Saturday, May 24, 2014

A Rant After a Few Months of Frustration.

I was asked to join my Parish Council by my Pastor last fall.  This required that I read and then study over the past  7 months a book titled Forming Intentional Disciples by Sherry A. Weddell.  At first I found the book enlightening.  I liked the sections on "It is normal for Catholics to..."  But the longer I read, the more I felt we were indulging in the Protestant-ization of the church that I see everywhere.

So who are today's protestants?  The Leadership Council of Women Religious comes to mind.  Conscious Evolution and Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs are really counter to the Catholic tradition of finding meaning in sacrifice and suffering.  Fasting, prayer, and abstinence are the hallmarks of forming faith. 

When a Catholic news service suggests that recycling would be a good lenten sacrifice, I question the writer's understanding of sacrifice. So while Ms. Weddell didn't advocate for parishes to recycle as a way to sacrifice, she does talk a great deal about accepting people where they are.  We are Catholics.  Joining our church requires study and commitment.  We don't take people who say they have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, and then let them go about their merry way.  We say, "Prove it!"  And there are good reasons.

The desecration of the Eucharist is a hallmark of Black Masses.  The one that was held just off of the Harvard Campus is a case in point for why study and commitment need to be restored.  Could a Satanist obtain a Host easily if everyone received on the tongue?  Could a Catholic school student receive the sacraments but never attend Mass if we were more concerned and forceful about the expectations of parents?

Sherry's desire for everyone to have a personal relationship with Jesus is right on, but I think she neglects the importance of being One Holy CATHOLIC and Apostolic.  We are in a third, or maybe fourth generation of Catholics who think they can pay the money, use the schools, show up to the galas, and still not miss a soccer match or football game.  She noted in a recent comment at Mark Shea's blog that European Catholics don't struggle with the Traditionalist versus Novus Ordo people like we do.  That may be true, but is that because one side simply disappeared?  Do we really want to emulate Europe?

Catholics are different.  In  an age where every group from homosexuals to Satanists demands fair treatment in the eyes of the law, the people who silently accept sacrificing and dying for the faith are
Catholics and Christians around the globe.  In America, we can lose our jobs, and be scorned and belittled.  How long until we take sacrifice seriously?
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