Cleansing Fire

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I Like Not Fair Terms and a Villain’s Mind

August 2nd, 2011, Promulgated by Gen

. . . or “the creative games liberals play.”

Isn’t it funny, friends, how one can be made to feel as if he or she is in the wrong when, in all truth, he or she is in the right? Have you ever noticed how when someone kneels to receive Communion in the Diocese of Rochester, there is a momentary lurch wherein the communicant doesn’t know whether he will be permitted to receive in that manner or not? Have you ever noticed how our mothers, sisters, and wives are looked at with pity (or even derision) when they place their mantillas on their heads? Have you ever noticed how our young men are pushed away from the altar, and then the diocesan officials are boggled as to why vocations are so fleeting? Have you ever noticed how those in error will play word-games to push the blame away from themselves and onto those who are, in fact, blameless?

Now, what is even more intriguing than all of this, is how so-called “liberals” fail to celebrate the diversity of the community. A genuine liberal, someone who thinks that all paths lead to God, “or, at least it stands to reason, there must be something out there, a higher power like gravity or something,” will not be moved to anger when he or she sees a tradition-minded young couple spend an hour in silent adoration. A genuine liberal will find it charming and beautiful that there are so many ways to pray. But, dear friends, we don’t have “genuine liberals” in Rochester. We have in our midst and in our diocese individuals whose idea of liberality is putting an end to the plethora of diverse worship communities in favor of imposing one overarching method. It has been said here and elsewhere that, “if you scratch a liberal, you get a Nazi.” And there is tremendous truth in that.

But, of course, these brothers and sisters in faith decline to see the logic in this. After all, many of these souls are as entrenched in their views as we are in ours. The only difference is that they’re wrong, but that’s for us to discuss another day. It is plain to see that where orthodoxy is promoted, and where “diversity” isn’t a dirty word, the Church thrives. When you have individuals such as Bishop Clark, as kind and personable as they might be, the Church withers and dies. And why is that? It’s simple: our Christian duty isn’t “be nice.” It’s to spread the Gospel, through word and action. Charity is a great part of that, but to be “charitable” doesn’t mean to be pushovers, weak-kneed Catholics who would rather yield to the local norms than to pursue what is Truth and Beauty itself, regardless of the cost.

But, surprise of surprises, liberals don’t like that. It hurts their feelings. Well, I’m sorry, but sometimes feelings need to be hurt to actually achieve something. Was our salvation procured without tears, blood, sweat, and anguish? No. As Christians we are called to be passion-bearers, suffering all things patiently, but never yielding, never submitting to what is wrong or indecent.

And this brings me to the title of this post, “I like not fair terms and a villain’s mind.” The liberals in this diocese have set up a playing board, festooned with disobedience and cluttered with the detritus of a failed experiment. It’s a hazardous game, but, thanks be to God, they have set up rules to keep us safe, and to prevent us from losing in the long-run. Rule #1 is to be obedient to the local ordinary in all things. “We answer first to Matt, then to the Vatican.” This breed of liberal is big on obedience to authority, presuming that the authority is competent and in-line with the agenda they push. Rule #2 is to be accepting of everyone. Sure, you might be offended to see Susie Q. get up to preach a sermon, and you might even feel somewhat scandalized to see a nun standing at the altar with a priest. But remember: the Mass isn’t about God, it’s about us, so if you think about it, there’s nothing really wrong with all that. It’s just “diversity.” Rule #3 is not to splinter the community. Whatever you do, don’t rock the boat. If everyone else is receiving Our Lord while doing a headstand, then, by God, you better do it too. It’s better to blend in with the community than to do something somewhat questionable, like receive Our Lord on the tongue or, (dare I even think it?) even kneeling. Whenever you do something old and out-dated, you’re not doing it out of obedience or fidelity to 2,000 years of Tradition – you’re doing it to sow dissent and discord in our Diocese.

So these are the three rules of the game here in Rochester – Obey Bishop Clark. Accept everyone. Celebrate the community. Now, I will be the first to say, that if someone didn’t know the amount of pure lunacy going on in the Diocese of Rochester, these would be three perfectly wonderful rules. The game would be an easy and enjoyable one. But folks – these rules, these “fair terms” that are oh-so-appealing, they’ve been conjured up in the minds of villains. No defender of the Faith, no champion of the Church would ever rig a game with such rules as to protect Women’s Ordination Conference advocates and lay-people who run parishes saying that they “are basically priests”. This game is rigged, friends.

But who is saying we actually need to play? Lift up your heads from the mire around us. This is just one “playing board” in the Church. In other places, the rules are pretty much the same – obey the Bishop, accept brothers and sisters in faith, and take joy in the community. But guess what – in other places, the Bishop isn’t overtly flirting with disobedience. In other places, when you’re told to “accept everyone,” it’s presuming that “everyone” is actually Catholic and orthodox. In other places, the “community” has no problem with the Latin Mass and other things of extraordinary value.

