Daily Archives: February 13, 2014
“If you do not feel in need of God’s mercy, if you do not feel you are a sinner, then it’s better not go to Mass, because we go to Mass because we are sinners and we want to receive the forgiveness of Jesus, to participate in His redemption, His forgiveness.”
It’s so important to go to Mass every Sunday because that’s where people receive Christ who saves, forgives and unites everyone to his father, church and each other, Pope Francis said.
This man is bewildering, disconcerting, positively disquieting.
The first statement is from yesterday. I have initially read it as a rhetorical matter: “if you weren’t in need of mercy you would not need to go to Mass”; a bit like saying “if you were an angel you would not need to go to confession” – but you are a human, so you do. I have now serious doubts this is how it was meant.
A correction from the usual Lombardi will probably come post-haste. Still, the man has managed to confuse the faithful and send the “right message” to the “wrong people” once again.
Oh well. We have probably all misunderstood him, then; for the 1234th time in this pontificate.
The second statement is saltless in that he does not say that there is something as Mass obligation (in the favela there seems to be no obligations apart from the ones of smelling like the sheep and following one’s conscience), but at least it stresses the importance of mass attendance, and does not invite – or seems to invite; or can easily be read as to invite – to skip mass because one is so good he has no need for it.
I never knew we go to Mass to be “united to each other”, too, as this sounds a bit too “Woodstock” to my ears. The SSPX says it this way:
- the Mass is a true sacrifice, that is offered to God alone;
- this sacrifice is offered for the praise and adoration of God in three Persons as thanksgiving, impetration, and above all as propitiation for our daily sins;
- Christ offers Himself to His heavenly Father under the appearances of bread and wine;
- He, as High Priest of the New Covenant, accomplishes this Sacrifice through human priests and by means of the services of the Church.
I’d say the SSPX hits the bull’s eye, Francis seems to think more in terms of some strange emotional love-in of the community of “each other”. One understands whence the Pinocchio Mass and the Tango Mass come.
Again, at least he stressed the importance of Mass attendance and managed to say the right thing, albeit in the usual V II way .
But that was last week, and this is this week. New week, new world. Pick your flavour.
At times, when I read what this man says, I have the distinct impression that Satan is laughing.
With ugly regularity one reads of pious Catholics all too ready to give to simple facts a meaning that goes beyond the event, and that they take as unmistakable “God's special sign”; generally, these people do not resist the temptation to give voice to their own superstition, as if their strange theories were obvious for the world to see.
Let us take a couple of examples.
The day Pope Benedict resigned, a blizzard fell on St. Peter's dome. Countless Catholics were ready to read in it a sign of the wrath of heaven. They were ready to do it, of course, because they didn't agree with Pope Benedict's decision in the first place. If I don't like the decision, the reasoning goes, it follows that God must be displeased with it. If God is displeased with it, then let us look at something that corroborates my conviction.
If Pope Benedict had excommunicated Hans Kueng on the same day instead of resigning, I wonder whether the very same lightning would have been interpreted as a sign of God's wrath for the decision.
In those days, some went to even worse extremes: every natural phenomenon of some kind – there is always a storm somewhere, and the next earthquake can't be far away, either – was taken as a witness of what they were already persuaded of. It reminded me of Redskin shamans explaining to the uninitiated the wrath of Manitu.
I even read of someone having bad dreams, which left no doubt in her mind something very wrong had just happened. Hey, she had bad dreams. What else do you need to be persuaded.
But then during the 2013 conclave some bird took place on the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, and the shamans were all in a flutter for the contrary reason adduced for the lightning. Ah, a bird stopped to rest over a chimney. What a miracle.
Or think of this: when an extremely strong earthquake and sea quake took the extremely Catholic Messina in, I think, 1908 and killed around 100,000 people, no one deduced from an earthquake and sea quake in a most Catholic city of a most Catholic Country with a most Catholic pope (St. Pius X, no less) that God must be angry at that particular papacy…
This “shaman” mentality extends to very trivial events; like predatory birds attacking the doves just freed by Bishop Francis The Peaceful Killer Of Clueless Birds. Ominous, they said. A sign of the times. Strangely, they never saw a sign of the times on the many occasions in which the doves went away peacefully (to be killed by some other bird shortly thereafter, surely…). Still, if one is prone to such coffee reading he is perfectly free to conclude that God protects the peaceful dove as it flies peacefully away from St. Peter's squares, showing God's support for the humble Pope Of Peace, Francis The Peaceful Protector Of Doves.
Look: birds attack birds. It happens all the time. It's part of the rich fabric of Creation.
The mentality that this implies is a very strange one indeed: God talks to us through events that can be deciphered only by those who already know what God wants to say. Funny world.
