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Author Topic: Will the Church Ever Be Loved & Trusted Again?  (Read 4734 times)

kjvail

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From New Oxford Review
  Before those Catholics of my generation disappear from this world, I  would like to describe the experience -- the glorious experience -- of  what it was like to be a Catholic in the early part of the 20th  century. It is the experience of the average Catholic in the pew secure  in his knowledge that he had arrived at the Truth and was striving to  live it.
 
 The experience seemed to be the fruition of, or  result of, or reward for 1,900 years of martyrdoms, fastings, prayers,  hair shirts, Masses, offerings, pilgrimages, contemplations,  beatifications, and all the good works of all the Catholic faithful  over all the centuries.
 
 The sufferings and trials and  tribulations were all behind us. We were the heirs to all the stored-up  graces that the Church had earned throughout these 1,900 years. We had  all the answers (it was futile to question the wisdom of 1,900 years  guided by the Holy Spirit); our task was to search out this knowledge  and give our assent.
 
 A good place to begin is the daily first  Mass at a typical city church. Before automobiles became the main form  of locomotion, we used to rely on our legs. As a young boy I would  marvel at all the "old" ladies (probably in their 50s or 60s) wrapped  in their black shawls, as they plodded down the deserted streets,  except for a few milk delivery men, to attend the first early-morning  Mass at daybreak. As one entered the darkened and hushed church, the  only light would come from flickering candles in the blue  candleholders. Dozens of shadowy statues of saints and angels would  lovingly beckon us to come in and pray with them.
 
 If one were  fortunate, as I was, one would be attending the early-morning Mass at  the Blue Chapel. This was one of the local churches that served a  community of cloistered Dominican Nuns. The reason it was called the  "Blue Chapel" was because the walls of the church were plastered in  blue, and the blue walls were complimented by a white marble altar that  seemed to reach the sky.
 
The nuns were hidden from view by a  large, dark screen on the side of the altar and the only evidence that  they existed was the sound of rustling Rosary beads and an occasional  cough. To convince myself that they existed I would count the number of  Communions that were distributed at the small opening in the dark  screen wall. I was always amazed at the large number of nuns who had  left the world to follow the Lord.
 
Promptly at 6:30 AM the  visiting priest would mount the altar with his back to us, and begin  his murmuring. Although the present-day vernacular is more coherent, at  6:30 AM the quiet prayers of the priest were more satisfying to the  soul than all the present-day vernacular vocalizing.
 
As I have  already mentioned, the Catholics of that era were secure in the  knowledge that they had arrived at the Truth. That surely was one of  the major differences between Catholics of the first half of the 20th  century and those of the latter half. Whatever the Church taught, we  believed. How could the Church that was established by Jesus Christ  teach error? If the Catholic Church did not teach the Truth, then this  Church was not the one true Church. If she was not the one true Church,  then Jesus Christ Himself was not God. If Jesus Christ was not God,  then there is no God. That is how firmly we believed that the Catholic  Church was the one true Church.
 
The early daily Mass was not  the end of attendance in church for the rest of the day. At any time of  the day the church would be crowded with the faithful who would "drop  in" to pay a visit to Jesus in the Tabernacle. All day long, when one  entered a church, many of the faithful would be kneeling at the altar  rail or at the feet of the Blessed Mother or in front of their favorite  saint. Perhaps their needs were greater during the terrible Depression  or that awful war than they are today.
 
If a husband lost a job  or if a house was about to be foreclosed or if a son were in a  dangerous war zone, why all one had to do was to make a visit to church  and ask for God's help. We had abounding confidence that His help would  be forthcoming.
 
The Tabernacle! The Tabernacle was located  high in the center of the altar. No matter which church one entered,  the Tabernacle was always in the center of the altar. In those  days, we were confident that not even an atomic bomb could displace our  beloved Tabernacle. The reason it was in the center of the altar was  because we were taught that Jesus was present in the Tabernacle. When a  king or queen of England was honored at Westminster Abbey, they were  always seated in the center of the altar. Why, then, would we expect  that the living Christ would reside anywhere but in the center of the  altar?
 
