Saturday, June 6, 2015

Patheos hosts symposium on 'why I am not leaving the Catholic Church'

What's the heck is going on here?

How is the caricature that the Church is an indentured servant who is falling down on the job, helpful?

Are they in love with God or does their relationship depend on the presents He brings like Santa Claus?

Is that how all the other relationships in their life work?

When their children come home with bad report cards, would they hold symposiums on Why they are NOT leaving their children?

God only knows.
I mean that quite literally. God only knows.
I have fallen away from practice of my Catholic faith before. ..I have even struggled with temptations to apostatize. I don’t intend to give you details of that, since I consider the matter personal, but I share the fact of those temptations because they exist and they need to be acknowledged as existing. No good comes from refusing to admit one’s own limitations.

Every one of us goes through moments when our relationship with God is tested. Sickness, shouldering more than our share of suffering, death and many other things, including the reckless behavior of priests or bishops--these things can and will cause a terrible storm. But for the life of me, I just don't get living in a relationship with God - of all people - with one foot out the door.

Like every other relationship, if you're feeling distance - that's the sign it's time to step up the labor involved in bringing yourself closer.

Primary relationships work best when they are paid attention to every day of your life. A tiny drift is effortless to rein it back in. But if a boat drifts way, way out-it becomes a lot of work that few people desire to do. Like an old car that needs a lot of work, trading it in is an enormous temptation.

The stuff that you trade in Sanctifying Grace for is always destructive. Always.

We're talking about the Body and Blood of Christ. Nobody with an aspostolate should portray Its value in our lives like that of a motor vehicle. Let's kick it up a few notches.


Netmilsmom said...

Thank you for putting into words that uncomfortable feeling I had when I saw everyone doing this. There was something about it, I just couldn't put my finger on, but you're right. This makes The Church out to be a product. It's sad.

Is their readership telling them to finally wake up and see that things are not as they should be? Are the Polyanna articles not cutting it?

We are St. John at the foot of the cross. Men are messing this up but Christ is always there. It's not a "Why I stay" option. It's a "would you leave your beloved in His time of need?"

TTC said...

Believe me, it took me a while to identify why my red
Flags were going off like crazy.

Was it Hitler who said religion is the opiate of the masses?

These are the people he was talking about. They go to Church and God instead of loading a
Crack pipe for a dose of feeling good.

It isn't working out for them. They are hoping Pooe Francis can turn Religion into an opiate by he is not doin it fast enough.

Anonymous said...

It was Marx who said that religion was the opiate of the masses.

You know that *any* church is in trouble when its advocates create a campaign as to why they're *staying.* That's not exactly a vote of confidence, unlike the kind of evangelization that Pope Francis decries.

Anonymous said...

I have had to face a personal crisis brewed over the past ten years, but lived with since early childhood. While I have been close in my faith until the crisis, I sought psychological help. I've studied and learned enough to understand out of ignorance my Catholic faith as a religion has let me down, and by doing so created deep doubts about it's ability to hold all truth. The issue is remaining neutral at best or condoning at worst a form of violence that is still experienced with various long term damages to children into adulthood, and I being one of them. Present day science has proven the harm to developing brains, yet 80% of children are at risk because they experience parent child corporal punishment, what is worse is that I've come to realize hidden in the definition of corporal punishment are experiences by many children that indeed are sexual abuse, with forced nudity and intimate exposure being part of that punishment at the hands of their parents. And historically my Catholic church has condoned it. I cling to what I can in my faith but I'm shaken to the core, since I've come to this realization after living with the effects of a damaged sexuality since parochial school 5th grade and while receiving professional therapy, having PTSD flashbacks for a period of three years! And by common cultural standards what I experience at the hands of my now deceased mother was common place in it's day for most children. The scientific evidence is compelling against child corporal punishment, but my own Catholic church remains in denial of it. I desperately "Stay" with my church, but I struggle with it's administering of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and my participation because of what's happened to me. Can I "continue", and just ignore this new revelation of my faith sanctioning violence because it believes it's user's, Catholic parents are doing now harm to their children, when the latest science and my experience are evidence otherwise? Should I continue?

Anonymous said...

@anonymous June 7, 2015 at 3:25 AM

I am very sorry for what you have been through and you will be in my prayers.

"Judge the Catholic Church not by those who barely live by its spirit, but by the example of those who live closest to it."

Fulton J. Sheen

TTC said...

