Thursday, 22 May 2014

What the Youth Needs to Learn

Our Faith is of an essentially objective nature. This pertains to both its intellectuality and its historicity.

How are we to attract and retain the young in our Church? For some the solution is almost self-evident, it is the attempt to remould the Church in the image of ''modern youth''. It is to bend the Church to the expectations, likes, preferences and demands of the young. Only in this way, they allege, will Catholicism have any hope of progressing somewhat in the 21st century.

 I reply serenely: ''What has the past 100 years taught us other than that we are supremely capable of killing one another more efficiently?'' The fashioning of the perennial teaching of the Faith to the vicissitudes of a passing and frivolous age is bizarre to anyone who is half awake. Who has not considered the fact that men are castigated and regarded as dangerous extremists, bigots and wicked for holding views a merely five years ago were taken for granted? An institution, whether divine or human, perverted by a reshaping by every alterable wind will end up going mad or completely irrelevant. After all, who is God but subsisting intellect and unchanging goodness, holiness and justice?

I present to you what the Church and her shepherds must instil in the young: intelligence and truth. The Orthodox and Catholic Faith has nothing in common with the legends of the Romans, Greeks or any other pagan grouping whose stories are there to illustrate some moral at best or to fabricate an origin story at worst. Such stories are liable to be refashioned according to the tastes of the latest group of hearers and this constant re-forming is necessary to avoid boredom and impart new meaning from the source material ever malleable to the dictates of the poet. The particular facts are of themselves unimportant. Fertile matter for the fertile imagination.

Our Faith is not of such a character. Man has no more right to insert a new aspect onto the personality of Christ or His teaching than God has of denying His own goodness. What the Father taught Christ, Christ taught the Apostles who in turn taught their successors. We are to hold what the Church has always and everywhere taught, in the same sense as it was taught. This historicity of ''tradition'' in the most fundamental sense is of primordial importance for the survival of the Christian mind.If Our Lord did not take flesh, if He did not suffer truly and die truly, if He did not rise in the flesh, our faith is in vain and we only deserve the mockery of unbelievers. The Catholic who is tempted to say that it is only fitting for ancient man to assert such ''facts''' in order to console his ignorance has gone far astray from the Faith. He believes himself to have attained a ''higher consciousness'' of what God ''really meant''. Evolution of dogma is utterly devastating to the Catholic Church and to validity of thought. The Faith in its radical nature embarrasses him and he has no time for such embarrassment before his fellow man. He does not realise that by denying the historicity of the Incarnation and Resurrection of our Lord, he attributes no value whatsoever to the reality and necessity of it. The whole purpose of his unreasoning exercise is to make the Faith appear of ''value'' to modern man.Yet when intellectuality and historicity flee what is there of value left? It is a man made product of dubious quality.

 A more concrete solution I must urge. The young must be taught to think. They must be taught how to make distinctions. They must be taught how to define. The youth have particularly strong urges to overcome what they consider to be injustices and they possess a certain energy to make themselves noticed. Unfortunately they cleave to a mirage of thought that can be compressed on a placard. They think in slogans, clich├ęs and parrot buzz phrases without considering the full implications of what they are actually spouting. Let us consider the matter of ''love is love'' on the basis of what they nebulously term ''marriage equality''. Such proponents of ''progress'' will assert that this is based on the simple notion of ''you can marry whoever you want''. Rather often I have retorted, ''even my sister?'', to which I am greeted with a sneering condescension and disgust.With the easy availability of contraception and abortion on demand such a state of affairs would not be of great import. In fact I found myself in temporary possession of the former on my very first day of university. It came with the welcome pack. It appears that they have their own prejudices and notions of boundaries. All would be well if they were cognizant of such a truth.