And so it was, with the Tabernacle as the center of our  adoration, the pews and the altar rail were always dotted with hushed,  kneeling supplicants.
 
Saturday was reserved for what is now an  almost extinct ritual at all the churches. From 3:00 in the afternoon  until 6:00, and from 7:00 in the evening until 9:00, one, two, or three  priests would be available for the long lines of penitents waiting to  "go to Confession."
 
To illustrate how routine a part of our  lives Confession had become, I will describe one Saturday evening in  1941. I, with a group of my friends, went to New York City for an  evening of reveling. I was 19 years old at the time. As we passed a  Catholic church in midtown Manhattan, one of my buddies suggested we  "go to Confession." All six of us joined the lines that evening and  dutifully confessed our sins.
 
This was not unusual behavior  for young adults of that era. The only reason I remember this evening  is because of an atypical occurrence in the confessional. It was my  luck that I chose a crotchety priest as my confessor. After he heard my  confession, he exploded, "I am not going to give you absolution! Week  after week you come in with the same sins -- you never repent!" This in a church I had never before entered! The priest finally relented and gave me absolution.
 
What  has happened to the great Sacrament of Confession after Vatican II? Let  me describe the breathless explanations by priests, monsignors, and  bishops at the conclusion of the Council, regarding Confession. The  Council Fathers, they instructed us, had concluded that we were going  to Confession too frequently and, therefore, unnecessarily. According  to the new enlightenment, one need only go to Confession for a "very  serious sin." Do you mean a mortal sin, one would timidly ask the  priest. No, no, no, that would be going back to the old terms. Very  serious sins were polluting the environment, failing to help end world  hunger, and the like. Well, say no more, we get the message. We were  now all effectively sinless. So began the beginning of the end of  Confession. As the lines at the confessional shortened, the lines at  Communion became longer. Before the Council, about half the  congregation would receive Communion on a given Sunday. It was not long  before the entire congregation began receiving Communion every Sunday while the Confession lines disappeared.
 
Before  the Council, we never gave a thought as to why people refrained from  going to the altar rail to receive. We just assumed that they had not  gone to Confession recently or perhaps had broken the midnight fast --  remember we were required to fast from midnight in order to receive our  Lord the next day -- or they just felt that they were not in the state  of grace required in those days to receive Communion.
 
In those  days, Sundays were divided into low Masses and a high Mass. There was  no singing at the low Masses but usually a fiery sermon. More often  than not, the sermon would weave the scriptural reading of the day into  a practical guidance for our everyday life. The priests of the day were  not shy or reluctant to discuss sexual morality. It was from the pulpit  that most of us received our healthy sexual education.
 
Some 70  years later I still remember one priest railing at the men in  attendance for violating someone's sister. He reminded us that we  should respect another's sister, as we would expect him to respect our  sister. This type of sex education worked. Just look at the landscape  and ask yourself if the new-fangled sex education works.
 
The  high Mass would begin with a thunderous rendition from the choir loft.  The singers were out of sight because no distraction was permitted at  the altar where the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was celebrated. I find  it perplexing that the statues of saints were removed because they were  considered a distraction, but in their place we've loaded the altar  with singers, pianos, trumpet players, and lay ministers, which are  somehow considered not a distraction.
 
When I was very  young, five years old or so, I heard my first high Mass. When I asked  my mother who was singing, she told me it was the angels singing. For  many years I pestered my mother to take me to high Mass so I could hear  the angels sing. I wasn't bright enough to turn around and look up in  the choir loft.
 
Back then, Sunday Mass was dress-up time. The  term "dressed in your Sunday best" probably emanated from the way  people dressed for church. For the men it was a suit, white shirt, and  a tie. For the women, appropriate dress was a silk dress, high heels,  and a decorative hat or a chapel veil. I suppose growing up in this  environment is why I am appalled at some of the disrespectful dress  that assaults my eyes Sunday after Sunday. If one were granted a  private audience with the Pope, one wouldn't dress as some do at Sunday  Mass. That is only the Pope. Mass is an audience with God.
 
