FishEaters Traditional Catholic Forums

Full Version: Because Iniquity Hath Abounded, the Charity of Many Shall Grow Cold
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
I had to refer to Scripture when writing a note to someone I love, and came across these verses, which I've read many times, but in which I saw something that hadn't stuck in my mind before. Jesus is talking about the destruction of the Temple and also the end of the world. I put in bold that part that caught my eye:

Quote: Matthew 24: 3-13:  "'Tell us when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the consummation of the world?' And Jesus answering, said to them: 'Take heed that no man seduce you: For many will come in my name saying, I am Christ: and they will seduce many.And you shall hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that ye be not troubled. For these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be pestilences, and famines, and earthquakes in places:Now all these are the beginnings of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall put you to death: and you shall be hated by all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be scandalized: and shall betray one another: and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall seduce many. And because iniquity hath abounded, the charity of many shall grow cold.  But he that shall persevere to the end, he shall be saved.'"

I'm thinking it caught in my mind because I see this as one of the greater internal problems in the trad world. It's so easy to get fed up, to become exasperated, when what's obvious to us and to anyone who has eyes and a clue about the law of non-contradiction simply isn't seen or understood by so many, especially when it comes to the men who have ecclesiastical power. "Father Bob" offers a clown Mass, most of the folks in the parish go right along with it, and trying to "get" to them, to help them understand why it's all so, so wrong and why the restoration of all the traditional Sacramental rites is so important, can lead to those iniquities becoming the demise of our charity.

That lack of charity on the part of some -- too many -- in the trad world, a phenomenon I've bemoaned around here often enough -- doesn't stem per se from Traditional Catholicism, as the happy-dappy liturgy-pushers would have us believe. IMO, it's frustration in addition to the righteous anger at seeing our sanctuaries profaned and Our Lord not honored as He should be. They say ignorance is bliss, and it is in a lot of ways. If you don't know about starving kids in Africa, you're not going to spend time being sad about starving kids in Africa. And it's the same with knowing about the traditional Sacramental rites, how vastly superior they are in so many ways, and how their restoration could help solve so many of our problems.  Such knowledge and a zeal to get on with that restoration are too often met with ignorance or non-chalance.And it's bound to have an effect on how we respond to the ignorant and non-chalant when it comes to charity.

But Lord Christ saw this phenomenon as important enough to point out to His Apostles, and the Holy Ghost saw fit to ensure it made it into the Biblical canon. It's something to remember when you encounter a "Father Bob" who seemingly doesn't have a clue, or the parent who's just thrilled that his kids "like Church" because they "have a good time" at those clown Masses. I think the outright revolutionaries are relatively few, praise God; most folks are simply uneducated, badly catechized. I mean, consider the typical catechesis program:  why should the parent whose kid "has a good time" at Mass be concerned about restoring the TLM? He's been taught that the Mass is a communal Happy Meal, in essence, a time for believers to get together and remember Jesus, shake hands and hug each other, meet each other in case there might be a need for a post-funeral lasagne to be sent their way someday, and maybe even have a "good time" together, what with the floor show Father puts on as he tries out his stand-up routines. Such a person likely doesn't have a vicious or rebellious bone in his body; he may very well have a great love for Our Lord. But he's ignorant. He does not know -- a fact which recalls another line from Scripture:  Luke 23:34  "And Jesus said: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."

Dealing with these otherwise undoubtedly fine folks can be exasperating, but their sensing exasperation or anger will not further the cause. They have to be reached in charity and with the attitude that they are, most likely, good people who simply don't know and whose ignorance we forgive even as we try to teach them. In lots of cases, not only are they ignorant, but they're misinformed about "the traditionalist movement." They've heard all sorts of doozies about "trads" (and, sadly, may have seen some bad examples of "trad-dom" -- folks who've let the iniquity cause their charity to grow cold-- on forums and blogs). But when the temptation to exasperation comes around, we gotta remember that Jesus also said, in Luke 12:47-48, "And that servant who knew the will of his lord, and prepared not himself, and did not according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. And unto whomsoever much is given, of him much shall be required: and to whom they have committed much, of him they will demand the more."

We've been given much. We've been given everything! We've been given the greatest thing we could possibly possess:  the Faith, in its fullest, and in its most beautiful expression. Because of this, much is required of trads lest we find ourselves beaten with more stripes than the ignorant servant of the parable above. We're the ones who know. We can't let our charity grow cold because iniquity abounds.

For the anger of man worketh not the justice of God.  James 1:20

When I first was coming back to the Church, I noticed this. It appeared to me the Trad movement while having the best was bitter, and the NO while having the least had more charity. I noted the split because I can remember when both were in the same place the Church. I knew intellectually why this was, and hanging around here showed me many things some in video which were more visceral, no longer intellectual. I have no profound observation to add as a solution, but we all need get back on track.

