Gueranger: beware becoming a false Catholic May 20, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, different religion, error, General Catholic, Interior Life, Liturgical Year, mortification, secularism, Spiritual Warfare, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, Virtue.
From Dom Prosper Gueranger The Liturgical Year* vol. 9, an insightful description of the decay of Catholicism in the lives of millions. The trends visible in nascent form them have become omnipresent in our own day, forming a huge portion of that phenomenon many call the crisis in the Church. Gueranger notes the source of this mass apostasy: an immense intellectual pride stemming from what Ann Barnhardt aptly terms diabolical narcissism. If the dangers confronting souls were great in Gueranger’s day, they are orders of magnitude worse today. Not only does the world present us with too many dangers and traps to count, even our very Church, in the form of so many lay people, clergy, and bishops, now present numerous errors and falsehoods as “truth.” We must exercise great caution in what we expose ourselves if we hope to avoid falling into grave sin or worse:
The Holy Ghost creates faith within our souls, and by faith we obtain life everlasting; for faith is not the intellect’s assent to a proposition logically demonstrated, but a virtue which proceeds from the will vivified by Grace. [Beautiful] Nowadays, faith is rare. Pride of intellect is at its height, and docility to the Church’s teachings is far from being general. A man calls himself a Christian and a Catholic, and yet he has his own views upon certain subjects, which he would very reluctantly give up, were they to be condemned by the only authority on earth which has power to guide us in what we are to hold or reject in matters pertaining to faith. [Our situation today is a thousand times worse! The only authority on earth which has power to guide has itself fallen into saying, and even teaching, incredible things, things which would shock Gueranger to the core and probably cause him to doubt the ultramontanist views he so famously held. Faithful souls navigate a world and Church so filled with dangers we are the proverbial rich men seeking the eye of a needle to pass through. That is how narrow our way has become.]
He reads dangerous, sometimes even bad books, without thinking of inquiring if the laws of the Church forbid such books. [And we have far more to be concerned about today that just bad books] His religious instruction has been of a very meager kind, and he seems to wish it to remain so, for he takes no pains to come to a solid and perfect knowledge of his religion; the result is, that his mind is filled with the fashionable prejudices of the world he lives in, and, on more than one point, he may depend upon his having imbibed heretical notions. [Notions which, all the more horrifically, are often promoted in the Church as “truth!” Even more, the faithful soul may encounter – will encounter – numerous authorities in the Church who will tell him he positively ERRS by holding to the constant belief and practice of the Faith!] He is looked upon as a Catholic; he satisfies the exterior obligations of his religion, either because of his early training, or because the rest of his family do so, or because he feels more satisfied to do than to omit them; and yet – how sad it is to say! – he is not a Catholic, for his faith is gone!…….
……..In this our age, darkness is prevalent. Even false lights are seen to rise up, and mislead millions. [Even, most incredibly, within the Church herself] We repeat it: faith – that faith which brings us to God and saves us from His judgment – is now rare. O Divine Spirit, deliver us from the darkness of the times in which our lot has been cast! Humble the pride of our minds. Save us from that false religious liberty, which is one of the idols of our generation, and which keeps men from the true faith. We wish to love, and possess, and keep within us, the glorious light; we wish to merit, by the docility and child-like simplicity of our faith, to enjoy the full cloudless vision of this divine light in Heaven.
I haven’t much to add to that. While I don’t see the Church and world as entirely black, that literally everything is terrible, it is awfully, awfully bleak. We must tread with great caution. Perhaps the premier vice of faithful souls is a tendency to pride, to think we’ve got it figured out even if all those poor million other slobs are just wandering around in the darkness. But really, if we are doing right, the very best we’re doing is cooperating with Grace, and probably poorly at that.
I try to always remember, even if I follow every jot and tittle of the Doctrine of the Faith, I am an unprofitable servant. I do only what is required of me.
*- I can no longer find the link to the site that had all of Liguori’s Liturgical Year in .pdf form. I have found some sites with partial uploads but not the entirety. Has that site gone away, or am I simply missing it? Your help appreciated. God bless you.