I watched the video and think it brought me a step closer to filling in some of the theological holes in my awareness. Very beautifully done, thanks.
As for showing it to my Dad, oh boy…
The theological gaps between Catholicism and Mormonism are just too large, at least at this point. For starters, there’s no Trinity in MOrmonism (They think it’s a concept Catholics made up because they were reading too much Greek philosophy!)
And in Mormonism, God is a resurrected man (he went through the same earthly life we did elsewhere, where he proved himself worthy of becoming a God, just as all Mormons strive to do…) My Dad is looking forward to an eternity of procreating with my Mom as a resurrected God.
Along those lines, one of the things I’ve had to learn to do, is love God for His own sake. Seek a relationship with God because He is the ultimate end, not just a means to an end…
Mormons relate to God very differently. He’s exactly like your Dad in this life, except that he lives in Heaven. He “lays down the rules,” just like an earthly father does. Ultimately, he is a means to an end. If you follow His rules, you’ll become a God “like” your Heavenly Father (implication: populating your own world, procreating with Heavenly Spouse to create spirit children).
I can’t begin to understand the Trinity. It is however an unavoidable conclusion.
Imagine being outside of time. The word or thought that the Father has about Himself is so utterly complete, perfectly formed, that it is Person, with a will and a supreme intellect. There is nothing “insubstantial” about God’s word about Himself, like there is without out thoughts. Our thoughts lack a permanence, substance, and a completeness to them.
Now, what given that God is Love…what about the love that is exchanged between the Father and the Son? Is there anything insubstantial or incomplete or incomplete about they love They share?
No, the love shared between the Father and On is perfect, complete, supersubstantial. So perfect, yes, it is a Person.
There was a time, before 1965, when pop/rock music was, in part, about having fun or even funny. There were so many songs about love and romance. Some were a bit boring or heavy-handed. In the case of Elvis Presley, I read about a woman who visited his home in Graceland and she was asked why. She said, “When I heard him sing as a teenager growing up in the 1950s, it felt like he was singing only to me.” I could take this music into my heart, I could feel the joy, enjoy the beat and was never assaulted with profanity or anything unGodly. A few songs were questionable, a few bands were questionable. But listen to Buddy Holly. Listen to early Motown. Uplifting, touching.
And the Classics. I could walk into a record store and hear Beethoven or Wagner or Bach. It was soothing and beautiful and emotional.
Growing up in the early 1960s, our family would take walks in the park. Our parents would go with neighbors and us kids would play together, collect some snails or cool rocks, and just explore the forest. In the winter, we would go sledding and throw snowballs in fun.
There was a quiet in our lives and in the media. Sure, we had crime, people died from disease or accident, but our lives were filled with respect for our parents, our neighbors and friends. Most movies were unoffensive and fun or dramatic or even about war, but there was nothing really graphic, no profanity. The same with TV. Newspapers contained news.
Now, we are returning to those places and things that bring serenity and joy that are Godly, though they are harder to find. Faithful Catholics are friends with other faithful Catholics. We need fun music, soft music, tender music. Those with stony hearts should be ignored, but we who have the hearts God gave us are drawn to what’s truly beautiful and uplifting, peaceful and nourishing. There are places I go that have those things - where life has changed little from the early 1960s. No, I’m not talking about cars and clothes and hairstyles but Godly attitudes and peace and calm.
Wow, that’s pretty mindblowing…really helped me understand though why the Trinity might exist! I never associated the concepts of “substance,” “perfection” and “permanence” with the creations of different persons within the Trinity. That helped a lot!
I also think you nailed it when you referred to it as an “unavoidable conclusion.” Even though the concept is difficult to get your mind around, it does explain why scripture reads the way it does.
What a beautiful tribute to your childhood. And a great piece of writing, too. I could feel the heart you put into that, thank you so much for sharing and taking the time.
The world you are writing about is one I long for, and am very sorry I missed out on. In this era, it’s really hard for a young person to have “good clean fun.” The simple pleasures of life, particularly in the social sphere, are practically things of the past. I’m excited to meet other faithful Catholic young adults and make up for lost time, so to speak. Without that theological common ground, it’s hard to make friends/date/bond/build community.