So sorry for your suffering. You have asked for my opinion and I offer it in the hope it helps
Bring some healing.

I am not a fan of secular psychologists in spiritual matters. I think they can do terrible damage, especially of they have their own ax to grind against the Church. I would urge you to find a catholic psychologist and spend a few sessions talking it through. If you do to know one, email me and I will get you to the right referral.

There is no element of nudity whatsoever in the Chirch's teaching on corporal punishment. None, so you can scratch that right off your list. Like capital punishment, corporal punishment can be
grossly misunderstood and used in the wrong set of circumstances and in the wrong way. The intended purposes and use is always to effectuate something to help salvation or protect human life. Their use is supposed to be rare. They are unfortunately used inappropriately.

The people on the receiving end of a punishment are always going to be affected by it. For example Tzarnov was just given the death penalty. My here are a handful of cases over my lifetime that I have agreed with a criminal's execution. This is one of them. This kid doesn't want to die. His family doesn't want him to die and they will forever feel resentment and rage for carrying out that sentence. Just because they feel rage, doesn't mean Church teaching is wrong.

I believe telling you it is does you a terrible disservice.

I don't know what happened and the nudity is indefensible, but it sadly was all the rage any years ago and for the most part, the people who did it meant to humiliate, which is also wrong, but did not intend anything sexual. But the fact of the
Matter is, nude spamming is sexual. If it were not, 50 shades of gray would not be so popular. Consequently, even if the person didn't intend or experience anything sexual, the child can remember it that way.

Trying to remedy that without sanctifying Grace is an idea is the devil. Like every other struggle, it requires more not less. It requires heroic control over your thoughts and forgiveness. I can't imagine getting there when a shrink has his own repressed anger at the Church and doesn't have the temporal or spiritual insight to relieve and heal your intellect.

Good luck and God bless.

Thanks for sharing your story and struggle. Each of us has one.

TTC said...

Dear Anon, thank you for your response describing your battle with as sadomasicism and your analysis this came from spanking as a child. I can't post the content because the content is just a little too sexually explicit to post here. You did to write anything inappropriate but I go out of my way to avoid posts that may put others into the near occasion of sin. I hope you understand.

I do want to say I don't condone spanking and say a few things in response to your analysis that Church teaching lead to sadomasicism. I am a theologian, with some expertise in the mystical world. I am not qualified to help you out of the hole. You need a Cathokic psychologist, and not just any one but one who is an expert in his trade and you need sanctifying Grace, which requires frequent reception of Confession and the Eucharist. Both will help your obsessive thoughts. I urge you to pursue this course.

I also invite you to come to Jesus about what threw you into your predicament. You did not mention pornography but from your story and the level of energy in the storm, this is not of human nature. It was seeded in you by the demonic and my own analysis as a theologian is that it came from pornography. You have been blaming the Church and have yet to acknowledge your addiction to porn is the cause. Until you come to terms with your own culpability and accountability and admit you are blaming others and the Church when you have an addiction causing your own problems, you are not going to take the right steps to healing.

No way this came from Church teaching. The fruit of the tree it came from is poisonous and destructive which is a contrary nature of Church teaching.

There are many Catholic resources to help you with addictions to porn. You are in as deep as you can get. Coyed with the Sacraments, they can help you resolve and heal you. You have your sight set on the wrong enemy and you are wildly shooting away. The shrink is giving you the bullets.

This is the best I have to offer you and I pray you accept this counsel with the charity and love with which it is conveyed.

Anonymous said...

How swiftly you move from the sexual damage from spanking to a judicial moral accusation of a pornography addiction! From my reading, you quickly disavow your neutrality on child spanking found in response to a commenter on "Catholic Answers". I apologize for your strong defensive reaction. Brain damage can be of a human creation; it need not be inherited or demonized mistakenly in mysticism. The “storm” you euphemize as demonic addiction in what I wrote to you is I feel is in some way Holy Spirit driven. Your moral consternation is understandable based upon my own rather challenging words of blaming OUR Church, which I do apologize for. I misplace my anger wrongly for people and Our Church who hold such positive positions about child spanking done in simple ignorance! I will return when I have collected my other sources of evidence for my claims. I have spent fifteen years learning this issue. The Father of Lies would not degrade themselves with a self-admission of sexual damage from spanking. Why deprecate myself in such a public manner? I don’t believe Satan is willing to confess an unconscionable admission that parents can have sexual damage from spanking themselves and be motivated by the same addiction to spank their own children for an abominable form of incest sexual gratification beyond mere punishment! My previous written comments to you were written in a manner from memory that deliberately describes the sexual addiction sensation I was inflicted with, without choice, from a parent! To a theologian like yourself, admittedly untrained in psychology with a deep prejudice about it, my communications may seem spiritually bankrupt to your standards of faithful Catholic living. I only hope to continue this dialog so I can find peace with Christ knowing that I have discharged my duty to inform YOU, a Catholic lay leader, of a grave moral error found in our parenting culture and many religions that advocate child spanking. To do so grants my own suffering and addiction a purpose and reason, but even more importantly, starts a cultural and religious beginning where we divide simple ignorance from willful ignorance. I reply to your counsel done with charity and love with the same. The question is when I find the time for a further response will I be met with your acknowledgement or silence? The choice of the form of ignorance is yours, for I have chosen mine.

