Wednesday, April 2, 2014

I Give My Life to Follow, Everything I Believe In, I Surrender

Netmilsmom (and others) brilliantly summarized why I've been vocalizing my concerns and experiences with the Pope Francis show:

Some people need hard evaluation to sort it out. Any Pope is a man who has his own ideas and while he can't go against dogma, he can cause scandal, even if it's something stupid. If people see this and have no one to say yeah, that's strange but doesn't really affect The Church, they will head over to the well known nearly schismatic sites for their information. This is a problem.

Others said the Pope needs to hear the serious nature of the discord and division, the fears of schism and talk of defection to sedevacanists and the silence contributes to the despair of the scandalized.

My gut instincts are, you're all right, and I need to find a way to keep the dialogue open, public, while still making some changes I think are necessary in light of the serious condition of the faith of Catholics who practice their religion. I hope you'll bear with me as I try to strike the right chord. I look forward (as always!) to your feedback and thoughts - which are so critical to my own learning and sharing with readers at TTC.

I know the 40 years of presbyteral and episcopal spiritual misfeasance and malfeasance have left us with zero tolerance. Just when you think it couldn't get worse, it did. Most of us have contemplated (at least once) buying into Bishop Fellay's talking points. Compared to the bozo show in the American presbyterate, on face value, Fellay's talking points sound sane. (SSPX is a whole other post cooking. I can't do it justice this evening but will get to it.)

I very briefly went through it myself in the late 90s - when it was really, really nutty. Maybe that's why I'm so sensitive to it and try to unhinge Christ's elect from Fellay's wagon.

The number of faithfully-practicing Catholics who are sitting on the fence is not insignificant. A good number of those seem to be spiritually unstable.

One of the things that struck me in Steve's comments was his assertion that we are faced with the choice of following the faith as we know it or follow the guidance and leadership of the Pope.

It's a little more complicated. If our Pope uses valid authority to bind something - we don't follow the faith 'as we know it'. Our fiat is to surrender and assume what is bound. Without reservation.

If it's the deposit of faith, I don't give a flying fig what I personally believed. Where the Church goes, I will go.

I've served in a variety of roles for Christ's Church (in addition to this blog). I started out when my oldest was 5, teaching CCD. At the time, I was not really sold on the Church's teachings on contraception but even then, I surrendered to God what is His and made a vow to teach what He believes.

The challenge in doing that was that I had really learn the reasons behind the teaching myself so I could convince teenagers! At first, it was painful to swallow. Eventually, saw the beauty. Many positive things are happening. Maybe if we examine them, we'll eventually have better context.

For instance, today, Pope Francis called traditional marriage an icon of God's love.

The Washington Post did not get out their daggers.

Here's the coverage of the story on HuffPo.

The emphasis on traditional marriage comes after Francis’ much-discussed comments on gays soon after his election a year ago.

Last year, he surprised many conservatives with his “Who am I to judge” comment about gays. Then, in an interview published in the Italian daily Corriere Della Sera in March, he said the church might explore the possibility of recognizing civil unions for gays and lesbians.

He's a smooth operator that one. When Indiana Jones finishes his expedition, I think we all know what the findings will be. The best outcome would be greater understanding of our teachings and fiat in ways that attract as many as possible in love.

I think Pope Francis has heard us, though I agree it is important to keep the poor and starving on his radar.

Martina brought this recent homily to our attention.

He's asking us to go into the deep and touch people's hearts. He's asking us to look around us where we are and proactively care for those around us.

This speaks of the people most in need, of those who need us to give them a hand, who need us to look them with love, to share their pain or their anxieties, their problems. What's important is that we don't just look at them from afar or help from afar. No, no! We must reach out to them. This is being Christian! This is what Jesus taught us: to reach out to the needy. Like Jesus who always reached out to the people. He went to meet them. Reaching out to those most in need....

Sometimes, I ask people, "Do you give alms." They say, "Yes, father." "And when you give alms, do you look into the eyes of people you are giving alms to?" "Ah, I do not know, I don't really think about it". "Then you have not reached out to those people. You just tossed them some charity and went away. When you give alms, do you touch their hands or just toss them the coins?". "

He is awakening.

And don't forget, this is the same man who called people to the Sacrament of Confession and knelt in the public square as a witness. He can't be read disjointed.

