“Mother of Sorrows”, Benedictines of Mary Queen of Apostles, from the album “Lent At Ephesus”, (2014)
Writing this on a cool grey Wednesday morning … My mood and perception of reality in this moment are a reflection of the cold grey all around me this morning.
Mass in another hour, Mass is always good, wish I could go every day but that desire will not be gratified any time soon.
Wish there was another traditional rite available to us here but that also is an unrealized desire or dream.
Vatican II, 1967
The Catholic Church of Rome now uses the term “extraordinary form” of the Roman Rite Mass among other terms.
The most widespread term for this form of the rite, other than “Tridentine Mass“, is “Latin Mass“. And the practice of the “Latin Mass” has indeed become “extraordinary”. Pity …
What have politics, social pressure and human pride to do with a Mass which has existed for around 2000 years now, and quite frankly has been debated very little until quite recently.
Paul gets in Peter’s face
Paul had things to say about this sort of thing. In Galatians 2, Paul got right in Peter’s face and told him off about his mistakes and his hypocrisy. Peter was pretty much The Boss, he was the first pope, he couldn’t have been wrong, right?
This confrontation is perhaps THE most surprising thing in Paul’s letters. Some of the other apostles, and some of the church fathers found this difficult to accept, being that they were in the Jewish circumcision faction and so they made excuses for Peter.
They made excuses in pretty much the same way that Cardinal Ouellet is making excuses for Pope Francis. But Peter was wrong – in a way that we often go wrong, too, … peer pressure – everywhere and at all ages and states in life …
And I wonder about the peer pressure within our current crop of clerics, our current leadership, our current cadre of theological “betters”.
I wonder about the pressure to go along with certain points of view and certain agendas, certain life-style choices, which have been apparent to me since the 60’s. All this peer pressure aided and abetted by demonic stoking of the fires of normal human concupiscence.
The pressure to “not rock the boat” and voice one’s reservations even when those reservations are in the area of millennia long traditions and canonical doctrine.
Reservations about changing things just to be fashionable, to be more in step with the world, to be more “welcoming”, more “inclusive”.
Thinking about my own life … of sin … of self indulgence, the places and times when self sacrifice was not in the ascendance.
Lots of food for thought there, lots of decades of self-love and attachment to esteem, worldly praise, and rewards for “not rocking the boat”. Lots of reasons for contrition and amendment.
When and why did my soul and my self start to diverge from the spirit of our times? How did I get so out of step with my own “welcoming”, “inclusive” church?
In what measurable way, what distinctive way, is the church of Rome different from any other popular protestant church? When did my church stop being a rock, a scandal to the Jews, and a stumbling block to the Gentiles and start being a “Me Too” “We have to be more open”, kind of church?
The Roman Catholic Church used to be all about the narrow path and holding true to the Word of God as handed down for two thousand years. Now we get smoke and mirrors and silence or obfuscation and confusion. Pity …
No matter what the cost, even of life itself, the Truth must be upheld even in the face of a world that rejects it all. “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.” ― G.K. Chesterton, What’s Wrong with the World.
Where did the narrow path get washed out and impassable?
Saint Theresa of Calcutta
Or, this time I can say, with passion, “But it is not This Day! This day we fight.” This is all just one more place where we are commanded to stand and deliver, to soldier on no matter what, hold to the last man when all seems lost, keep advancing towards the light even when all the officers have run away and all hope of victory seems dashed beyond recovery.
This feeling of almost despair is merely one more round of Satan’s lies. I have become a recent fanboy of Robert Cardinal Sarah. I rather suspect that the good Cardinal and others like him, and even Saint Theresa of Calcutta would be unhappy with the current state of the liturgy in our Canadian dioceses, on the other hand we are not yet in the news for abuse scandals, so perhaps things are not as bad as I feel today.
