I have heard a great deal of strangeness as a Catholic–in the local Catholic colleges, my local parish, even the diocesan office–that has been bewildering. Instead of reiterating all the interesting ideas proposed, I have come to wonder, are people bored with the truth?
We have more encyclicals and papal writings that could keep us all busy reading till Kingdom come. We have over thirty doctors of the Church that stand as bright bastions of faith. What is the obsession with novelty? The more out-in-the-land-of-weird in some circles, the more interest. At times it has felt like many Catholics love everything that is not a part of our tradition.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought the whole point of this Catholic journey is that God, in His great love, has safe guarded the deposit of faith within the heart of the Church. To love her is to honor her, to listen to what she has to say to us. Why is the truth received as debate at all? To follow the magisterium is to be categorized as a traditionalist, but I didn’t know there was any other way to be Catholic. Scripture, Tradition, Magisterium, right? I thought this was as straight forward as the narrow way that leads to life.
For all practical purposes, there seems to be a fourth leg in the minds of many I might call the novelty of me. This fourth leg makes its way into education at every level. They love deconstruction and to question anything that hasn’t been nailed down. They almost go searching for loopholes to present their oddities of faith.
They often hold up their theologians as if they were declared saints, by the fourth imaginary leg on which they stand. Once I asked why not just give folks the teaching of the Church? I was told that we wanted to create free thinkers; I fail to understand how indoctrinating people with heresy empowers them to be free or to think clearly.
Isn’t the world bombarding our minds enough in this present age? Do we really need this coming from the Church? How boring.
What is the purpose of truth, but to set the captives free!
The tip of the iceberg phenomena hasn’t failed me yet. Where I find one heresy floating around willfully in a Catholic mind, there is a love affair with dissidence. An antagonism with the ecclesial side of the Church goes without saying. Not unlike one of my children always questioning everything I have to say. But the moment Dad says a word that could be twisted to their liking they lift it in the air with a dogmatic declaration.
Friendliness is often common among them; they smile and then tell you a lie. It’s like Mr. Rogers meets Machiavelli. For sure it is all well-meaning. They are the prophets bringing us forward to the light of all that is sweet like the Turkish delights in Lewis’s Wardrobe.
Oh and they have this mantra of how the spirit of Vatican II opened the windows and doors of the Church. They of course hijacked that from Papa, but it would seem that every foul creature and unclean bird flew in as they joyfully danced in the droppings all about them.
The real prophets are those standing with the pressure washers and mops in hand to clean the mess up.
Steven, wonderful defense of Mother Church. “……I didn’t know there was any other way to be Catholic….”As flawed as I am, that’s how I feel. Thanks.
O Clement of loving o sweet virgin Mary pray for us. Faithful daughter of Zion keep the faith faithfully! Whoohoo
Interestingly, for many of the reasons you cite I am not an apparition chaser or follower, particularly those that have not yet been declared valid by the Church. I have an unfathomable wealth of truth to plumb and healing to gain and experience to be had already.
From my perspective subjective encounters with God are all welcome, heresy is not, Objective truth defined by the Church is binding on the hearts and minds of the faithful, even approved Apparitions are left to the discretion of the individual. I can not deny the subjective experiences I’ve had with heaven because I am the subject having them. If they are in anyway inconsistent with faith and morals I would happily throw them in the sea of forgetfulness, but on my end they enrich the faith I already hold to be true. And that faith is neither novel or weird. OK it may be weird but never the less true.
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Steven, I agree with everything you’ve said and am aware of the Church’s teaching on apparitions and private revelation.
Where we would differ then is that I do not place the same weighting you do on subjective experience nor do I open myself to it through sources not yet fully approved and therefore not yet outside the worry of being possibly heterodox. I do not mean I may not have an experience I think is of God or attributable to him but as you say, I am the subject so I do not place an importance on that, not as I would say my encounter with the very things you mention in your second paragraph — which was really my desire in the comment, namely to affirm those things mentioned in paragraph two can be fully trusted and never fully exhausted, therefore my weighting goes to them over subjective experience.
I cannot align being critical of non Catholic subjective experience and at the same time embrace subjective Catholic experience particularly in the case of non approved apparition or private revelation, not even with the convenient proviso that the Church has not yet declared on such and such and so my subjective experience related to such and such is somehow valid and can inform my faith. One may be courting heresy unawares and entertaining dissidence trusting that my apparition will certainly one day be approved.
Fair enough, “which was really my desire in the comment, namely to affirm those things mentioned in paragraph two can be fully trusted and never fully exhausted, therefore my weighting goes to them over subjective experience.” Totally agree, and I think that is where I’m headed in the future even done with a bit of subjective me involved. For now it’s story time mingled with faith.
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