Lex Orandi. Lex Credendi.

To discuss meditations and insights into our daily, traditional (Tridentine) Roman Catholic readings. Also, this is to discuss the development of the interior life as traditional, Roman Catholics in complete obedience to the Pope, Magesterium and the Apostles of Christ.

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Monday, July 17, 2006

When "Peace" = Chaos


St. Ignatius of Antioch, pray for us!

This will be a rather brief posting. I'd like to share a thought with my two readers (or, perhaps by virtue of the fact that this will be a considerably less loquacious blog article that there will be more readers, or at least, more readers who actually complete a post to its conclusion).

Today it seems that our Catholic culture has predominately bought into the common societal fallacy that peace means to follow the cultural norm. We've only to look at fashion, advertisements, common entertainment, popular movies, books, music, etc. to see that we highly intellectual beings, always giving into the sensual pleasures of every kind (of the sight, taste, touch, hearing) we are, spiritually speaking, as dumb as a group of lemmings charging headlong towards the edge of a very high cliff.
Yet, maintaining the "cultural norm" has been the means to determine even standards in liturgy. While, I can understand certain things which do not exclude piety as being cultural differences, say for example, within the Holy Sacrafice of the Mass, between different nations, none-the-less, we more frequently find that even well-meaning authorities tamper with the essential elements. Following the norm to such of a degree of losing latria (worship and honor DUE to God) within the Holy Sacrafice of the Mass is due in large part to the catering of the culture on the whole. We have been calling that ecumenism. While that very word, "ecumenism", itself has changed a bit over time, even its present use within the Church can not begin to explain many of the liturgical changes, and the changes of understanding of the Mass both by the laity and many religious. One example of this is how since Vatican II, many priests misconstrue the very heart of the Mass, the Holy Eucharist, as being a mere "meal... to be chewed" and "enjoyed as if it were a meal". This is a very scary thought, for reasons I will not get into at the moment, but it is implying that the Holy Eucharist is not actually the both Sacrafice for our sins of Christ's crucified and resurrected body. Rather, it brings the Holy Eucharist down to a temporal level, a mere representation of Christ, which is the ultimate blasphemy. Our Holy Eucharistic Feast is not a representation of Christ at the Last Supper, it is Jesus truly Crucified and Resurrected. However, people are confused by the Novos Ordo Mass, with the priest facing the congregation, as if they were re-enacting the Last Supper. (I know I was confused for a very long time on this myself.)

The very same Savior who came into this world as a poor baby born in a manger, coming on a peace mission to save the Jews, also tells us that he came to "bring the sword". How do these two truths co-exist? Easily, the truth is what separates the temporal from the heavenly, as well as the lies from the truth in the spirit of the world, so that we may be saved. I think the fullness of Christ is not even contemplated on a surface level among most Christians, as our culture has become Protestantized.

Having peace in Christ is not the same as having exterior peace. It doesn't mean the same as doing everything for the sake of peace among men, but doing everything for the sake of He Who Died for Our Sins. To Him we owe all latria, and not to ourselves and our neighbors for the sake of peace. If our peace is through Christ, then why are we selling out tradition? Why are we buying instead into modernistic theology and regurgitated heresies? Why are we extending ourselves to except a cultural norm without regarding what is proper latria to the unchanging God? Is He no longer the one we look to as our guide as to how to be towards our neighbor? What about his mother? Take popular fashions, for example, and how many women wear jeans, t-shirts, tight tops, bare legs with short skirts, etc., while entering the Lord's House? What would his mother say? (What has Our Lady said about it? https://www.ewtn.com/vexperts/showmessage.asp?Pgnu=1&Pg=Forum10&recnu=12&number=474308)

My point: is that the peace that many Christians purport to have today is false, exterior modesty that relies more upon worldliness than Christ. Unfortunately, that culture has prevaded even among the Catholics.

Modesty, by the way, means more than regarding the 6th and 9th Commandments. Modesty, in the true sense, means "formality and propriety of manner" (according to Webster's), in other words, an exterior demonstration of what is appropriate to the time, place and appropriate to the person(s). The time and place at the Holy Mass, for example, requires due latria first to God, and our partaking in that is only appropriate as much as we show that proper latria in our exterior dress, talk (or rather, silence and talk only when due to latria to God alone), and gestures. Nothing that we do should call attention to ourselves in the Holy Mass (for one example), because that robs God of the latria due to Him and Him alone. This modesty is necessary regardless of the cultural "norms", regardless of what any Bishop says. While holy obedience is an imperative, it must first be directed to God, so that it is rightly ordered, otherwise, we are doing Him and our neighbor injustice.

The exterior peace is not an indication of interior peace, at least when we are talking about the soul. Too often that "peace" that many people perceive within themselves or others is not reflective of a living, Supernatural faith, but rather a simple complacency with one's spiritual state, as if in a sense they have 'arrived', and now the God can be worshipped at their level of comfort. It is the same mentality that whether one prays sitting down or on his knees (assuming that the person in question is able to both sit or kneel) it makes no difference, as it is merely the intention that counts. This is simply not so, as kneeling, even as simple of an act it is for most people, is a sign of greater obedience than sitting, just as sitting is more reverential than lying down. And the argument is not merely splitting hairs, as our Lord Jesus himself demonstrated how we are to pray as he himself, even being God, prayed to the Father on his own knees. Who are we then to not follow suit?

Yes, it is true, that God desires mercy over sacrifice, but this does not mean we do away with all that is arduous to us and less comfortable. How we pray and worship determines how and what we truly believe. Rather, today there seems more of a focus on being friends with God, as if He is on our level. This isn't a recipe for true peace in Christ, but rather a false interior peace that is really worldliness and spiritual slothfulness. This same mentality is what has been procuring folk masses, with inappropriate music, instruments and other activities within the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass that the Vatican has explicitly warned against.

What is true peace in Christ? True peace in Christ is a habitual, interior awareness of God's presence within oneself... 24/7. It is awareness of the one, true Triune God: Father, Son and Holy Ghost within oneself that is evidenced by one's motivations being for the sake of loving God above all created things. (NOTE: When I say, "evidenced", this does not mean that anyone could perceive such a peace within another's soul, and one should not try to 'read' into another's soul never-the-less. This is not to say that we do not apply right reason to judging actions ,in word or deed, of other's as they applies to our duty in charity, and according to our state in life.) Likewise, it is our duty to judge objectively whether or not a current form of worship is in keeping with the pious traditions of the Church, or rather, a culturally homogenized version created to please the poplace, giving God second consideration. This is a recipe for chaos.

So much for brevity.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!


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