TTC said...

First and foremost, zoning in on the pornography that fueled the addiction isn't coming from 'moral consternation'. You sought my advice based upon the spirituality you found here and I offered it to you without any kind of negative judgment against you. You have me 2 pieces of a 15 piece puzzle and I filled in some pieces in the hope you would and could acknowledge the 15 year pursuit to blame something else is a fruitless exercise that is delaying stopping the activities that are feeding your addiction.

This problem is not the fruit of Church teaching. It is the fruit of an imagination that is being fed from sadomasochistic pornography. My purpose in telling you this is the hope that a light will turn on and you will get the right help to stop the behavior.

The worst thing you could do would be to delve into the 15 years of materials to attempt to convince me that your addiction to sadomasochism was the fruit of Church teaching. You keep jumping into a pool of acid to affirm the case you've built to inflict sexual violence upon yourself and your wife is valid.

I am not going to jump in that pool of acid with you or post it here for others to jump into. I want you to free yourself of it.

A mind is battleground between an intellect and the substance of in the soul. Thoughts have to be disciplined or they take control over you.

You want to stop it?

Stop the crusade. Take the 15 years of research--every book, every story, every video, every piece of paraphernalia - put it in the firepit and take a match to it. Make a pledge never to think about your story or anyone elses story ever again. You are not the right person for this crusade. You need to focus on fixing you. Buy some Holy images of saints, Mary and Christ and put them inside of your home. Look at them often and ask them to help you. Make sure they are blessed by a priest. Go to confession and immediately follow confession with the Eucharist. Purchase some Bishop Fulton Sheen's books and fill your mind with that substance. Take your Rosary beads and put them into your pocket. Each time you have an urge to think any thoughts at all about spanking, reach into your pocket and say a decade and ask Mary to crush the head of the demon. She is the Queen of the Angels and she will not fail you. The nanosecond a thought comes to your head about looking more stuff up on the internet, or talking about it, or trying to figure out why your mother did it, or a lustful thought presents itself, reach into that pocket and ask Mary to take her heel and crush the demons head. You have the ability to control your thoughts with Sanctifying Grace. Any time you fall to temptation go back to confession and immediately receive the Eucharist. Usually parishes have Confession right before Saturday evening Mass. Find a parish that does. Buy a plastic bottle and fill it with holy water. Bless yourself with it in the morning while asking God to help you fight off the demons on your back. Bless yourself with it at night thanking God for His Presence. Find an Adoration chapel and visit once a week.

There is your freedom.

The devil will work to convince you I'm telling you this because I'm angry you blame the Church. He will tell you I am making a moral condemnation. He will tell you I condone spanking children or the Church condones nudity and humiliation. He is a liar. A liar that you have been listening to for who knows how long. As soon as you hear his whisper, dismiss him.

There is your freedom.

TTC said...

One more thing--pick up a copy of Saint John Paul II theology on the Body and read the Church's teachings on human sexuality. Ask the Hoky Spirit to help you to see the magnificence of this gift and help you to feel its holy And powerful intimacy.

The Church has teachings on marriage which SSA people are twisting to affirm their own misuse of the gift of human sexuality. The Church"a teachings are not causing their pain. Their refusal to accept and apply them is causing their pain. The same applies to you. Nobody but you is responsible. Nobody but you can fix it.

I can't tell if you want to fix it. You seem like you do but then you keep telling me what you think everyone else did or does. If the day ever comes when you want to accept the fact that you are doing things to others and Christ and yourself and you want to stop it, that is the day your freedom from the demons you keep feeding will be in reach.