It is Holy Thursday out East and we descend into the Day of Darkness. I for one am somewhat overwhelmed by the whole experience of following the Eastern Rite. The scripture is fresh to me and each psalm and reading leaps off the page at me and speaks to my heart in joy. There is no way the East could bury the Alleluia over Lent! Lent and Holy week are lived in the Resurrection, not waiting for it. There is such metaphysical satisfaction in all times being one time, it is a real taste of heaven. And the wilderness becomes more real, not less because of the Resurrection. Everything is more intense because of the Resurrection. Joy, love, trust, emptiness, fullness, weariness, longing, hoping, despair, anger, sadness, patience and frustration are simply more colourful, more real and more surprising. There is a certain type of despair that can't be a sin because you can praise God for it. I found that out this Lent! I have also found the fasting tremendously enriching because of its severity. It is a discipline and you "just get on with it". I don't feel better for it, I don't feel worse for it, it has not been a battle but nor has it been pleasant. I just know that in doing it, I have become indifferent to it and this is what is so enriching. It doesn't matter! Only the praise of God matters.
Holy Week is the journey from slavery to freedom. Our message as Christians is a message of freedom. Freedom has a supernatural quality. A prisoner in his cell can be completely free without ever being released from the cell. The freedom we have (if we only trusted enough to actually live it) is the freedom from sin and the temptation to sin. It is freedom from the influence of the Devil. This doesn't mean being free from the domain of the Prince of this World, it means living within his world, but having Christ as your King and your strength.
Kings make Law. One is obedient to one's King. The Law of the King is our freedom. and the King is the Law. Anything else is slavery to the Devil. We must love His Law, because we see Him through His Law. In the East, we will soon be saying the whole of the Psalm 118: the great acrostic hymn of love of the Law of God. It seems so appropriate to have this in the midst of the great darkness. I have said before on this blog how I often feel like I am trapped inside psalm 118. I now understand this reality and am somewhat overwhelmed by it. The East and its treasures have "completed" me.
So, my dear Romans, I am a Catholic. You are Catholics. You are living the Easter Octave. I am deep in Holy Week. We are the Body of Christ. We should be preaching freedom, we should be living like we are free, because we are free. We are free because we obey the Law. God gave us the Law in its fullness to show us the way to freedom. Why do we have so little faith? Love the Law, fight for the Law and allow yourselves to be consumed by the Law: only then will you truly live!
The title to my post is unashamed "clickbait" for all you Trads. But there is a point to it. If we live our Faith, the Church is strong and this strength will include the strength of the Pope, the Church cannot exist without him. I simply can't understand a word he writes and I find his papal court a scandal of ineptitude and cowardice. But we must trust in God, we must give thanks, we must BELIEVE!
Wake up, my Trad friends and smell the incense. You have been set free. Cease living in the prison of dissecting and criticising everything the Pope says and does and reading those wretched Trad blogs that are far from being models of Christian charity towards the Pope. LIVE!!!! What you are doing is death, there maybe some truth in what you are saying, but there is always some truth in what the devil says otherwise he wouldn't be such a convincing liar. Chastity, longnanimity, love of neighbour, fortitude, mortification of reason, love of Our Holy Mother, modesty, kindness, generosity... they are all gifts, they are all manifestations of our freedom: the freedom we have because we love God. Are you in this reality or is your world a grey, prophecy laden, doom-filled cafeteria of tattle and fault finding?