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!
Carlos, I hope if we ever belong to the same parish, we’ll see each other & somehow recognize the other as a dear friend. Your sad tale of being ostracized within the Church is also my story. And, for the same reason–boldly defending the Faith & refusing to compromise to make people “comfortable” & “feel welcome.” This happened at two staunchly orthodox Catholic parishes which I’m sure you’d remember. It has been a very painful, crushing cross to carry for me. Yesterday in prayer, Jesus reminded me that sometime ago, I’d said “yes” when He asked me to be conformed to Him. The Way of the Cross & the Crucifixion are necessary for every Catholic. Perhaps, my friend, those are the paths of the spiritual journey we are both walking right now. Keeping you in my prayers, my friend!
LikeLiked by 2 people
I hope my article conveyed the idea that I am at peace with the rejection, defamation, nasty tricks, even stealing that I was (and I am) the object of. I see it as being worthy of the sufferings of my Master and therefore as a promise that I will one day share in a portion of His glory. I discussed that with a priest recently. He has intimate details of the maneuvers some of his fellow priests do in cases like mine. That priest was the object of similar cruelties and so, he understands. He said something about the eternal judgment. Imagine that! Imagine being before Jesus and see “the movie” of one’s life played one more time with all the intentions of the soul out in the open! Imagine Jesus asking “Why did you do that to your brother?” and having nothing to say except “I was envious, I coveted this or that, his justice bothered me, etc.” And then being given the same unmerciful judgment one has put others through! Once I was addressed in private by a man whom nearly every Catholic in the US knows. His envy, his wickedness were in every word he spoke to me. I did not know what to say. In times past I would have punched his face but I was given the grace to just take that insulting discourse and when he was done I walked away. Sometimes I see his videos on YouTube. His sanctimonious act is not going to be of any use before Christ when the time comes. Am I glad of being miles away from that flaming hypocrite! Because I know one day he will be exposed for the fraud he is and “great will be his ruin”. We must pray for wisdom to act in these circumstances because we all have made mistakes, and we all fall short of the justice of God. That is why we MUST declare the truth, the same that the Apostles and the Fathers declared for 20 centuries NO MATTER what some clown says now. Nothing is going to change! There is no need for any updates! 2+2=4 now, in the first century and any time in between! If we must suffer for that, so be it! It won’t last long. But those who work for the dark side will suffer for it ETERNALLY. Theirs is a foolish choice even if it is temporarily sweet and even praised in this world we inhabit briefly.
I’ve given up what I thought was my “mission,” when I moved here to Tucson. I tried to do volunteer work for pro-life, but they wanted me to sit in 8-hr sessions on what to do, and it was a long drive. I KNEW what to do! I looked for purpose in two parishes here. One had a big, beautiful church, but I felt cold in there, and unfortunately, none of the priests who participated in Mass could speak well. The one who could speak well was always busy raising money or something like that It reminded me of the nurses in the hospital. The good ones do the paperwork, and the ones who are starting out do the nursing! I actually went to confession to a foreign priest, and he got things so wrong, I was about to come around and straighten him out. But, I let it go, and do not go to confession anymore. It’s difficult to commit a mortal sin in a place like this, where many are over ninety years old. I usually help them, and they appreciate that.
Now, the way you are treated…and, whatever happened to Fr. Corapi? Loved him, and Loved Fr. Groeschel, who was made to get off the air when he defended the priests saying some are innocent, and Mother Angelica, the person who got me back into the church, and others took over her EWTN. Sad, sad, sad. Think about this. I’ve noticed the “church” people in charge treat the saints like trash! Look what they did to Padre Pio, not letting him say Mass because his hands bled (stigmata). Think of the Curé of Ars, they said was too stupid to be a priest, yet he had thousands come to hear him. Perhaps Satan can get into the soul of those in charge because of pride, I’m not sure.
