"You aim at a devout life, dear Philothea, because as a Christian you know that such devotion is most acceptable to God's Divine Majesty," says St. Francis de Sales in his book "Introduction to the Devout Life".
And we can all be Philotheas, as St. Francis notes: "I have made use of a name suitable to all who seek the devout life, Philothea meaning one who loves God."
Sometimes I’m surprised at what my daughter tells me of her
conversations she has had with her boyfriend about our Faith.
She’s not exactly a “baby”, of course; she’s almost 19. Still,
although my husband and I have tried hard to both live our faith and teach it
to her, it’s not always easy to tell what has “stuck”.
Yesterday, she and I talked a little about the fact that her
boyfriend is not Catholic, and what that means for the future of their
relationship, which is moving toward marriage. I told her that I pray daily for
him to come into the Catholic Church, but I am at a loss as to how that will
happen. I related to her a little about the Vortex episode the other day,
wherein Michael Voris expressed the frustration many of us feel with the
…will not stridently fight the
evil in their midst; they allow enemies of the Faith to prosper and flourish
under their watch; and they act as though everything is fine. You cannot
preside over a body that comprises with and participates in evil and not expect
evil consequences will follow.
Which makes all these highly
touted efforts at a New Evangelization so almost laughable. What exactly is the
Bishops’ Conference and all their little minions and legions of professional
Catholics hoping to draw people to? A church that mouths everything Rome wants
to hear, but in practice operates quite differently?
Who wants to join a church like
My daughter does not follow all the ins and outs of the
things discussed on the Vortex or this blog, but she absorbs some of it here
and there, and she is well aware of problems with the liturgy from my ranting
and raving. Mostly, though, she identifies two sources of irritation at Mass:
the music, and the homilies she is subjected to each Sunday morning.
And in our discussion yesterday, she said something quite
telling about the prospect of bringing her boyfriend to Mass: “I’m just afraid
he’ll listen to Father and think what he says is right.”
Now, to be fair, Father does have some essential elements right
– he’s solid on the moral evils of abortion and homosexual “marriage”. But his homilies don’t reflect that, and
generally just add some feel-good fluff to the liturgy.
My daughter also told me that her boyfriend often asks her, “How
was church?” and all she can find to say is, “It was okay.”
He asked recently if she learned anything; she explained the
basic structure of the Mass to him, and noted that usually the priest preaches
about the Gospel reading. She told her boyfriend that she had “not learned
anything new at Mass in years”. He was surprised and asked why not. She said, “Because
the priest doesn’t want to talk about anything meaningful. He just talks about
the things that will make people feel good.”
She told him about the time when the Gospel reading was
about feeding the multitude with the loaves and fishes, and Father preached about
how this is a lesson to us to recycle! Even her barely Christian, non-Catholic
boyfriend raised an eyebrow at that description.
This is not the introduction she wants him to have to our
I bought Fr. Robert Barron’s DVD set on “Catholicism”, hoping
it would be a way to introducing the faith to this young man. Then I watched
some of it. What can I say? The photography is beautiful; there are incredible
artistic and architectural treasures of the Church shown there…mixed in with
liturgical abuses and some questionable theology. When ChurchMilitant.TV is asked about the series, their response includes this comment:
series is, without question, a celebration of Catholic art and history and, to
a degree, an education in "what Catholics believe and why." Fr.
Barron's overall approach, however, seems to lack any sense of urgency about
whether one ought to be Catholic at all. In that sense, the series is very
"ecumenical" and very unlikely to move anyone who is not already
Catholic to consider entering the Catholic Church.
There are, however, many excellent shows on
ChurchMilitant.TV. I’m happy about that
But isn’t it sad that we can learn much more about our Faith from
a lay organization that isn’t even permitted to use the name “Catholic” in its
title, than we are from the pulpit, RE classes, or RCIA program of the nearest