In any case, we will continue to fight the long defeat, and if and when the victory is hard won in Rome, we will still have to return to the Shire and undertake the bitter task of scouring our home to return it to the state of cleanliness suitable for the wedding feast. Lets not be the one spoken of thus: “Then the king said to the waiters: Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth”. (Matt 22:13)
“Kojo No Tsuki” (Rentaro Taki), performed by Yo-Yo Ma, Michio Mamiya, & Patricia Zander, from the album “Japanese Melodies” (1990)
And, two thousand years on, Abraham’s descendants murdered God’s Son. So much for keeping the covenant. A couple of thousand years more and schoolyard bullying in the Vatican seems pretty small potatoes compared to murdering God’s Son. So what about our trials, pains, and insults?
This is Christ’s Church. No “Ifs”, “Ands”, or “Buts”. Claims to the direct inspiration of “the Holy Spirit”, unverifiable by objective constraints and controls, easily lure us into the servitude of a religion manufactured by man. We have plenty of those around already and proliferating like Topsy, these heterodox social clubs are almost as popular, and profitable, as golf and country clubs.
The old Liberal Protestant superstition, such a comfort to the anti-Catholic mind, was that the Eucharist started as a simple fellowship meal which, probably under the influence of Hellenistic Mystery cults, was perverted into the Catholic Mass. (ed. bigotry by any name smells the same)
Rabbi Professor Dr Jacob Neusner, on the other hand, was free to follow the obvious track which leads from the ‘Cleansing of the Temple’ (in which Christ emptied the Temple of those who, by changing money or supplying certified animals, enabled the Temple cult to be fulfilled) to the conclusion, documented from his profound knowledge of first century Judaism, that Jesus of Nazareth saw himself as abolishing that sacrificial cult on the Temple Mount because of His intention, on Maundy Thursday, to erect in its place the new sacrificial system of His Eucharistic self-oblation in His Body and Blood.
And, during this Holy Week, let us continually bring back to our memories the self-identification the Lord made of himself with the Temple. “Destroy this Temple, and in three days …”. But he had made this identification during his Galilaean ministry. He forgave sins! Who indeed, as the watchers absolutely correctly asked themselves, can forgive sins but God alone? And where does God do so, if not in the Place of Sacrifice, the Temple?
So … who … what … is this Man?
What about our own Fears, Uncertainties, and Doubts? What about our doctrinal controversies? These trials and pains seem, at times, to be tailored to exactly those aspects of our life which we are most attached to, like our opinions, of subjects arcane and common, of other’s opinions, and ourselves, always larger than life.
Raymond Arroyo with Mother Angelica
A couple of weeks ago, on the EWTN network, Raymond Arroyo incurred the wrath of the “Borgoglionistas” for running his Papal Posse over some shenanigans from some Vatican representatives.
How dare Raymond and his team question the “Hypersuperueberpapalist” team when they have been ordained directly by the Holy Spirit to change church doctrine … or so they claim.
“At Chalcedon, the Fathers greeted the Tome of Saint Leo, not with cries of “Christ himself has spoken” or “This is the utterance of the Holy Spirit”, but (after carefully examining its text) Peter has spoken through Leo.
This is profoundly in accordance with an Irenaean ecclesiology, whereby orthodoxy is witnessed by the identity of the teaching handed down from generation to generation in the particular churches, more especially in those of Apostolic foundation, and most normatively in the Roman Church. … Does this matter?
I think it does matter, and does make a great deal of difference … claims to the inspiration of “the Holy Spirit”, unverifiable by objective constraints and controls, can lure us into the servitude of a religion manufactured by man, a cult of “Let’s Make It Up For Ourselves”.
This cult is ultimately fashioned upon the model of the old religion of the Gnostics, who created their own fake alternatives to the Tradition received from the Apostles because they felt they knew with such certainty that the Church’s Tradition was wrong. … (read the rest at: Madmen – it is worth the time)
Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia speaks at the Major Seminary of Queretaro, Mexico on March 17, 2018. Matthew Cullinan Hoffman / LifeSiteNews
So, again, the Bergoglio clique keep on about the Holy Spirit; how He desires us to accept constant surprises; how He speaks to us through the very lips of the Roman Pontiff … particularly the present one.
So what? Well, it would seem that this is not going to go away quietly and discretely …
Now, on March 17th, the latest FLASH news: Apparently someone called Paglia is going around shouting at people that the time has come to stop discussing Amoris and just to receive it.
