Servus Fidelis ~ The Faithful Servant

Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam ~ For the Greater Glory of God

What is the Church preoccupied with today?

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The answer seems to be social issues, economic issues and moral issues in relation to the current socio-political agendas. The clarion call is for helping the poor (always of interest to Christians), redistribution of wealth to the poor (not charitable alms, but forced by the state), normalizing sexual taboos (fornication, adultery, homosexuality, same sex marriage, contraception, abortion and the like) and now, of all things, man-made global warming.

The politicians have long used the Christian majority in the US as a means to an end by appealing to our sense of charity and justice. They have tried to make a moral argument for the poor or the less fortunate by theorizing, no matter how blatantly false their reasonings might be, that their policy, programs, laws or regulations will benefit those who are oppressed. Of course every group that is being oppressed is not them . . . as they seem to be thriving; both economically and in terms of special privilege; especially exemptions from their own laws and regulations. So the politicians have made their arguments for socialist governance and Marxist economics as an instrument of equalization which will benefit the down trodden: and whatever group that they are speaking to are, of course, the unfortunates that will be helped by some governmental ‘fix’ for the problem. As always they are quick to point out that their political opponents are responsible for the sufferings and inequality of the prospective voter.

The poor or the disenfranchised are all the talk as is multiculturalism, lifestyle choices, open borders and immigration. It is reflected in everything. To hear them speak, the enemies of the people are the rich, the white Western European men, polluters of all kinds, enforcers of the law, business owners, Christian moralists, gun-toting patriots and all who think that the government should get out of the way so that we might simply work, live our respective lives and prosper or fail. But failure is now being taught to be unacceptable in our society and the redefined role of the government is to get as many people as possible to rely upon the them (through the taxes taken from ordinary working stiffs) to give them food, clothing, shelter and more and more discretionary spending money. In other words we are a bank that hands out loans without being paid back and in fact gives everyone a bigger loan each year to cover inflation and other ‘necessities’ in life.

Now oddly there seems to be a partnership developing of strange bedfellows; the Church and the State. It seems that the Church has been wooed, cajoled or convinced that the governments of the Western World really do have the best interest of the people in mind and and not simply garnering votes to feed their own elitist aggrandizement.

Let’s take a look at what is on the mind of the Church these days.

The Catholic Church has helped Obama in lifting restrictions and sanctions from Communist Cuba. The USCCB and the Vatican are favoring amnesty to illegal trespassers into the US and putting them on the dole and giving them the right to vote. Since when did the Church take a stance against democratically established laws of a nation if they are just?

The Pope’s first encyclical seemed to many as a critical attack on capitalism. Many Christians are clamoring for an increase in the minimum wage, increasing ‘entitlements’ (formerly a charitable gift of welfare checks) for the poor like food stamps and EBT cards that can be traded for anything they want. . . in other words, redistribution of wealth. Most  Christians support the government on issues such as raising taxes on corporations and the rich and stifling regulations on businesses and communities under the guise of the man-made global warming hoax. Each of these will eliminate jobs or force businesses to close down costing a loss of the very jobs that we say are needed for the same people the advocates say they are trying to help.

The most often spoken message from our Pope concerns the poor which is a message that has been with us from the beginning and nothing new. We have been doing our part to help the poor for over 2000 years . . . and without state welfare and entitlements. In the Western world today however, the poor have never been richer or more privileged as they are today. We live twice as long as we did a century ago and that age keeps increasing. We have better access to medicine, to good food, to amenities like cars, electric lights, indoor plumbing, and air conditioning that even the very rich of 200 years ago could not even have dreamt. But, in the West, those on the extremities (below our arbitrary poverty line) are usually there because of choices which they made in life; most importantly to have children out of wedlock and to throw away their opportunity of a free public education even though it was provided at the expense of the government (the tax payers).

What is the strangest in all of this is not only the synergy of each of these things to actually hurt the people they claim to want to help but also the negative effect each of these will have to the nuclear family. The moral issues such as adultery, fornication, abortion etc. all are anti-family as are these new ‘alternative lifestyles’ and the attempt to normalize them. The higher minimum wages only encourage people to remain in a starter job meant for high school students and retired folks. The same is true of the ‘entitlement’ culture which has destroyed any desire that the poor might possess to actually learn a skill and work for a living. Opening the borders will create an even larger class of poor who are seeking employment where there are many times as many people as there are jobs. So we will put them on the welfare roles and grow the ranks of the people that our tax payers and businesses must support. Businesses can’t grow and new businesses will have too many regulations and taxes facing them to grow faster than the welfare roles. What you are doing is effectively bolstering every problem we face and making sure that the nuclear family as we once knew it will ever return . . . at least not among the welfare roles.

