Life in a small town

Self Centered … a Self Centered Church? (part 2)

It is a truth, learned from life experience, and years at sea, that safe and accurate navigation requires a reliable point(s) of reference outside of oneself by which to judge one’s distance and progress towards or away from some objective, some destination, goal, or even in some cases some risk or danger. To navigate everything with only reference to oneself leaves one dangerously muddled and hopelessly lost.

St. Peter Julian Eymard

To me these days, what seems to be significantly lacking outside of the Catechism is a clear unequivocal statement of the dogma and principles which the Church Militant, the Holy Roman Catholic Church, Christ’s Church, and Christ’s Mystical Body in this world, stands for and teaches in this world for over 2000 years now. Fortunately Bishops Schneider, Cardinal Burke and several others have taken a giant stride to blow away the bureaucratic smoke and mirrors which are being employed to obscure what is going on rather than to promote transparency and clarity of thought in our church’s current dealings with worldly matters.

This goal, of posting a clear re-statement of doctrine and dogma , that is our Roman Catholic “articles of faith”, resulted in a much longer post than usual, in fact this post ended up more than twice as long as many of my average pontifications, so I decided to split it into two with the prologue in this post and the 40 points in part 3, the next post, the distilled wisdom of the 40 Doctrinal, or Dogmatic Truths, our Roman Catholic “articles of faith”, which the Roman Catholic Magisterium has developed and preserved over the course of 2000 years of study, discussion and debate by some of the brightest folks in human history.

First I want to reference St. Peter Julian Eymard to illustrate that there is nothing new under the sun. The current crop of apostates are simply re-inventing a wheel which has appeared in various forms and costumes over the last two millennia, and which apostasies and heresies really got rolling with the Reformation beginning in 1517 when a German monk, Martin Luther, decided to “do it his way”, as retold in Frank Sinatra’s popular song.

The next big push was  the French Revolution, a watershed event in modern European history that began in 1789 and ended in the late 1790s with the ascent of Napoleon Bonaparte. During this period, elite French political dissidents, military leaders, philosophers, and academics used their nation’s citizens to raze and redesign their country’s political and religious landscape, uprooting centuries-old institutions such as absolute monarchy, the feudal system, and the Catholic Church.

As with all revolutions, it failed to achieve its goals and degenerated into a chaotic bloodbath with the various factions murdering each other with great abandon. The French Revolution played a critical role in shaping modern secular nations by showing the international political world the power inherent in “Love of Self”.

Sermon on the Mount -Carl Bloch 1890

But, back to Peter Julian Eymard. He was born in La Mure d’Isère in southeastern France, Peter Julian’s faith journey drew him from being a priest in the Diocese of Grenoble in 1834, to joining the Marists in 1839, to founding the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament in 1856. So, a few pointed words from St. Peter Julian Eymard :

CHRISTUS imperat. Christ commands. No king has command over the whole universe; one earthly king has another equal to him in power. But God the Father has said to Jesus Christ: “I will give Thee all the nations for Thy inheritance.” And Our Lord told His lieutenants when He sent them throughout the world: “All power is given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go and teach ye all nations, teaching them to keep all that I have commanded you.

He issued His commands from the Cenacle. The Eucharistic tabernacle, which is a prolongation or replica of the Cenacle, is the headquarters of the King of kings. All those who fight the good fight receive their orders from there. In the presence of the Eucharistic Jesus all men are subjects, all must obey, from the pope, the Vicar of Jesus Christ, down to the least of the faithful.

CHRISTUS ab omni malo plebem suam defendat. May Christ defend His people from all evil. The Eucharist is the divine lightning-rod that wards off the thunderbolts of divine justice. As a tender and devoted mother presses her child to her bosom, puts her arms around it, and shields it with her body to save it from the wrath of an angry father, so Jesus multiplies His presence everywhere, covers the world and envelops it with His merciful presence.

Divine Justice does not know then where to strike; it dares not. And what a protection against the devil! The blood of Jesus which purples our lips makes us a terror to Satan; we are sprinkled with the blood of the true Lamb, and the exterminating angel will not enter. The Eucharist protects the sinner until time for repentance is given him. Ah! Were it not for the Eucharist, for this perpetual Calvary, how often would not the wrath of God have come down upon us!

