"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Mass Chat: Easter Sunday, Cardinal Dolan on Face the Nation and the Church is so much bigger than this little Catholic bubble we call the Blogosphere.

Christ appears to His Mother.

My apologies ahead of time...

I went to the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis for Easter Mass this morning.  I felt as if I just got out of a cloister and was thrown into the real world - albeit a beautiful world.  Truly, the liturgy was awesome, on a grand scale.  The church was magnificent, candles everywhere, chant and Latin and traditional hymns.  So not like my bare bones parish church.  Did I mention the church was packed?  A devout and reverent crowd, kneeling, bowing, standing, participating.  I don't get out much - obviously - but let me tell you there is nothing wrong with the Ordinary Form of Mass.  Nothing.  The people in this little Catholic bubble of online gossip, complaining and condemnation, who write against the Ordinary Form of Mass and the Pope and the Bishops, are really a minority within the Church - if indeed all of them actually are part of the Church.

That said, Carinal Dolan was on Face the Nation this morning, this mornings show was heavily focused, and favorably so, upon Pope Francis, Catholics, Hobby Lobby and so on.  Nora O'Donnell interviewed the Cardinal and mention a recent poll was highly favorable as regards the Church and newcomers coming in.  The Cardinal attributed it to Pope Francis - yes - the Francis effect is warmly regarded.  Dolan did well in the interview - yes he is media savvy and seems to be choosing his words more carefully.  When pressed about 'changes' the Pope might bring - Dolan was specific in affirming Catholic teaching, while emphasizing the fact that nothing doctrinal can change, in fact it was his most solemn moment in the interview.  Did he say he approved civil unions, nope - but he said he would support the civil rights of those who can't live up to Catholic teaching - including insurance benefits for 'partners' and so on.

Later in the show, the panel once again discussed the Pope Francis effect.

Driving home from Mass this morning I once again wondered how many people at church would even know about Catholic bloggers?  How many ever heard of most of the blogger personalities?  How many share their concerns about washing the feet of women or men or poodles at Holy Thursday.*  How many of these people really care if someone had a sip of something before communion, or if someone ahead of them is chewing gum?  I laughed to myself wondering how many in the congregation even knew about the 3 Days Darkness, an what they would say if you told them about it?  I thought to myself, 'they'd probably look at you, silently pondering what you just said, and then say, "So anyway, Have a nice Easter!"' and then walk away.

The Church is a big place - people can build private chapels, but be really careful you don't separate yourself - or worse - excommunicate yourself.  Especially those of you who would love to see so many others excommunicated.

Yeah.  So anyway, have a nice Easter.

*A commenter on Fr. Z's blog mentioned the story of a priest with a foot fetish as a sort cautionary tale against washing the feet of women.  I couldn't find the comment when I looked again.



  1. << I felt as if I just got out of a cloister and was thrown into the real world - albeit a beautiful world. >>

    Resurrected on Easter Sunday! :)

    The temptation for all of us is to remain inside our whitewashed tombs.

  2. I often think of what an insular world we involved in blogging actually live in, especially when I am among little old ladies who rarely if ever have even look at a computer, and yet who are so devout in praying the rosary and in great devotion to Our Lady and their love of the Church. These will be the ones through whom Our Lord will work, not those of us who think we have all the answers.

    And God bless Cardinal Dolan. I use to be one of those who constantly criticized him. I realize now that he is very much a man of God, completely dedicated to Christ and His Church, and one who truly loves those whose souls have been entrusted to him. He is attacked by secularists and Catholics alike, and yet he never attacks back. He just loves and continues to give us an upbeat, positive message about the Gospel. We have much to learn from him and from Our Holy Father, Pope Francis.

    Our Lord will never leave us, but often He is not where we think He is.

    1. I realized that this morning as I had a chance to see the Cardinal interviewed. My goodness - facial expression and body language convey so much that is unspoken - we don't get that while reading comments and out-takes from what people really say.

      The stuff online is truly poisonous. At Mass there was an older priest - one of those some people look forward to the biological solution to take care of. He changed the greeting to "Jesus is with you" instead of, "the Lord be with you." I started thinking - 'what's he going to do through the rest of Mass? But he followed all the rules - although at homily time I had a jaded thought about what he might say - it was a great homily. What I'm getting at is the negative expectations, the jaded tendency to criticism because of all the red flags one is made aware of in reading some of the blogs which harp on such matters. It's an incredibly poisonous corruption which intrudes upon our prayer and devotion.

      Not sure if I said all of that clearly, but by the grace of God I was able to not follow those thoughts to their end.

      Some of those people who yell about religious freedom all of the time need to recognize how they-we stifle the spirit with our critical spirit. It's just wrong.

  3. I had a weird experience on Facebook which is typical of the parochial world of many Catholics. I "friended" a woman on FB and the first thing she asked me was "Do you know Dr. Peters? He is our close personal friend. Did you go to Steubenville? I don't think we've ever met." Knowing I could never live up to her expectations of what it means to be a true believer I withdrew my friend request.

    1. Oh that is telling. LOL! If she only knew how solid you are. Happy Easter Elena!

    2. Seubenville? Dr. Peters?

      Those look like rather easy standards to meet. Too easy to be a litmus test.

      The Steubenville grads I've met tend to be rather exuberant about their alma mater so perhaps she was trying to make a connection. The same with Dr. Peters.

    3. It is a litmus test which I completely fail. While I have heard of the estimable Dr. Peters, he is not a close personal friend. And I never took a single course at Steubenville, although I once visited the Austrian campus, probably many years before the girl in question even graduated from highschool.

      Happy Easter, Terry!

  4. Anonymous7:49 AM

    "Did he say he approved civil unions, nope - but he said he would support the civil rights of those who can't live up to Catholic teaching - including insurance benefits for 'partners' and so on."

    Isn't supporting the civil rights of those who "can't live up to Catholic teaching" (assuming that premise for the sake of the argument) essentially to approve of civil unions by way of said support?

    And, the premise of not living up to Catholic teaching: what is behind that? Is the point that the Church is somehow asking the impossible or something that God would not? But the Church is Christ's and to uphold the moral law is part of the Church's vocation and identity.


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