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Monday, April 23, 2007

Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi


I keep hearing about how men are fleeing the Church, how men are not involved in worship, how men of today find the Church to be too feminized.

I agree that it seems to be women who run almost everything, and historically it has been women who lead men into the faith. We seem to have that power, but is this a surprise? For wasn't it Eve who lead Adam, even though it was Adam who was created first?

This is part of the gift of femininity; we have an affinity for God, for contemplative communication, a need to be nurtured so that we, in turn, can be nurtured.

But somehow, this beautiful gift of God has become warped, and what we are seeing today has to do with the introduction of the demonic ideology of radical feminism.

The Church has become overly - feminized in a political manner, completely divorced from the true function of the Church and completely ruptured from the true meaning and representation of feminism. What we see today is a host of innovative liturgies, citing "Vatican II", which clearly speaks against innovation and, in fact, the document "Sacrosanctum Concilium" was written to reform the innovations that had appeared in what is now referred to as the Tridentine Mass.

This current dysfunction has everything to do with rejection of Tradtion, rejection of Truth, rejection of all that is Holy in favor of all that is "here now, gone tomorrow." It has been the radical feminists who have introduced New Age components into the churches and liturgies we now witness or experience. We hear references to "Gaia", God as a "she", and "homilies" by lay women crying out for female ordination, betraying the poor catechesis and lack of understanding of the solid theology of the Church. We see an outright rejection of the beauty of true human sexuality, resulting in a disordered objectification of immoral sexual union outside of the sacredness of marriage as a replacement for understanding of human dignity.

We see that the "feminization" of the Church is nothing but a twisted deception, for the Church, at her nature, has ALWAYS been feminine, for the soul of the Church is Marian. The soul of the Church projects us all as the Bride of Christ, of which Mystical Wedding was consummated upon the Cross. It is the place of the Church as a whole to be receptive to Christ, who gives everything for us, thus for we, His Bride, to give fully of ourselves.

Not so surprising, then to see in the actions of radical feminism so prolific today, the rejection of authority, of Christ, of God the Father, by those who also reject life through use of contraception, who advocate the slaughter of children in the womb. We see a complete rejection of all of the holiness of womanhood. We see a full rejection of all things feminine as women seek to make themselves "equal" to men, although their definition of "equality" is more synonymous with androgyny.

I've been hearing for most of my life about the "mysogynist" tendencies of the Church, about how "patriarchial and oppressive" the Church is, but over time, I have come to see how those very terms apply more to the resulting tyranny of women who have followed Eve and listened to the lie of the serpent, set to lead Adam into the sin that rejected us all from the Garden of Eden.

For you see, the Serpent went after Eve because he knew that if he had her, he had Adam. Eve actually resisted the serpent, seeing his lie, and responded with the truth...so he dug deeper and lead her into temptation and sin. If you read Genesis again, you'll see that Adam didn't even bat an eye. Rather, he simply accepted what he was given without question.

What a lesson. We see the gift of man and woman here; we see as we do even today how, although men have strength and leadership, it is the women who build them up and bring them down. Our roles are complimentary, and our powers cannot be abused, for when they are, we see the actual de-feminization of the Church proclaimed under the guise of "feminization".

The Church has always been feminine in nature; from the music, the trappings, the contemplation and mysticism, the beauty and serenity in architecture and in liturgical practice. Amazingly, men have also been drawn into this, as they cannot help but be drawn into the mantle of Our Lady who comforts them and gives them the strength they need to be true men after the example of Christ.

What we see today, however, are churches stripped of beauty, music divested of devotion and artistry, lyrics which sing to the people and not to the God we are there to worship. We see a complete de-personalization of Truth. We see bland, lackluster worship which cries out for innovation. We see masculinity in style rather than what is intended, that of the trappings of the Bride waiting to receive her Beloved.

Ironically, the radical feminists, under the guise of their ideology, have put our Mother Mary into the back seat, choosing to ignore her humble fiat in favor of seeking the secular understanding of power in the form of "ordination" and their misguided sense of "participation" stemming from their misreading and misinterpretation of Vatican II documents.

