Ignorance is Bliss


#1

I have been coming to this forum for about a year now. Although I just began posting last month. I believe I may have been better off prior to coming on here. And here are my reasons.

  1. I had no idea what a liturgical abuse was. Now I do. At Mass I can barely focus on the Mass because I am distracted when I see something that is abusive. If you read my other posts you can see that I am an EMHC. I am trying to get one abuse changed, but when asking for help on CAF, I get horror stories about never getting results. So why even bother trying to change things? Me against the entire diocese? Is it pointless?

  2. I never knew what the SSPX was and really still don’t know all the details other than they believe that the RCC is…… lost is the best way I can put it. I have an uncle that is SSPX and very devout. He always has been. My other uncle, his brother, is a priest. They barely see one another because of the SSPX thing. The SSPX uncle NEVER goes to a Mass that his brother celebrates.

  3. I never knew about the Eastern churches that are not in communion with Rome and that they have problems with the RCC.

  4. Lately I am reading that some Catholics don’t believe that the Pope has any true control over the Church and that he cannot do anything about the Bishops who won’t stay inline with Church doctrine.

  5. I recently posted about a book on EWTN. About how EWTN is too modernist and spreading the “silent apostasy”. This book is being advertised on a Fatima website with a letter from a priest saying we should all read it. So I have a Catholic TV channel (with priests on it) saying one thing and a priest saying another. Who to believe?

  6. Seems like everyone has problems with the Church. Now I always knew that Protestants did. It seems like the Church is splintering from reading some of the threads on here.

On the positive side I have learned a lot about my faith on CAF. But I am wondering if I am better off in the end. I worry about the Church now when I did not before. I question who is right who is wrong. I always had blind faith in the Church and now my mind has become clouded. It seems so depressing to read about the above items.

I know this is not much of a question more of a statement of my feelings. I have always prayed for just one thing for myself. That was to have a strong and unquestioning faith. After coming here I am questioning everything.

It seems as if there is no end to the problems. I don’t even know what to pray for as I have no clue as to who is right and who is wrong. I just pray the Pope will figure it all out and solve all of the problems.

Does anyone else get dis-heartened while reading the items I have described? It just seems life was simpler before I came to CAF. Now I worry all the time.


#2

You are not alone Jeff. Everyone struggles with some of these issues at one time or another. We are human. Sin and error are part of our nature. The Church Militant is never going to be perfect–She is always reforming herself from within. You will experience perfection in the next life when the veil is lifted from your eyes. Stay true to the Church teachings. If you perceive error, it is okay to speak up. If no one listens, pray for those who are in error and hold fast to the true understanding. But do not separate yourself from the grace, sacraments, and apostolic succession of the Church. God knows your heart and will shower you with grace, love, and peace. These forums can sometimes confuse our minds with the volume of information that is being set forth. It can be helpful to step back at times, and pray more. Pray with your heart and ask God for healing. Remember, the gates of hell shall not prevail! :slight_smile:

Peace and blessings to you,
Mickey


#3

When I returned to the Church after a 25 year absence, I immediately sensed that something had changed dramatically in the Mass. I came to CAF to get a better understanding of what had happened to the Church I remembered from my youth. I am not sure what compelled you to come to the forums, but I believe that most of us end up here when we have questions of some kind. IMO, faith and reason go hand in hand. It is essential for me to understand the reasons why things are as they are. You, especially because you are a EMHC, have a responsibility as a Catholic to fully understand your faith. Following anything “blindly” is a shallow way to walk through your faith life.

Part of our responsibilities as Catholics is to evangelize. We can’t do this without knowledge of our faith. You, in the context of your ministry as EMHC, have an even greater responsibility to understand our Catholic purpose. If you were about to buy a house, for example, would you feel comfortable with reading only a few pages of your mortgage contract or would you want to know all the fine print, so that you might be fully informed? How much more important is our eternal soul where the goal is to spend eternity with Our Father?

You have to approach the forums with a certain amount of discretion. Threads can discuss issues which seem so utterly superfluous to our daily walk that they are often better left unexplored. I find that focusing on topics that most reflect my concerns is the most advantageous use of my time here.

And don’t forget to pray for grace while discerning how best to process all the new information you are receiving!


#4

Is it really though? If ignorance is allowed to spread too broadly then it is entirely possible that the Truth in the Church will be lost entirely. The Catholic Church needs people who know the Mass as it ought to be. We need people who believe in right teaching or in ignorance we will all fall away and I have a hard time imagining a life apart from Christ (or worse, eternity apart from him!) being all that blissful.