“like Edgar Alan Poe’s nocturnally silent dog, the Holy Spirit seems absent from places one might expect Him to be. Vatican I tells us that the Holy Spirit does not inspire the Roman Pontiff with new teaching but simply helps him to plug the old stuff.
Ecumenical Councils do not routinely suggest that the Spirit is guiding them in their new articulations of doctrine. Anti-Gnostic polemicists such as Irenaeus find guarantees of pure Teaching in the historical succession of orthodox bishops from the time of the Apostles, not in the activity of the Spirit … In Saint John’s Gospel, the Lord says, indeed, that the Holy Spirit will lead his disciples into all truth: but I discern no evidence that this refers to anything beyond the ambit of the Gospel Narratives themselves.” (read the rest here)
But, “... for the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter NOT so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles” (Vatican I).
This would seem to overrule any notions of a “New Paradigm”, regardless of the perambulations of the Vatican Secretary of State in his “dialogue” with the secular media and other interested parties.
At times, these times, in 21st century Rome, its as if, after 500 years of watching the rebels, the followers of Luther’s “New Paradigm”, enjoy themselves, the 60’s “Me” generation dressed up in clerical collars and cassocks and dove into an orgy of “Me Too!” in the name of ecumenicalism. What’s next? Let’s see … married clergy … women-priests … a necrotic transition from orthodoxy to a heterodox social club? Looking more and more like a duck from here.
I wonder what’s in it, this “Me Too”, for the real Roman Catholic Church, the traditional Roman Church, not the progressive heterodox social club in Rome?
Of course, anyone who doesn’t agree with the social club, The Faction, is an idiot. As I have posted before, I believe that the rise of Bulverism in any group is a sure sign of the decay, the rot, within said group.
I have referenced Bulverism in a couple of previous posts but Bulverism is indeed THE sure sign of a weak and immoral argument and a failed entity, whichever and wherever they are found.
Progressives, Communists, Clerical Socialists, Liberation Theologians, all cut from the same cloth, dyed black or red or denim, whatever, and all serving the same master, shoveling coal for Satan.
The method of Bulverism is to “assume that your opponent is wrong, and explain his error”. So too the Liberal wing of the Catholic Church … their opponents are “obviously” wrong and “out of touch with the times”. The Bulverist assumes a speaker’s argument is invalid or false and then explains why the speaker came to make that mistake, attacking the speaker or the speaker’s motive.
The term “Bulverism” was coined by C. S. Lewis to poke fun at a very serious error in thinking that, he alleges, recurs often in a variety of religious, political, and philosophical debates. Similar to Antony Flew‘s “Subject/Motive Shift”, Bulverism is a fallacy of irrelevance. One accuses an argument of being wrong on the basis of the arguer’s identity or motive, but these are strictly speaking irrelevant to the argument’s validity or truth. But it is also a fallacy ofcircular reasoning, since it assumes, rather than argues, that one’s opponent is wrong.
I find myself wishing with Frodo: ““I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. ” All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us. (Gandalf, “Lord of The Rings”)
The modi operandi of the Modernist camp after Vatican II was to behave as if they had won the battle against the past, the past of tradition, doctrine and dogma, against the heritage of the magisterium, and that the outcomes of V II were what they wanted.
They ignored the intentions and actual documents rising out of the council and moved forward implementing “reforms” and “fundamental changes”, “in the Spirit of Vatican II”.
Pope Saint John Paul the Great
By the “spirit of Vatican II” is meant the teaching and intentions of the Second Vatican Councilbut interpreted in a way that is not limited to a literal reading of its documents, or even going so far as interpreting in a way that contradicts the “letter” of the Council.
So, these days, these wretched days, in the first decades of the 21st century, one might be tempted to despair.
Paraphrasing Kipling, in these later days there is a real premium on keeping your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you; on trusting yourself when all men doubt you, but making allowance for their doubting too; waiting and not being tired by waiting, or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies, or, being hated, don’t give way to hating, on “being Christ”, being a real member of the body of Christ.
It seems, in hindsight, that the “Spirit of Vatican II” is still alive and well in the church bureaucracy despite 30 years of the best efforts of Pope Saint John Paul the Great and Pope Benedict XVI to cure the cancerous heresy of modernism in the 20th century Catholic Church.
Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre
After Vatican II Traditionalist Catholics such as Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre distinguished between “Catholic Rome” and the actually existing Rome, as he declared in 1974 that, while he and his followers are faithful to “Catholic Rome”, they refuse to follow “the Rome of neo-Modernist and neo-Protestant tendencies which were clearly evident in the Second Vatican Council and, after the Council, in all the reforms which issued from it” (in the Spirit of Vatican II).
A priest of the Lefebvre-foundedSociety of St. Pius Xsimilarly declared in 1982 that “Rome is now the headquarters, not only of the Catholic Church, but of the Modernist Mafia which has invaded and subjected it”, and that “the multitudes of ex-Catholic shepherds and their sheep who have either defected or drifted into a new religion” might well be called “Roman Protestants”. (the Spirit of Vatican II in action – ecumenical catholicism or small c catholicism).
But all is not lost … stiff upper lip and all that … and after the darkest night, the Son rises … we always have to remember that “All God’s creatures got a place in the choir” …
“Michi Haruka”, by Kobudo, from the album “Ototabi” (2013)
So the last few posts have been focused on the reported goings on in the Roman Curia, the Vatican, and a few other items which I believe might give rise to problematic behaviour amongst the leaders and faithful of our One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. In the back of my mind, I am hearing ” 20Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them.” (Mathew 7) but also I hear “1Judge not, that you may not be judged,” (Mathew 7)
Monsignor Dario Vigano, image from article by By NICOLE WINFIELD Associated Press Mar 21, 2018
The latest event of note seems to reflect on the integrity of Vatican media and possible Vatican indulgence in “Fake News” even though Pope Francis is on record as having serious problems with secular media and their fake news. The two links below go to the news article in the Waco Tribune-Herald:
Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt … well, it works in California.
My understanding of these things finds some resonance in the story of Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago and their refusal to accept false gods in the book of Daniel. In scripture, King Nebuchadnezzar commanded a new way of worship and belief as:
15Now therefore if you be ready at what hour soever you shall hear the sound of the trumpet, flute, harp, sackbut, and psaltery, and symphony, and of all kind of music, prostrate yourselves, and adore the statue which I have made: but if you do not adore, you shall be cast the same hour into the furnace of burning fire: and who is the God that shall deliver you out of my hand?
16Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago answered and said to King Nabuchodonosor: We have no occasion to answer thee concerning this matter. 17For behold our God, whom we worship, is able to save us from the furnace of burning fire, and to deliver us out of thy hands, O king. 18But if he will not, be it known to thee, O king, that we will not worship thy gods, nor adore the golden statue which thou hast set up.
(Daniel 3:15-18) Douay-Rheims Bible
And in the book of Genesis we see how the father of lies works through Gnosis, through man’s desire to be like God through interpretation and gaining knowledge
1Now the serpent was more subtle than any of the beasts of the earth which the Lord God made. And he said to the woman: Why hath God commanded you, that you should not eat of every tree of paradise? … the tree which is in the midst of paradise, God hath commanded us that we should not eat; and that we should not touch it, lest perhaps we die.
4And the serpent said to the woman: No, you shall not die the death. 5For God doth know that in what day soever you shall eat thereof, your eyes shall be opened: and you shall be as Gods, knowing good and evil. … 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 … 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 3:1-9) Douay-Rheims Bible
Whither art thou … indeed … separated at birth … separated ourselves … broke with our creator … self inflicted wounds … will not serve … and death entered in. But it is all a misunderstanding, isn’t it? At times it is easy to shy at shadows, to take some things personally when it is just men being men, as they have been for thousands of years. And again I find myself pondering Gerhard Cardinal Müller’s explanation that this apparent controversy in the Catholic Church is simply a misunderstanding.
Gerhard Cardinal Müller
Yes, a misunderstanding by the hypersuperueberpapalists, the Bergoglio clique, the “cool” crowd, in this high school melodrama, the clique embracing the most problematic heretical grouping currently at work in the Church Militant.
On the other hand, there also seems to be a misunderstanding on the part of those who have been resisting the Nomenklatura of the “New Paradigm”. The “Traddies”, subject of much vilification by the “Nomenklatura”, seem to have missed the memo.