One more - and this one is a tougher one: the listless bumps on the log.

The folks who do not evangelize. Every man for himself types.

Then he went for the jugular!

The Pope went on to say that there is also another sin, the sin of formalism, demonstrated when Jesus is criticised for healing the sick on the Sabbath. “Christians,” he said, “who do not leave space for the grace of God – and the Christian life, the life of these people, consists in having all the paperwork, all the certificates, in order.”

He added: “Christian hypocrites, like these, only interested in their formalities. It was a Sabbath? No, you cannot do miracles on the Sabbath, the grace of God cannot work on Sabbath days. They close the door to the grace of God. We have so many in the Church, we have many! It is another sin.

Here's an interesting story to think about.

Today, Boston laid to rest our firefighters who lost their lives battling a fire in the Back Bay. The sister of Ed Walsh went up the podium and said something startling. Something that obviously hurt her family.

She said she this was only the second time she was in St. Patrick's Church. The first time, she was with her deceased brother at their father's funeral and they were told they could not speak about their Dad because of the rules. She turned to look at Cardinal O'Malley sitting in the Sanctuary and duly noted that today, on this occasion when numerous politicians and dignitaries and muckety mucks took the podium, it did not go unnoticed that the rules were not applicable. She again gave Cardinal O'Malley the stinkeye.

I'll bet after her own father's funeral, she turned on the television to see a handful of Kennedys and another handful of politicians enter the Sanctuary at Ted's funeral.

I'm not one for interrupting the Crucifixion and Resurrection in our Sacred Liturty for any reason - but if the Chancery is going to enforce rules upon the peasants and then break them on national television for the wealthy and powerful - one might wish to arrange a time after the Liturgy to let a few people speak if it means that much to them.

The denial left a scar. Funerals are a magnificent time to cast the net.

Food for thought.


breathnach said...


I'm stunned that someone would use the funeral of a loved one to relieve themselves of this kind of bitterness. I can't wrap my brain around it.

The ultimate fault lies with the Bishops and clergy, who for two generations have abdicated their teaching authority.Today most families would prefer that the Sacrifice of the Mass and the Rite of Christian Burial take a back seat and be replaced, or overshadowed by, a secularized memorial of the deceased.

Cardinal O'Malley and so many other clerics are unable to communicate the sacred. They have nothing to communicate to this woman. Their inarticulateness is made worse by their hypocrisy in allowing elite Catholics and the media to dictate Catholic funeral rites for those who demand a send-off that will be approved by the World.

Anonymous said...

Good for the sister!

TTC said...

Breathnach, I know. It was pretty shocking. Her pain and grief overwhelmed her and she couldn't stand the hypocrisy.

Again though, if they're going to let a dozen Kennedys and government officials file up into the Sanctuary to express their grief and take whacks at Church teaching - one can explain the Sacred Liturgy can't be interupted as it is a mystical presence at a series of events that have to run contiguous to the Holy Sacrifice but they are permitted five minutes before dismissal for a few people to express a message.

The poor priest who is faithfully trying to explain church teaching as the Chancery yahoos disobey it on national television have to work around the emotional baggage the wizards cause and find a way to preserve the Sacraments while giving the griefstricken their moment.

Sometimes situations develop for all kinds of reasons and you've got to hone in on how to meet that person where they're at and see if you can inch them along while still preserving what is important.

I think Francis knows people are completely unhinged. They have so many years of emotions swirling around their thoughts and desires, they can't process the truth thruogh the rage they have going on.

He's got to feel the intensity of the reign of the devil and is wratcheting up the fishing expedition to gather souls into the Body of Christ. This blogger got a tiny dose of the poor man's enemies and my conclusion is, they want desperately to see the Holy Spirit undermined.

With the little tiny job I have in Christendon, I set out every day to desire to carry out the mission of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes I don't do it as well as I should and I never do it as Christ Church deserves.

I am with the Pope on his trajectory of gathering in a different manner. I understand the reasons why. I agree he's made a few blunders and he has people around him with agendas to intentionally mistranslate or knock the Deposit of Faith off of its trajectory to salvation.

My gut instincts are, I need to try harder to hear through all of that - - and help others to hear through it, while still admitting the blunders and consequences.

Netmilsmom said...

I'm so proud! Thanks!