Sad how when the values and theology are lost, basic human institutions cease to function properly. I very much appreciated a video posted on this thread about the Catholic teaching on marriage and sexuality. In a Catholic context, those basic aspects of life make so much sense. Strip those things of their founding theology, and they become obstacles to human happiness, instead of sources of joy. It’s so true that God’s ways keep us happy and healthy so that we can be fully human, and enjoy the seasons of life, basic human institutions, and all the simple pleasures of life you referred to.
I have always loved Oldies, they always brightened my spirits!
A Catholic concept from what I can see is the idea of order in the universe, and that man is ordered to God in a particular way and all of creation is ordered under God in a particular way. When things are properly in order per the moral law, they function harmoniously as God designed them to. But when they are “disordered,” problems arise. I love that word; pure theological genius. Explains the anxiety, depression, anti-socialness, alienation, and addiction that plague our age. Growing up, I had the uneasy feeling of being a ship without an anchor; life felt curiously transitory, unstable, and dulled…and I felt unhealthy and out of balance. I knew there was more to life, and I wanted something that would cure the feelings of malaise. This set me on a spiritual journey through my '20s culminating in my discovering Catholicism.
Even if society has strayed, it’s good to know that God is faithful and His Church lasts. I hope to enjoy some of that peace and well being you described as a member of His church. Weekday mass has already been a great source of healing. I also hope that my journey can help cradle Catholics better appreciate what they have. I think there’s a tendency among Catholics to assume that non-Christians (or non-Catholics) will just end up being saved through a baptism of desire, and that maybe they’re doing just fine as they follow God in their own way. The truth though is that true doctrine and a happy, well-ordered interior life go together. We all need the Catholic Church to be our best, happy, functioning selves, and anything less than the truth is…less than the truth.
It is disappointing to see the moral decay, but if anything it makes the Church stand out that much brighter in contrast to the darkness. Not sure I ever would have come to the Catholic Church if I could have found happiness and healthiness in the culture at large. I guess God can always work the bad for good…
Thank you for your kind words. Society was, at one time, more respectful and reflective of Christian values, including the media. But have hope. We now need to do the work and make the effort. The following does not just apply just to you but to all who know that ‘life doesn’t feel right’ or is disordered when God is pushed away by those who despise Him and what He, through the Bible and His Church, taught us as being good and beneficial.
Music, especially Catholic music, was gradually drawn away from its roots during the beginning of the latest assault on the Church which began in the late 1960s. You can be part of the answer, the renewal of the culture.
Thank you so much for the resources, and the encouragement!
The article on Oregon Press was fascinating. I came across them while getting materials together for a Catholic friend’s wedding. As a newbie to the faith, I was unaware of their anti-traditional orientation. Good to have a heads up, especially since I would love to be involved in a music ministry someday.
Along the lines of renewing the mass and keeping tradition alive, what started my journey back to the Catholic Church was participating in an Ash Wednesday observance at a local Presbyterian Church. This church of course didn’t celebrate the holy day in a Catholic style, but there were certain Catholic elements present, such as ashes, which the worshipper could place on their own forehead. It felt so wonderful to do something old. It gave me a feeling of belong to a larger Christian community; not only that of the living, but the community of all Christians who have ever lived. Also, I was weary of the emotional highs of Protestant praise music. I wanted more reverence. So, being very anti-Catholic at the time, I started looking into liturgical Protestantism (Episcopalians, Lutherans). Finally got exasperated with the differences between the two and shifty theology. Realized it was time to come home to the Catholic Church, where people had preserved the truth for centuries. Better to not spend your life trying to reinvent the wheel, so to speak!
But yes, it was a hunger for tradition that brought me back! So Catholic liturgy will always have a special place in my heart. What it did for me, it can do for others.
I also prefer a more conservative liturgy. It occurred to me that popular music does not belong at mass…not so much because it’s inherently bad, but because of it’s easy accessibility. The easy accessibility of popular music does not put God in His proper place, which is high above us. God needs to be firmly in the heavens and we need to understand the proper “chain of command” so to speak; that’s a foundation for everything, isn’t it. As soon as God is “just like us,” we stop searching for Him, obeying Him, and challenging ourselves spiritually.
You’re welcome. When I walk into Church, I am in God’s house. Right down the middle aisle, at the end, is the altar and tabernacle. I feel the presence of Jesus, knowing this place is reserved for Him, for the sacrifice of the Mass. Here, I am before the real presence. My heart is focused on knowing He is present. I am in the real world of prayer, penance and humility. It is not just a feeling but a knowing. And a feeling of humility before the one who created all things.