The memo regarding the Nomenklatura, and rope, and hanging themselves and the curious silence, or lack of clarity, on the part of the reigning Holy Father on virtually everything concerning the controversies arising since he was elected. What’s with that, eh? The Roman Catholic Church is not and never has been a product of the Roman Curia. And yet, concern enters in. I am not alone in experiencing uncertainty, doubt and frustration … with … what?
So, uncertainty, doubt and frustration with … I don’t know what … calmer, likely more pious heads, urge caution and restraint. In the tradition of Aquinas we might, no, must give the fullest charitable interpretation of motives while pointing out the observed inconsistencies separating the “New Paradigm” from the Tradition, the Magisterium, the Teachings as protected, conserved, and handed down by every Pope for 2000 years.
Pope Francis has not actually “officially” commanded a specific change in direction. He has refrained from ordering the Body of Christ, the laity, to follow the interpretations and instructions coming from the Progressive Nomenclatura. Everything is couched in obscure references to good will and mercy and being sensitive to the circumstances of those with difficulties. This soft soap approach reminds me of the way “Liberation Theology” was explained to the faithful in South America. Remember “Liberation Theology” in the 70’s? More on that little kettle of fish later.
That seems to be why the Dubia Cardinals and others are asking for clarification and warning that ubiquitous errors in teaching are difficult to fix once they become entrenched. They are warning about a repeat of “the Spirit of Vatican II”.
“Well, it could be a rabbit in disguise…” (but most likely it isn’t)
But, all my life I have mostly followed the maxim “if it looks like a duck, and it walks like a duck, and it talks like a duck, then it is likely a duck”. And a lifetime of experience tells me I will sooner or later have to make duck soup, or be faced with a monumental clean-up.
I am a survivor of Vatican II and the Canadian Council of Catholic Bishops and their Winnipeg Statement of September 27th 1968. Been there, done that, got the T Shirt. Cognitive dissonance is an insidious poison … a poorly formed conscience and lack of clarity can and does lead many away from the narrow path to the broad highway.
We certainly have lack of clarity and direction and when was the last time you met a “well formed conscience” in the last three generations or so? I think “conscience” requires knowledge of self, and knowledge of good and evil, both apparently and singularly lacking in the majority of players these days. Every new deviance has become “a matter of conscience.”
And instead of “grace abounding everywhere,” we have the laughter of hyenas. That mocking laughter, which echoes down the corridors from 1968, our very own V-II weapon of Mass destruction, proves that conscience isn’t working, and hasn’t been working for a long time. From the Winnipeg Statement a multi-lane freeway of deviance straight into the dock at Amoris Laetitia.
Published two months after Humanae Vitae, the Winnipeg Statement was an attempt by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops to address widespread concern within the (Canadian) Church (clergy and religious) about the prohibition of all forms of artificial contraception, and to counsel its members (priests and religious) on how to respond to those who have difficulty (parishioners) accepting the directives. The Winnipeg Statement:
“ … recognized that “a certain number of Catholics”, in spite of being bound by the encyclical, find it “either extremely difficult or even impossible to make their own all elements of this doctrine”. These “should not be considered, or consider themselves, shut off from the body of the faithful.
But they should remember that their good faith will be dependent on a sincere self-examination to determine the true motives and grounds for such suspension of assent and on continued effort to understand and deepen their knowledge of the teaching of the Church.”
With regard to those in that situation, “the confessor or counsellor must show sympathetic understanding and reverence for the sincere good faith of those who fail in their effort to accept some point of the encyclical.”
(Paragraph 26 stated:) “In accord with the accepted principles of moral theology, if these persons have tried sincerely but without success to pursue a line of conduct in keeping with the given directives, they may be safely assured that, whoever honestly chooses that course which seems right to him does so in good conscience.“ (Emphasis added.)
Enough for now, sleep calls me to sweet dreams … more tomorrow perhaps, always assuming that God gives me another day, another do-over by His grace.
Ready, Aye Ready! Semper Fidelis, Ad Aeternitatem …
“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?
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)
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
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:
” … (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.
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.”
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
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.