If you have time, please read this excellent article by Brad Miner: The Apostolic Secession in the Catholic Thing. From that article I quote:
Perhaps. We recall when Our Lord had just finished speaking in the synagogue at Capernaum. He had presaged the Eucharist (and affirmed His divinity), stunning his listeners with insistence that they eat His flesh and drink His blood, and there is grumbling among some disciples about the difficulty of the Way – and some of them walk away. So Jesus asks the Twelve: “Do you also want to leave?” And Peter says, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John. 6: 53-68) It’s sensible to speculate that the decline of Catholic education is to blame for declines in Catholic affiliation in the West, and not just liberalization of curricula in parochial schools but also the more general decline in Catechesis. Arguments for Catholic doctrine and against secularism are effective only if those arguments are actually being made, especially by the hierarchy.
About ten years before I was received in the Church I had a very unusual experience that convinced me there was something more than material life. Not that I was a materialist. At that point, I simply had no interest in spiritual things anymore. That visit, that touch of the peace of God that lasted less than a minute, gave me the impetus to find its origin. Then I was ‘coincidentally’ acquainted with the writings of C. S. Lewis, and through him I found G. K. Chesterton and T. S. Eliot again. Much to my profit I read both with new eyes.
One can still trace the path I traveled for the following ten years in the bookshelves of my personal library. At one point I decided to go “back to the roots” and read the Christian authors from the New Testament onward. I had to read much history and climb to other branches of the tree … Jewish authors, and some of the ancient Greeks I had neglected to read in my youth.
It was during those days that I discovered EWTN. There were the series of Fr Corapi, and Mother Angelica. Fortunately they were repeated often so I could memorize certain parts, take notes, etc. Back then I did not have the benefit of the myriad of videos now posted online. My television was set on EWTN constantly. Without even noticing it, I was being catechized. Fr John Corapi’s series on the Catechism of the Catholic Church acted like an index, organizing in my mind all the readings of previous years.
It took more than a decade. When I started attending Mass, I was completely anonymous. No one even noticed that I was sitting in the same pew, listening week after week, never taking communion. To be completely frank, my impression was that Catholics were insular to a fault, especially the priests. Little did I imagine that after my baptism, many years later, “committed” Catholics and some priests were going to finally pay attention to me, descending on my life like a pack of wolves destroying everything, and isolating me even more.
Presently, I have attended the same parish for six years. No one yet greets me other than the priest (coldly) — no one knows who I am or where I live. If I ever try to initiate a conversation, it never lasts more than a minute after politely ending, forever. I console myself thinking that Jesus warned us that those who reject us, reject Him. I try to carry that cross with dignity. You, dear readers, are the parish friends that God gave me. When I read the account of Phillip walking for miles to meet and talk to the Ethiopian, it sounds like religious fiction to me. Then I remember Fr John Corapi, who is now experiencing his own Calvary. He was the one who went out and reached me where I was, giving me what I needed. I hope one day I can thank him in person. The same goes for Mother Angelica, God bless her soul. To the other aloof “members” of the Church, I hope I don’t end up in the same eternal apartments where they seem to be going. See Matthew 25:31-46.
Why do young Catholics leave the Church? Why don’t they think like St Peter in John. 6: 53-68? Recent polls seem to indicate that the reason for most Catholic defections is a complete lack of catechesis or worse: bad or heretical catechesis. For example, my younger brother — who converted about three years after I was received in the Church — was “catechized” with the books of Leonardo Boff, a Marxist Brazilian theologian and writer, well known internationally for his role in the development of liberation theology. Boff’s are not “words of eternal life” but lies of eternal death. No one can develop a thirst for that kind of message. Unlike St Peter, young Catholics today have plenty of alternative fountains where they can drink the sensual waters of envy and strife. I heard someone say sadly: “We become the Church of ‘everything goes’ and now, everyone’s gone.” Our young people are rarely given the words of eternal life.
Naturally, those who are thirsty leave the dry desert searching for water somewhere else. The terrible problem is that the Catholic Church still has the words of eternal life. Those words of life are presently kept away from the people by criminals who have a hidden agenda; or by lazy servants who don’t want to bother growing the faith of those trusted to their care. Those criminals are liars and killers working for the ruin of souls along with the father of lies.
Not long ago I was meditating on this — forgive me for quoting myself — a reader reminded me of these lines earlier today:
Our Catholic faith is filled with treasures that have been left to gather dust in the attic while recent generations wander collecting shiny trinkets of little value we now call “ideologies” of various origins. (Quoted from Lucanus)
Many have contacted this blog to thank me for opening the Scriptures on a certain theme. Flattering as it is, I am not the one to be thanked. To the best of my recollection, this humble blog has never presented a single original idea. Everything I write that is good, useful, encouraging, and truthful comes from the Scriptures, the Fathers of the Church, the Doctors of the Church, the writings of the saints, or the Popes of ages past. I will take some credit for digging it out, and take all the blame for any error unwittingly appearing here.
If you are thankful for anything you read in this blog, I am more thankful for your reading it. Because I know you will share it with others and that will make Our Lord’s heart glad. Now read carefully the following passage of the Gospel of Luke:
As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade round you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not discern the time of your visitation.” And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer’, but you have made it a den of robbers.” And he was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people were seeking to destroy him, but they did notfind anything they could do, for all the people were hanging on his words.
- The Pharisees want to curb the enthusiasm of the people.
- They do not realize that they are living through their own judgment.
- They are also contaminating the Temple of God with their actions.
- They want to destroy Jesus, the source of Divine Instruction.
- They cannot destroy Him because the people were “hanging on to His words”
See the importance of the treasure that has been trusted to us? See that those who are hiding and silencing the truth and destroying the messengers of truth are being judged and they don’t even notice it? See the importance of hanging on to the words of Jesus? Can you discern the impending cleaning of God’s House of Prayer?
Welcome Jesus when he comes to your parish disguised as a stranger because you are being judged by your actions. Throw your garment before His path and bless Him. Jesus came into Jerusalem riding on a donkey. Think about it. If you hear the truths eternal coming from a humble source — ‘riding a donkey’ — consider yourself blessed. Discernment of the truth is a grace from God. Respect the donkey that comes to you carrying such precious load.
Jesus was giving the people his words. Those words are still the treasure of the Church even if some among us want to silence them. Replace the eternal message with some human ideology and the people will walk. The Church will not be destroyed but the souls of those leaving the Church will be ruined. Now when those in charge of teaching the message are not doing their job, it is our duty to dig the message up and shout it from the rooftops. When you hear stones — like yours truly — crying out, beware and wake up. Join the chorus and save your soul. Hang to Jesus’ every word and save yourself!