The simple truth of the matter is that natural disasters, diseases, and the like all happen because the Garden of Even is no more, and we must live in a world full of imperfections and troubles, and in which the disgraces and diseases are, as a whole, the fruit of our disobedience. Still, cancer will strike the good as well as the bad, earthquakes will destroy the most heathen or the most Catholic of cities, doves will be attacked or not attacked by predatory birds, and the lightning rods of the highest buildings of the surroundings will continue to attract lightnings more than the lightning rods of the surrounding buildings until the end of time.
I invite my readers to have a more reasonable approach to natural events; not only because it is the reasonable thing to do, but equally importantly because if one starts to take random facts as evidence that God is on his side he will rapidly blind itself to the falseness of the most outlandish theories, and will start to believe in whatever he pleases, certain of the reassurance of the next lightning, or earthquake, or comet, or storm, or anything else that may serve the purpose, anywhere on the entire planet.
If my Internet connection is not working, is God telling me I must stop blogging? If I opened my blog and the statistics reader says “666”, am I in the thrall of Satan? Pope Francis has a cold: surely, God is warning him! I got a cold: surely, God wants me to stay home today and blog like there's no tomorrow!
Do not give any heed to Catholic shamans. If you do, belief in daily apparitions of the Blessed Virgin, followed by a fax to the adoring crowds, cannot be far away.
There appear to be a number of bloggers and commenters around wondering “what’s going on” as a prestigious blogger stops blogging with rather difficult to understand arguments, and apparently another one – I will not link to it – has now started to insult the entire Trad culture of Internet blogdom.
Some say it’s blogger fatigue, but I am not persuaded this arguments works.
It is true that Catholic blogging – if properly made – exposes the blog author to both a mountain of daily bad news and the criticism of the V II – or worse – crowd accusing him of being oh so uncharitable. It is true that not every blogger will find in him the energy or, if you allow me the expression, the grit to go on undeterred. Unavoidably, the one or other will simply stop blogging, or blog much less, and recover that serenity that was probably going away. What he will not do, is to suddenly start attacking those values he defended, and those people who still defend them. When this happens, it cannot be fatigue; it will, I think, only be one of three:
1. The blogger in question has discovered he lives in a state of continuous conflictuality, and sees himself becoming bitter in the process. Of course, to stop blogging is at this point clearly an option.
2. The blogger in question was never sincere, and blogged with a desire – more or less admitted – of self-recognition as his first motive. Slowly, he will get to hate those ideas garnering him exactly the contrary of what he wanted, and will start thinking about taking a much softer and “inclusive” stance, imagining this is where applause and blogging glory await. He is probably not evil, rather stupid. He will be disappointed, as criticism in blogdom is only avoidable if no one notices your blog, or your blog avoids taking a clear position, ever.
3. He has simply been wounded by Satan, and starts to think like the enemy. When the implosion comes, it will be spectacular. I think of the “black sheep dog”, and still shudder. Whilst I think Father Corapi has laudably recovered from Satan’s wound, this must not necessarily be the case for everyone else. When a blogger start to write about Catholics being “homophobic”, I start questioning the opportunity of wasting my time reading the devil’s propaganda.
In the end, I would say that whilst Catholic blogging, properly made, is a taxing and stressful activity – mainly because you see amounts of rubbish going on the average joe reader does not even imagine; and for the more sensitive among us, because they are told they are “uncharitable” and “hurtful” – it does not follow this unavoidable stress must lead one to attack the very values in order to defend which he started to blog in the first place.
Blogging is for people who know what they are writing about, and know why they write it; who are under no illusion as to the criticism, insult or mockery this will attract; who are willing to have their day sullied by the squalid miseries of the worst of the world, from sodomy to euthanasia; and who are willing to soldier on nevertheless, knowing that if they are not criticised they are either still at the insignificance stage, or else poor Catholic bloggers.
Before starting to blog, ask yourself why you are doing it, and ask Mary to give you a very robust shield against the miseries of the world, and the attacks of base men.
You will have need for it.
The “never forget” reblog.
As the Year of Our Lord 2013 is slowly leaving us it might be good to revisit, as a perennial warning, one of the most ominous loads of bovine excrement served to the faithful by the joyful nuChurch of Francis, The Humble Guy.
This video is an eloquent testimony of the state in which our stupid prelates have reduced the One True Church.
Faithful to the motto oportet ut scandala eveniant, I invite you to post this madness on your blog, or on your facebook page, or to send it to your friends so that they know what they must think the next time one of these nincompoops wants to teach us some strange novelty.
You might also want to pick your own very special prelate for individual shaming, and warning to the other faithful.
After two runs (which were difficult enough to stomach), in my view the clear winner…
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