During  the first 60 years of the 20th century, the Church would focus our  attention once every week on the Crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ.  Every Friday of every week, the faithful were required to abstain from  eating any meat or meat products. This habit was so ingrained in us  that even non-practicing Catholics observed this abstention. It was  probably the result of having been raised in a Catholic home where a  mother would no sooner serve meat to her family on Friday than she  would serve them poisoned food.
 
Another disappearing ritual  impressed on young Catholics was the Novena. Again, I suppose it was  the Depression and the war that drove the faithful to the Novena.  Almost all churches had a Novena to some saint or the Blessed Mother.  The Novena was always conducted by a priest. The churches would always  fill to the rafters for the Novena.
 
One church and Novena  stands out for me in particular. It was the Monday Novena to St.  Gabriel at St. Michael's Monastery in Union City, N.J. Boy, did they  come to this Novena every Monday. They walked, they came on bicycles,  by trolley car, by busloads -- so many New Yorkers came that I think  some of them swam across the Hudson River to get to this Novena.
 
The  church, which holds over one thousand people, was full. Week after week  the priest would read off the many prayers that were answered. Hanging  high on the side of the altar were the crutches, canes, wheelchairs,  and other prostheses that people who made the Novena no longer needed  because they were cured. We never doubted that the cures came from  Heaven.
 
St. Michael's Church, complete with a huge copula  similar to St. Peter's in Rome, was part of a complex that sat on about  50 acres of land, right smack in the center of Union City, the city  that is the western terminus of the Lincoln Tunnel into New York City.  The land included a major seminary for the education of Passionist  priests, the publishing headquarters for the Passionists' magazine The Sign  (at the time one of the nation's leading Catholic magazines, now  defunct), a huge outdoor Stations of the Cross, and a cemetery for  deceased Passionist priests.
 
As a youth, I would watch in  admiration as the many priests and seminarians strolled the grounds  reading their Breviary as they recited their daily office. I would  observe them reciting the Mysteries of the Rosary, with their Rosary  beads dangling at their side.
 
My wife also has fond memories  of St. Michael's, in the person of Fr. Michael, a Passionist priest  from the monastery. When she was seven years old, her father died,  leaving behind my wife, her mother, and five young brothers. Fr.  Michael, a priest in his 70s, would trek the 10 or so blocks from the  church to my wife's home, carrying bags of rice, beans, and other food  items, two to three times a week. He would also bring shoes, clothes,  and an occasional toy. This was not isolated behavior by priests in the  1930s and 1940s. I remember one priest who would walk along the  railroad tracks, picking up pieces of coal that fell from the steam  engines, placing them in a pail, and delivering the coal to a poor  family.
 
St. Michael's Church, which is on high ground, can be  seen from many high-rise buildings in Manhattan and from the New Jersey  Turnpike. It is a huge, imposing church. But St. Michael's Church is  now a Korean Presbyterian church, and its 50 or so surrounding acres  have been sold off to developers. Many houses and commercial buildings  occupy the grounds of the now-defunct seminary, the Stations of the  Cross have been dismantled, and the scores of Passionist priests who  were buried on the grounds have been disinterred and buried elsewhere.  It breaks my heart to drive past this magnificent edifice.
 
Of  all the rituals and practices I have described, there is one experience  that stands out most vividly in my memory: the visit to three churches  every Holy Thursday during Holy Week. It was customary to visit three  churches on the night of Holy Thursday. Since Holy Week falls when  winter ends and as spring begins, Holy Thursday evening is usually  quite chilly and still dark. Nevertheless, on this night, it seemed as  if every man, woman, and child in my town joined in the mass migration  to the three Catholic churches in town. The normally deserted streets  were teeming with the faithful.
 
