Thursday, July 21, 2016

HOLINESS AND THE TRADITION

(Posted by Glaucon Jr)

(A Monstrance: This is God, not a menorah)


We who write for and read JungleWatch  stand firm in our commitment to rid the poor, suffering Church of the greatest abuses by whatever means are legally and morally available to us. But no matter what anyone says, the removal of the errors and corruptions of the Catholic Faith by the NCW is not and cannot be the end-game. The removal of NCW as the dominating force in the Church on Guam is really just the end of the storm. But how will we start again to rebuild after such a long tempest?

Since we flatly reject the NCW vision of spiritual bondage, we must make clear for everyone the alternative in this war for the salvation of souls. The answer is found in the Tradition of the Faith. How this is done is where discernment is called for. But we do know what the key is: holiness.




I'm not holy. Not even close. But even an alcoholic knows that he would be far happier if he stopped drinking, even if he knows in only a nebulous way. So I'm not worried about anyone doubting my current spiritual state or accusing me of hypocrisy. But it's not hypocrisy; it's knowing that we have to look at what's ahead.

Remember though: Tradition isn't the same as traditions. Traditions are the practices, but Tradition (to grossly oversimplify it) is the entire life of conformity to Christ as lived since the Apostles with all its practices (such as traditions). We don't do it for the sake of being old-fashioned; we do it because it is known for a fact that it leads very quickly to personal sanctification and a peaceful, Christian society. 

If we’re going to continue in this great work of mercy on behalf of the Church and her poor, faithful ones, we must have at the forefront of our minds that the real reason for all of it is that restoration of the Faith, plain and simple. It is the love of Christ expressed first and foremost in the restoration of the primacy of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It is the return to a vibrant Catholic society animated by the Faith and the Gospel ethic. In other words, we must work, then as now, for holiness. Not unity for its own sake, nor piety, nor platitudes, nor all that crapola that has just confused everyone with its sentimentality and effeminacy. It’s holiness. That’s it.


Holiness is a punchline in today's world. The secular culture mocks it, and NCW like most Protestants see no need for it for their salvation. It's just "Jesus saves," and that's it. But it means being transformed in conformity to Christ Crucified, and most of us don't know exactly how to do that.

This means we are in need of real renewal, and have been for a long time. Now it’s true that Kiko and his cult should never have been brought here. But if we’re honest, we must admit that if we were doing what we should have been doing as a local church in the first place, Kiko never would have stood a chance. 

Apuron personally told me years ago that he brought the Neo to Guam (among other reasons) in order to help counteract the incursion of the Jehovah's Witnesses, SDAs, and Mormons. They, too, should never have stood a chance. Apuron could have called for an archdiocesan year of prayer and fasting, or reinvigorated the apologetics efforts, or a Rosary crusade, with him leading by example, or any number of things (when I mentioned this, he flatly ended that fiesta conversation). But instead, he did nothing but hand off the problem for Kiko to save the day with his panacea. So whether it's his fault or ours or both, that NCW got an invitation, the fact is they were given the keys to the city, and that has caused so much suffering that I am grieved daily.

But here’s another thought: the invasion of NCW has really been a chastisement, a punishment for our sloth, our laxity. So many took the Faith of our forbearers for granted, and God disciplined us, but He only disciplines those whom He loves. So that’s a comfort to us.

Or perhaps it’s a really a warning to others and the world of what happens when we become lax. If so, the Good Lord knew we would come back and not be spiritually defeated. So that should give us comfort too.

Either way, this whole experience has been a purification—a way for us to “get it.” On the one hand, Western culture has in a very real sense become pagan all over again with its worship of money, fame, luxury, and impurity (and a literal worship of demons clothed as pagan gods). On the other hand, we have the Neo -types who on the other extreme are so against being of the world that they don’t seem to live in it. For example, they teach that a man being concerned with earning enough to support his family means he makes his family his idol. It rejects the Faith and its practice of the Tradition because that Tradition was fostered in the Christendom that the NCW despises. 

But there that middle ground that is not a compromise, but rather the world of the exercise of the Faith. It is that simple, ordinary life of holiness. It’s not monastic and cloistered, nor is it in your face. It’s the day-to-day pursuit of holiness. Yes, it has its own struggles and hardships, but these are offered up to God by each family—the domestic church—and these domestic churches together are what make up parishes.

But that’s another post to come up soon. 

So what I'm saying is a return to the Tradition: the unity of our Faith in history, among the Church Triumphant, Church Militant, and Church Suffering, through time and Eternity. It’s a return to the Tradition that imbibes us, a return to the real sacramental life, esp daily Mass (remember that?) and monthly (if not weekly) Confession. It’s a return to the Catholic household as it always was with its family Rosary. It’s a return to the life in conformity to Christ in His One Holy Roman Catholic Church.

