15 But according to him that hath called you, who is holy, be you also in all manner of conversation holy:
16 Because it is written: You shall be holy, for I am holy.
I have been trying to discern why the vast majority of Catholics who are serious about their Faith have been besotted with private revelations.
Yesterday, I wrote about sloth in daily life. But, after pondering overnight on this huge phenomenon, I have come to some conclusions about the fact that many, many Catholics refuse to study and instead rely on private messages, approved or unapproved.
First, a strong sense of anti-intellectualism has gripped Catholics, which is fall-out from the Protestants, who threw out the Tradition of the Church, the Fathers, the Doctors and all the councils.
This anti-intellectualism cannot be part of the Catholic lifestyle, as the Catholic Church has been the one institution which has not only supported the intellectual life of mankind, but is the institution which created universities, secondary and elementary schools. The great Benedictine abbeys kept the heritage of the Greeks and Romans alive by copying texts for over a thousand years. We are called to think, read, study, reflect and there are hundreds of approved and solid teachings which lead us to Christ within the long history of the Church.
This anti-intellectualism may even be sinful, as it in contrary to our own Teaching Magisterium, in the form of encyclicals, apostolic letters, and so on.
Second, too much emphasis has been placed on experiential religion, a influx of bad theology from the Pentecostals and Charistmatics. The emotions follow the will and intellect and must not be allowed to push one's spiritual life. In fact, all the great saints who write on prayer state two things: one, consolations and experiences are not be sought, as many are from the evil one; two, commitment to Christ is primarily in the will, as love is primarily an act of the will.
Third, bishops and priests have been lax on disciplining prayer groups which center on private revelations. A lack of discipline means that private revelations are not held up to the scrutiny of Catholic teaching and even some priests do not know the Faith well enough to make good judgements.
Fourth, women are running the spiritual show. Sorry, but until men seriously are committed to becoming saints, this horrible lack of balance regarding private revelations as the main way to holiness, which these are not, women will run prayer meetings, push retreats and basically find the flavour of the month regarding private revelations on line and in books. Where are the male leaders who have some objectivity with regard to the emotional content and appeal of so many of these private revelations?
Fifth, lack of trust in the hierarchy, which may show a lack of faith in God Who is leading the Church, creates a rebellious nature akin to Protestantism. Rebellion to the Teachings of the Church is a serious sin.
Sixth, and this may be the most serious point. It is easier to live off the spiritual lives of others than to develop one's own. It takes time, energy and commitment to enter into a personal relationship with Christ and too many people want to rely on others, instead of doing the hard work of purification, penance, moritifiation. One can read messages and think one is holy, when in reality one is ignoring one's own path to God. And, we all meet God alone at the particular judgement, not with a seer standing in-between us and Truth. We must be adults and take charge of our own walk with God. We have models in the saints. And those are our heroes, not seers who are not saints.