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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Why Be Angry?

There's a lot happening here in our Archdiocese. Our Archbishop is away receiving the pallium in Rome, and it's the local "gay pride"fest, which, sadly, is being promoted and supported by some local parishes claiming to be Catholic. But the Archbishop put an end to it and understandably, those affected are up at arms because it's something they've been allowed to do before this...for years.

After my own real conversion, I also used to become very upset at these people...but for the opposite reason that they are angry with the Church. I was angry because I'd been a dissident, too, and I was angry because I wasn't fed the Truth. I thirsted long and hard for God, and I was fed raw tripe and lead down a path towards Hell. A path I happily followed!

I was angry because other people are out there even now believing the crap I learned and leading others into the same crap and they're all standing on their heads in it and calling it ambrosia. And they think that their form of ambrosia is "Catholicism".

And...when true Catholicism rears its apparently-ugly head in the face of the crap they've deciced to call "truth" they are angry because the Church refuses to conform to their preferences.

I'm not angry anymore, though. Now I understand.

First of all, those dissidents are not Catholic. They may have been baptized Catholic, and they may have recieved some of the sacraments, but sadly, they were never catechized and they don't know what it means to be they've made it up as they've gone, just as their parents did. And they were encouraged by clergy that was not properly formed and thought they were being "pastoral" by indulging the spirit of the age.

They didn't know what monsters of Modernism they were creating.

The local dissidents that are wreaking so much havoc are such "textbook" Modernists that I did in fact use their rhetoric in a recent paper as it illustrated very concisely what Pope St. Pius X was saying about Modernism.

But let's back up a little and define a few terms.

Let's talk about Faith

Faith is a supernatural gift, but it's also natural. All of us can have some sort of natural faith. We can believe in God based on what we see in this world and use our physical reality to determine that there is, in fact, an absolute cause and beginning of everything.

Supernatural faith, though, accepts an objective truth that cannot be known through reason alone, for not all that we know of God is something found in nature, but comes from revelation. The Jews were the first recipients of Divine Revelation, and that Revelation was carried on in Christianity, and given into the custody of what we now recognize as the Magisterium of the Church. Divine Revelation ended with Jesus. However, our Lord gave the authority to interpret revelation into the hands of Peter and the Apostles, and it now rests in the hands of our Pope and the entire teaching authority of our Bishops. Together, they make up the Magisterium.

We obey them because Christ Himself gave them authority, and this is a Divine Revelation. It is not just the Pope who is infallable when speaking ex cathedra on issues of faith and morals, but the entire college of bishops in union with the Pope. Infallability is also contained in Sacred Tradition, through teachings that have ALWAYS been part of our faith since the time of Christ. This would include teachings against homosexuality, abortion, contraception, and female ordination.

In any case, a rejection of Divine Revelation is a rejection of God, and through this, one, if they ever had it, loses the gift of Supernatural Faith. They can STILL have NATURAL faith, but they are limited, for they are refusing to see with the mind and heart of God. Grace is still available to them...but until they are willing to accept objective truth, that is, a Truth that transcends their own person and subjective personal beliefs, they cannot pass beyond natural faith.

Dissidents have only natural faith. They have rejected Divine Revelation. They do not have Supernatural Faith. They are earthbound.


The following is from my paper:

St. Pius X called Modernism the “synthesis of all heresies”, for indeed, it embraces heresies condemned in the early Church and by the First Vatican Council. Modernism is built upon the agnostic philosophy of Kant, who divorces metaphysical knowledge from reason, denying that we can know anything about God through reason. His philosophy makes everything subjective to one’s own experience and “mental categories”. This is contrary to the Catholic understanding, for we realize that we can, in fact, know God through His work and we have the ability recognize the signs of credibility that reveal God through creation and through history.

Modernists reject the idea that God can be known from without; they embrace the concept of immanence, that religion comes from within man, and comes from a certain personal experience. It is completely subjective, so lends to the next logical conclusion that in fact, all religions must be the same and equally valid, for no one can argue with another person’s personal experience. Additionally, there is the idea of “evolution”; modernism has an evolutionary character, meaning that over time it develops in response to man’s own subjective beliefs or needs or desires. They equate a “living religion” with a constant state of fluidity, and in fact, much of what we witness in modernism can be called “New Age”, for it leads one towards a certain “divinization,” making themselves God, deciding for themselves what is right or wrong not according to an external and objective “deposit of faith”, but rather that internal evolution or divinization. The additional factor of modernism is one of a collective unconscious, and this is what forms dogma. The big question is where the world is going and what they should do to look to the future and be “prophetic”.


The reality is that those who are currently protesting the Archbishop are not protesting him, but Christ himself. This isn't news. These people have rejected Divine Revelation, although I have to wonder if they ever KNEW what they were rejecting? They've likely never been taught. And that's what makes reaching them so difficult. They're not defining terms to anything other than political alignments as they have no concept of theological terms separate from the politicization they have thrust upon God. They have no theological terms that apply to the human person; all that they believe and hold dear is divorced from them, nothing transcends the present reality and it is only what is immanent that is "real" and "definitive".

For someone to come from "outside" and suggest that their own personal decisions are somehow incorrect is an unimanginable violation! They simply can't comprehend how the Archbishop can come along and suggest that those who don't follow Catholic teaching aren't really Catholic! For they have defined Catholicism (and every other religion) according to their own personal terms and they have not met with much resistance. That resistance that they HAVE met has been counteracted by affirmations from heretics or unbaptized pagans within their own groups who ascribe to the same fundamental philosophical and theological errors.