There were two reasons for  these visits: One was, of course, what Holy Thursday symbolized, the  other was to view how beautifully decorated each church became. The  nuns at each of the three churches competed with one another to create  the most beautiful setting. Each church had enough white satin draped  over and around the altar to make a wedding dress for the Empire State  Building. Complementing this were hundreds of vases of white lilies  highlighted by rows and rows of flickering candles.
 
To be  honest, as a young boy, I wasn't even sure why we made these visits. I  had the vague notion that I was visiting Christ's bier. Of course,  Christ hadn't even died yet on Holy Thursday, but that was my  impression. Rather, this was the night Christ instituted the Mass.
 
To  say that this made a lasting impression on me is an understatement. All  these people, all older and wiser than I, coming out on this chilly  night, could not be deluded. The crucifixion and the Resurrection were  true beyond any doubt to a questioning young boy.
 
Does all the  foregoing imply that the early 20th-century Church in America was  better than the one that evolved after Vatican II? Not necessarily. The  jury is still out. Probably a century or so will have to elapse before  a definitive judgment can be made. The initial results are  discouraging: diminished Mass attendance, closed or empty seminaries,  huge defections by priests and nuns, loss of respect for Vatican  directives, clerical sex scandals, loss of the sense of sin, and on and  on.
 
Whatever the Church becomes, it will be a long time before  she becomes unconditionally loved, trusted, believed, depended upon,  and revered as was the Catholic Church of the first 60 years or so of  the 20th century. Please God, let it happen again.
 

  But, but, but... I thought no one, before the great revolution in the  Church that was Vatican II, understood what was going on, or cared! At  least that what my RCIA instructor said.
 
 
Pax Tecum,
Kevin V.

"I am a converted pagan living among apostate puritans"
- C.S. Lewis

"In the world it is called Tolerance, but in hell it is called Despair, the sin that believes in nothing, cares for nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys nothing, hates nothing,

lumengentleman

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Will the Church Ever Be Loved & Trusted Again?
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2006, 10:18:am »

Quote from: kjvail
The sufferings and trials and tribulations were all behind us. We were the heirs to all the stored-up graces that the Church had earned throughout these 1,900 years.

I'm sure the author didn't intend it this way, but this seems to confirm what other elderly folks have said in the past: the Church had become overconfident, and thus, lazy.  Sufferings and tribulations behind us, all that remains is to inherit the stored-up graces ... and while everyone was drifting off to sleep, the robbers crept in unnoticed.

Quote
Although the present-day vernacular is more coherent, at 6:30 AM the quiet prayers of the priest were more satisfying to the soul than all the present-day vernacular vocalizing.

What a beautiful way to put it!  There's a reason for this - two, actually.  First, it was an early morning Mass - and those are always more contemplative and quiet.  With good reason does the Psalmist say "early will I rise to seek Thee," and I have always found that early morning prayers or early morning Mass are infinitely more satisfying to the soul than mid-morning prayers or mid-morning Mass.  Second, the Latin Mass is non-intrusive; it features a priest who couldn't care less about your presence in the pew, because he's got prayers to recite and they need to be recited facing God.  How does this disturb the laity in the pew?  In contrast, the New Mass features a priest who is always, so it seems, "in your face," demanding your attention and "active participation" in the kinds of activities for which you simply cannot just manufacture excitement.  He wants to dialogue with you, but you want to talk to God; both cannot be done at once, any more than you could sustain a conversation with a friend over coffee while also engaging in deep contemplative prayer.

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If the Catholic Church did not teach the Truth, then this Church was not the one true Church. If she was not the one true Church, then Jesus Christ Himself was not God. If Jesus Christ was not God, then there is no God.

 

Absolutely beautiful.  This is exactly why I warn my Protestant friends and family to stop trying to convert me out of Catholicism - because I feel exactly the same way: in short, if the Catholic Church isn't the one true Church, there is no God, and if there is no God, then I sure as heck won't be wasting my life in the pew of a Protestant church.  If the Catholic Church isn't the one true Church, I'm going to dive headfirst into hedonism and drink in pleasure until I explode.  There is no in-between.  It's either Catholicism or Paganism, as far as I'm concerned.  The Protestant in between these two extremes is just too indecisive or cowardly to make a full pledge of allegiance to either; not religious enough to go all the way to Catholicism, but just religious enough to stay out of full-load paganism.


