I don't know what to make of it.
Just when one culture of cult goes down the tubes, another rears its ugly head.
The only thing I can think of is, they figured the cult has grown so big they are better off trying to reign it in under the authority of the Pope? I think that's where he's going with it.
Begging the pardon of His Holiness...how'd that work out for us with the Legion?
The statutes of the way, not regulated by the Church but the Kiko way.
If you have not been following the story, the saga intensified last year when the Japanese Bishops tried to kick the thing out of town.
I came across the neocats about ten years ago when I went to a lecture of an orthodox theologian in Boston with a Mass scheduled at the end of the lecture. I never heard of them, didn't know they were sponsoring the lecture.
At the end of the lecture, out they came with some kind of a...pep rally. Guitars. Tambourines. Dancing.
I've been blogging now for ten years. It will come as no surprise to long-time readers that that the cynic in me met this moment with...Heh....What the hell is this? But, honest, I really work on approaching things with an open mind!
I spoke to the cynic. "Pipe down there girl and let's just check this out." Stuck around for about a half hour to experience it with and through genuine spiritual intuition.
"Cynic...you may be right about this one. Let's get out of here."
I remember standing there trying to figure out how I was going to get myself out of the jam without spoiling any momentum for the people I came with who may be responding to it. You don't really know where people are at on their journey. I never want to be an impediment to grace.
I looked at my watch and whispered to my friends. "This is running later than I thought. I've got to run. I'm afraid the pot roast in the crock pot may be drying up. Catch ya later."
What's that you ask? What's the matter with the NeoCats?
Look, it's indisputable that devout Catholics who practice the mystical prayers of the Sacred Liturgy and transport their soul to the things happening 2000 years ago need dignity and solitude to complete that transport. You can't get to mystical prayer unless there is quiet and concentration. Period.
There's a lot of ways to pray. There really is.
The lowest form of prayer are gimme prayers. Gimme this, gimme that. We see God as the Santa Claus who rewards people serving in soup kitchens and picking up litter. When life is sailing along smoothly, God doesn't hear anything from us. If we come to Church, it's a visit to get something or someone we are smitten with or a shot in the arm for our wounded self-esteem.
I ran with these dogs in my early 20s. They...WE were hanging on to God by a thread.
If you're living on the surface of your prayer life, you are attracted to the hoopla to lift you out of your complacency. The tambourines. The Wwweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!. You are in need of the Healer, the Physician, the Comforter.
The Healer and Physician rocks. We all need Him from time to time. But if you find yourself needing to tap into only that Power, it is a red flag that something in your spiritual life or personal life needs your attention and you better away from the noise and set yourself before the Eucharist to listen to God.
Don't get me wrong, the hoopla can be about praising, adoring, venerating, opening your soul. I enjoy a praise and worship service once in a while. But, not at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass because it is impossible to enter the chamber of your soul to listen to God. To be with Him mystically on His journey through the Passion, Death and Resurrection.
The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the highest form of Mystical Prayer and mystical prayer needs concentration and solitude. The music can compliment this journey but only if it maintains the dignity of the silence necessary to enter the Holy Sacrifice mystically.
The focus of hoopla in a Holy Sacrifice of the Mass ends in an hour. As soon as you walk out the doors of the Church, you return to your spiritual desert. You are not learning the practice of intimate communication with Christ. You're not learning how to live touching Christ's Perpetual Presence in your soul. Tapping into His Graces throughout your day. A real relationship.
We are the light of the world.
Let our light shine before all.
That they may see the good that we do...
We come to tell our story.
We come to break the bread.
Oh..wait a minute!
Have you ever had a friend that did all the talking? Every meeting is about seeking advice from you on their little dramas? They call you every day to give you an update on how the dramas are playing out and get more advice? One day years later, you realize, Hey, wait a minute, this person has no idea who I am or what has gone on in my life all these years. There has never been a moment to share myself. No listening. These relationships don't last because it is not a mutual relationship.
If you're not entering the Mystical with your soul in a state of grace, you are robbing yourself of Christ in your relationship with Him. There is way too much going on in the Neocatechumenal liturgies to enter into mystical prayer and a mystical relationship with Christ. It divides the flock from the obedience of Rome to the obedience of a Kiko, whoever he is. It's a cooking cult. Like the Legion, it is swallowing people up.My gut tells me the Pope knows this and is trying to bring it closer so that people can hop off as they mature.
The celebrations are a kind of steppingstone to the parish Mass as a way to help form and reintroduce lapsed or ill-prepared Catholics into "the richness of sacramental life," the pope said....But during the neocatechumenate's journey of formation "it's important not to be separated from the parish community, precisely in the eucharistic celebration, which is the true place of unity for everyone, where the Lord embraces us in our different stages of spiritual maturity and unites us in the one bread that makes us one body."
The Liturgy is a mess. If your parish is a Liturgical mess and you haven't experienced this one..you ain't seen nothing yet. But, these are sincere, orthodox, loving people who bring many gifts to the table. If they come to your parish, put on your tin foil hat and cast the net.
A smoldering wick can turn into a flame. In fact, I'm living proof it can turn into an inferno.
Let's pray for them and for our Pope.