[quote=Franze]Interesting reflexions Alan, we have to know why we make several things, what do you propose?
We are focused on classifying sin and admonishing the sinner. That is one work of mercy.
When it comes to the point of blaming sinners for the Church’s ills, that is a denial of the faith, as they have no power over the Church. They only have power over the egos of the leadership, who must take on the sins of their crew in humility and mercy.
My dad once worked for a boss who took personal credit for everything right in his department, but when something went wrong he singled out the employee that did it, and told his bosses he was not at fault, but his employee was.
This is how I see it. If the herd is beginning to scatter, blame the sheep. In fact, if they stray, yell “good riddance” as they go out the door, then rejoice that they are gone because those who are left are Higher Quality sheep. This is spiritual cleansing by pruning. Problem is, it is at best a logically relativistic exercise or you’ll wind up with a vine and no branches!
Of course they take it personally when things aren’t perfect under their watch. It is their livelihood. Problem is, a diocesan priest recently confided to me that they are usually tasked with so much administrative work that they end up compromising on their prayer lives, and when that happens it is terrible because who wants a priest without a good prayer life?
First, I’d expand the permanant deaconate. Hopefully our seemingly wonderful new bishop Michael Jackel will revive this in our diocese since bishop Gerber didn’t believe in them and bishop Olmstead was not here long enough and when he was here he was pretty busy with our third diocesan Synod. This will allow some of the workload to be taken off the priests so they can regain their prayer lives.
Second, I’d spread the Good News far and wide that we don’t have to go to other faiths to find the transformational teachings that we crave. This is the subject of the mail I wrote to the Holy Father. Catholics have a hunger for a deeper spirituality than dogma, liturgical splendor, and intellectual satisfaction. We hunger for true spirituality, which can come only with a proportional focus on mystical theology to balance the dogmatic. The saints knew this well. Vatican II says we can all have holiness – in essence what it takes to become saints as I read it.
Let’s get contemplative prayer out of the cloisters and into the lives of every Catholic, as the Catechism suggests.
After that, I’m not sure what to do. If we do nothing other than advance deeper prayer forms, then I believe the fruits will begin to become obvious even to the worst cynic, and all Catholics will come to realize that the Catholic Church has everything we need in spirituality, and it’s all available at the parish level.
Once we get some “heart exercises” under our belts, we will look at each other in a different way, and eventually become the beacon of unity and love without all these thorns choking us and giving us a bad appearance.
I’m afraid if we just keep getting louder and more adamant about what is and what isn’t a sin, we’ll continue to languish in effectiveness. At this point you’d think the Church leaders would realize that more of that isn’t likely to work.
Quite frankly, if a person has a gun because he wants to coerce me or rob me for personal gain, I don’t feel as threatened as if someone has the gun for reasons of a Higher Authority. When we hire out the government to do the “dirty work” that the Church cannot do in terms of instilling morality, we are mixing messages by combining love with deadly force.
It’s like a sticker I saw on a gas pump the other day. It references a law against drive-aways, and then concludes, “Either do the right thing and pay for your gas … or go to jail”
Oh, either I Do The Right Thing or you will hurt me. You have denied me the opportunity to act in faith, and with the mixed message I may never even know myself whether I Did the Right Thing because I wanted to or because I was afraid of men and temporal punishment.
That’s the difference between Church and State. The Church says, “come, we love you,” and the state says, “keep in line or we’ll hurt you.” When Church and state get into each others’ business, we get those messages coincident and frankly turns people into mindless sheep, bleating about because they are mixed up in their heads.