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At any time of the day the church would be crowded with the faithful who would "drop in" to pay a visit to Jesus in the Tabernacle. All day long, when one entered a church, many of the faithful would be kneeling at the altar rail or at the feet of the Blessed Mother or in front of their favorite saint.

 

That was back when they didn't lock parish buildings all afternoon.  It was also, as he said, during a period of great trial and tribulation; we tend to get more spiritual during those times, and thank God, the Catholic Church was there to receive these wandering souls during the wars and economic crises.  I fear for this generation; if we were to go through another Great Depression, where would the faithful turn?  Who would be the dispenser of that deeply spiritual and supernatural religion which alone can offer sustenance during those difficult times?

 

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The Tabernacle! The Tabernacle was located high in the center of the altar. No matter which church one entered, the Tabernacle was always in the center of the altar. In those days, we were confident that not even an atomic bomb could displace our beloved Tabernacle.

 

 

What can you even say to that?

 

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So began the beginning of the end of Confession.

 

This is obviously bad; but it seems that it was almost worse before, if this author's experience was at all common - just "popping in" to go to Confession before a night of revelry on the weekend.  If that was a normal thing for Catholics prior to the Council, to adopt and practice the attitude of "oh well, I sinned, I can just go to Confession," then it's no wonder God took away our Traditional rites.  We were unworthy of them.

 

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More often than not, the sermon would weave the scriptural reading of the day into a practical guidance for our everyday life.

 

This seems a bit of a romanticization; I don't see this kind of thing in practice nearly anywhere today.  I have met maybe two priests who were capable of delivering a sermon that was based on the day's readings; the overwhelming majority of them treat the readings as almost incidental.  A reading from St. Peter ... a Reading from the Gospel of St. Matthew ... and now let's talk about the example of sanctity given to us by St. Fill-in-the-blank, whose feast day was earlier this week; or, let's talk about the reverence we must have for the Eucharist; or, let's talk about the crisis in the Church today.  Not that any of those things is not worth discussing (although the latter has very limited legitimacy in the context of a homily), but neither are they usually related to the actual readings of the day.  It's too bad.  It gives the impression that the readings are arbitrary and secondary in the whole grand scheme of things, rather than what they really are: a necessary preparation for the the reception of Communion.

 

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The priests of the day were not shy or reluctant to discuss sexual morality. It was from the pulpit that most of us received our healthy sexual education.

 

I know a number of Trads who would not say that this is a good thing!  Should a priest speaking to a mixed audience (both in age and gender) be talking about sexual morality or sexual education?

Anyway, thanks for posting this essay - it was, in many ways, quite beautiful.


Silentchapel

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« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2006, 10:37:am »
Absolutely beautiful. I'm bookmarking this one...

FifthMark

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« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2006, 12:23:pm »

Quote
I'm sure the author didn't intend it this way, but this seems to confirm what other elderly folks have said in the past: the Church had become overconfident, and thus, lazy.  Sufferings and tribulations behind us, all that remains is to inherit the stored-up graces ... and while everyone was drifting off to sleep, the robbers crept in unnoticed.

I would be hesitant to say they were "lazy," given the preponderance of pious practices (alliteration, anyone?) noted in the article.  The explanation, however, might entail the looming possibility of the "heresy of works," as Dom Chautard phrased it, where an over-emphasis is placed on external actions to the detriment of the interior life.  "This people honoureth me with their lips: but their heart is far from me."  The destruction of the externals of Catholic worship and piety engendered by the reforms of Vatican II was most likely proceeded by the lessening of interior conversion by practitioners of the Faith prior to that time.  This seeps through the article in places, such as the implied abuse of the Sacrament of Confession by its reception just before a night of "reveling."