And so, essentially, this is the problem in Rochester. We have these fair terms conjured up by the minds of villains. But what is precious and valuable for us is that we have the ability to say “no,” to get up and “play another game” as it were.

The prayer of St. Ignatius of Loyola is very appropriate for this post, so here it is for your spiritual edification:

Lord, teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve you as you deserve;
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labor and not to ask for reward,
save that of knowing that I do your will.

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23 Responses to “I Like Not Fair Terms and a Villain’s Mind”

  1. avatar christian says:

    I wonder why the recent post about a Spanish cardinal advocating Holy Communion to be taken on the tongue, while kneeling disappeared. I hope it had nothing to do with flack from the Diocese. The story on the Cardinal can be found at the following link:

    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/spanish-cardinal-recommends-that-catholics-receive-communion-on-the-tongue/

  2. avatar christian says:

    I thought the dialogue in that post was meaningful even though people disputed the individual method of receiving Holy Communion because it opened up dialogue and made people think of the essence of their own practice in regard to receiving Jesus in this special way.

  3. avatar Diane Harris says:

    Isa 5:20
    Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

    2Ti 3:12-13 Indeed all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceivers and deceived.

    2Pe 3:3 First of all you must understand this, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own passions…

    A friend of mine calls the previous pastor’s attempts to make every church have the same version of every hymn a “cookie cutter” approach. When I see the distress of some priests over sincere and permited variations in stance or gesture, all I can think of is the Rockettes.

  4. avatar Mike says:

    Niceness is not a virtue, kindness is.

    Actually, ‘nice’ has a very interesting etymology

    late 13c., “foolish, stupid, senseless,” from O.Fr. nice “silly, foolish,” from L. nescius “ignorant,” lit. “not-knowing,” from ne- “not” (see un-) + stem of scire “to know.” “The sense development has been extraordinary, even for an adj.” [Weekley] — from “timid” (pre-1300); to “fussy, fastidious” (late 14c.); to “dainty, delicate” (c.1400); to “precise, careful” (1500s, preserved in such terms as a nice distinction and nice and early); to “agreeable, delightful” (1769); to “kind, thoughtful” (1830). In 16c.-17c. it is often difficult to determine exactly what is meant when a writer uses this word. By 1926, it was pronounced “too great a favorite with the ladies, who have charmed out of it all its individuality and converted it into a mere diffuser of vague and mild agreeableness.” [Fowler]

    “I am sure,” cried Catherine, “I did not mean to say anything wrong; but it is a nice book, and why should I not call it so?” “Very true,” said Henry, “and this is a very nice day, and we are taking a very nice walk; and you are two very nice young ladies. Oh! It is a very nice word indeed! It does for everything.” [Jane Austen, “Northanger Abbey”

  5. avatar Kevin says:

    Bravo! I love this post Gen, fantastic job.

  6. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    If this diocese gives you flack, you must be doing something correct. Keep their feet to the fire. I wouldn’t think they would play fair!

  7. avatar annonymouse says:

    It will be interesting to see if the folks who espouse rule no. 1 – “in all things, obey the ordinary” – stick to that rule in 2012 or 2013 when there are new faces on Buffalo Road.

    One thing to add about “liberals” – they prefer to never, ever, ever mention sin. We accept everybody, which is fine and good as long as we accept that we are all sinners in need of God’s mercy, and the first step in obtaining God’s mercy is recognizing our sinfulness. We accept homosexuals without regard to the grave sin that the homosexual lifestyle entails. We never mention the grave sin of contraception. Heck, there is nary a mention of the sin of abortion. Nope – we accept everybody – everybody’s saved, regardless of their behavior. The liberals have done away with sin, once and for all. And of course the beneficiary is the devil (I know, what a neanderthal I must be to believe in such creatures) and his or her (let’s be inclusive here) minions.

  8. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    From day 1 these people from Buffalo Road have been trying to change the church. They would speak to ignorant parishoners as if they were doing it on the sly.

    I think the only rules they know are their own. It’s all about them!

  9. avatar Raymond F. Rice says:

    I was wondering while I read this article where the tradition of receiving Holy Communion on the tongue came from and is it traditionally based and from what era and/or scriptural based. Enlighten me.

  10. avatar Mike says:

    Raymond Rice,

    This item from the Franciscan Archives may be helpful.

  11. avatar MichaelL says:

    I interrupt this comment thread to unabashedly promote my latest post which contains a video interview with Father Michael Rodriguez of El Paso, Texas:
    Father Rodriguez on the crisis in the Church — Part 2

    Actually it does have some bearing on the topic of this post. If nothing else it’s interesting to hear a priest openly speaking up about the challenges facing the Church from within. Father Michael draws a connection between how we celebrate Mass and how that affects our faith. He has turned to the traditional Latin Mass as one solution.