 The youth must be taught sound philosophy and a valid system of metaphysics. With the great degree of specialization that we have obtained so rapidly in the past century or so, why are these sciences neglected when they form a foundational edifice for truly understanding the multiplicity of our created reality? Such teaching will form their minds in discipline to seek what is truly lasting and valuable to man. If this training is to be neglected what will the youth base their practical judgements on, other than what appears to be good and appealing? Without sober judgement, rationality is impossible. Sainthood even more so. Some may respond that this is too scholastic an undertaking and some souls are to be treated to a ''mystic'' approach. Faith may be beyond our reason but reason is to be perfected by revealed truths. It is to mould our thought processes and eliminate errors of judgements and reason. Young Catholic souls are constantly attacked for their faith, so how are they to elucidate their interlocutors on the Divine Trinity and the mystery of grace if they are unable to progress past the preambula fidei? If the very notion of the rationality of God is being questioned, where the young Catholic soul is entirely helpless beyond the barrage of questions, what use is urging their friends to trust in Jesus and His Cross? The latter two are fundamentally dependant on the truth of God which has few true defenders. What will that young soul respond but ''I have my belief and you have yours''? If the Faith is to be of such a nature, arising from the subjective need of a spirit in search of consolation, it would be better to be without it. The militancy of the faithful has evaporated and so has their realization that the Faith can be intelligently defended and explained systematically.

 It is only in this way that we can do our duty towards the young. Give the young man a love of truth and a love of sacrifice. In this way he will save his own soul, as well as those of his wife and children.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Reflection on "Love is Love"

If love is love and you are unable to help who you "fall in love with", such an experience should hold no more sovereignty than an itch or any other involuntary physical reaction. 

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Reflection on the Failure of the Second Vatican Council

In the old faithful nations of Europe and the New World, Catholicism has been reduced to an architectural curiosity. To blindly assert the fundamental goodness of the reforms of the Second Vatican Council is paramount to spiritual slaughter. As the last soul plunges into Hell, the Neo Catholic will still cry out "but the Council, the Council!?!"

One may retort that the disaster of the French Revolution occurred before 1962. It is just as well. We are well aware that the post-conciliar pontiffs would consider that nightmare as an "awakening of the consciousness of the rights of man and of his pre-eminent dignity as human beings".

Reflection on the Implementation of Vatican II

The Neo-Catholic would prefer that the whole episcopacy had apostosied rather than consider the merest criticism of the Roman Pontiffs for the implementation of the Second Vatican Council. 

Saturday, 10 May 2014

On The Canonizations - Neo-Catholic Triumphalism

It has been announced that Pope Paul VI, of unhappy memory, is to be beatified at the close of the Synod of the Family in October. One may ask why the rush to canonize three recent popes, is it the case that their value of models of holiness will diminish with the passing of the ages? Or is it that with the sober judgement of time these men will appear to be no more than adequate as Roman Pontiffs and more probably, less than suitable for the heroic task of the papacy?

I will say rather clearly that this set of ill-thought out and rushed canonizations has nothing at all to do with the men themselves. Apart from the case of Pope John Paul II, there has been little attempt to highlight and proclaim the great holiness of either John XXIII or Paul VI. Who has relate their heroic virtues? Are they worthy models of imitation for Christians? Who could possibly know as even the proponents of their raising to the altars are at a loss to explain exactly why they are deserving of this great honour. I set aside consideration of John Paul II as at least his firm faith and hope during tremendous suffering could be imputed to him as great virtue combined with his lively sense of piety.

These canonizations have nothing to do with the men themselves. They are pawns in the defense of a crumbling council. The council needs defenders. It needs canonization. What fruit of the Council can be detected? A vernacular liturgy that few attends? A new priesthood that men shy away from? A theology that is no more than sentimental mush that ill prepares even the keenest of intellect to defend the Faith against even the dullest of detractors? Point out to me a fruit of the Council and I will reply that it is laced with poison. The Roman Rite? Trivialised. Theology? Sentimentalised and no more than sentimental anthropology. Vocations? Few. Catholic nations? Just as atheistic and socialist as any other land. The popes travel, the popes wave, the crowd cheers...the crowd return home and live etsi Deus non daretur.