 

I heartily appreciate the author's painting a picture of "what the Church used to be," as it is a reaffirmation that what I see in some Traditional circles (whether in embryonic stages or further along) is not simply "intergralist fantasy" of what the Church should be but rather a continuance of the practices of our forefathers.  On the flip side, I hope the author followed the grace of God back to the Traditional Faith and did not simply stop at the "back in my days" mode of thought while accepting the destruction of Catholicism under the Novus Ordo regime.  The triumph and splendor of the Church is not an icon of the past, the absence of which is to be lamented today, but instead a living reality that is to be embraced and cherished by the faithful remant who work to "restore all things in Christ" by carrying on the Faith as it was understood and practiced throughout the ages.

Quoniam magnus es tu et faciens mirabilia tu es Deus solus
(Psalmus lxxxv.10)

lumengentleman

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« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2006, 12:39:pm »
Quote from: FifthMark

I would be hesitant to say they were "lazy," given the preponderance of pious practices (alliteration, anyone?) noted in the article. 

 

Yes, I knew someone might raise that objection; and I considered it myself as I read the essay.  However, notice that the real possibility is opened in this essay for understanding these pious practices as largely lacking in interior spirituality.  The passage "these people honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me," which you quoted, came to my mind as well.

 

I don't mean to demean our forefathers, because certainly some of them were sincere.  But even in this essay, you can see a certain trend developing: Novenas were wildly popular, but why?  Because people had petitions they wanted answered.  Nothing wrong with that, of course, but on the other hand I have personally known people belonging to that generation of Catholics who were constantly praying Novenas or going to extra Masses, but with an odd sort of "bargaining with God" mentality.  The pious practices were being treated almost like lucky charms.  Externally, you would see these people at Mass on a regular basis, praying Novenas, praying Rosaries, and would think they were devout: but if you knew them in real life, in their day-to-day dealings, you would immediately see the disconnect.

 

He also mentions the practice of visiting three churches on Holy Thursday, but notice that he never really does give an explanation of why people were doing this (and admits that as a child, he never knew why himself); he says it was in honor of Holy Thursday, but there is no further explanation - no understanding of the significance of the practice.  From what he says about the nuns being in competition with their decorative practices, it sounds like this annual tradition may have been more along the natural lines of going out on Christmas eve to look at all the pretty lights in the neighborhood - a fine activity, but nothing particularly pious about it.

 

Likewise, he mentions the regularity of seeing people drop in to visit Our Lord in the church; but again, the reasons he suggest are perhaps more mercenary than pietistic: the Great Depression was in full swing, there were wars going on, etc.  The real strength and root of the personal faith of these individuals may well have been exposed for what it was after the wars and economic crisis had passed: once God granted their requests during those periods of crisis, did they continue visiting the Blessed Sacrament?  Did they continue saying their Novenas?  Was there an interior spiritual growth involved here, or merely the winning of temporal favors?

 

The resulting chaos after the council, and the relative ease with which all of this external piety was dismantled seems to answer that question.



ServusIesu

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« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2006, 05:35:pm »
Quote from: lumengentleman
Quote from: FifthMark
 

I would be hesitant to say they were "lazy," given the preponderance of pious practices (alliteration, anyone?) noted in the article. 

 

Yes, I knew someone might raise that objection; and I considered it myself as I read the essay.  However, notice that the real possibility is opened in this essay for understanding these pious practices as largely lacking in interior spirituality.  The passage "these people honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me," which you quoted, came to my mind as well.

 

I don't mean to demean our forefathers, because certainly some of them were sincere.  But even in this essay, you can see a certain trend developing: Novenas were wildly popular, but why?  Because people had petitions they wanted answered.  Nothing wrong with that, of course, but on the other hand I have personally known people belonging to that generation of Catholics who were constantly praying Novenas or going to extra Masses, but with an odd sort of "bargaining with God" mentality.  The pious practices were being treated almost like lucky charms.  Externally, you would see these people at Mass on a regular basis, praying Novenas, praying Rosaries, and would think they were devout: but if you knew them in real life, in their day-to-day dealings, you would immediately see the disconnect.

