Keeping focus on the crisis in the Faith is critical and charity for souls demands it November 16, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Admin, Basics, catachesis, Dallas Diocese, different religion, episcopate, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Papa, persecution, sanctity, scandals, secularism, sexual depravity, Society, SOD, the struggle for the Church.
I’ve had some discussions with several traditional/”orthodox” Catholics, maybe even including some priests, of late who have remarked to me that there is little point in constantly “carping” on or “whining” about the crisis in the Church. With regard to my blog, that would include posts examining the history of the crisis, or specific manifestations of it today, or reviewing/excerpting books that discuss it in earnest, etc. I have to say, I very, very much disagree with this viewpoint. I understand it, on a couple of levels, but I think it really misguided.
I would say to priests and others who have some reluctance to “dwell” on the crisis in the Church, yes, you may have been raised in a traddie home, read all the books, and maybe even gone on to become a traditional priest. All this may be very old hat to you. You may be sick of talking about it, or, more likely, having to fend off very uncomfortable questions that arise surrounding the crisis, and its particular apotheosis under the pontificate of Pope Francis. And, yes, sometimes (very rarely in my experience) some folks get so twisted off regarding the crisis in the Church that they wind up falling away entirely. While the latter is something to keep in mind, it should not be so omnipresent as to make discussing the crisis either a chore, or something one refuses (or are extremely reluctant) to do.
Why? Because while someone who has been blessed to be in traditional communities for decades may be dreadfully familiar with the crisis and all its particulars, millions of others are not. Every year, every week, hundreds if not thousands of Catholics in this country alone, many of them converts, wake up to the reality that the Church as they experience it every week in your typical Novus Ordo parish is not at all what the Church is supposed to be. These people don’t know the SSPX, Michael Davies, Romano Amerio, Dr. Roberto de Mattei, or the FSSP. If they’re anything like I was ~8 years ago, they’ve never even heard of any of them. They don’t know if the TLM is valid or not, and have no idea what is meant by “traditional practice of the Faith”. They see the Pope and many others saying and doing incredible things, destructive things, and they aren’t sure if its right or not. Even more, they are extremely uncertain if it is possible to be a faithful Catholic and to examine the Church of today critically in the light of Tradition. Many have been told that to do so is to make oneself a possible heretic or schismatic, or at least a “bad Catholic”.
In a very real sense, those souls are abandoned in the Church today. It is a matter of either blind luck or special divine intervention if they don’t fall away before finding a traditional/orthodox parish that provides the answers – and far more importantly, the spiritual food – they so desperately crave. In fact, in my mind, there is a far, far greater likelihood of those kinds of souls falling away entirely, into sects that seem to make more sense and offer far greater spiritual sustenance than the pablum fed souls in most parishes today, than there is of souls scandalizing themselves out of the Church by getting overwrought in their too-great knowledge of the crisis.
When I say that, I am thinking much of my own experience, and that of other souls who have been blessed to follow a certain path. We managed to stumble into a TLM parish, almost entirely by word of mouth (because almost all dioceses that have TLMs try very hard to pretend they don’t), and through Grace and the presence of good priests and other good orthodox souls managed to start to learn about the Church prior to the Council. But we are a tiny minority. The vast majority of souls in the Church who feel spiritually starved or distraught over the abuses and heresy they face on a constant basis never make that connection. Instead, they leave. I can name dozens off the top of my head who have followed that route. They outnumber those who found a good home (almost always traditional, but sometimes not) probably 5:1 or more. More distressingly, they outnumber those trads who “scandalize themselves out of the Faith 20:1 or more.
I pray I never forget where I was several years ago, when I was starting to learn about the Faith in earnest and gaining the rapidly dawning realization that what I found in your typical suburban parish in Plano or Richardson was a very far cry from the Faith as it has existed throughout almost her entire history, until recently. And that’s why I won’t stop talking about the crisis, I won’t stop pointing up particular examples of it, and I won’t stop repeating the responses from the Church’s bi-millenial Tradition that effectively answer the claims of modernists and provide guidance to souls who are desperately craving such. I will continue to do so even if it means this blog’s readership falls off, as some get tired of reading the same old thing over and over again.
On that note, I’ve always maintained that this blog is meant to confirm the faithful, less than convert those outside the Church, and it is, but it is especially meant to help those who have been in the Novus Ordo, post-conciliar wilderness their entire lives find the path to traditional sanity and, I pray, sanctity. My most cherished “achievements” as a blogger will always be the handful who have told me they converted to the Church through my writings. I have no idea to what degree that is true, but I am profoundly thankful and humbled to have played what I’m sure was a small role in that process. More to the point, however, while always striving to be aware of the poorness of my efforts, I am almost as proud to have been inspiration for the few dozen souls who have told me they started assisting at the TLM and adopting a much more traditional practice of the Faith after reading my blog.
Please forgive my braggadocio. I highlighted these “achievements” (which were absolutely God’s, not mine), not to toot my own horn but to stress the very practical reasons for this blog’s focus. The crisis in the Church is THE topic that dominates all others, aside from the always paramount necessity to practice virtue, receive the Sacraments, and correspond to the best of our ability with God’s Grace. I try to post about daily some material that is uplifting and hopefully helpful to souls in that correspondence with Grace, but on a practical level the crisis is the unavoidable topic, it looms over everything like a deadly shadow. To ignore it, to pretend it doesn’t exist, to try to wish it away, would be to me to be irrelevant. Even more, it would mean to me to fail in my duty of charity to souls, to not give them the fullest picture of the Church in these days as I understand it, the unbelievable crisis afflicting the Church, and the only possible response: return to Tradition, centered, wherever possible, on grounding one’s life in the Traditional Mass and all the Sacraments.
I am saddened that in this time, when the crisis has grown particularly acute and may even exceed the dread days of the late 60s/early 70s in terms of destructiveness, it seems not everyone is willing to forthrightly answer the errors emanating from the highest levels of the Church and to elucidate souls in a proper response to them (that is to say, to tell souls that rejecting these errors is not merely permissible, it is a moral imperative). I pray all our good leaders may realize it is not whining or complaining to point out, even with grave frequency, the elephant in the Catholic living room, the revolution against the Church from within. To me, it is the paramount duty to charity and truth to address this unprecedented crisis. Pray forgive me if my doing so becomes tiresome, but whether it is or not, I feel a definite compulsion to continue. I firmly believe at this time Our Blessed Lord absolutely desires His Church, His Body on earth, to be purified and restored to her former glory.
May we be blessed with far more leaders who feel quite similarly called.