Yes, the other churches (you see, I’ve been to many of them) have a “fellowship,” and when I just mentioned I was going to have an operation, they got concerned and put me on their prayer list, and asked me what my name was, checked up on me, and even delivered food to my home!! They described me as a “recovering Catholic!” It’s hard for me to shout from the rooftops about our Church. I do calmly, and have said “if you read enough history, especially church history, you will find Catholic Church is the Original (like Ky Fried Chicken), and Catholic merely means “universal.” I will answer some questions, but I find most outsiders think we are a cult these days, and the church has been persecuted from day one. I believe I read where only 38 percent of Catholics follow “the rules,” and many do not know the rules. Fortunately, I went to a convent school for around five years and learned all the rules and more. I got kicked out of RCIA because I had a following there, and I went against what some were saying, but I know I was right, because they were not taught religion for five years, as I was. Tell me what they are doing to you now. I don’t think you can make a living apart from the church people preaching anything Catholic! They have a hold on how and what to publish and their media. I’ve backed off of going to church lately because I’m old, the benches are hard, I can’t kneel, cannot understand the priests who speak because they are so old, so quiet, or from Vietnam, etc., so I go to our Communion, here. Oh, and many think I’m weird if I even speak about Jesus …yes, sad, sad, sad….But, I will not give up, I will talk the conservative way in every meeting we have. I will defend life, and it is not a choice it is a child, and we should help single mothers. It made me sick to see “The Women’s March.” They are depraved. I believe it is written it shall be this way before the end.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Whether it’s because I’m a single woman, or a conservative, I’m ostracized in the Catholic Church too. Maybe it’s because I receive Communion on the tongue and kneel both at Consecration and after returning to the pew? (Definitely I stand out as “different” for that.) Tried joining groups, volunteering, going to Donut Sunday and doing my best to reach out and be sociable … learned that my time after Mass was better spent going out into the wilderness alone, camera in hand … maybe that has partly something to do with how I became an artist.
One year, it was pretty pathetic to realize that I had more invitations around the holidays from people in Star Trek clubs than I did from my fellow Catholics. Saddest part of that is, one of the Star Trek clubs in particular has the following types of members: pagans, a Marxist, at least one who seems to hint at being homosexual. That year, I did have a non-Catholic Christian who was kind enough to invite me to attend a Christmas service at her church. Houston, we have a problem. The Catholic Church should be the one setting the good example for the rest of civilized society, and one would hope, provide a better example than the pagans. A bare minimum of common courtesy would be a good start.
Oh, and just this past Sunday? An usher at a certain church (which shall be nameless, I attend more than one parish) actually swore at me. She was standing in everybody’s way talking with the other ushers as people were trying to come in the door for Mass. I said “Excuse me” as I brushed past doing my best not to touch her. And then she utters a nasty word, maybe to make people think I did something wrong, who knows? I got a bit heated at that but anyways did not swear. Next time, I’ll be more prepared, and will have to remember to “bless those who curse you.” I get the feeling that if I reported her behavior, I’d probably end up being the one in trouble.
So yes, I am super grateful to know you, Carlos. Would love to have you locally in my parish!! It’s an honor and a privilege to call you friend.
And grateful that we met awhile back through Charlie Johnston’s old blog. I would also like to put in a good word for Charlie. Although we are, to my understanding, not to follow him regarding prophecy per the Archdiocese of Denver, having met him in person, I can say that he’s one of the very few Catholic men in the entire world who has treated me, as a single woman, with the respect due to an adult human being, and with the friendliness and good fellowship of a fellow Catholic.
LikeLiked by 2 people
I also vouch for Charlie’s kindness, Phoenix and I am privileged to be friends with both of you. I know the issue about Charlie’s predictions but he has remained obedient and Catholic in spite of that mild discipline. We all can be carried away by things like that. As for the treatment you received. What can we do but bear those things with patience and hope that God will fix it. I am sure we can exchange many horror stories and others could add more. In the end we can conclude that we have a lot of work to do: 1) praying 2) giving a good example 3) bearing the abuse with grace (not easy for me, I don’t suffer fools lightly) — In the end the works of all will come to light. Knowing that suffices to terrify me into submission, If they did it to Christ they will do it to us. It is a badge of honor when you think about it. 🙂
LikeLiked by 2 people
Charlie, I thought, made some honest mistakes, but I found his writings very orthodox. ‘The man who never made a mistake, never made anything’.
I’d be far more worried about those in the high echelons of the Church, equivocating about sin, lending succour to those who sodomise young boys and promulgating heresy.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I could not have said it better, Mickvet. Missing a shot is small potatoes compared to misleading the faithful into sin and perdition.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Don’t we all need to ask ourselves each day “do I want to leave?” Do I want to reject Christ who is the Truth, the Way and the Life because His teachings may seem too difficult for my modern mind to accept? Isn’t this exactly what the current pope is encouraging Catholics to do with his claim that Christ’s teachings are only the ideal and no one can really expect anyone to reach that ideal. In other words, we can’t expect to become holy or saints as Christ called us to do.
These words of Christ pertain to us today as he spoke them to the Pharisees as like the Pharisees, our leaders are guilty of this: “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.”
LikeLiked by 2 people
We must try to be saints. We must give it our very best. In that struggle, our own efforts will fall short but the love and mercy of God will fill what’s lacking. That does not mean that we don’t have to try. In fact, we are expected to exert ourselves to the limit in the quest for sainthood. The more we give, the more God will help us to reach the goal.
LikeLiked by 2 people
Comments are closed.