Daily Archives: June 18, 2013
The “look what he promised” reblog.
Beautiful homily yesterday at the daily mass of the Pope at the Casa S. Marta (sigh). News and translation in English of the most relevant part courtesy of Father Z. Emphases from the translation.
“How’s our faith? Is it strong? Or is it sometimes a bit superficial? (all’acqua di rose – “like rose water”, meaning banal, an insufficient substitute, shallow, inadequate)” When difficulties come, “are we courageous like Peter or a little lukewarm?” Peter – he pointed out– didn’t stay silent about the Faith, he din’t descend to compromises, because “the Faith isn’t negotiable.” “There has been, throughout history of the people, this temptation: to chop a piece off the Faith”, the temptation to be a bit “like everyone else does”, the temptation “not to be so very rigid”. “But when we start to cut down the Faith, to negotiate Faith, a little like selling…
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Stellar blog post from David Werling on Ars Orandi about Pretty Pictures and Pious Pelagians.
Besides examining the attitude of the last two Popes concerning the new trendy word, Pelagian – a word used very appropriately by Pope Benedict, whilst Pope Francis gives the idea of simply repeating words he has heard or read somewhere -, this excellent article touches an extremely valid point: the V II “spontaneous”, vague, fluffy, tofu spirituality (yes, the one lived and promoted by Pope Francis) puts upside down the very concept of living and practicing the Catholic Faith.
There are other themes that lead one to a rather worrying reflection (like the separation between the love for the “pretty pictures” from the love from the Truth they represent and should inflame one for; or the brutal, but so true statement of the one who would never allow the Pontiff to teach religion to his children; a very sad fact whose reality is in front of our eyes every day).
Still, what impressed me most is this convincing portrayal of modern Catholicism, in which devout Catholics are considered wrong for being thorough, for taking Catholicism seriously, and for counting their rosaries.
I will not say more, because I could not make justice to the author. You can do much worse than invest the time to follow the link.
I do not know whether this is an American thing, but I read around here and there, particularly in those that I would call the “sensitive” Catholic blogs, commenters complaining that they are insulted on Facebook or Twitter for upholding Christian values.
It is, I think, as if they would seek some sort of validation. “Sniff, sob, someone called me a bigot, and someone else even a … hater! Please, please Mr Blogger and dear commenters, tell me again this is not the case!”
Now, as Catholic I understand there are two sexes, and they are wired in a very different way. The more sensitive, more delicate and more emotional feminine mind may well be more easily upset from derogatory or outright insulting remarks; but when I read that grown men have the same reaction and seek the same emotional reassurance from the “sensitive support troops” I begin to be seriously alarmed at the damages the omnipresent culture of sensitivity and permanent emotional reinforcement has done to us.
It seems to me that some men all too often forget that God made them able to fight wars, to kill and be killed. I wonder how a man whose emotional stability is compromised, and perhaps the entire day ruined, by insults from people he doesn't even know would perform under enemy fire. What I can tell you for certain is that in my culture and generation merely to whine with third parties about what someone else has said about one's moral qualities would have attracted some not entirely unjustified remarks about one's manliness. Speaking of my blogging experience, I find my load of rubbish in the comment bin, and when it passes my spam wall I simply take care in future it doesn't; and the situation is still far more peaceful than at “Homo Smoke”, where the offences and insults were a daily occurrence (don't worry, I wasn't a pansy either). In the present day, Catholic men should, if you ask me, invite controversy, because in this day and age Christianity itself is controversial; far more so than it was the case in the West even during the Cold War, or the flippin' Seventies. Yes, it will cost some friendships; yes, it will cost confrontation, even with people we love, even within our own family. So be it, more deposits on our heavenly savings account; one day, that account will be cashed in.
When I was in elementary school, my teacher used to scold whining boys telling them to stop, because one day they must be fit to go to war. The same I heard from my father several times, so it must have been a staple of conservative boys education; and a wise way of educating a young man it was.
Our generation was fortunate enough not to have to go to war, but this does not mean that it was and is not confronted with serious conflicts, be it communism or secularism.
Christian men are born for combat, and Catholic ones must be twice ready for it. As a Christian, we will be insulted, belittled and mocked rather often. Good! It means we are doing it right. We are supposed to fight the good fight and shrug away insults and mockery; and let us call ourselves lucky enough we are not tested beyond that.
Our generation was not probed in battle. For Heaven's sake, let us not be said that Facebook, Twitter or a discussion forum are a hard probe.
The Eponymous Flower has an interesting post about the “Star Wars Mass”, another pathetic attempt to interest children in the Truth by confusing them, and making it more probable they won't take the Church seriously when they grow up.
Already the use of comparisons that goes beyond, perhaps, a passing reference used to explain the difference (so that the young boys and girls do not end up believing the “Force” is the Holy Ghost) would be too much; but the use of a toy light sabre at Mass isn't funny anymore.
Children need to be told from the start that what is taught to them is by far the most important thing in their lives, and the way they learn and apply what they are taught will decide of their eternal happiness or damnation. This is no matter for jokes, or toys; not at Catechism, much less at Mass.
Dumbing down the Truth for children will cause many of these children to see Catholicism as a dumb child's play when they grow up, and already the turmoil of adolescence will take care for the light sabre & Co. to be dismissed as child's fable. How great the risk is that the child of Truth is thrown away with the dirty water of such stupid exercises, everyone can see.
I was perhaps five years old (perhaps four) when my grandmother (I had two grandmothers: the military Fascist and the soft Fascist; this was the military one) brought me in front of a crucifix, made me kneel, and told me in the sweetest voice she could muster words to the effect that I must pray Jesus to forgive me for my sins, or I will go to hell forever.
I was very, very young, and was rather terrified at the news. I started to cry, which attracted the attention of my mother, and some words ensued. I now realise my grandmother's initiative was due to her fear I would not receive sufficient instruction in the years to come; a fear which was in part unfounded but with some truth in it. She therefore probably thought she must do what she can, when she can.
I heartily agree with you it was probably too much, too abrupt, and too soon. But I would lie to you if I told you the experience was, in the balance of things, a negative one, though it certainly felt rather bad on the day. It certainly instilled in me proper, and I mean proper fear of The Lord.
Beats the light sabre every day.
“Memorare, o piissima Virgo Maria….”
It is sad to think that these words, once devotedly pronounced by countless faithful every day, nowadays rarely adorn Catholic lips. One cannot avoid noticing that when prayers where recited in the allegedly so tough Latin the faithful actually prayed a lot more than today that everything has been made easy for them. There is a lesson to be learned here, I think: you don’t do any favour to the faithful by making things shallow; you merely encourage them to become shallow themselves.
The neglect of the Memorare is particularly unfortunate, because this is a powerful prayer. I see in it the fundamental optimism and the simple but solid faith of the Catholic knowing that the Blessed Virgin will intercede for him without fail and just for the asking. This is not the prayer of one who hopes, but of one who knows
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