There’s a variety of things to consider, but I’ll just mention a few for your consideration:
  • The installation of a holy bishopWe need a genuinely holy bishop.  If that’s such a rarity that we can’t find one, then at the very least an honest, orthodox one who knows how to administer an archdiocese.  For myself, I’d personally love Raymond Cardinal Burke (Francis isn’t a fan and wants him out of the way—fine, send him here, I’ll take him…but that’s just me. There are plenty of good men out there who would fit the bill). 
  • The Return of the Mass as it supposed to be served. While I love the Extraordinary Rite, I’m not talking about that. I mean the Novus Ordo itself served reverently, the way it should be but so often isn't. When the Missal was revised a few years ago, I saw a lot of liturgically revitalized parishes when I visited all over the US. On the whole, I haven’t seen this as much on Guam, but so much work remains to be done implementing the GIRM. Undoing the damage of having everyone stand after receiving communion and not offering thanksgiving by itself took years. Likewise, let there be a simple return to  “Do what’s in red, say what’s in black.” On a related note, regularly scheduled confessions before Masses would be a a great help.
  • Holy priests.  The fact is that we get clergy we deserve; why would God give us holy priests when we reject their holiness and do not seek holiness ourselves? Hence, we must become far holier than we are. Now this won’t happen overnight. But, in the end, if the priest will not pursue holiness, then a holy people shames the priest into greater holiness, just as he shames us by his example, and that's a blessed thing indeed.  Just as a good and holy woman inspires her man to be a better husband, so let us inspire our priests, not with bullying or harshness, and let them see that their example will be ours.
  • The renewal of Catholic manhood and family life. Men must renounce this soft, feminine living where they shun virtue and nobility and are ashamed to be worthy of the great honor and responsibility that God has given them. We must teach our young men to cherish the responsibility as husband, father, provider, and guardian of their families; where they are the “little Christ” to their household, suffering for all and reconciling all together; where they show forth the virile strength of the wise and moral life. The Catholic man must love his wife as Christ loves his Church: in purity, nobility, and sacrifice.
  • Renewed and reformed Roman Catholic catechesis. This is obvious. NCW made headway in the same way the Jehovah’s Witnesses do—they attack where they perceive weakness, which is in personal knowledge of the Faith. Take a lesson from them: GOOD catechesis is needed. Genuine preaching from the pulpit is a huge start. Likewise, parish-based Bible study led by those who know are informed, regardless of who they are. That said, we have to remember that no one ever went to heaven because they were smart. They went because they were in grace. Catechesis needs to be directed at grace and the holiness that flows from it--not the Protestant knack for quoting out of context. 
  • Last but by no means least: Justice and accountability. Transparency isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I don’t need to know or want to know the day-to-day issues in the chancery, nor the drama or politics that always creep in. I’m certainly not for the democratization of the Church. But after everything we’ve been through, a decent measure of accountability is a must if trust is ever to be restored. We want humble authority over us, not clericalism. The past clerical scandal can be healed, but it takes time.

These are just a few ideas to get us thinking about where we want to go. Pray over these, of course, and whatever is in your heart. But most of all, work for your own holiness. Avail yourself of the sacraments as much as possible. And as one internet priest always say, “STOP SINNING!” If it’s there, remove mortal sin and its occasion from your life. It’s a gradual process, but we all must move forward, praying together and healing together.

Holiness--the conformity to the love of Christ our God--takes time, but it's the effort that leads to Eternity. And all of it is the entire point of the Tradition.

God love you.

Comments are always welcome. These are just a few ideas. Please give input on these and your own concerns.






14 comments:

  1. Anyone know if old Putrid Pius is going World Youth Day? Need to have eyes looking out for him and Apuron at the event.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Screwtape: Oh dear, what have you done Wormwood! This iteration of Tradition is exactly what we did not want the feeble minds to discover, this new enemy is awakening all the great Saints that has caused so much souls to escape our claws.

    Wormwood: What shall we do Uncle, the West has rejected much of our Enemy’s tenets, so it seems, and their edifices are being sold off to the highest bidders. I’m sure this little settlement will be next, as you know the Spanish ones are making the clandestine move in Luther’s name and much of this island has assent to the foreign and deformed doctrines.

    Screwtape: Nevertheless Wormwood, this new enemy is causing great agony to our father below! His little chitchat of Tradition, Catechesis, Holy Bishop and Holy Priest will surely charm even the little ones. You must whisper in the ears of the Proxy devil and let him issue an edict from the very steps he ignored the poor victims, hehehe…an edict once again to his sinuous patrons who “go to church” out of feelings but never understanding our motives, of false peace, love and reconciliation. Let the Kiss of Judas continue IN their churches, dull their minds with duties, leisure’s and platitudes, and keep pestering the true Holy Priests with troubles and timidity.

    Wormwood: Oh Uncle it’s no wonder all of HELL admires you!

    Screwtape: Save your pedestrian tribute and get me SOULS!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Someone needs to be collecting these. Brilliant.