  12. avatar Rosemary says:

    Mike@10:23 P.M. – “Nice” people let the world go to Hell in a handbasket. Our Lord didn’t suffer in agony and die on the cross to make me a “nice person”. He died and rose again to make me a “new creation”.

  13. avatar The Egyptian says:

    ZING, to the point, and with teeth, so true and so sad, I think that things are bad in Cincinnati. Keep up the fight, the biological solution will prevail,

  14. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    They are “NICE” to all except to those who oppose their ideology, and in that case, it’s like so many things uttered by the leader(s) on Buffalo Road. Up yours.

  15. avatar JLo says:

    I may have mentioned it once before when on this topic, but it’s worth saying again… when Pope Benedict XVI left the USA a few years back, at his very next public Mass and thereafter he has a kneeler placed for those to whom he himself gives Holy Communion. Huge statement, and not meant just for America… I think the timing was just a coincidence. This dear Holy Father is striving mightily to bring us back to the recognition of what we have in Holy Mass: we have the Incarnation and Calvary and the Resurrection and Christ’s mother and all the angels of heaven on that altar when he comes upon it. Why WOULDN’T we all be in the worship frame of mind?! What fools are they who don’t even know why they are there, especially the ordained and the consecrated. What a waste of calling.

    And as to obedience to our bishop… obedience to disobedience is not obedience at all. We owe respect to all our bishops and priests, but obedience is reserved to Holy Mother Church; and if she is not being faithfully represented, only courtesy is required, I should think.

    Thank you for a wonderful article, Gen. God bless! +JMJ

  16. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    We are the bishops servants but God’s first.

  17. avatar iteachthefaith says:

    I will sleep refreshed tonight after reading this wonderful post. Thank you, God Bless.

  18. avatar Raymond F. Rice says:

    JLO:
    You use the expression “Holy Mother Church” in your article. What exactly is holy mother church? I have heard so many different meanings that my head spins at times!!

  19. avatar JLo says:

    I could, of course, do a search online or in my own rather large reference library of all things Catholic, Raymond Rice, but I’ll just answer your question from my own mind and heart, from which the term springs for me. Its sound originates, I’m sure, from all those school sisters in the 50s and 60s who taught me, and it comes to me naturally when referencing the very center of Catholic faith. Others use Magisterium; I use Holy Mother Church.

    I also mostly use the term Holy Mass, you may also note. That came into my personal vocabulary when visiting Poland and meeting person after person routinely referring to the Sacrifice that way, and it felt right: it felt much more descriptive of the truth of its elements than just saying “Mass”.

    So that’s my answer for you; but you can stop your head spinning, sir, by just doing a routine search online yourself for what others mean and think when they use the term Holy Mother Church… I’ve only told you what it means to ME.

    God bless. +JMJ
    +JMJ

  20. avatar Mike says:

    Raymond Rice,

    The CCC has several references to the Church as Mother. Some of them follow and you can go here to search for others.

    171 The Church, “the pillar and bulwark of the truth”, faithfully guards “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints”. She guards the memory of Christ’s words; it is she who from generation to generation hands on the apostles’ confession of faith. As a mother who teaches her children to speak and so to understand and communicate, the Church our Mother teaches us the language of faith in order to introduce us to the understanding and the life of faith.

    181 “Believing” is an ecclesial act. The Church’s faith precedes, engenders, supports and nourishes our faith. The Church is the mother of all believers. “No one can have God as Father who does not have the Church as Mother” (St. Cyprian, De unit. 6: PL 4, 519).

    507 At once virgin and mother, Mary is the symbol and the most perfect realization of the Church: “the Church indeed. . . by receiving the word of God in faith becomes herself a mother. By preaching and Baptism she brings forth sons, who are conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of God, to a new and immortal life. She herself is a virgin, who keeps in its entirety and purity the faith she pledged to her spouse.” (Lumen Gentium 64; cf. 63)

    808 The Church is the Bride of Christ: he loved her and handed himself over for her. He has purified her by his blood and made her the fruitful mother of all God’s children.

    As for the Church being Holy, that is one of her four marks. See here.

  21. avatar JLo says:

    Thanks for beefing up my response to Raymond Rice regarding the use of “Holy Mother Church”, Mike. It was very kind of you to take the trouble of providing a more comprehensive answer.

    As to your last line, though, I wasn’t speaking of the Church (in that post or my prior one); rather, I was explaining why I use the term “Holy Mass”, rather than merely “Mass”.

    +JMJ

  22. avatar Mike says:

    JLo,

    That last line wasn’t aimed at you. Raymond had asked about “Holy Mother Church” and the first (and far longer) part of my reply dealt with the “Mother Church” part of his question, with the last sentence dealing with the “Holy” part.

  23. avatar Raymond F. Rice says:

    I guess what I was really wondering is when we talk about the majestarium etc. of the Church, of what is the Church composed?? What is it made up of?? When we say the Church says this or that, who is speaking??

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