 

He also mentions the practice of visiting three churches on Holy Thursday, but notice that he never really does give an explanation of why people were doing this (and admits that as a child, he never knew why himself); he says it was in honor of Holy Thursday, but there is no further explanation - no understanding of the significance of the practice.  From what he says about the nuns being in competition with their decorative practices, it sounds like this annual tradition may have been more along the natural lines of going out on Christmas eve to look at all the pretty lights in the neighborhood - a fine activity, but nothing particularly pious about it.

 

Likewise, he mentions the regularity of seeing people drop in to visit Our Lord in the church; but again, the reasons he suggest are perhaps more mercenary than pietistic: the Great Depression was in full swing, there were wars going on, etc.  The real strength and root of the personal faith of these individuals may well have been exposed for what it was after the wars and economic crisis had passed: once God granted their requests during those periods of crisis, did they continue visiting the Blessed Sacrament?  Did they continue saying their Novenas?  Was there an interior spiritual growth involved here, or merely the winning of temporal favors?

 

The resulting chaos after the council, and the relative ease with which all of this external piety was dismantled seems to answer that question.

 

I confess that I'm not sure exactly what point you are trying to make.  Is it that many, or even the majority of preconciliar Catholics were not saints?  I think there is no question of that.  Most of our Catholic forefathers were not saints, at least not people of extraordinary supernatural virtue.  I've concluded that this is just the way it is.  There were ups and downs in Catholic history, but I'd be willing to venture a guess that at almost any time the vast majority of people were like this... more external piety than interior sanctity.

 

We are sheep.  Most people will never be fantastic Catholics, but when the right external structures are in place they can do just enough to escape from hell.  Now that the edifices of Catholicity have been razed to the ground, most of the sheep are left to wander until they are utterly devoured.

 

 

Nobis Quoque Peccatoribus

ServusIesu

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« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2006, 05:37:pm »

About 16 centuries ago, St. John Chrysostom said that most of the Bishops (and the faithful along with them) were more likely to go to hell than to be saved.  What would he say now?

Nobis Quoque Peccatoribus

gladius_veritatis

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« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2006, 06:30:pm »

Quote
Does all the foregoing imply that the early 20th-century Church in America was better than the one that evolved after Vatican II? Not necessarily. The jury is still out. Probably a century or so will have to elapse before a definitive judgment can be made...

How much more evidence could possibly be needed to answer in the affirmative?  The "jury" has finished its deliberations some time ago.  Unfortunately, the courtroom was almost entirely empty when the bailiff handed the decision to the Judge. 


miss_fluffy

  • Domina Frivola
  • Member
  • Posts: 5,317
Will the Church Ever Be Loved & Trusted Again?
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2006, 08:51:pm »
While we all know about the obvious problems with the church itself.  What about modern distractions like TV and computers, video games, etc.  etc.
 
 People have left the interior life for ADD madness  induced by modern entertainment.  People don't want quiet  contemplation.  They don't have the attention span nor the  patience for it.  Many will only hear "in your face" Catholicism.
 
Believe nothing just because a so-called wise person said it. Believe nothing just because a belief is generally held. Believe nothing just because it is said in ancient books. Believe nothing just because it is said to be of divine origin. Believe nothing just because someone else believes it. Believe only what you yourself test and judge to be true.– Buddha

Note: According to this precept, I find that Buddhism is NOT true.  I have tested and judged many things, and the only Truth I have found is in God's One True Church: The Catholic Church.

Dear Lord, I know I can live by Your Holy Will every moment of my life, because You have given me faith that Your Grace will enable me to.

gladius_veritatis

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Will the Church Ever Be Loved & Trusted Again?
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2006, 10:16:pm »

This is a good point, flufferoo.  Grace builds upon nature, and many of us are so disordered on the natural plane, and live such unnatural lives in so many ways, that it is hard for grace to find anything solid to build upon.