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The truth is, I personally seem to run into more struggling RC, very cautious about their future. The most frequent tone is- 'Well I know that something good is there in this'... and then they add, 'I am just waiting for the AV'. Point being here, that there is not that all out confidence in spite of all obstacles we saw in February of 2009. I think if the Holy See sends even a modest signal that the party is over, now, I think, more would start to get it.

Deirdre you are spot on, thank you. But I am like heart agrees with you but my mind is often frustrated!

ML...I can't tell you how many times, over the years when I was in RC, how I "looked down" at the priests in my parish. I criticized everything...the vessels they used on the altar, the fact they had altar girls, the music at the teen mass, the parishioners, the parish school, the list went on and on and on.

I was so haughty.

But when I left RC I literally felt the scales drop from my eyes. I have often teared up at Mass at my parish now, when I see the humility of the priests, the honest effort of bumbling Catholic's in the pews trying to do the right thing, the beautiful Catholic church that is ours, warts and all.

How deceived we all were.

Chesterton wrote "Theology rebukes certain thoughts by calling them blasphemous. Science rebukes certain thoughts by calling them morbid..."

The questions and censure from outside LC/RC are not wasted. Many with thick hides will eventually wonder why their leaders are not repulsed by Maciel's thought, writings, norms, rules etc.

Rain can start cracks in even the hardest of rock. But don't mistake it for a jack hammer.

Far West,

I am not talking about you critizicing the abheration that goes on in parishes.
You were/are right: altar girls doesn't foster vocation, but more confusion. Teen Mass is an horror, whoever put this together takes our youth for dummies. If the priest is not using the proper vessel, he is at fault. Same for altering ANYTHING in the liturgy.

I am talking the attitude that RC members had toward those who are strong catholics, but considered not "saved" because they don't belong to the "kingdom". We were not worth the time or the friendship, RC had to work as spies in liberal parish.
I have an apostolate outside RC, would you guess right if I told you that no RC members joined in my efforts?

Altar girls ARE permitted, folk Masses are permitted; I don't like these things but they're allowed. Raising Maciel's birthday above the Blessed Mother's, encouraging children to keep secrets from their parents, abusing spiritual direction by using directees' confidences to push where the Holy Spirit does not lead: THOSE are the real aberrations. If you still sniff at felt banners, then maybe you haven't yet learned the lesson/virtue God wanted you to?
Anyone who's still wondering why God let you join RC, you might ask yourself if it's because He wanted you to gain in humility? We forget that while we want our lives to be peaceful, lovely, trouble-free; God wants us to spend eternity with Him in heaven, and that means we've laden ourselves with humility. I joke that I keep asking God for the cross of "I struggle with humility in the face of fame, fortune, beauty and brilliance", but I only ever get it from doing Something. Really. Stupid. Again.

"If you still sniff at felt banners, then maybe you haven't yet learned the lesson/virtue God wanted you to?"

Maybe the lesson was take whatever you get as a starting point. And know that God really does want to give you more.

Things CCD taught me:

1. How to make a felt banner
2. Jesus loves me
3. Basic Bible stories
4. How to make burlap banners
5. The Our Father
6. We should all participate in Church
7. More Jesus loves me
8. More felt banners
9. Love your neighbor
10. Don’t sin
11. Even more felt banners
12. All about my name


Part of leaving RC was also leaving my ideas of who is worthy of friendship.

But then leaving behind artificially contrived edifying conversations probably helped ;).

Since we've had a dose of Chesterton in this thread, I was put in mind of this:

