07 June 2006

From abuse to hope

When someone in an appropriate role of authority in a child's life consistently trains the child to do something which is healthy, or at least neutral, in a certain way, it is virtually always good for the child. If the same person in authority one day out of the blue punishes the child for doing the same act in that certain, carefully trained way, it's abusive.

The Church changed course on a dime after Vatican II. Its behavior went from being perhaps too paternal to being unrelentingly cruel and abusive. It reversed itself on things which people had held in the highest regard for generations, and began to punish those same people. It called its people unflattering names, spoke of them in terms dripping with condescension, and gravely insulted them. The Church still does so, at times, in the person of her clerics. Tod Brown is an excellent example. Not to be outdone, this Trautman person is apparently wanting to be thought clever. I am indebted to Shawn Tribe at The New Liturgical Movement blog for linking to this article at the Los Angeles Lay Catholic Mission site.
"Alluding apparently to defecation, the bishop garnered more audience guffaws when he recited the following proposed translation for Eucharistic Prayer II: "make holy these gifts, we pray, by the dew of your Spirit -- D-E-W."

Susan Larker, 37, of Long Beach, who attended Trautman's talk, said the bishop "doesn't want to say that 'Jesus took bread into His holy and venerable hands.' He laughed at the Vatican wanting this translation and said that that the laity can't relate to this sort of language."

If they don't revere the Shepherd, they won't care about His sheep.

The Lady in the Pew has a straight-talk take on the incident in Minneapolis over the weekend:
Most Catholics, or so we're told and from what I've seen I've no reason to doubt it, don't believe in the Real Presence. Oh, heck, we go to church on Sundays if there's nothing better to do but that's about it.

How else does one explain:

The common — yes, common! — way so many people receive the Eucharist. (I call it the "snatch and grab" technique.)
The frequent, casual pocketing of the Consecrated Host (to what end? one wonders)
The nonchalant passing of the Tabernacle without so much as a glance, never mind a genuflection.
The voiced, priestly preferral that people refrain from receiving Jesus on the tongue (what's that about?)
It's time for plain talk from the pulpit.

Yes, I hear, as I'm sure you do too, the priest occasionally talking about the Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist (and in the Word, and In Each Other...as if they were all the same thing).

It's time, I believe, for priests and bishops to plainly explain the do's and don'ts about the Blessed Sacrament.

And never the bleep mind calling the incident described here as "confrontational."

It was more than that...it was an attack, pure and simple.

And it's happening again and again and again.
We need to quit blaming the priests and bishops and take simple, effective action: walk out when your boundaries are being deliberately trampled, you are bullied, or your intelligence is insulted. When your Holy Mother Church forgets herself and gets boozy and starts doing embarrassing and inappropriate things, you can distance yourself. God does not want you to stay where you are being hurt. Go where you feel safe. It's basic survival 101 for those with loved ones off the rails due to drugs or alcohol or the mania of liturgical novelty brought on by "the spirit of Vatican Two."

Between the inexorable pressure of restating the truth about the human person, and the in-your-face example of traditional worship and Catholic custom which he constantly provides, Benedict is beginning to turn the tide.

It's as though he's saying, If you're going to walk out of church, do so because it's your choice in response to being told the truth about yourself as a cherished, unbelievably special being, ransomed by God to enjoy a spiritual relationship with Him. Benedict is slowly making it clear that he does not want you to walk out of a Roman Catholic church because you were defrauded of true worship, because then it is not your choice, but a reasonable action to preserve your peace and your faith.

A good parent is consistent, even when the kids don't understand, even when they leave in a huff. A bad parent caves. A good shepherd protects his sheep from being confused and starved by those who want to tell them they now must eat only straw because of this or that inane reason, instead of the good sweet grass in the pasture.

He gets it.

That man gives me hope. I thank God for him.

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