Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

The Murky Mirror of Self-Love …

Looking at the mirror of the world today … what we see daily unfolding within the church of Rome and, coincidentally, outside the church, in the citadels of power throughout western society leads to a thought. I just read an interesting article here.

It would seem that such a thing  as “due diligence” is found to be seriously absent in both Roman and international ecclesial administrative and theological policy and procedure.

It seems even more absent than experience suggests is the case outside the church, especially if that diligence would mitigate against moving in the direction which the current bureaucratic leadership desires. The school of “I didn’t know” is in session.

One of the hallmarks of the great cultural revolution in China was the compromise of the entire population by involving them all as active agents in the purges. That model seems to be paralleled in the conduct seen since 1967 in our polite Canadian society and our Roman church, worldwide.

I know The Book of Wisdom does not have a place in the Canon outside of the Catholic Church, and most definitely does not appear in the required reading library of Progressive Managers everywhere.

So it seems relevant that, in the name of ecumenical confraternity, some of the alleged theological and ecclesial conduct in the church of Rome, parallels conduct which is described in the Book of Wisdom, as Progressives in the Roman hierarchy have risen to the top of the pool:

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“Let us lie in wait for the righteous man, because he is inconvenient to us, and opposes our actions; he reproaches us for our sins against the law, and accuses us of sins against our training.

He professes himself to have knowledge of God, and calls himself a child of the Lord. He became to us a reproof of our thoughts: the very sight of him is a burden to us and his ways are strange, and he avoids our ways as something unclean.

He calls the last end of the righteous happy and boasts that God is his father.. Let us see if his words are true and let us test what will happen at the end of his life, for if the righteous man is God’s son, he will help him and will deliver him from the hands of his adversaries.

Let us test him with insult and torture that we may find out how gentle he is and make trial of his forbearance.” (Wis. 2: 12-19).

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The "Dubia" Cardinals

The “Dubia” Cardinals

We are looking at the results of serious attempts to “change the rules” to suite and promote the desired direction of travel.

Objectors are marginalized and removed, silenced until death takes them. Ironically, the removal of the objectors seems to have removed many of the most credible episcopate in the Roman church.

Those who remain are mostly silent, although, fortunately there are still outspoken members of the Catholic Episcopate surviving and speaking truth in spite of the risk. I am in mind here of men like Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Bishop Robert Baron, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano,  and Archbishop Georg Gänswein, to name a few. There appears to be light on the horizon far off under the edge of the current gale force winds, thunder and lightning and heavy overcast.

I liken our current ecclesial storm to a storm disaster from the the 20th century, “Fastnet, Force 10, only now it is “Vatican, Force 10”. Trust me, a Force 10 is nothing you want to experience, and I speak from experience.

Robert Cardinal Sarah

Robert Cardinal Sarah

The “Rainbow” no longer appears in the heavens as a sign of God’s promise, rather it has a much more malignant connotation in our “enlightened” times.

I am becoming a sort of Robert Cardinal Sarah “fanboy” in my appreciation of his writings on reverence and silence, for example, found in “The Power of Silence”, through Ignatius Press and also found on Amazon.com for the Kindle reader.

Another impressive book is “The Benedict Option”, by Rod Dreher, also available on Kindle from Amazon.com.

The Benedict Option is a manifesto, and a rallying cry for all Christians who, if they are not to be conquered, must learn how to fight on culture war battlefields like none the West has seen for fifteen hundred years.

It’s for all mere Chris­tians—Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox—who can read the signs of the times.

Neither false optimism nor fatalistic despair will do. Only faith, hope, and love, embodied in a renewed church, can sustain believers in the dark age that has overtaken us.

These are the days for building strong arks for the long journey across a sea of night.

Is it becoming reasonable, even charitable, to pray for another cleansing flood?

Cheers

Joe

This is a bad storm, and only the Master of the vessel can be trusted.

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

On Second thought … another look at “A New Paradigm”

“En Priere”, Bill Douglas, from the album “Kaleidoscope”, (1993)

“En Priere”, Bill Douglas, from the album “Kaleidoscope”, (1993)

“En Priere”, Bill Douglas, from the album “Kaleidoscope”, (1993)

03:30AM … Silence, and unanswered questions, and doubts, and “Nacht und Nebel”  or the modern variation, FUD, that is Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. Hiding … Why does talking about this make me uncomfortable?

Revisiting this particular train of thought to see if it takes me anywhere new, can I see any new peaks from the metaphorical dome car on the way through the Rocky Mountains of my mind?

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7And the eyes of them both were opened: and when they perceived themselves to be naked, they sewed together fig leaves, and made themselves aprons.

8And when they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in paradise at the afternoon air, Adam and his wife hid themselves from the face of the Lord God, amidst the trees of paradise. 9And the Lord God called Adam, and said to him: Where art thou? (Genesis 3: 7-9)

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Where art thou? Things always seem grimmer after a relatively sleepless night … Where art thou … indeed … separated at birth … separated  ourselves … broke with our creator … self inflicted wounds … will not serve … and death entered in …

Was there ever a time in human history when mankind was not completely mired in sin and evil? Was there ever a time in human history when mankind wasn’t playing “Russian Roulette” for pride and personal ambitions and frequently blowing his own brains all over the wall of life?