I'm not angry anymore...I don't have the time. Or the patience. Anger is wearing, and the more anger I see from that side of things, the more I realize how we, as those with the gift of Supernatural Faith must be willing to listen, even as we disagree.

I'm not a debator. It's not my gift. I can share my faith, I can live my faith, but I will NEVER be a person who gets "down and dirty" with people who want all the answers RIGHT NOW. I can't give them. I'm more "contemplative" and I need to think before I speak both for reasons of intellect and reasons of virtue. It's one of the reasons I write and will never make an effective Apologist.

We have no right to be angry with the dissidents; they don't even understand what limb or sense they are missing because it has either never been granted to them on this earth or it has been lopped off by those who went before them and did them such injustice. We might as well be angry with a blind person because they can't see a roadsign!

Our response must be compassion and certitude in what we KNOW to be TRUE. We cannot argue ANYONE into the Church...we love them into it. We stand firm in what is true, right along with the Archbishop, and we must be matter-of-fact. Those who disagree will disagree and that is their right; for God gave them free will.

They can reject God if they want; our job is not to be angry, but to love as Christ loved and to be crucified as He was crucified, even at the hands of those who hate Archbishop Neinstedt and the rest of Christ's Church.

Are you willing to be angry...or are you willing to be Catholic? There is no middle ground.



Mark said...

The world loves the corporal works of mercy; St. Francis to Bl. Theresa of Calcutta; but should they or anyone else practice the spiritual work of mercy to instruct the ignorant, watch the venom fly.

Hidden One said...

I'll go with smiling Catholicity, thanks.

BretonHobbit said...

cheers for the post...there's quite alot goin on with the archdiocese of boston these days, and the last few weeks have seen alot of angry, bitter, and hurting people (and this is all within the walls of the Chancery). I know it's a bit different than what you addressed in your post, but it was a good reminder to stay faithful in these difficult times! peace (and pray for Boston!:-)

Anonymous said...

Converts and reverts are understandably ardent, but they, too, need to find balance.

For this reason:

If we Catholics are busy fighting one another, the REAL satan is busy with REAL targets of vulnerability -- perhaps the very ones we thought to help when we first came online.

Carol, *a traditional Catholic (*not and never TraditionalIST)

paramedicgirl said...

God bless your archbishop for taking this stand against using the Catholic Church to promote the homosexual lifestyle. You are right - they are no longer Catholic.

Christine said...

excellent post Adoro...Always great to see true Catholicism!

Vianney33 said...

I was and am still angry about the sometimes weak and sometimes false catholic teaching I recieved from those who should have known better and in some cases did but were too prideful to teach true Catholicism. I don't necessarily think it is bad to be angry at my former teachers and current dissidents. As long as it is used for motivation and does not develope into hatred.
I am estatic about what our wonderful archbishop has done. It is about time that authentic doctrine is enforced and I hope that the parishoners that are affected have a conversion and come to realize what a great shepherd we have.
My anger increases in relation to the person of authority who should have been setting us straight but instead confirmed us in our sins, as Fr. Corapi says. My priest is one of these. In fact, my parish is infected with a light version of what St. Joan of Arc has. The only difference is that we are in a suburb and not in the city so the folks that make the decisions can't go completely nuts.
I also think that some aren't so innocent about their beliefs. Instead they find a parish and a priest that will legitimize their lifestyle of choice, yet deep down inside they know it is wrong. I can say this from experience. I put the blinders on and listened to whoever made arguements that favored what it was I wanted to do.
Yes, pray for dissidents, but also use your anger for motivation.

adoro said...

Vianney33 ~ I used to have the very anger you cite, and I agree, some people are seeking to be confirmed in their sin. But we don't have a right to judge their motivations...we don't know deep down what's really going on with them. And that's why anger is wrong...if we hold on to it, it causes us to lose contact with charity and we begin to make judgements upon the soul (as opposed to just the behavior, which we MUST judge!)

I was angry for a long time and I'll admit those flashes still come, and when that happens, I get snarky and I say things I later regret...because I sin against charity. You can't hold on to anger and grow in virtue at the same time. It's one or the other and we all have to choose, and sometimes we choose incorrectly.

Yes, there is such a thing as "righteous anger" but if we're harboring it and tryingn to justify that by calling it "motivation", perhaps that anger needs to be reevaluated. Only you and yoru confessor, or me and my confessor, etc., can do that.

In this post I'm not saying we put blinders on and ignore it, only that our response to dissidents should be free from anger. They're angry enough. The more angry THEY are, the more peaceful WE should be. After all...God is immutable, God cannot be affected and the Church is well-protected by the Holy Spirit.

If you look back on where you came from and the lies you were fed and even those you followed...and look at where you are now, do you see how God allowed you that struggle in order to put you in a position to defend the Church through your experience? It gives you credibility. You've seen the other side, and you know what's going on in people's heads. And eventually, you'll realize that knowledge more fully and you'll stop being angry, too.

Believe me...I keep watching this happen to other "reverts" I know who were also dissidents. God's grace is amazing.


/soapbox (sorry!)

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

You're doing it again Adoro, God is using you to smack me in the head again.