And how unhappy are the nations that no longer possess the Eucharist! What darkness! What a confusion in the minds! What a chill in the hearts! Satan alone rules supreme, and with him all the evil passions. As for us, the Eucharist delivers us from all evil. Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat; ab omni malo plebem suam defendat!”
—St. Peter Julian Eymard

from the book by: Bishop Athanasius Schneider,  ‘Christus Vincit: Christ’s Triumph Over the Darkness of the Age ‘ . Angelico Press. Kindle Edition.

So, something to think about. In every century, sin and a focus on worldly priorities has been painfully real in the life of the Church. St. Peter Julian Eymard, St. Catherine of Sienna, St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of The Cross, St. Therese of Lisieux, to name just a few, all faced corruption and serious division and even heresy in the church of their time. It is easy to give in to despair, and to speak so strongly of human failings that people may forget Jesus Christ and His immense and self-sacrificing love, as his death on the cross and his gift of the Eucharist make evident. We lose our Christocentric focus and both leaders and the led turn inward to focus on the self and the troubles of the mundane.

Holy Scripture says. “In the multitude of words there shall not want sin. He that hath no guard on his speech shall meet with evils.” (Prv 10, 19 – 13,3). This seems especially apropos of our current visible situation in the Episcopate across the world. Lots of words, lots of long winded position papers and working papers and summary documents in the flavour and nature of “BS baffles brains” with which I became so familiar when working in the secular bureaucracy.  Lots of words, and does anyone ever read all these words in context?  I quote again from “Christus Vincit”:

On a global scale, the deepest crisis in the Church is the weakening of the supernatural. This is manifested in an inversion of order, so that nature, temporal affairs, and man, gain supremacy over Christ, over the supernatural, over prayer, over grace, and so on. This is our problem. As Jesus Christ said, “Without Me, you can do nothing” (Jn 15:5). The whole crisis in the Church, as seen after the Council, was manifest in an incredible inflation of frenetic human activity to fill the void or the vacuum of prayer and adoration, to fill the void created through the abandonment of the supernatural. Which is a void that can never be filled…”

and

“… efforts to fill this void have been tried, for example, in continual Church meetings and gatherings at different levels and in different forms—continuous synods. This is oftentimes busy work with a very pious mask. It is a waste of money; it is a waste of time that could be used for prayer and for direct evangelization — under the pretext of a so-called “synodality.” There is only one parallel in the history of the Church to such excessive episcopal meetings, and that is the fourth century, precisely when the Arian heresy was dominant and reigning. They would gather together and hold meetings, and in those times St. Gregory of Nazianzus said: “I am resolved to avoid every meeting of bishops, for I have never seen any synod end well, nor assuage rather than aggravate disorders” (Ep. 130 ad Procopium). Nowadays St. Gregory would be called a pessimist and would probably be disciplined for his uncooperative spirit.”

and

I will tell you a story. Once I participated in a meeting for the Asian bishops in Manila. They prepared a very long document, and so I said, “We have to shorten this document by half and, even then, no one will read it.” And the bishops were laughing. In my private conversations with several bishops, they acknowledged honestly that up to now they actually did not read the documents produced at these meetings, even though they received them. … One of these meetings lasted one week and produced a document, which, at least in our region, no one has read.

Later we got the financial report for this meeting. The meeting cost $250,000 from church funds. Imagine! Basically, it was $250,000 thrown to the wind. … The continuous meetings and assemblies of bishops: they are spending so much money, it’s incredible. If we would reduce drastically the frequency of these meetings, we could give millions of dollars every year to the poor around the world. To me, this is a sin that churchmen are committing today.

Even setting to the side for a moment the problems with these excessive meetings, which are ultimately a manifestation of Pelagianism and undermine the supernatural—to say nothing of the problem of the almost continuous stream of doctrinally ambiguous documents they produce—I believe it is sinful to spend so much money, which we could give to the poor in our world. 

Bishop Athanasius Schneider, “Christus Vincit: Christ’s Triumph Over the Darkness of the Age” . Angelico Press. Kindle Edition.

Indeed, “In the multitude of words there shall not want sin”.

Peter Julian and the many other Saints throughout the history of our church, knew that the Eucharist was key to helping Catholics live out their baptism and preach by word and example the Good News of Jesus Christ. In our day, this desert journey since Vatican II, the loss of the sacred, loss of faith, and loss of belief in the Real Presence and even the loss of understanding of the true purpose of the Holy Mass is a immense tragedy, perhaps even one of the worst crisis in the history of our church.

Onward to the next part, the 40 points of clarity …

Cheers

Joe

Freedom of Worship does not actually mean that all worship is equal or the same.

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