The Church has, as a result, actually been stripped of her feminine nature, which has resulted in the mass exodus of many worshippers, especially men. Men who are Marian remain and become involved as defenders of the feminine, which is what they are wired to be. But when the feminine mystery is stripped from the Church, what is left to defend? Where is the honor and the beauty? Where is the purity? Why should the men remain when there is nothing apparent to identify the Bride as what she is? Why defend an androgynous anomoly? From what?

These are strong words, but I state them as truth: Radical Feminism has penetrated and defiled the Church and has left her violated and bereft. Is there any surprise, then, that men are not engaging in worship? The very violence of the rape of the culture, the destruction of the feminine mystery, the propagation of death in secularity has invaded the Church and has violated us. Can we really be surprised that our Churches which have come to mimic secular "values" are no longer a haven to men or to women, but rather have become temples to the false idols of self-worship?

The Church has been violated to her very soul, and if we cannot keep the world out, how can we heal and become restored and remain the haven to which all can flee in order to be empowered to proclaim the love of Christ?

What is needed is a true renewal, a return to Truth, to Traditions, and to the embrace of our Mother. We need to reject the ideologies of the world which do not have our needs at heart, those ideologies which seek only to destroy life wherever it is found.

We need to truly re-feminize the Church, get rid of all the innovation and New-Ageyness that has permeated many liturgies and parishes, and bring back true liturgical music and Catholic prayers. We need to rebuild the Bride, recognize our roles in the Mystical Body, and seek once again the unsurpassable beauty which has been so abused and forgotten.

Then the men will embrace what it means to be men, what it means to defend the honor of the Church, what it means to stand up before the culture and proclaim the Kingdom of God.

25 comments:

UltraCrepidarian said...

I absolutely 100% agree with the heart of what you intend here. I'm too confused, tired, and sick to say anything else intelligent about it, other than "Atta-girl! Way to go!". I'm trying to figure out what being a man really is. I think that Feminism exploded a fake version of being a man, and it was a necessary evil in that case. Authentic masculinity got lost somewhere, along with authentic femininity, both require some rediscovering.

Oh, and I love that picture (Eve after the Fall).

Warren

Anonymous said...

You dissected the crisis we are living in with the scalpel of just a few words.
A post to remember!

Theophilus

UltraCrepidarian said...

Take what you said, and mix in what TeaAtTrianon points out here, and you have mind-blowing insight:

http://teaattrianon.blogspot.com/2007/04/masculine-genius.html

+W+

[going back to bed now, i have bronchitis. *COUGH*]

Anonymous said...

In the diocese of Lincoln, the male participation in the Church is alive and well! We do not have EMEs. We have ONLY installed acoloytes, which can only be men. We also have retained the function of Lector, which also is exclusively male. We do, however, also have women readers / cantors. However, I think there is some norm that says half of the weekend masses in any given parish must use an installed lector. Our wonderful bishop wants to keep the male participation in the church alive and well ... and it's working! OH, and we have NO female alter servers ... only alter boys. TRADITION!

uncle jim said...

Provocative young snip, you [;-}].
[can you see my tongue in my cheek?]

Our parish, a long-time hold-out under now-deceased previous pastor, has recently allowed use of altar GIRLS...strange, but not unexpected as far as I'm concerned, but the altar-BOYS are disappearing. Same phenomenon has happened with other liturgical roles ... women-a-plenty - guys disappearing.

I sometimes wonder if it is more difficult for some parish priests to contend with male compatriots and tend towards the women who 'oooh' and 'aaah' them more.

We need men to be active in the church, as well as women. I think women find it easier than men due to the nurturing nature of the female vs the male, and it obscures the qualities the male brings to the equation...and the male chooses to just let them take it over - they've got plenty else to contend with, so they give up some of their roles to the women - "let them have it, if that's what they want!"