Cardinal Gerhard Müller

Cardinal Gerhard Müller

I find this inner struggle of developing spiritual awareness is frequently made more difficult by the reported antics of those charged with my instruction.

Is the error, my sin in this, my curiosity, that I seek after this reporting? Or perhaps is it that I deceive myself in believing that I somehow know what is right, is this all just my pride?

I don’t know, so I cling desperately to Cardinal Gerhard Müller’s explanation that this is simply a misunderstanding. Again and again, Cardinal Müller has been the victim of criticism in some Traddy circles. This, in Father Hunwicke’s view, is totally unjustified:

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” …  (Müller’s) stance on Amoris Laetitia is perfectly rational and it doesn’t need guarantees of its perfect orthodoxy. His is one way to skin a cat.

4 Cardinals

His Eminence Walter Brandmüller, President emeritus of the Pontifical Commission of Historical Sciences, His Eminence Raymond Leo Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, His Eminence Carlo Caffarra, Archbishop emeritus of Bologna (Italy), and His Eminence Joachim Meisner, Archbishop emeritus of Cologne (Germany)

The other skinning method is that of the Four Cardinals (the Dubia Cardinals – two of whom have since died); to seek a clarification which will put its orthodoxy beyond the doubt which they judge some prelates and some hierarchies have created.

Each Feline Modality is directly aimed at the affirmation of the same orthodoxy. Whether as a matter of fact there is ‘doubt’ about what AL teaches, is for individuals to assess.”

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Or is the error in this distress, an error of my honest expectation that those who have devoted the entire course of their lives to this struggle for awareness should not have found meaningful examples and left trail blazes to guide me easily on my travel?

Or is this train of thought really just some sterile version of self-pity? This post started out as a momentary “what the heck” exclamation prompted by the latest “pontifications” emanating from the Vatican.

It seems that much of what comes out of Rome these days is a freeway to sin rather than guidance towards the good, that is, a preferred guidebook on the narrow path to Divine Intimacy.

Fear in Rome

Fear in Rome

I end up experiencing sadness instead of joy every time I wander into that neighbourhood. Continuous flashbacks to late 60’s early 70’s, and the chaotic fall-out from Vatican II.

Flashbacks to a time when, in my all-knowing youthful pride, I decided that I didn’t give a rat’s backside about the Catholic Church since they (the Curia) obviously didn’t know their own backside from a hole in the ground.

How can one reform “Truth”? Only “Not Truth” can be reformed, only “Not Truth” can give rise to “A New Paradigm”, a bureaucratic “Policy Change” with a new “Briefing Book” full of platitudes, half baked excuses and accusations.

So the post grows and grows with each new thought … again I am realizing that this spontaneous outpouring of angst is now around  5000 words and I’m still writing. Realizing, as when I first attacked this discomforting subject that it is just too long.

I have decided that this needs to be broken into multiple parts – again … like multiple therapy sessions on the couch … whoever is sitting on the chair behind my head must be VERY patient. Who knows, when we start, where the train of thought is going? Maybe it needs a disclaimer at the start of each part, or maybe a warning about toxic waste?

When the Scribes and Pharisees declared “better that one should die than that all suffer”, they were not talking about “all” the people, they were talking about all the entire crop of Scribes and Pharisees of that day …. they were talking about the “all” of themselves and the threat to their own power, pride and honor which Yeshua  embodied.

Saint Teresa of Avila says “However slight may be our concern for our reputation, if we wish to make progress in spiritual matters we must put this attachment right behind us, for if questions of honor prevail we will never make great progress or come to enjoy the real fruits of prayer, which is intimacy with God.”

The Saint also says that concern for their honor is the reason why many people who have devoted themselves to the spiritual life, and are very deserving on account of many good works, are still “down on earth” and never succeed in reaching the “summit of perfection”.

They remain mired because they are so insistent on preserving their reputation, so extremely attentive to every small point, every minor rule and little detail, so strict or exact in the observance of the formalities or amenities of conduct or actions with regards to their station in life.

To paraphrase Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D. from the book “Divine Intimacy”:  Attachment to the things of this world, especially to our honor, is shown in all those large and small susceptibilities arising from our attitude that wishes to affirm our personality, hold onto the esteem of others and make our point of view prevail.

This attitude shows up in the various schemes, conscious and petty or not, to obtain and keep privileges and honorable positions where our own views, which we always think are good, will prevail. In this way we hope to make obvious our abilities, works, and our own personal merits which are always worthy in our own eyes.

Pride, pride, pride, it is always about pride.

Cheers

Joe

And “The Guardian” is announcing that the Vatican has reached an agreement with the Peoples Republic of China … Seriously?!  They can’t actually mean that, can they? Interesting times indeed … I wonder where this new “Orient Express” is heading?

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