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Tuesday 17 July 2012

What is missing is love...An open letter to the SSPX

Dear Members of the SSPX,

When I returned to the Church years ago at the age of 22, I had to make a decision, not only about the truth that Christ was God, but that the Church, as unholy as it had been manifested in my life, was the One, True, Holy and Catholic Church.

Now, the first decision was one based on Faith. The second was based on Love. I had grown up having priests and nuns in the family and being very familiar with religious people. The Church seemed to be so imperfect in so many ways, especially growing up in one of the most liberal dioceses in the United States.

So, my decision was not based on some dewy-eyed idea of the seen perfection of the Church, but on the Church as it really was in the world. That bishops were wrong in some areas of doctrine, that some priests were pedophiles, that many lay people were hypocrites using contraceptives and not carrying about the poor, did not make any difference to me anymore. Four people in my family had been abused by a priest for years and years. Nothing mattered as to sin or falsehood. The Church was and is the one institution created by Christ for our salvation. I could no longer be outside this institution. It was no longer a question of me judging, but submitting myself to the authority of the Church. I could not be holier than Rome. I could not be holy without Rome.

I, too, am and was at that time, a great sinner. We say the Church is made up of sinners, and we quote Christ stating that "...They that are well have no need of a physician, but they that are sick. For I came not to call the just, but sinners."  Mark 2:17 Douay Rheims

But, do you, dear members and friends, want to fight the fight with sinners, side-by-side with the Pope, or on the outside? Can you love the Church, which is imperfect, in order for Her to be made perfect? As in marriage, would you die for your Spouse, dear SSPX priests? 

Please come back. For the sake of Love, Who is a Person and needs you.


"It is a great mystery"--on the single life--four in a series.

Later today, I am getting feedback from two lovely single women here on why they think they have not met Mr. Right. I shall share that as part of this series (not intended to be, but by popular demand ending up so) on the Single Life. Here is the famous quotation from St. Paul on the husband's call to marriage. Remember, men, it is the man who has to ask, not the lady.  Marriage is a great mystery. Is it that our culture can no longer deal with mystery and the adventure of the unknown? Is it that fear has paralyzed action? Is it that young people have not visited convents or monasteries to find out what is possibly a call?

And, when I speak of commitment, of course I mean to anything. The call to the priesthood, as St. Don Bosco noted, is most likely for one out of four men. That leaves a lot of men for other calls.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 
that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the 
word, that he might present the church to himself in splendor without spot or wrinkle 
or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.  Even so husbands 
should love their wives as their own bodies.  He who loves his wife loves himself.  For no man every hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does 
the church, because we are members of his body.  ‘For this reason a man shall leave 
his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one.’  This 
is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the church; however, let each 
one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her 
husband” (Eph 5:25-33).  

Follow-up Two on Being Single

Many people have responded to the "being single post". I am sorry, but I posted a few days ago that I shall not published anonymous comments anymore. My reasons were given.

As to the post, I must remind all that the statistics for single households reflects an unnatural trend. If one reads carefully the posts, on sees the numbers from a census-type study in Great Britain a few years ago which found one/third of the households led by singles. This is not normal for a society and will not lead to replacement of the population. This and similar trends in America indicate dysfunction in a culture.

I am always writing primarily for those who are discerning, and for many young people. If one is older and has had circumstances in one's life, as I have, which have led one to the single life, I think a person can sort out the difference. I am single and have been living singly since my son left home. However, I do not think this is normal, either, and consider myself one of those who have not been allowed to follow a vocation for several reasons.

In these times, there is a lack of objectivity among writers and readers which is a sad commentary on their inability to think and reflect. This is a result of our education system which has not trained people in logic and critical thinking. If one reacts subjectively and painfully to comments, this may reveal a need for healing and discernment. Those are good and lofty goals, which must be pursued through spiritual directors, confessors, and good, orthodox psychologists. I thank God when He shows me such.

I pray for all but I encourage, especially Gen X and the Millennials, to make commitments to something. Holiness demands relationships. Our own Mother Mary, who gave Life to the world, was placed in a family, which is part of the plan of God and not merely a custom of the culture. She needed protection and so did the Child Christ. God bless all my readers and commentators, even the anonymous ones. Try and come up with post names, please.

Mary Undoer of Knots

I have many friends in difficult situations at this time, especially in their jobs, careers, and movements. For them, especially, I pray today to Mary, Undoer of Knots.

This painting by an unknown artist has become very popular in recent years, when so many Catholics experience complicated relationships and events in their daily lives. Life is not simple and Mary, Undoer of Knots, speaks to the corporate heart of our generation. Mary, Virgin, Undoer of Knots, pray for us.


Years ago, maybe 25 years ago, I coined a phrase, "hot-house-plant-kids" when describing children raised in the past 20 years in America and Great Britain. I am not opening up this discussion to Asians, please, as that is not the context of this post. This is about my experiences in the West.

The generation after me of parents, the Gen X and now Millennials, treated their kids like rare orchids, living in a culture of fear and over-protectiveness. This causes children to lack confidence in their real abilities and be grounded in their limitations.

I knew several families where the kids never walked even a mile or less to school in rural towns, which are still safe as Eden.

Part of the problem was the idea that kids had and have to do EVERYTHING. I am of the opinion that two extra-curricular activities are enough.

But not, little Carole or little Nicholas has to be taking an instrument, swimming lessons, ballet or baseball, and soccer or hockey.

Well, that meant that the kids spent a lot of time in cars and parents became chauffeurs.

Maybe I was mean, but my kid walked to swimming and was only in two extra-curriculars at a time. He took the electric train in Calgary all by himself at twelve. I did not want him to be afraid of new things and learn to cope with basic things, such as transportation. Now, I recognize that Calgary in 2000 is not Chicago in 2012. But, how do we train our children to be persons who can think and cope with real situations which are basically safe?

This was and is because I believe in both independence and PLAY. Independence creates confidence and the ability to think in terms of common sense. And hasn't common sense disappeared? Because kids are not allowed to do nonconstructive things or to figure out how to do something new and different, they cannot think out normal, everyday problems. They lack instincts.

Play is non-constructed creative time, using material hopefully simple and natural.

Boxes, string, marshmallows, pipe cleaners, paint, clay, etc.

I am against the "hot-house-plant" type of parenting.

Let kids be kids.