Newsflash for the Church and other Christians who think they are supporting a righteous and good cause: as soon as they are finished using you for your votes and your support, they will sell you and your faith for a song. They have no need of you anymore and you will never fit into their end game. In fact, if you think the war on Christianity is bad, you haven’t even seen a glimmer of the real war that will certainly come against us like a firestorm. The frustration and the hatred that has been stirred up among the classes, races, and genders will eventually explode into violence on a large scale. What is going on with the black communities, stirred up by professional anarchists backed by left wing or Marxists groups are only looking for an excuse to riot, burn and destroy the system. The ultra rich will not worry but the moderately well off folks might start thinking about leaving before the anarchists use them for target practice.

Thank you, Christian and Jewish leaders, socialists and Marxists everywhere (yes the new Marxist Democratic party mostly) for this Brave New World. You will have to be pretty darn brave to live in it the way things are going

Pleasing and Displeasing to God

Theology, besides delving into the nature of God, is responsible for mapping human action and thought into categories and understandings of what is pleasing and displeasing to our Creator. It comprises moral theology as well as certain principles that are good and encouraged and other principles which are bad and to be discouraged.

I became a member of the Catholic Church after I was drawn to Her, not by theology but by spirituality; the spirituality of John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila. It was through them that I found that I was bound, as were they, by good and holy theology, dogma and practice. Otherwise, as they attested, their pursuits in prayer might lead to dangerous errors and the loss of their souls. For that reason, Teresa of Avila preferred as spiritual directors, the recently formed Jesuits who were both strong in spiritual mental prayer (or contemplative prayer) and in theology which they studied rather arduously. It was therefore a necessary burden to expose myself to theology in order to rightly pursue my spirituality. I became a teacher of the faith, and defender of the faith, not because I liked it but because I now understood its usefulness; nay, its necessity. Correct theology is the handmaid of a sound spirituality. You won’t get the latter until you either understand the former or have a spiritual director who does.

Theology has provided us with dogmas (that which must be accepted) as an aid to our salvation. Likewise it has provided us with the practices that enhance and bring to life these beliefs which we must hold. In the moral realm it tells us that which is serious sin as well as that which is immensely pleasing to God; the do’s and don’ts. It also, in many instances, gives us the background and reasons for doing certain things and avoiding certain things. To latch on to the do’s and reject the don’ts is as harmful as accepting the don’ts and rejecting the do’s. Both are there for our aid.

So the Church uses theology and practice to make our spiritual lives simpler and our decisions in life consonant with that which pleases God. It is not, therefore, the purpose of the Church to introduce confusion among us as to what is right or wrong, good or bad, laudable and despicable. It is to instill within us a means to acquire joy, love, reverence, honor, solemnity and peace. If these are not being produced or if they are being reduced to one or two of these then something is missing or something has become corrupt.

Therefore, theology spawns rules, rubrics and instructions for our devout practice and the devout practice of our priests who celebrate certain rites in the Church for our spiritual benefit. Often these are seen as an outward sign of reverence or symbolic action which might move us to understand a deeper or more hidden theological truth that anyone might intuit without the use of reason or intellect. The rites themselves were developed and refined by theological thought and not only serve to worship God but to instruct us, theologically as well. If a rite is done well both God and man are edified by the reality and the experience and when it is not, neither is God nor man. If we only participate externally without being fully involved spiritually then something is not right.

The rites are God centered, spiritually based expressions which should be understood as such. If they are turned into an expression of human dimension such as social justice or equality then we might be better off going to a secular humanist march for such things in our own public squares. There are times for social justice teachings but if this is what you are getting from Liturgy or religious rites meant to praise and worship God then we are being misdirected from our end.

It is the job of everyone who has come to understand their purpose and aim in this life (to be forever happy with God in the next life) and the fundamental principles that Mother Church teaches to get us there, to keep a constant vigil on laxity of expression, word or deed. Just as broken families followed divorce or abortion followed contraception, large consequences usually follow from small beginnings. No one is exempt from scrutiny. Everyone is charged to live our faith and teach the faith by our acts. If your priest does not genuflect when consecrating the host or chalice then you need to ask him why he isn’t. If people are chatting and laughing during the Mass then you need to ask them to stop. Liturgy is not entertainment anymore than it is a platform for social commentary. It is the Sacrifice of Christ to be applied to our souls. If you come away with some other message then the Rite of Mass failed you and the Church has failed to provide you with what She is bound to do.

Thereby, we are all called to defend the teachings of the Church to the best of our ability. We are to condemn practices that weaken or confuse our understanding of theology and rob us of our God-given right to both a theological and spiritual expression of worship that edifies both God and our spirit. Orthodoxy (or right thinking) is to always be aimed at as you cannot pray or worship as you ought without it. In a seamless garment you cannot pull on one thread or clip it from the garment as you will likely end up with nothing but a pile of thread which is good for nothing. Should I feel shame that I deprive others of bread and circuses in the Church? Let them get such from Caesar but not from the hands of our priests at Mass. Can we not watch with Him for even 1 hour? Have we fallen asleep again?

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