there is any doubt as to the deficit which adulterous second "unions" introduce into a person's life, read the Gospel texts and you will discover both the dignity to which a man and a woman is called as well as a diagnosis of the consequences should they choose to pursue a course which takes them away from God and His design for marriage.

We have seen how a major synod was sullied by attempts to excuse the sin of man and release him from keeping the commandments of Jesus Christ. The problem is not that the Church is asking too much of her citizens. The problem is that too many in the Church are robbing her citizens of the knowledge of grace that God provides to those who love Him, grace which ennobles man and enables in man the Gospel alive.

Christianity is not belief in an ideal. Rather, by grace, the Christian path—the Way—is immersion in the Person and Passion of Jesus Christ. Christianity, especially Catholicism, is not a belief system; the Catholic Faith is a way of life—the Way to life.

Now, one could counter that there are many avenues of approach to the Person of Jesus Christ. True enough. However, that said, the true disciple has the privilege of relating not to an idea or some avenue or some brilliant interpretation of the Gospel but to the Person of Jesus Christ as one finds Him—first and foremost—in the Holy Eucharist which, if it needs to be repeated for the umpteenth time, Catholics defend rather tenaciously as the "source and summit of the Christian life".

The modern Jesuit seems to be frequently enamoured in people's lived experiences—more accurately, sinful experiences—and enamoured in attempts to identify the Holy Spirit as the voice which is heard when people weep and moan that big bad Mother Church is to blame for their misery. It is one thing to seek communion with unrepentant sinners, calling them to embrace their dignity as creatures created in the image and likeness of God. It is quite another to aid and abet the avoidance of an encounter—repentance—that can and will free the person from sinful attachments if, that is, the sinner encounters Jesus Christ and the call to leave behind sinful lifestyles to embrace his dignity as a child of God.

Modern mercy of the "progressive" flavour, mercy which is not really merciful, blesses sinful lifestyles and enables people to avoid making a decision for Christ and His Church which thus disposes the soul to the gift of grace that God offers to the penitent soul. If the word 'accompaniment' is to be redeemed from liberal religion, if accompaniment means anything, then it means accompanying people by helping them confront sin in their lives. A clear call to holiness helps sinners realize they are loved by God and that God wants them to move closer to Him by rejecting sin in their lives. Only a clear recognition that sin leads to death will help a sinner leave sin and embrace the path of spiritual health in Christ.

The post-Suppression Jesuits have a bit of an unclean record with regards to allying themselves with the wrong side, especially in Central and South America where the label 'Jesuit' was little different than the label 'communist'. True, many Jesuits ministered to the poor and were right to live in solidarity with their parishioners who were caught between communist rebels and fascist government forces. However, muddling pastoral service and political office proved too much a temptation for some. Fr. Ernesto Cardenal, S.J. comes to mind.

Certainly, the Jesuits were once upon a time fine instruments of the Holy Spirit, during the Counter Reformation (CR), for example. However, the Jesuits of the CR would probably barely recognize their modern brethren by the way they have become more the Society of Just-About-Anybody-Other-Than-Jesus than being faithful in the liberating communion with Jesus Christ which changed a mere soldier into a soldier for Christ.

The Jesuit mind, it seems, is today rarely a warrior's mind possessed completely by the Incarnate Word of God that is moved to save souls.

If experience is teaching the Church anything, perhaps the Cardinal-electors of the Holy Roman Church will be disinclined to elect another Jesuit any time soon to the Office of Peter. A Jesuit is best confined to that position of Praepositus Generalis recently filled—the nicknamed office of the Black Pope.

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"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.