Recent Posts

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Perfection Series II: Part Seven St. Angela Inspired

The soul of America is gone. When I was a child, Catholics were still being marginalized to the point of being shunned and experiencing verbal abuse. One famous priest involved in Civil Rights told me that many think he became involved because of Martin Luther King. In fact, he told me recently that the reason he became involved in movements for equality was that he was born in Ottumwa, Iowa, a city still known for its Catholicity. When he came up to Davenport to attend seminary, as priests were still trained there then, he quickly noticed the antipathy towards the Catholic Church and individual Catholics.

He began to support individuals and worked for equal rights and recognition for Catholic Americans.

My dad was literally stoned when walking to school by the Lutherans. And, the above priest told me Catholic youth were being beat up by Protestant gangs in the 1950s.

Interesting. But, Catholics had souls, and were willing to be beaten up when they did not deny their Catholic heritage. The Catholic heritage of the immigrants is practically dead, at least in the cities. There are some vestiges of it in the small, very small Midwest towns which were settled by Catholic priests and Catholic immigrants, my ancestors included.

However, what is missing is the willingness to identify with being Catholic in America. Too many, in fact, most Catholics I meet identify first with being Americans and second, as being Catholics.

This has caused the immigration crisis in some nations, by the way, as Catholics are now being targeted, such as the Kenyan family refused in Chicago for a week visa, to see their son ordained a priest, because of one small mistake on their papers. They were turned away at the airport.

The Catholic is part of a international, global, pan-national institution. The Kingdom of God is not bound by borders.

Catholics are THE greatest threat to those who want a global government. This is daily more obvious. But, the truth is that most Catholics in America would choose the security of a global government over the security of being in the Catholic Church.

The living, baptismal soul of Catholics in many places has been replaced by a dead, consumeristic soul, which chooses daily things over people, events over prayer and comfort over God.

The Protestant Work Ethic tied to the idea of predestination as being marked by material success have ruined Catholics. They can and do no longer think like Catholics, and are, in fact, becoming more utilitarian, like their pagan neighbors, no longer seeing the value of suffering or the value of poverty.

To “not be poor” is more important than to “be holy” here in the Midwest.

What the great saints tell us forms the basis for the Catholic message of perfection through-out the ages; that is, poverty is the way to holiness.

To hate poverty, to hate the poor, to want to have a “war on poverty” and eradicate all suffering are ideals of Americans which run contrary to the Gospel message.

Christ told us that the poor would always be with us. Why?

Because both the poor and the rich benefit from receiving and giving things, money, attention, which would not happen if everyone were comfortable….

Being comfortable is no the goal of life, despite the American dream.

Becoming a saint is the goal of life.

Angela, the saint for the week on this blog, could not be clearer about Christ choosing poverty on purpose.

Why the soul of American has disappeared has to do directly with the choosing of comfort over generosity, of judgment over love, of habit over being open to accepting others into one’s world.  There are a few Americans, mostly young ones, who have resisted the siren call of consumerism.

Sadly, those who are older and either still trying to have status or resting in a status they have chosen for comfort, have held the spiritual knife which has killed not only their own souls, but the soul of the Church in many areas.

Consumerism is not the same as materialism, as I have written on this blog long ago, but the two may be connected.

Consumerism is the incessant buying of the best, the latest, the biggest, for one reason-pride.

Materialism, which is more common in Europe, is the belief that only the material world exists, and that there is no spiritual world. Marxism and socialism are materialistic ideologies. Americanism and even to a large extent, Catholic Americanism, has become consumerist in ideology.

The soul of the Ameican Catholic dies and then stays dead by the daily choosing of things, events, self, the stuff of this world over the glory of the next.

To be continued….