Monday, October 13, 2008

Create Your Own........ RELIGION???

Interesting business, being on a secular web forum. You get to see, in a wee internet microcosm, the complexities of human nature and the effects of the world we live in. There are a couple of Catholics, a few evangelical-type Protestants (Baptists, independents, etc.) and a whole bunch of … Unitarian Universalists, Buddhists of some description, agnostics, atheists, and an interesting variety of Create-Your-Own-God type people.

Of course, there are those who believe the UU fits that category. Looks like it to me.

And their favorite Bible verse is “Judge not, lest ye be not judged.”

Favorite? Their only, from the looks of things. And they all pat one another on the back and tell one another how wonderful each other is and how awful it is that anyone would dare to claim to have “the” truth and to be such wet blankets on the fun and the constructive dialogue that comes in a secular society….

So – why am I so angry?

Because I am angry. Not that I took some hard and unjustified, ignorant and mean-spirited hits in there – but that the double standard flourishes unchallenged by people who are supposed to be more intelligent than that.

They spout off “Judge not,” while they are exercising judgment – and ill-informed judgment, no less.

They gloat and glory in smug self-satisfaction – which is really contempt for anyone who doesn't see things in their elitist milieu.

They want everyone to get along just fine, but they don’t want to accept the orthodox among them.

They behave childishly, meanly – and gloat over a victory of their presumed superiority – and they don’t realize how unrespectable they’ve become.

And I’m angry - because I'm so poorly and inadequately equipped to show them what I see and love and believe in with my whole soul!

I subbed at the high school this week, and I saw more kids pulling out the victim mentality, and being essentially rewarded for it.

And I’m angry.

I feel as if the world is in a terrible crisis, that we’re on the verge of serious crisis – and I asked a friend from my former parish about this week’s homily, and she said, “Oh, Laura, you know what it was about. It was about how we have to love one another. Love, Love, Love!”

And I’m angry.

Look. Maybe I’m nuts and maybe it’s like a couple of friends tell me – I don’t give myself enough credit – but it seems to me that if I see something, everybody else ought to have seen it WEEKS ago - “Hey, Laura, what took YOU so long anyway?”

If there is a God, then He must have a personality. A Character. His own integrity – not some vacillation of being that you or I or anyone else can assign to Him.
He has to be consistent.

And so – it’s dangerous to go around, trying to re-create God to suit ourselves. There must be an independent, objective Reality about God that doesn’t vary by culture or epoch. If God is God, then He has to be true to Himself at all times, for all ages, for all men.

No! There is A Truth - THE Truth - and it is our obligation to be faithful to strive for it, for Him, to keep trying more and more and more - not because it's what we believe, but because IT IS, and nothing else is good enough - because anything else is something less!

I’m angry.

People whose lips drip with honey tell the gullible that God can be whatever they want Him to be. It’s all cool, it’s all the same – whatever floats your boat, Honey.

And here we are – the people of God, the sons of adoption, the members of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church – the Church Militant, for crying out loud!

And we’ve GIVEN IN. We’ve caved in, acquiesced.

We get homilies on mushy love junk instead of real LOVE –

LOVE, people – that powerful, virile, honest, gut- and life-changing power that redeems and transforms people and doesn’t let them go to Hell without a fight.

Where is the Love?

Where is the Church Militant while women are told their sexuality is cheap and value-less, and they don't deserve lifetime commitments from good men? That women are to be objectified through pornography? That the objectification of our sexuality, and the exploitation of our sexuality for a man's pleasure without any requisite responsibility or commitment is all we are entitled to?

Where is the Church while insanity rules in the secular culture and people are being deluded to lives of depravity and loss?

Where is the training, the preparation for taking our place in the culture wars? The war of the world, the flesh and the devil?

Why are we left to fumble about on our own to learn to wear the Armor of Christ? Why do we have to depend on internet sources to learn what it even is, and how to don it, and even how to use it? Why are we having to learn in isolation and loneliness to fight without a proper teacher to help us hone our skills and our vision and our ability to recognize the Enemy and to distinguish the walking wounded from the Sold-Outs?

I’m angry.

This is the age that the Church has prayed for for centuries. Look at our culture – we have more in common with ancient Rome, the pre-Constantinian Rome, than with our own grandparents!

And what are we doing? We’re getting hit – HARD! – and left to stagger about unaided, untrained, unskilled.

I’m not a warrior princess by nature; I’ve become one out of utter necessity. But who is going to help me find my balance with this? And who is going to train me?

I’m very angry.

4 comments:

Mike L said...

I share your frustration, Laura.

But let me say this: the priests aren't going to do it. There aren't enough of them and they don't have enough credibility. We only get a Padre Pio once in a while. WE have to do it.

I didn't learn how on the Internet. I brought my knowledge to the Internet. But I had a lot more personal struggle and purification to go through before I could become humble and prayerful enough even for fruitful online ministry. I think that's the key. A lot of us can gain knowledge of theology and Church history, on or off line; a lot of us can be orthodox despite the mush from the pulpit; but we're only going to move and shake the world if we are holy and attract people by the beauty of holiness.

The Pope is there. I'm not there yet. I have all the knowledge, all the orthodoxy, all the "tools." But I'm not holy enough to cause people to admire truth's beauty in spite of themselves. That's what I need to work on. That's what we all need to work on.

Best,
Mike

Adrienne said...

Yea - what Mike said....

Passion is good!

Grace said...

With all respect to Mike, I disagree with the idea that if we are holy enough then people will be attracted to the truth. I think individual holiness is not the key in the culture wars. Think about how many people "hate" the Pope.

I think arguing the facts rationally goes a long way. The culture at large seems to have lost the ability to think critically. Thank goodness, we don't have to be holy to be able to present the truth. Of course, we can't be hypocrites and expect people to listen to us. In that sense, we have to start with ourselves.

Laura said...

Mike - (I got your name messed up in my first draft of this comment) - the priests must do it! or at least do a better job of it, overall, than too many of them have been doing! (My present priest is excellent in this regard; too many are careless and sloppy). This is part of their solemn duty, entrusted to them at their Ordination and repeated and reaffirmed as they are Installed as pastors.

Lumen Gentium gives us, the laity, the call and the marching orders - but it is the duty of the ordained priesthood to prepare us for the battle in the world.