Wednesday, November 16, 2011
The Way the World Thinks…and How to Change It
Generally, I believe, we all fail to think logically, at least in some ways. (Spock of Star Trek fame doesn’t count; he’s only half-human.) That’s because we don’t have a good, integrated view of life and society and religion and politics all knit together with the same thread. Of course, such a thread is available…we just tend not to use it. (Hint: It’s called “the liturgy”.)
Here’s a quote a friend sent me about the Penn State fiasco:
…thinks everything going on in Pennsylvania could have been averted if only they allowed Penn State coaches to marry, or for women to become Penn State co... wait a minute...
The sexual abuse woes of the Catholic Church are blamed on clerical celibacy and the fact that women cannot be ordained priests. Yeah, that makes perfect sense! But wait…when we apply the same thinking elsewhere, we see that sexual abuse happens even where there is marriage, and where women have their “rights”. In fact, in my small town in Eastern Oregon, there has been only one highly-publicized case of “clergy” sexual abuse, and it did NOT involve the Catholic Church. The perpetrator was the youth pastor at a local Protestant church…a married youth pastor, with teen-age children. All righty, then.
Jill Stanek has also pointed to the hypocrisy and illogic of…well, everyone, basically…regarding the failure to report sexual abuse. Penn State and the Catholic Church are raked over the coals for it, and they pay the price. In the meantime, Planned Parenthood – in some cases fully admitting that they fail to report sexual abuse – is given a pass. No indictments, no criticisms, no accountability. No one seems to be concerned that PP allows abusers to bring in their victims for abortions, no questions asked; they provide the abortion and let the abuse continue. After all, it might bring in more business…
Then there’s the homosexual political (and societal!) agenda: more hypocrisy and illogical thinking. For one thing, any second-grader who hasn’t been through homosexual
indoctrination awareness education can tell you that homosexuality doesn’t make much sense when it comes to making babies. (Come to think of it, the only reason the phrase “second-grader” came to mind is that our society is over-sexed and we are teaching our children about the sex act at earlier and earlier ages – in part thanks to the homosexual agenda, and in part thanks to Planned Parenthood). And if you carry the logic through…well, it seems that the homosexuals want everyone to be homosexual. Eventually, the human race would die out completely. Ya gotta have heterosexuals to produce babies! (Okay, yes, we can do all that in vitro stuff, and artificial insemination…sure…but don’t make me go there.)
Speaking of homosexual glorification, people are asking this question: Why did the New Yorker reject this cartoon?
There’s plenty of commentary out there on this little issue. Start here, with the National Organization for Marriage.
The ultimate illogic of moral relativism is that we must be tolerant of everyone, of every group, of every color and stripe of philosophical orientation…unless, of course, it’s those Christians – and especially those Catholics. Why? It’s because Christians, and Catholics in particular, reject moral relativism and stand for moral absolutes. Moral relativists can’t stand that. And it's the "unless" factor that makes their position ultimately untenable.
All this boils down to one thought, hammered into my head by Fr. Z:
Save the liturgy, save the world.
Now, how does that work?
The Eucharist is the source and summit of our life as Catholic. We attend Mass and are supposed to be changed by our contact with the Real Presence of Jesus. Dr. Denis Crouan, in his book The Liturgy after Vatican II, suggests that the liturgy can and should have a profound effect on how we live our lives as Christians:
Rather than explaining the liturgical rites at the very moment they are being performed, people need to learn to live them, so as to understand them in slow stages from within the celebration, in other words, with the eyes of faith and in relation to that which comprises the very heart of every liturgical celebration: the presence of the Lord on the altar.
…This is the way that liturgical rites can also become means of promoting sound social behavior and attitudes that are in keeping with the demands of the Christian life. (p. 21; emphasis added)
Dr. Rouan echoes then-Cardinal Ratzinger in The Spirit of the Liturgy:
Worship, that is, the right kind of cult, of relationship with God, is essential for the right kind of human existence in the world. It is so precisely because it reaches beyond everyday life. Worship gives us a share in heaven’s mode of existence, in the world of God, and allows light to fall from that divine world into ours…It lays hold in advance of a more perfect life and, in so doing, gives our present life its proper measure. A life without such anticipation, a life no longer opened up to heaven, would be empty, a leaden life. (p. 21; emphases added)
Save the Liturgy. Save the world.