Daily Archives: November 1, 2012
And so your truly was at Mass in a London “NuChurch”-church (pure logistics) which shall remain unnamed.
The homily was, surprisingly, not bad at all in principle, and all centred on our hope to be, one day, in the presence of God.
All fine then, you will Say?
There was an elephant in the church, most notable for his absence: hell.
Hell was not mentioned once; not directly, not indirectly, not as a rather remote possibility; not even, in fact, as something we are – in NuChurch parlance – pretty sure to avoid unless we are Pol Pot’s evil twin.
Hell was, simply, nowhere.
This made, after a while, the entire exercise rather strange, as it was not explained what happens if one’s hopes do not become reality. Leaving for a moment the elephant metaphor aside, I had in front of my eyes the image of a huge and exquisite buffet to which I am invited, without anyone telling me what happens if I do not want to get to the place, refuse the invitation, or get kicked out because of my obnoxious behaviour; and without anyone telling me that all three are, in fact, very realistic possibilities.
I am afraid this is a perhaps succulent, but not really realistic description of the buffet the celebrant had in mind; a buffet, by the way, whose invitation is in actual reality the result of constant application – or at least ardent desire in extremis to be invited – instead of something falling on us because we are always the soul of the party and pride ourselves of our “tolerance”, and everyone thinks we are so swell…
I waited and waited for the elephant to make his voluminous, embarrassing, but memorable appearance, giving sense to the entire exercise; but the church remained conveniently elephant-free.
We were, therefore, left with something similar to an unresolved equation, with a vital element of the entire proposition simply unexplained; nay, actually not even mentioned.
I do not know how you would have reacted, but I felt as if the homily had not given me or others any great help at all: if I will be invited – as it is clearly implied – to the buffet with a probability approaching certainty, where is my incentive to actually merit the invitation? If I am not told that instead of salmon and caviar the buffet might give me the choice between several types of human and animal excrements for all eternity, has the buffet thing been described to me with a sufficient degree of honesty?
A pity, because the salmon & caviar part was actually rather well made; but without the elephant, I don’t think it was worth much in the end.
In the simple world in which I live, a person is only worthy of respect if he can walk the walk besides talking the talk.
Talking is fairly easy and -unless one is a pathologic eunuch like too many English bishops – the one or other word will certainly find its way to the press – or to the pulpit – without causing too many danger for the peaceful life of its author.
But what happens when a bishop discovers that one pf his own priests openly and publicly sabotages the Christian message he wants to send to his sheep? Will this bishop be brave enough to walk the walk, after he was able to talk the talk?
In Baltimore, a priest had the insolence to read at Mass his bishop’s letter concerning so- called “gay marriages” (which aren’t “gay”, let alone “marriages”), and immediately afterwards vocally oppose the very Christian message he had just read.
Now, this is where the men are separated from the boys: if Bishop Lori tolerates such a scandal is his own diocese without severely punishing – best of all, defrocking – Fr Lawrence, the pro-homo priest, he will show he is just another boy unable to let the facta follow the verba .
It cannot be, it seriously cannot be that a bishop allows one of his own homo-priests to make a mockery of Catholicism without consequences. Who does Fr Lawrence think he is, a Presbyterian?
And as we are by the matter, is this Fr Lawrence straight in the first place? Does he have a mistress by any chance? You know, when priests become so “alternative” it is often because they have some strange personal reason of their own…
Man or boy? The next weeks will tell what kind of prelate Bishop Lori is. Certainly, not only his own personal reputation, but the prestige and public perception of the priesthood will be damaged if such things are allowed to happen without exemplary consequences.
Omnípotens sempitérne Deus, qui nos ómnium Sanctórum tuórum mérita sub una tribuísti celebritáte venerári: quæsumus; ut desiderátam nobis tuæ propitiatiónis abundántiam, multiplicátis intercessóribus, largiáris.
Almighty and everlasting God, who has enabled us to honour in one solemn Feast the merits of all Thy Saints: we beseech Thee, that, with so many praying for us, Thou wouldst pour forth on us the abundance of Thy mercy for which we long.
Read the rest here on the always beautiful Ars Orandi blog.
Please remember this is a Holy Day of Obligation.