Would not one expect the Church to have canonized the various popes that were involved in the Council of Trent and those who strove to implement it? Frankly speaking, few of them were worth it. If we are to ascribe to the Bishop of Rome, supreme, universal and immediate jurisdiction over the whole Bride of Christ are we not to demand great holiness, wisdom and fortitude in exercising the petrine ministry? The faithful of those ages should have been even more triumphalistic about their Pontiffs considering the danger of the Reformation and the Protestants attack on the institution of the papacy. Yet, they wisely avoided this further danger. The vast majority of Roman Pontiffs have been no more than adequate. Plenty have been utter scoundrels and rascals who divided the garments of Christ among them for their own personal good. The traditionalist is not embarrassed by these scandals. Our Blessed Lord did not promise that Peter himself would never fall. All too often the popes have occupied the throne of Satan instead. On the other hand, great men have been chosen to succeed Peter and have dutifully carried out their mission with rectitude and courage. Where is the clamouring for the canonization of the superb Leo XIII? Or the much forgotten Benedict XV? The fate of souls was too pressing a matter for those involved in the Counter Reformation to divinize the Council of Trent and avert their eyes to the misery of heresy and schism. At least this sixteenth century Council produced great art and architecture? The Second Vatican Council? No more than the modernistic Scandinavian ''spaceship'' that is my local parish.

We are to raise three men to the altars, yet where have the men gone? The Faith proclaimed by these men has proven so ineffective to the evangelization and retention of young Catholic men who have therefore found solace in practical agnosticism at best. Where are the young men who will offer the Holy Sacrifice, who will raise families in the face of hostile secularism, who will teach boys to be men? These three pontiffs were more than negligent in presenting the Catholic Faith of the ages to these souls. The militancy of the baptised soul was to be purged in favour of a spirit of vain dialogue that has only created indifferentism and has made secular humanism the pinacle of moral consciousness. The Church seeks only a place at the table of discussion. She seeks fairest and an opportunity to speak in her turn. What a pathetic institution that these men have presided over! The bishops may be criticised but the popes? The popes who are of the same mould as their brother bishops are to be immune from criticism even when the same guilt belongs to them for the same acts and omissions!

Paul VI, a wretched, indecisive figure, divested himself of the papal tiara and in turn abrogated the kingship of Christ. Where in our Lord acknowledged? In the inter religious meetings? At Assisi? Certainly not before journalists where Francis refused to bless them in the Name of the Trinity, 'respectando la conciencia de cada uno''. Even a third rate sociologist appraising the numbers of the faithful who attend Mass, who can articulate a modicum of the Faith, the size and health of families and the state of such Catholic nations as Spain, Italy, Portugal and Brazil, can see that the Council failed in almost every aspect. 

The Neo-Catholic can only demand fidelity and ''obedience''. He is entirely incapable of defending the Faith in the light of tradition. It is contrary to the spirit and greatness of the Fathers and Doctors to angrily assert ''The magisterium holds such and such, believe it or you're disobedient!'' Did not these great men of old labour earnestly to explain the Faith suitably so that the doubters and deniers could reach an understanding of the mysteries of faith or the philosophical underpinnings of it? No such effort is considered by these apologists. Threats of suspension, excommunication and of being ''uncharitable'' are their stock in trade.

I await eagerly a true explanation of the the continuity of the Council with immemorial tradition, especially in the areas of religious liberty and ecumenism. There is nothing to be triumphalistic about in these matters. Millions of souls have perished due to the effects of the Council, whether the 'real' one or the virtual Council that Benedict XVI recently spoke about.

When facts are of little use, cries of ''disobedience!'' resound. Let the Neo-Catholic consider why we need a New Evangelization if the Council were not a complete failure? To them, it appears the New Evangelization is nothing more than a new buzz phrase which allows them to consider themselves faithful to the latest pontiff.

It is urgent that we realise the damage of the Council. Even if we are to hold that the Council has not been implemented correctly, are we to state that the Pontiffs were not involved in this ''bastardization'' of the Council? Were they not the ones who promoted and tolerated every novelty, heresy and extravagance? It is their Council and their implementation, their souls must mirror it.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Reflection on the Good Shepherd

Ego sum pastor bonus et cognosco meas et cognoscunt me meae

O what delight and consolation this should lend to the Christian soul! This profound intimiacy between ourselves and our Divine Protector and Redeemer! Our assent to the Lord must not be reduced to some form of syllogism where His guiding and nuturing hand is considered in the abstract.  Our Lord knows us as we know Him just as He knows the Father who sent him. What does our Lord say to the damned but, "I know thee not". On the contrary, He says to us, "I know thee, I love thee, come to Me".