Monday, October 05, 2009

So what's the good news?

This weekend I spent a lot of time thinking about what I wanted to do with this blog and came to some conclusions, partially as a result of my own reflection, and partially at the behest of my pastor, who asked me the consider what I was trying to accomplish with this blog and what I wanted to contribute to the building up of the Church.

As I was reflecting upon these questions, I was thinking of the heresy of Sedecavantism and came to the intuitive conclusion that Sedevacantism is a heresy of despair. It is a dead end, a position arrived at by those who have walked too far down the road of criticism and anger and have lost the virtue of hope. I'm not claiming this as a theological maxim, but as an intuitive insight, and of course I have no way to know the interior disposition of those enmeshed in Sedevacantism, but from listening to certain Sedes talk on various blogs, it is evident to me that this is a theology of despair.

This got me thinking that, while I would never ever consider Sedevacantism as any valid system of thought, one can put oneself in a dangerous place spiritually by focusing excessively on the negative aspects of today's crisis. We all know about the empty seminaries, depleted religious orders, the liberal nonsense, the episcopal inaction, et al. However, perhaps it is the case that by dwelling upon it too much we run the risk of diminishing our view of the Church and losing our hope in the promise of Christ to defend it against the gates of hell. If we focus our light too much on the abuses and problems in the Church (that do rightfully need to be addressed), we can obscure our vision and come to view the Church as a purely human institution corrupted by bureaucratic machinery. I know nobody ever says that explicitly, and no trad of any stripe would do so, but is that how we relate to the Church? When we place way too much emphasis on the errors of the fallible persons who constitute the Church on this earth, are we not implicitly acting as though everything depends solely on human actions and motivations and not on Christ's promise?

This should not be a justification for inaction, but it should be a call to a balanced approach - one that can acknowledge and attempt to right wrongs without becoming despairing and dour about everything.

In order to accomplish this, I've decided that for the next month on this blog (roughly until Advent), I am only going to post about things that are going right with the Church. I don't want to be known as a complaining blogger (probably too late for that, heh heh), but way more importantly, I don't want my view of the Catholic Church to be dimmed by a kind of fatalist despair. I want to maintain and build up Faith in Christ's fidelity to the Church by spending some time pointing out signs of hope in the current catastrophe, and highlighting things that have gone right with the Church in the past decade or so.

I personally am starting with myself in trying to break the mold of stingy, dour trads - whether that stereotype is accurate or not I cannot say, but I want to make sure that it at least never becomes accurate in me.

7 comments:

Mr S said...

After the words of consecration at Mass yesterday, your pastor held up - for all to see - what is right with the Church.

I look for more discussion on the Real Presence...... go for it B.


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Jeffrey Pinyan said...

I eagerly await your goods news! :)

Ben said...

I teach 5th grade at a small Catholic school in Houston. Most of the kids are lower-middle class Mexicans. I taught them the Kyrie and the Sanctus from the Missa de Angelis, and the Ave Maria in one of it's more popular Gregorian settings. They sing those songs ALL THE TIME now, during recess, everywhere.

So that's some good news.

Just another mad Catholic said...

On a personal note I started learning how to serve the Extrodinary Form of Mass yesterday.

Just another mad Catholic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

That is a great resolution, Boniface. I can't wait to see what you come up with next.
God bless!

Athanasius said...

That is a good resolution. In general, I think blogs have spent way too much time on this, which is why in the last two years I have tried to get away from that on Athanasius.

I think overall however, one must attain a certain balance, so that when useful to souls one can make note of certain problems in the Church today, (such as helping them avoid pitfalls which might come from scandal) while at the same time writing good and useful things.

A lot of trads don't realize that it is not only a sin to give scandal, it is also a sin to take scandal. The moralists call it passive scandal, and it is when someone knows better, but is scandalized because of intellectual or emotional pride at being able to make a big deal of it. Thus anyone helping move Catholics away from that is doing good things.