But please let me sign a space on your dance card - or at least don't throw a snit when I cut-in.

uncle jim said...

I meant to add a line from that infamous windmill slayer, Don Quixote, "Sancho ... my sword!" (which is also a favorite line of my bud, Robert N G - a real fighter for women's honor)

Part, at least, of what we see wrong with the world (pornography, rampant individualism and relativism, etc.) is delivered by the female who knows she can conquer the man with her wiles and is cast in the role of the temptress, often quite knowingly and willing.

I think you've delivered a reasonably concise view of what it has done to the Church. Your call to arms is needed.

So what else do you think about in your spare time?

Adoro te Devote said...

Thanks, Ultra, and take care of that cough! Bronchitis is no fun.

Uncle Jim ~ I don't tend to throw a snit while dancing....my snits are always in writing. :-)

Spare time...I'm not quite certain I understand the term...?

paramedicgirl said...

That is such an excellent post, Adore! You echo my sentiments on the feminization of our churches perfectly. BTW, did you know that Pope Paul VI, when he introduced the New Mass in November 1969, called it an innovation and a novelty?

Anonymous said...

The ironic thing is that the women are not really happy under the current situation. The women look around and only see wimps instead of men. The men are not stepping up to be a sacrificial leader.

So this leads to the women trying to tell the men and direct the men as to how to fulfill the masculine role. Unfortunatly this doesn't work either.

The same tendencies run rampant in the "Domestic Church" (the family)with equally dismal outcomes. This separates men from the family thru divorce, just as men are separated from the Catholic Church in worship.

I will die for my wife. I just resent when she tells me when die for her and how to die for her and that the last time I tried to die for her, I was really being a selfish patriarchical tyrant with narcissistic tendancies, not to mention a control freak.

On second thought, maybe I'll just go watch TV and let her run the show.

Adoro te Devote said...

paramedicgirl - do you happen to know the actual context of that? (ie: in a document, a speech, etc., and is it available on the internet?)

anon ~ I know exactly what you are saying. My position is that women have to embrace their femininity - true femininity, embrace the roles for which we are designed, and back off so that men can step up and be men. I do think men have to be more assertive in this, but that's part of the viscious circle that's been created, isn't it? A culture of feminazis has created a culture of wimpy men who have been trained to cow-tow to the woman in charge. I'd love to see more men involved, and at my parish, we do see a presence of men, but then again, my parish is solid. Still, there's an overabundance of women in many roles and I cringe when I see female altar servers. We don't have many, but I honestly believe that if there were none, more boys would step up to the plate, and become men who step up to the plate.

Changes have to happen, but they will happen slowly.

Please don't take the fatalistic attitude of "just let her do it." because it only feeds into the problem. I understand what you're saying about the nagging, although I don't know your circumstances, so I just encourage you, if you haven't already, get invlved in something like the KofC's, or other men's groups so you can discern with other men where you are being called to serve.

God bless you and thanks for your comment!

Winnipeg Catholic said...

This looks like a well written post, and I am looking forward to grabbing a cup of joe and really reading it at my next break.

Before I do a question: what's up with the total lack of Joseph statues on the Joseph side of the church any more? I am a big fan of Joseph and I don't get that. Now the sacred heart is on the left and Mary is on the right, rather than Mary on the left and Joseph on the right, with Christ on the alter, a perfect representation of the holy family.

Jesus is so Holy that he is sort of gender neutral, you know? But Joseph was this togh male carpenter, guardian of the holy family, protector on the flight to egypt and all that. Does this tie into your thesis?

Winnipeg Catholic said...

OK re-read it. I really enjoyed the post, thanks for writing it.

1-What do you think about the role of the veneration of Joseph in all of this? Or, do you think that is really a factor? I note that priests at least used to identify strongly with Joseph and a lot of Joseph prayers are written for priests. The idea of course is that priests are to see themselves as most chaste spouse and guardian of the church, represented by Mary. But Joseph had other spouses, he was not always a celibate, but also was a biological father and husband who raised children and worked as a carpenter. To what extent should we be venerating Joseph as a role model for men, but also for women?

