Since faith is one, it must be professed in all its purity and integrity". Pope Francis/Pope Benedict
email:torontocatholicwitness@rogers.com

Friday, 28 June 2013

I AM NOT CATHOLIC

Who can deny that our age is one marked by a great crisis, which appears above all as a profound "crisis of truth"? A crisis of truth means, in the first place, a crisis of concepts
Pope John Paul II

Leonard Nimoy, in his book, I am not Spock, wrote about who he really was, and that his television character was precisely that: a fictional figure that he portrayed, but which had no being in reality. Hence, my adaptation of his provocative title.

In a similar manner, Catholics are (sadly, far too many), making a statement of I am not Catholic. They portray a Catholic, act a Catholic (the Sunday Mass part) but outside of church they drop the Catholic aspect of living. Catholicism has no being in their reality. Catholicism is no longer lived on a daily, hourly basis.  

The Gospels are a way of life. The basic obligations, are just that. Mass is not to only be attended but lived. Without the living of the Mass, the Catholic ends up splitting his or her spiritual self, destroying the Catholic part in the process. St. Paul's words are: now I not live, but Christ lives in me

Let us explore this audacious truth. The Apostle was and is telling us that living the Christian life is total surrender to God, a total self-giving; it means, on our part, to conform our ways to him. Do I myself live anywhere close to this admonition? Absolutely not. I fail everyday. But I acknowledge this, and try to improve...

In practical terms it means living Christlike. Certainly, something we can never achieve (even the greatest saints could express only a small part of Christ's glory), but something we should actively strive for. AND, when we fail at doing so - ADMIT we have done so. Nothing is worse then failing as a Christian,  denying failing, and continuing in a shameful lifestyle. That is, a lifestyle that certainly will not shame the world, but it will shame our Lord and His Mother.

In our everyday living we should come across as differentDo we use vulgarities in speech? We should stop doing so. In the old days men never swore in  front of women. With the new vulgarity, women swear with abandon. And Catholic women? What have they become?

Gone are the days when only prostitutes and "loose" women would dress immodestly, or downright obscenely. You probably have come across Confirmations, weddings etc. that would make a good old prostitute from years gone by blush red. 

Why dress like a hooker? Nimoy, not of the Faith, correctly explored some of these strange dichotomies in his book - another reason for adapting his title). But our Catholic sensibilities have been so devastated at the roots; a sense of sin, an understanding of what sin is; our minds so penetrated by the surrounding anti-Christian "culture" that many women (far, far too many) who go to church no longer understand that wearing tight trousers (after all - is not the point to accentuate and show off your bottom? - why else wear a pair several sizes too small?), wearing low cut tops, skin-tight dresses, tight, short skirts that virtually leave nothing to the imagination is simply not Christian. The clothing screams: "I'm a whore..." ah, yet, the woman demands to be considered and treated like a Catholic lady. 

This warped mentality is a form of dualism and defames the sacredness of the human body. It is nothing but a return of the old dualist heresies, under a guise of relativism and utilitarianism. On the contrary, women have a special calling to constantly recall men to modesty and chastity. 

An example of how far we have fallen is the way the sacredness of churches are treated. I have just cited the above examples of dress in church during the administration of the Sacraments. Should we then be surprised that St. Michael's Cathedral permitted a virtual cabaret performance - tight dress, and sensuous dancing in the Sanctuary? The fact that a large crowd attended, that the holy space was reduced to a concert hall, a nightclub teaches us the degree of the abandonment of the sense of the sacred and the fall of Catholic sensibility and spiritual deportment. And similar scenes are being played out in multiple churches. A recent example is a strange performance of a young girl singing in a somewhat cabaret-style in a church; replete with close-ups of her legs as she proceeds to slip her shoes off, to pedal the piano in bare feet. All very strange, bizarre, inappropriate. The female ensured in the past that she was covered when entering the holy of holies. Not because of some misguided prudery; because the space was sacred, and the female body likewise. A full review can be read at Vox Cantoris

Now, if we accept the denigration of the human body, it is only logical to denigrate the sacredness of a church. Consider the societal acceptance of divorce, then the de-coupling of life from love (destroying love in the process, and reducing it to lust) with the promotion of contraception... the then acceptance of abortion and unnatural lust... the human body has been reduced to a trash can. But it is not. The body is en-souled. Contrary to the Cartesian error; the human body possess "soulness" in every particle. The soul is not some mysterious cloud hovering in us. We live and breath in the body; we act virtuously or sinfully in and through our bodies. 

The human body is sacred. Because there is no sense of the sacred, there is no sense of sin; there is a dangerous attachment to a false sense of "progress", and a rejection of a true sense of "tradition". It is now "progress", to be "with it", to dress, speak and act like they all do in society - after all, we are on the way to a technological paradise, so, let us adopt the Church (a false, counterfeit church) to the most recent whims of a de-Christianized society. The first chapter of an Introduction to Christianity by Fr. Ratzinger is well worth a read on how truth has been corrupted. In this intoxication on progress, the old heresy of Manicheaism seems to be piggy-backing. And as in the past, so in the present and the future - this heresy is a killer. Catholics, who adopt or succumb to this heresy, to the degree they do so, are not Catholic. They are part of the problem. 

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