Thursday, 22 May 2014

Dear St Rita

Dear St Rita,

You are a marvel!  The White Queen in Alice Through the Looking Glass talked about believing six impossible  things before breakfast.  With the aid of your intercession we can achieve six impossile things before breakfast. AMDG

Thank you, thank you, thank you...

Alice and the White Queen

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Grumpy Cat-holic

Hi Gang,

I thought my last post would be my last post for a very long while, but I'm back.  I'd become really fed up with the Catholic blog world and in particular I'd found myself increasingly frustrated by the whole Protect the Pope saga; I disliked that blog almost as much as I dislike Catholic Church Conservation and  Rorate Caeli.  I struggled to see any merits in it whatsoever.  But I seemed to be in a very small minority and then all the carping about +Campbell just about finished me off.  We don't treat our Bishops like that and call ourselves Catholics.

The phrase I like is "critical solidarity" when it comes to the hierarchy of the Church and permit me to indulge in a bit of that right now, it is the reason for this post.

Joseph Shaw has a good piece on Cardinal Kaspar and the giving of Communion to those in "irregular" relationships. http://www.lmschairman.org/2014/05/cardinal-kaspar-replies-to-his-critics.html

What I found worrying about the Cardinal's words is what he says about those who live heroically as "brother and sister" as a consequence of a previously failed relationship:

To live together as brother and sister? Of course I have high respect for those who are doing this. But it’s a heroic act, and heroism is not for the average Christian.

 I'm afraid I find the phrase "average Christian" deeply offensive.  We have all been called to be saints, we have all been called to a life of heroic virtue.  I'm left wondering if he really loves us, because he doesn't sound very ambitious for us.  We're just Joe and Joanna Average and heroic virtue is beyond us.  Has he forgotten the Holy Spirit?

Then I mooch over to Fr Ray Blake's blog and find out there are moves to have Paul VI beatified later this year. http://marymagdalen.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/blessed-paul-vi.html I'm increasingly of the opinion that NO POPES should be beatified or canonised PERIOD.  So a Pope does what he's supposed to do and defends Church teaching at a time when it was seriously under threat. Yes, that takes great heroic virtue granted, but he is only doing what was asked of him by Christ. Are we to canonise every Pope who does not errr, who does not flinch from duty, who states Church teaching as it is, was and ever shall be? Find me a Pope who has not done this?  There may even be a cause for Alexander VI, I'm being serious. Surely the Church in Her modesty should never canonise Her Chief Steward (Martyrdom notwithstanding) it nearly sounds like nepotism.

And then I start to like the two posts together, Joseph Shaw's and Fr Ray Blake's and I start to get grumpy.  It is almost as if we the flock, are not considered capable of holiness or considered capable of being shepherded towards holiness.  Yet Popes somehow exude holiness and somehow we should build up cults around them as if they existed as some unobtainable odour of sanctity, not for imitation but for admiration.

Bleurgh, this sounds horribly like CLERICALISM at its worst.

Monday, 5 May 2014

oculos habent et non videbunt

It is so easy to see the faults in others, especially when they err in matters of orthodoxy.  It is so easy to get annoyed when such souls seem to have the official backing of the Church. Perhaps they are writing in Catholic newspapers, perhaps they are not receiving censure for things that sound like heresy, perhaps they are living openly scandalous lives, perhaps they have made very public statements or contributed towards policies that contravene Church teaching.... and yet the Church does nothing.  We get frustrated, we want the Church to change, we want the Church to be like our vision of the Church that we had and fleetingly enjoyed with other like-minded souls.  We had seen how the Church should be, we are the keepers of what is right, our little vision is the correct one.

And so we build ourselves a little self-help community of online criticism and even vitriol against people who can't defend themselves.  We analyse the writings of others to death showing how wrong they are and how clever we are.  We get all nostalgic over our little vision.  We feed each other with horror stories about how terrible others are who don't share our vision: how they dishonour God, how they hurt the Church. We then start thinking perhaps the nutters may be onto something and the end-times are just around the corner.

We should be VERY uncomfortable about all of this.  It is we who have forgotten God.  Like the polyester clad, Kung-loving visionary from the 1970s the Old Rite loving visionary of a few years back has made a god out of their version of the Church.  The former has made a god out of "a changing Church", the latter has made a god out of "orthodoxy". 

Idols need feeding to exist.
Idols demand allegiance.
Idols are jealous of rivals.
Idolatry dries up the heart.
Idolatry drives out charity.
Idolatry makes you as blind as the idol you worship.

Orthodoxy isn't the end of everything, Christ IS. God doesn't need us to be little warriors of orthodoxy.  He wants us to be soldiers for Christ.  We skimp not on matters on doctrine and dogma.  We remain 100% loyal to Church teaching, the orthodoxy ought to be tattooed onto our hearts.  It is our weapon.

But if your orthodoxy comes from and through Christ, be prepared to suffer. Be prepared to be ridiculed.  Be prepared to lose your friends.  Be prepared to be alone (in Christ).  Be prepared to be vulnerable.  Be gentle. Be patient. Love the idolaters. Weep and mourn.  And if your orthodoxy does come from God and is not an idol of your own making, you will be able to do all of this with joy, and what that is no man can tell.

Toodle pip......