2-Mary Daly. I left a post about her on Paramedic’s blog. I think she is a poster child for the evil spirit that you are referring to. Here is a link about her: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Daly. I also want to suggest that this evil spirit has a name: Cybele. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cybele. The ancient cult of Cybele is what we think Saint Paul is talking about in Romans 1. (Now this part is a little yucky), They used rights of sexual ecstacy to the ultimate point of castrating themselves in orgies where women used objects to penetrate men. Cybele is androgenous, gender-neutral, and that was the ultimate for the worshippers of Cybele.

3-Fear of Eros: I think it is no accident that Benedict XVI has embraced both eros and agape love. I think that Mary Daly and her ilk amongst the radical gender feminist were transformed out of fear of men’s eros, of being ‘deflowered’ which was in part fueled by underlying lesbianism. They started out perhaps with a mistaken call to vocations, with homosexual self-loathing mistaken for a call to celibacy and away from eros which they saw as evil. In reality, the call away from eros might be a call from Cybele, I don’t know.

This is why I think it is dreadfully important that we start being kind and charitable towards homosexuals. Regardless of how conservative you might be about affirming gay unions, I feel that we have a special duty to protect our gay brothers and sisters in from going in this direction. I think that Paul’s affirmation of heterosexual marriage as being protective against unchastity could thus be seen as equally protective for homosexuals, not only against unchastity and promiscuity, but also against the weirder forms of gender feminism, and ‘Cybelism’, if you will.

Rob said...

Of course, the post with a sprawling, unclothed woman gets all the comments!

:)

Adoro te Devote said...

Winnipeg ~ I'm writing on a short break so this will be a very short response.

This post has nothing to do with St. Joseph, but I have a very strong devotion to him. My own parish doesn't have many statues and those that exist have been shoved away or into corners. I'm on a commission which is working to remedy this and bring the sacred back to our surroundings.

I don't see Jesus as gender neutral in any way shape or form. I've never seen a stronger example of a man than him.


As far as your reference to priests representing Joseph as the most chaste spouse - your theology is way off here. The priest stands IN PERSONA CHRISTI. The priest is a representative of Christ, and when he consecrates the hosts and the wine, he is literally standing in as Jesus Christ. In the sacrament of Penance, we are not talking to the priest, we are at the cross of Jesus Christ and it is He with whome we are speaking as the priest is in the person of Christ.

I'm not familar with Mary Daly, never heard of her, will check your link later.

As far as the discussion on homosexuality, I am not going to get into that with regard to this post and I said all I am going to say on the topic at Salve Regina's blog. The discussion will not be carried on over here.

Winnipeg Catholic said...

Hi AtD:

Good points about in persona Christi, but my Roman Daily Missal indeed contains prepatory prayers for priests to saint Joseph that also add some support to that idea.

With regard to Jesus being male, yes you're right of course and he is fully human. But he is awfully super human, and I am supposde to fall in love with him and all of that. I have trouble falling in love with another male, so I focus on it as a brotherly love and my mind seems to 'abrogate' his sexuality. Maybe that's not as good as you're being able to better embrace him as fully male, but your post is about getting men back into the fold right?

Neurologists have determined that most men, on their brainstem, have a small bit of brain devoted to instilling fear and distrust of other men on a reptillian level, as potential rivals and competitors. It is no small wonder that we reach christ with the help of Mary and stil have trouble with his maleness.

UltraCrepidarian said...

Neurology creeps me out, man.

Is that distrust of neurology hard-wired in there too?

:-)

W

Adoro te Devote said...

rob ~ She's clothed! She's wearing ivy! LOL!

Winipeg ~ I checked out the link on Mary Daly ~ what a nutjob. Yeah, she contributed to the downfall that we see today. There's so much paganism and eastern mysticism which has been inflitrated into the Church by such as her, all this "female divinity" worship, it's completely messed things up.

