Critiques & Controversies: October 2002 Archives

I Am and Wish Always


I Am and Wish Always to be . . .

I am and wish always to be a true son of the Church. All that I say or do I wish to be in conformity with Her teachings. Where I stray, I pray for the conviction of the Holy Spirit to bring me back. However, in all that I say, do, or otherwise make public, I wish always to express Her mind in the issue and I submit all matters of faith and morals to her judgments and humbly accept correction when and where necessary.

I love the Church. I think with the Church, but I am a broken, distant image of Him whom I would follow, and therefore I fail. I struggle with a great many things that the Church Teaches. But nothing in the centrality of the Creed or in the understanding of the hierarchy or teaching authority of the Church.

I like this expression far more than the one I posted before. I believe it to be truer, closer to the heart of the matter, and more personal. The Church is a Mother for me--I cannot bear to see those who would disgrace Her or tear Her down, be they revolutionaries or reactionaries. But being human, I struggle mightily with some of her teachings, to understand and accept them. These struggles are, however, my own. And to the best of my ability to do so, I would always state first and foremost what the Church teaches--it is sheer arrogance and pride to assume that in my span of years I could have accumulated sufficient knowledge to refute what she may teach. The Church is my teacher, in my immaturity, I struggle with some of what She teaches--but that is more a reflection on me that it is on the doctrines of the Church. And as I struggle, I pray I struggle toward truth and not toward self-will. To even begin to do this, I must defer my doubts to the wisdom of the teaching authority of the Church.

And I feel compelled to post even this much because so many would deny the teachings of the Bishops. It seems that every time they open their mouths someone is telling them to shut up. See one of the comments (you'll know the one) on this post at Disputations if you wonder whereof I speak. So, my apologies for the abortive and ultimately unsatisfactory attempt at definition this morning. This afternoon I say simply, I stand with my Bishops until such time as they teach out-and-out heresy (and I do not believe they [en masse] will ever do so.)

Later--Apologies Rereading this blog at a later time I realized that it could have been read to have accused the blogmaster at Disputations of holding some of the views I repudiate. That was not my intention and I hope the clarification above makes more clear what I was trying to say.

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How Can Satan Deceive?


T.S. O'Rama never fails to post fascinating and thought provoking things. My mind bubbles with all sorts of thoughts all the time and occasionally one struggles to the high-surface tension top of the liquid and explodes with amazing display, usually over some triviality. Not to break that sequence, I must comment on this comment Mr. O'Rama offers.

Perhaps the answer is this: everything but humility. If the Medjugorje messages said, "humble yourselves before your family & neighbor" instead of the unceasing requests to pray, perhaps that would be off-limits as a demonic strategy.

I think I would say, put no good thing beyond Satan's power. That is, if praying the Rosary will keep you at the same level of prayer and cause you not to advance, that is a victory for him. He would encourage you to be very devout in your prayer of the Rosary. If humility seems good, he can make it a marketable commodity, and suddenly people who were full of humility are measuring themselves against others and against a false standard. Satan can use all morally good and neutral things to ill effect. We can be tempted to spend hours round-the-clock before the Blessed Sacrament, indeed a good thing, to keep us from supporting our families and doing our duties in our married vocations. So Jesus told us not to judge by appearances or by what was said ("wolves in sheep’s clothing.") but "by their fruits you shall know them."

Now this becomes an extremely tricky business. Take the matter of the forthcoming canonization of Josemaria Escriva. I have read elsewhere that he encouraged practices that would certainly seem to overstep the bounds of what modern sensibilities could entertain or accept. But do a majority of cooperators engage in these? (Did he indeed encourage any such thing or are these scurrilous rumors? I do not have enough facts at my disposal to say for certain.) What are the fruits?

That is why I simply await the full investigation of anything--apparitions, sainthood, acceptable practices and prayers. Presumably both greater numbers of people and people with a great deal more experience examine these things before they are approved. I think we fall into a trap making assumptions about what Satan can and cannot do and we do better to err on the side of accepting what is traditionally taught. These new apparitions may not make their meaning known for some time. It took a long while before we knew and understood the full revelation of Fatima. Lourdes was not well accepted immediately in its time, and we may not yet have truly absorbed all that is there for us.

Thus my caution. Satan is a lot smarter than we are, with thousands of years of tempting and experience with human souls at his fingertips, I would venture to guess that there is almost nothing that he cannot corrupt, at least in practice. Obviously he cannot make invalid a properly consecrated Eucharist, but he can lead us to believe the lies many modernists would tell of it.

The best thing to do--set your eyes on Christ and do all that you do not for hope of heaven or fear of hell, but from pure love of God. You might be led astray, but it seems unlikely that He would allow it.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Critiques & Controversies category from October 2002.

Critiques & Controversies: August 2002 is the previous archive.

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