I don’t think I can speak to all of your points here, but I would like to try on some of them.

  1. It is not pointless and I highly doubt that you are alone in the diocese. When I first stumbled across Catholicism as it exists apart from what I grew up with in my own liberal parish I felt very much isolated in the diocese. In my case, I left the parish to go to college in another part of the diocese which led me to find a whole community dedicated to orthodox renewal in the diocese. In any event, I don’t doubt that there are others in your area looking for some of the same things you are and I don’t doubt that there are parishes that do not include abuses as a regular part of the Mass. Just a thought anyway.
    2, 3. I don’t know much about SSPX myself and know less about those eastern churches.
  2. I can’t speak to the veracity of such comments, but I do know that the pope is the one who ultimately decides which man to appoint as bishop of any given diocese. For example, the bishop in the diocese I live in, who does nothing to ensure that the liturgy is not abused, will be retiring in a few years. The pope may not have much direct control over him, but I would not be surprised if a more orthodox bishop is chosen at that time.
  3. Here again, I’ve never even heard of the book, though I can say that EWTN does seem to be pretty widely accepted among the people I know who watch it or listen to their radio stations.
  4. I think I like what Mickey and Blessedtoo had to say on this one.

Anyway, hope that helped somehow. You’ll be in my prayers!


#5

Jeff,
Would it be better if you just didn’t know that there was famine and political strife in Darfur? Would it be better if you didn’t know that there are unborn children being killed off every day…in this great nation of ours? As long as humanity continues to live by their own will rather than submit to God’s will, we will have troubling problems, inside and outside the Church. Recognizing that there are problems is the first step to making a change. There’s a quote, by I don’t know who, but it goes, “Be the change you wish to see in this world,” or something to that effect. You now know about abuses, like the eucharistic ministers are being used at every Mass, rather than in extraordinary circumstances, or the rise of Radical Feminism.

Before I entered the military, I had to swear an oath: “I, do solemnly swear, that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

I think pre-Confimandi should take this oath of allegiance: “I, {insert name here}, do solemnly swear to support and defend the Catholic Church against all enemies, outside or within the Church; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same. So help me, God. Amen.”


#6

I think I had better clear a few points.

  1. I love my faith. It is not my faith thats in question. Just rather did I honestly need to know all that I have learned. I understand that knowledge is good. But I cannot change everything. I could try to pray for everything wrong in the world and I would run out of days before I was finished.

  2. I am trying to change the abuses in my parish. But am afriad that when I speak to our pastor he will say “that’s the way it is”. Then what. Do I lose myself in a fight against the diocese. If the Bishop tells me “that’s the way it is”. Do I become a heretic for trying to fight it? Obedience is required and I believe in Holy Mother Church. Who am I to question it?

  3. I think the ignorance part come from the fact of who to believe once you know. For every situation there are two sides. In my example of the EWTN which priest to believe? They both are Catholic so I should belive both, one, the other, which? Do I trust a post I read on CAF over what my Pastor tells me? So in the case of ignorance, maybe it is better I never knew.

  4. As for following blindly. I meant if the Pope says so I believe it. Why question it? This I have found on here is the biggest problem with the devisions I have seen. Everyone questions the Pope or some other thing from the Vatican. If as we say is true that this is THE CHURCH then why question it. I dont want to question it. I WANT to follow it.

I hope I have made myself a little clearer. But you never know. I think I am just frustrated with knowing things not understanding a lot of it and not being able to devote my life completely to the study of it. Now I have nagging questions in me.


#7

Honestly, I believe you do need to know these things. How else to defend Holy Mother Church from the cancer within. Also, I believe that prayer can be all-consuming. What I mean is, you can pray to the Lord for the souls that persecute the Church. But, remember that there will always be a Church to guide you to salvation; He promised us that.

  1. I am trying to change the abuses in my parish. But am afriad that when I speak to our pastor he will say “that’s the way it is”. Then what. Do I lose myself in a fight against the diocese. If the Bishop tells me “that’s the way it is”. Do I become a heretic for trying to fight it? Obedience is required and I believe in Holy Mother Church. Who am I to question it?