Not being a man, I can't comment on the perspective other men have on Jesus, but keep in mind, love for Jesus is not about sex, and sex is actually a sacred act that we in the modern world have come to misunderstand. The most faithful men I know (to include priests, lay men at my parish, etc.) have no problem with the love of Jesus or the fact that the reception of Holy Communion is a consummation of the marriage Act of the Bridegroom and His Bride.


As far as St. Joseph ~ he is an example to all of us with regard to chastity, to women, as a man to look up to, to look for his qualities in other men, etc., and for me...what a role model! And that's part of the issue with stripping the Church...not only has it become less feminine, but the fullness has gone away, taking the male statues, male icons, etc., those things which cause us all to look heavenward as we strive to become holy.

Ultra ~ Neurology would creep me out, too, if I had to have brain surgery!

Winnipeg Catholic said...

So we have St. Joseph Spouse, St. Joseph the Worker, St. Joseph in the Holy Family... I think we need St. Joseph Guardian of the Faith. And that statue ought to be something like Arnold Schwarzenegger from his Terminator days with a staff. Um, but he should be progressive ;-).

Mary Daly is pretty much a poster child for what you're getting at here if I understand you correctly. She is a product of the church in many ways, so it makes her extra disturbing. As we already discussed, you can attribute lots of issues to her creation out of a catholic mold. But I think that the gender feminist/anti-sex/anti-male ethic comes out of the days before we really accepted agape and eros as good. I think there are improvements from both a progressive and conservative perspective to prevent what I call Cybelism, which is pretty much misogynistic or misandronistic homosexuality manifesting as an androgynous desire for a unisexual environment and a hatred of heterosexuality. But I pretty much made that up. What do I know? Perhaps I should take Daly's class to learn a bit more. Oh wait...

Cathy_of_Alex said...

winnipeg catholic:

Don't believe everything you read on Wikipedia and don't start reading Mary Daly.

Daly proceeded out of a misguided sense of her own powerlessness and her compulsive need to draw attention to herself by being as outrageous as possible. From that she has created a world where men are not necessary and are to be hated and feared. She's gone so far into said world that she created her own language to describe it.

Cybele is definitely a female. She was an ancient goddess. In many instances, she is called the mother goddess or mother of the gods. Some claim that the Virgin Mary was 'made-up' by Christians in order to usurp Cybele. Who says that? Pagan goddess worshippers-some of whom are still around.

Devotions to certain Saints waxes and wanes over time. You are correct, I think, that Devotion to St. Joseph waned for a time. However, I believe he is on his way back. I know of more Catholics invoking his intercession now.

Jesus is male. Period. I've heard a lot of crackbrained theories-among them that He was a hermaphrodite. Bunk, pure, bunk.

St. Joseph is a Defender of the Faith, he protected The Christ when He was at his most vulnerable-in the womb and as a child.

Good post, Adoro!

Winnipeg Catholic said...

Hi Cathy,

It would be neat to see some artwork/statues/Icons of St. Joseph Defender of the Faith, would it not? And my suggestion of Arnold, well he is at least Catholic (I think). Someone contact the Vatican Icon works!

All the Best,

-B

Cathy_of_Alex said...

Winnipeg Catholic: I think you are right to wonder if Ah-nuld is Catholic, I wonder that myself!
;-)

I'd rather see St. Joseph in marble not iron, but that's just me.

Adoro te Devote said...

WP ~ You may be interested in this link:

http://monkallover.blogspot.com/2007/04/spirituality-and-men.html#links



(Sorry, I don't know how to parse links in the combox)

Winnipeg Catholic said...

I went ahead and created a post describing what I have in mind for the DoF version of St. Joe. Comments appreciated. I also had a look at the link you posted on Catholic manliness. Pretty well done. Have a good weekend!!

Winnipeg Catholic said...

Bah. It seems like my html tags never work. Here's the link:

http://reform-catholic.blogspot.com/2007/04/st-joseph-defender-of-faith.html

Anonymous said...

That should be "lex orandi," not "lex orendi."