First, related to what Tim said, I think not having both being in the same place in the Church is harmful to both.  In Miscellany of Men, Chesterton described certain recurring characters in the Church who all needed each other to stay on track.  When they became separated, they became extreme caricatures.  The more rigorist and more lax people need each other. 

For example, take the often complained of trad pew police.  When all were in the same place, those with a predilection for pew policing  would keep in line those who might be prone to talking or laughing before and after Mass, or who might be dressed improperly for Mass.  Without the pew police, the pew criminals now offend with impunity.  These lax folks in turn kept the pew police on the right track.  Since the trad pew police now find themselves in a place where everyone is already strict and they therefore have no proper targets of policing, they go after any little aberration they can find, and end up doing more harm than good.  

Second, relating more generally to the theme in the OP, many trads are bitter, especially the older generations, because they were treated with no compassion and often with antagonism, when something  very precious to them was taken away in a very draconian manner.  It's the great challenge of Christianity to bear offenses, to return good for evil, to bless those that persecute you, etc. As has been mentioned, it's not that struggling to do this is a common defect of trads in particular, its just that trads often have had more opportunities in the Church to face this challenge--and being fallen, that often means more opportunities to fail. 

A final note, from St. Pius X in E Supremi, written to bishops, but with applicable principles for all who want to bring people closer to Christ:

St. Pius X Wrote:13. But in order that the desired fruit may be derived from this apostolate and this zeal for teaching, and that Christ may be formed in all, be it remembered, Venerable Brethren, that no means is more efficacious than charity. "For the Lord is not in the earthquake" (III Kings xix., II) -- it is vain to hope to attract souls to God by a bitter zeal. On the contrary, harm is done more often than good by taunting men harshly with their faults, and reproving their vices with asperity. True the Apostle exhorted Timothy: "Accuse, beseech, rebuke," but he took care to add: "with all patience" (11. Tim. iv., 2). Jesus has certainly left us examples of this. "Come to me," we find Him saying, "come to me all ye that labor and are burdened and I will refresh you" (Matth. xi., 28). And by those that labor and are burdened he meant only those who are slaves of sin and error. What gentleness was that shown by the Divine Master! What tenderness, what compassion towards all kinds of misery! Isaias has marvelously described His heart in the words: "I will set my spirit upon him; he shall not contend, nor cry out; the bruised reed he will not break, he will not extinguish the smoking flax" (Is. xlii., 1, s.). This charity, "patient and kind" (1. Cor. xiii., 4.), will extend itself also to those who are hostile to us and persecute us. "We are reviled," thus did St. Paul protest, "and we bless; we are persecuted and we suffer it; we are blasphemed and we entreat" (1. Cor., iv., 12, s.). They perhaps seem to be worse than they really are. Their associations with others, prejudice, the counsel, advice and example of others, and finally an ill-advised shame have dragged them to the side of the impious; but their wills are not so depraved as they themselves would seek to make people believe. Who will prevent us from hoping that the flame of Christian charity may dispel the darkness from their minds and bring to them light and the peace of God? It may be that the fruit of our labors may be slow in coming, but charity wearies not with waiting, knowing that God prepares His rewards not for the results of toil but for the good will shown in it.
I was thinking much the same this morning Vox.  
I had been gritting my teeth through a relatively reverent NO Mass when the Gospel of the day hit me like a ton of bricks.

"Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you shall be forgiven"

I read a lot of posts and threads, and enjoy them very much. I don't post a lot because I don't want to get yelled at!
This tension has always been there. In the day when there was the Legion which rated the movies for each week, the Blob was condemned. Imagine seeing the Blob
was considered grievous sin. Oh yes even back then there were folks that liked to add more weight to the load. Conversely today we have some that seem slap happy and have no idea  what really is going on. That verse is saying volumes.

(02-25-2013, 12:49 PM)Armor of Light Wrote: [ -> ]I read a lot of posts and threads, and enjoy them very much. I don't post a lot because I don't want to get yelled at!

Rolling Pin
(02-25-2013, 12:49 PM)Armor of Light Wrote: [ -> ]I read a lot of posts and threads, and enjoy them very much. I don't post a lot because I don't want to get yelled at!

The people who'd tend to do that are mostly gone now, I think Smile
I have been learning this the hard way for years and it's true. Once upon a time I was downright pharasitical.

Yesterday a couple of ladies (visitors) sat in the pew in front of my wife and I and politely whispered to ask if Mass had started yet (father was just finishing the gradual). I took it as an opening to lend them a spare pocket-sizedd missal we had and quietly point them in the right direction. Even though I hate talking in the nave, we talked about the TLM a little after the Leonine prayers ended, and invited them to the donut hour afterwards.

I could tell we helped make them feel very welcome and interested in the traditional Mass, which one of them remembered from childhood. A few years ago I would not have been so friendly to someone talking at Mass but now I'm glad I gave them the benefit of the doubt because they were clearly devout people who just needed help getting connected. Charity made them want to come back.

Thanks for posting this, Vox.