      Delete
  3. Tradition is what makes us grounded. The Tradition that Glaucon Jr listed for our Catholic Church defines and reminds us of why we yurn for and would defend against the erosions that splinter organizations Such as the NCW threaten. While we are thought to be obedient, Jesus questioned the practices of Pharisees who were more form than substance in their beliefs. Some were not Holy and demanded respect rather than earning respect.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Claucon Jr. - What a whiff of fresh air your treatise has brought upon me, and I hope upon a whole lot of others too. You are so very right on a lot of things, but it takes a lot more than just meditative reading to take it all in. It takes a lot of contemplation and prayer to assimilate all you have said. I believe that God is using you as an instrument to bring about healing to a suffering Church - and that healing must come from within, not from without.

    For too long our people have been living their Faith in a less than fervent way, and perhaps He has sent us this scourge of suffering to test our Faith. Without denigration to my position, it is fairly easy to cast aspersions on the NCW as the cause of adulterating our Faith. And while that might be very true (and God knows how strongly I have been opposing it for theological, dogmatic and liturgical aberrations), ridding ourselves of the cancer of NCW may just be a preliminary condition toward REAL HEALING - and that is the healing of our souls from within. Maybe God had give us this thorn to test our inner faith in Him, not just the external adherence to our faith in and worship of Him.

    I shall continue to fight against the errors of the NCW, but now with an added overtone of improving my own life and holiness. Ridding ourselves of the cancer of the NCW must be reinforced by an internal metanoia within our own lives.

    I had to re-read your writing twice (3 times) to get its full impact. I think it is one of the best things I have ever read in JW. Some of the "remedies" you had prescribed, I too had written about earlier. I thank you for reinforcing them. If only your formula of "internal healing" is heeded and practiced by us all, maybe the pangs of suffering will be more tolerable, and deliverance will be more forthcoming. I am reminded once more of my favorite prayer: "If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My Face, and turn from their wicked ways - then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sins, and will heal their land". (2 Chron 7:12)

    I promise not to preach again, but I just had to return your wonderful writing in kind. Oremus pro invicem. (JRSA: 7/21/16)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I cannot say (write) enough how important and spot on this post is. Definitely sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  6. St. Paul as he addressed the Church in Corinth about the division that exist when they come to celebrate the Lords Supper, admonished the Church recognizing that there will be factions among the believers, "For there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized." 1 Corinth 11:19. I have to admit that God also is using this division in our local church as part of the process to purify his Church, and raise awareness of how we've become complacent in our faith, become distracted with the materialistic aspects of life and is using this opportunity to lead us back on track with Him. Despite all the troubles we are seeing, It is apparent in our dialogs in this blog, There seems to be a resurgence of local church members searching and learning scripture in defense of our Catholic faith, an increased knowledge about the liturgy, a reemphasis of the real presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist, more understanding of the need to worship God reverently in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Better understanding of the sacraments and their roles in our lives. But more importantly we must endeavor to continue our efforts to search and uphold the truth, seek justice for those wronged and protect the vulnerable and innocent. God Bless..

    ReplyDelete
  7. Mr. Glaucon Jr, I commend your thought process and the way you put it in writing. Hands down, a valuable template in moving forward to revitalize our faith. You and Mr. JR San Agustin must keep on writing. God bless you.
    Father Efren

    ReplyDelete
  8. How can I even explain the timing of this peace and my current struggle? Your discourse has been a constant conversation amongst many who have been aware of the true crisis. Thank you for being eloquent in capturing the thoughts shared amongst many.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I do appreciate the comments, but please know that what is written are the thoughts and motivations of all who write for JungleWatch, and hopefully those who read. We hope for the future, and we ask for your prayers, esp for Tim who led so well and got us so far. God love you.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thank you, Glaucon, for your contributions to our Church's healing on Guam. Your writing springs from a deep well of thoughtfulness.

    One reminder though: I would not paint all Protestants with the same broad stroke. You yourself indicate above that holiness is really a state of being when you write about it as conforming to the love of Christ. A way of living (such as attending frequent Mass) flows from this condition of being (conformity to the love of Christ). This way of being involves a radical self re-orientation, captured by the late Protestant theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer (executed by Adolf Hitler's People's Court on April 9, 1945): “When Jesus calls a man to follow him, he bids him come and die.”

    ReplyDelete
  11. That is true--one broad stroke is too general--but we still have to use the same Eucharist-less paint, regardless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. A brief addendum: Bonhoeffer's work is quite admirable and excellent food for thought (his Cost of Discipleship is a classic of course and worthwhile for everyone, and his Letter and his Ethics are also noteworthy). I say this because he is a notable exception, in my experience. There are others, of course, but this must be said with the near complete collapse of theology consistent with much of ANYTHING within the Protestant multiplicity of faith. Most of what I see and read today, on Guam, in journals, in lectures, and elsewhere, lacks virtually any substance. But my sources aren't complete, and I do personally know a few would-be Protestant Thomists--although how they will be able to sustain that tension is worth betting on.

      Hence, my comment on the Eucharist. Without parsing it out, such a radical self re-orientation is virtually impossible without the sacraments, in particular the Eucharist and Confession. But Bonhoeffer as solid Lutheran was certainly no Reformer and so within his own writings remains outside the vast ocean of Protestant muck.

      Delete

Recommendations by JungleWatch