"...Joan of Arc was not stuck at the cross-roads, either by rejecting all the paths like Tolstoy, or by accepting them all like Nietzsche. She chose a path, and went down it like a thunderbolt. Yet Joan, when I came to thinkof her, had in her all that was true either in Tolstoy or Nietzsche, all that was even tolerable in either of them. I thought of all that is noble in Tolstoy, the pleasure in plain things, especially in plain pity, the actualities of the earth, the reverence for the poor, the dignity of the bowed back. Joan of Arc had all that and with this great addition, that she endured poverty as well as admiring it; whereas Tolstoy is only a typical aristocrat trying to find out its secret. And Nietzsche, and his mutiny against the emptiness and timidity of our time. I thought of all that was brave and proud and pathetic in poor Nietzsche. I thought of his cry for the ecstatic equilibrium of danger, his hunger for the rush of great horses, his cry to arms. Well, Joan of Arc had all that, and again with this difference, that she did not praise fighting, but fought. We know that she was not afraid of an army, while Nietzsche, for all we know, was afraid of a cow. Tolstoy only praised the peasant; she was the peasant. Nietzsche only praised the warrior; she was the warrior. She beat them both at their own antagonistic ideals; she was more gentle than the one, more violent than the other. Yet she was a perfectly practical person who did something, while they are wild speculators who do nothing. It was impossible that the thought should not cross my mind that she and her faith had perhaps some secret of moral unity and utility that has been lost. And with that thought came a larger one, and the colossal figure of her Master had also crossed the theatre of my thoughts..., ... As if there were any inconsistency between having a love for humanity and having a hatred for inhumanity! Altruists, with thin, weak voices, denounce Christ as an egoist. Egoists (with even thinner and weaker voices) denounce Him as an altruist. In our present atmosphere such cavils are comprehensible enough. The love of a hero is more terrible than the love of a philanthropist. There is a huge and heroic sanity of which moderns can only collect the fragments. There is a giant of whom we see only the lopped arms and legs walking about. They have torn the soul of Christ into silly strips, labelled egoism and altruism, and they are equally puzzled by His insane magnificence and His insane meekness. They have parted His garments among them, and for His vesture they have cast lots; though the coat was without seam woven from the top throughout."

Chesterton, G.K.: Orthodoxy

As a total aside, I mention that the wisdom inherent in "banner art theology" just might save us one day:

Please know that I support dignity and beauty in our liturgy, but I thought it interesting that even our pablum contradicts Muslm sensibilities.

Also, when you see problems in the parish, you should offer to help FIX them, not just complain and run off to form a paralell church.

For instance, bad music at Mass. Teens like beautiful things too-- if someone taught them chant, or cantatas or whatever, they'd probably be willing to add it to the mix. Folk music can be done well, or badly.

Improper vessels-- Once we had a priest who was always being reported for his clay vessels. Finally he said, "Look - these are the ones I have. I'd love to have new chalice, but the parish can't afford one right now. Here is a catalogue. If someone buys a new chalice, I will use it."

Same with polyester vestments. No one LIKES polyester. But odds are your priest feels like he can't justify the nice ones when he already has servicable ones. So ask if he'd mind if you bought/made new ones.

If your choir picks bad music, JOIN! It's time consuming, but you'll get to help pick songs!

If your CCD teachers spend all their time on fluff, volunteer to teach, and introduce lives of the saints and church history into the class!

Our parish life won't get richer unless we participate in the parish-- paralell churches are NOT THE ANSWER!

BTW, I admit, it's easy for me to say-- we've got a great parish and even when I'm annoyed by something, it's never a deal-breaker. And, of course, when you have small kids a lot of volunteering is out...


Also, in defense of felt-- I've noticed that the parishes that go crazy on felt are those horrible modern ones with no stained glass, statues, frescos, mosaics, etc. So people really ARE trying to make it beautiful-- they just don't have much to work with!

Perhaps if the parish started a 'beautification drive' and slowly added nice things.... my childhood parish (St. John Neumann in Gaithersburg, MD) did this. Originally it was UGLY. Over time they got new floors, a new tabernacle, new paint, new pews.... the building had to come first, because the people needed a place to worship. Once the physical structure was there, the parish was gradually able to add improvements.

Anyway, the point is that if your parish life needs reviving, help start the revival! Everyone prefers Beauty-- it's just hard to figure out how to get from "good enough" to "ineffable!"

anonymous @ 12:52, I went to Catholic school and CCD in the '70's, too.
It's sad; we started out with a gorgeous church, but our pastor embarked on a "wreckovation" of the edifice at the same time he was "wreckovating" the parish's prepubescent girls. It's been somewhat undone since then, but a lot of the marble is long gone (and a lot of the girls are long gone from the Church too, of course). But I consider the loss of souls to be much more damaging than the orange carpet...