As you already know, I attend Mass at your parish sometimes. There are a few problems. If it is a major problem, I would go to Fr. Joe privately, with a copy of the GIRM (General Instruction for the Roman Missal) and ask him to explain why he is doing something against the GIRM. If he can’t or won’t answer you, go to Bishop Barnes and ask the same question. It’s not heretical to question why things are being done against the GIRM.

  1. I think the ignorance part come from the fact of who to believe once you know. For every situation there are two sides. In my example of the EWTN which priest to believe? They both are Catholic so I should belive both, one, the other, which? Do I trust a post I read on CAF over what my Pastor tells me? So in the case of ignorance, maybe it is better I never knew.

I don’t really know the circumstances of the EWTN issue, but, if you are preparing to read a book about Catholicism, ensure that the book has a Nihil Obstat and Imperatur to ensure that the opinions in the book are in keeping with the teaching authority of the Church.

  1. As for following blindly. I meant if the Pope says so I believe it. Why question it? This I have found on here is the biggest problem with the devisions I have seen. Everyone questions the Pope or some other thing from the Vatican. If as we say is true that this is THE CHURCH then why question it. I dont want to question it. I WANT to follow it.

If the Pope said to bet on the Brewers, I wouldn’t. If he said to jump off the tallest building, I wouldn’t either. There are specific rules as to what the Church teaches. I would follow the teaching authority of the Church in all matters of faith and morals. You can follow it, too, without questioning it. People have a tendency of resisting against authority. It is their own personal will causing them to question the Church. But you can, wisely, follow the Church toward salvation.

I hope I have made myself a little clearer. But you never know. I think I am just frustrated with knowing things not understanding a lot of it and not being able to devote my life completely to the study of it. Now I have nagging questions in me.

Read St. Francis de Sales’ Introduction to the Devout Life, or Thomas á Kempis’ Imitation of Christ. They should be good to show you how to live a devout and spiritually holy life.


#8
  1. I love my faith. It is not my faith thats in question. Just rather did I honestly need to know all that I have learned. I understand that knowledge is good. But I cannot change everything. I could try to pray for everything wrong in the world and I would run out of days before I was finished.

God bless you for your faithfulness! It is important that we not let knowledge of problems within our Church to cause us despair. I believe the root of despair is within your quote which I highlighted. WE do not change anything. God is the agent of change. We must not fall into a state of hopelessness because it is the Lord who is really in charge. While our human efforts are useful in spreading the truth, the agent of change is God Himself. Therefore, take heart and know that your prayers, regardless of their frequency, and your small efforts are your attempt to work in cooperation with God. He will not let His Church be orphaned.

  1. I am trying to change the abuses in my parish. But am afriad that when I speak to our pastor he will say “that’s the way it is”. Then what. Do I lose myself in a fight against the diocese. If the Bishop tells me “that’s the way it is”. Do I become a heretic for trying to fight it?

Your Pastor may indeed say this. If you are certain of your facts, and have the appropriate documentation, then go to your Bishop. If you receive a similar response, pray. I can tell you that we here in this city have been writing to our Archbishop for years, and praying ceaselessly. These efforts have begun to bear fruit in the last year and what we have witnessed is pretty amazing. So do not despair. You will not become a “heretic” for defending your faith.

  1. I think the ignorance part come from the fact of who to believe once you know. For every situation there are two sides. In my example of the EWTN which priest to believe? They both are Catholic so I should belive both, one, the other, which? Do I trust a post I read on CAF over what my Pastor tells me? So in the case of ignorance, maybe it is better I never knew.

Unfortunately, there are many different “types” of Catholics, although it should not be so. I think I know what book you were referring to and the “group” responsibile for publishing it. Part of discernment is using the reason that God gave us. EWTN is a faithful, solid and orthodox Catholic media outlet. Nothing they teach or relate is in conflict with Rome. Therefore, I would view any harsh criticism of their organization with skeptisism.

  1. As for following blindly. I meant if the Pope says so I believe it. Why question it? This I have found on here is the biggest problem with the devisions I have seen. Everyone questions the Pope or some other thing from the Vatican. If as we say is true that this is THE CHURCH then why question it. I dont want to question it. I WANT to follow it.

IMO, this is your best bet. I look to the Pope for the final answer on matters relating to faith, morals and liturgy. If your Catholic Radio station also supports the Pope and his teachings, then I suggest you should have faith in them. For me, it all leads back to Rome. Whoever is in conflict with the Holy See is going to stir up suspicion for me.


#9

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