WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE CHURCH!

Well, it’s Sunday, so “church” is on my mind.    And I’ll start with a title from the great writer GK Chesterton,  (What Wrong With the World), and tweak it a little,  but I promise not to show the genius, perspicacity, and humor of Chesterton.   I’m just as passionate,  but not quite as talented!

sleepy 150

I began my Sunday morning struggling to come awake in time, as usual.   (I don’t “do”  mornings.)   To wake myself up,  I read a little of the entertainment-news headlines and saw the typical murder and mayhem,   immorality, and confused thinking.    A world unable to reason clearly and to choose the right thing.        And Christians who seem weak in the face of  growing tyranny, crime, immorality, and evil.      Why?   What happened?

The Church offers a huge, almost endless treasure of logic, philosophy, science, reason,  history,  examples of good people, and instruction in civic, social, and  limitless power for holy living for  anyone who wants it.    Quicumque!

We used to know this.

(Before):

I was a history major in the university I attended;  I’ve been  studying secular history,  sacred history,  Church history,  and Bible history for many, many decades.   And I witnessed what has happened to the Roman Catholic Church.

It’s this:    Words matter.  And through words come meaning and power as well as information and, influence, and inspiration.    What is relevant and powerful is lasting, and that’s why we can say we have “classics” in literature.

Such classics are timeless because they speak to the common,  higher things in mankind.  Hindus worship in classical Sanskrit.   Muslims worship in classical Arabic.   Christians worship in classical Latin –  to name a few traditions.      The classical words don’t change,  they won’t change, and so the meaning will not change either,  because the meaning is respected and “timeless.”

cat picture

The Mass of the Church is made of words and gestures which bring us to a high point of communication (prayer)  with God  and an intimate spiritual union with Him, one on One, so to speak.     The beginnings of the Mass can be seen way back in New Testament times, as evidenced by the earliest Christian use of the catacombs, mid first century, A.D.

The Mass kept the early Christians in constant and very real contact with God which strengthened them through persecutions and heresies.

cat chaliceI know if we were to go back to those times and peek into the catacombs, we would see and hear things that are very familiar to us:     prayers, words,  gestures, procedures.     The Vessels used by these early Christians were made of the finest metals, carefully crafted for the purpose which they would serve.   This is a “museum quality”  chalice from the 3rd century.

Very little was changed or added through the succeeding centuries, and we know this from the writings of the people who lived at these times.   The Mass differed a little from location to location,  but by the time of (Pope) St. Gregory the Great, 6th century,  the Mass was pretty well set in its present day form.  Several centuries later,  again there were “accretions” particular to specific locations.   Pope Pius V  decreed in the 16th century that anything that was added “in the last 200 years”  should no longer be used – it was too “new”!      No sudden changes!      Never any sudden changes.

 

mass priest to God

And so we have a powerful, time-proven Mass that is a conduit for spiritual strength because it makes present for us, in our time,   the One-Time offering of Christ, as Sacrifice,   to God, for our peace and salvation.

The words of the Mass are the priest’s words, not ours.  That’s the function of a priest:  to be involved in sacrifice, or in this case,  the Sacrifice.   Only one sacrifice,  but made present to us each time.    (The idea came from Christ Himself who told us “This is my Body . . . )

(“Is”   Let’s not get into President Clinton’s vocabulary lesson.)

So what happened?

(After):

Where we used to bring ourselves and our praise and thanksgiving to God-Most-High  in a solemn ceremony that acknowledges our sin as well as our Redemption through Christ’s offering of Himself —

Mass to God

 

—   we now  cheerily “entertain” each other —

Mass strumming

According to Pope Benedict,   the Mass was scrapped in about the mid-20th century and a whole new set of words were written to be put into the place of the Mass.   Pope Benedict said the new Mass-words were created “out of whole cloth” –  meaning they started from scratch with new ideas,  they didn’t just make “improvements”  or “edits.”

Secondly,  Pope Benedict’s assessment of the finished product was that it trivialized the Mass,   and  he also used an Italian word for banal –  the newly-written Mass-words banalized  the Catholic Mass.   Banal?    That means made it common and stupid!

It also made the Mass weak.   I’ve talked before about the words of all the rites being rewritten, and how exorcists are having a hard time of it nowadays because the original words of exorcism, with all their power,  had been rewritten to the point of  weakness.  that would be weakness before Evil Powers.

Weakness.    Even if you have good “readings”  and good sermons and good, talented people talking and singing to you —

Mass priest to peole

— the newly-written Mass  just simply obscures what a genuine Mass is all about.

What’s Wrong With the World?

What’s wrong with the Church?

The people of the  Church,  the common,  everyday people have been trained to accept unquestioningly the new, weaker Mass – as though it were a good replacement.    The result is a weaker spiritual life,  confusion in the face of opposition,   an inability to stand up for what is right.      So many  have discarded the  wisdom and  the vital knowledge that the Church has to offer us.        We are more vulnerable in the face of rising political tyranny.

Sheeesh!  If so many hadn’t accepted this substitute,  we’d have a safer, saner world,  strengthened by true spiritual Power!

chalice

 

 

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