It helps to keep Church teaching in mind when you want to fix a problem, too. If no one else wants to get rid of the banners, there's not much you can do. If the priests are using glass lemonade pitchers and potato chip bowls for Communion (yes, really), then you have an argument-it's not Catholicism. My main gripe with folk Masses is the music selection; I've heard the Agnus Dei on guitar and it was okay, not my first choice of instrument. But "Gather" isn't really about God! This is what you have to look for when you (bringing it back to topic at hand!) talk to people about Regnum Christi; it's not against Church teaching to propose yourself as a child's spiritual director (but it's as quirky as altar girls and guitar Masses), but it IS wrong to encourage a child to keep secrets about her vocation discernment, from her parents, and it IS a sin to use SD to get a child to do what YOU want her to do.
The Catholic Church views private promises of chastity benignly, but the 3gf's are not in the same league as Consecrated Virgins, and it's wrong to fool people into thinking the 3gf's are just like nuns or CV's.
If your friends are "waiting for the AV", you need to point out to them that dissolving Regnum just isn't on the table so if they're going to stay in Regnum Christi until the pope tells them to get out, they'll never leave; the pope respects their free will and expects them to act like adults.

I taught CCD this year for the first time in many years. 15 students. One parent said, "Thank you"

"One parent said, 'Thank you'"

Ouch. Not much has changed.

"Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine?" Luke 17:17

I am concerned that legionary seminarians are teaching catechism at some NY Catholic schools. Is this part of legion's plan to infiltrate or part of the Vatican's plan to help the seminarians mainstream?

Giselle-- I just read your Islam article (linked above)...

Isn't it interesting how the Macielist ideas of 'vocation' and 'discernment' (blind obedience to superiors, God calling guys to be priests even if it makes them miserable, God only giving one chance, lost vocation sure damnation, if you leave, all the souls you should have converted will be lost forever...) are closer to Islam than Catholicism?

It's funny that a movement devoted to 'Charity' taught such a warped version of God's passionate love for us.

Perhaps some time with the Song of Songs is in order for those feeling abandoned as they leave RC/LC.

We need to pray harder-- the more I think about it, the more I realize the damage done to these poor souls.

(Fortunately, the Author of "God is Love" is on the case!)

Well, I am mystified. The link provided above was working just a minute ago. When I checked it just now, the page came up empty. Go figure.

Mouse--The Legion of Christ is what the Church would look like if man were left to his own devices to invent the Church.

This is the banality of evil: all pretensions to perfection invented by man end up looking alike. Everything created by God ends up looking only like itself, so long as it has not been perverted away from its end . . . .

OK. The teaching seminarian article is available on the home page of the Legion website for anyone interested. Sorry about the faulty link above.

Greg-- that makes sense-- it also explains why all cults look pretty much the same once you remove the window dressing... The only freedom comes from God. Any religion invented by man is going to be slavery...


Isn't it interesting how the Macielist ideas ... are closer to Islam than Catholicism?


You're right. When you push aside reverence for the Christian freedom of sons and daughters of God, and emphasize submission to what God saw for you in LC/RC from all eternity, guess what the end result looks like:

"Islam literally means submission (to God)".

... or Macielistas look very much like Communists too. This here is from Bella Dodd, Communist turned Christian:

Its (Communism's) aim was "to create new types of human beings who would conform to the blueprint of the world they confidently expected to control."


Deirdre's point about Islam could also be applied to Calvinism. So a little Belloc to go with all the Chesterton today.

Belloc noted commonalities in their aims and viewed them as the two most vigorous Christian heresies (even though one was from the within and the other from without).

"[Mohammed] took over very few of those old pagan ideas which might have been native to him from his descent. On the contrary, he preached and insisted upon a whole group of ideas which were peculiar to the Catholic Church and distinguished it from the paganism which it had conquered in the Greek and Roman civilization. Thus the very foundation of his teaching was that prime Catholic doctrine, the unity and omnipotence of God. The attributes of God he also took over in the main from Catholic doctrine: the personal nature, the all-goodness, the timelessness, the providence of God, His creative power as the origin of all things, and His sustenance of all things by His power alone..."

"But the central point where this new heresy struck home with a mortal blow against Catholic tradition was a full denial of the Incarnation..."

"Catholic doctrine was true (he seemed to say), but it had become encumbered with false accretions; it had become complicated by needless man-made additions, including the idea that its founder was Divine, and the growth of a parasitical caste of priests who battened on a late, imagined, system of Sacraments which they alone could administer. All those corrupt accretions must be swept away..."

"There is thus a very great deal in common between the enthusiasm with which Mohammed's teaching attacked the priesthood, the Mass and the sacraments, and the enthusiasm with which Calvinism, the central motive force of the Reformation, did the same...and it necessarily had that further factor in which it resembled Calvinism the sense of predestination, the sense of fate; of what the followers of John Knox were always calling 'the immutable decrees of God.'"

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