"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.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Then the disciples approached and said to him...

"Do you know that the Pharisees took offense when they heard what you said?" - Matthew 15:1-2,10-14

I like Our Lord's response:
"Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind.  If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit."

Beware Catholic blogs and websites which mock and ridicule the Pope and Bishops - or whose posts invite such contempt.  Beware those sites which foment division and claim to be more Catholic than the Pope, more holier than the Church.  "Let them alone."  Do not support them, do not contribute to their coffers.  Those who say the Holy Father is clueless, that he is a heretic, that he is an anti-pope, or that they 'know' he is a hypocrite -  communicating an ostentatious humility.  "Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind.  If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit."

Let them alone.

This is the proper attitude 
for our blindness:
Humility and repentance.


  1. “Let them alone...”

    But WILL you? ;)

  2. I would add those who claim Pope Francis has caused damage to the Church. Where?

    Anyway, well said Terry. Praying for all of us since we all have a bit of everything to repent of. I know I do. ^^

  3. Since silence, prayer and recollection are becoming more and more rare in the modern world, perhaps the pope could set an amazing example and go on a secluded wilderness retreat for six months. Everyone would recognize the media black-out as a true white martyrdom.

    I actually think it would fascinate people, and might actually do more to bring souls closer to Christ than the endless public statements and goings-ons. Benedict should have done it, too. Actions speak louder than words, the Church would just keep movin' along, and it would help shrink the papacy (which is actually one of the greatest stumbling blocks among protestants and the Orthodox). I wouldn't be surprised if we saw something like that fifty years from now (of course by then the pope will be secluded in the wilderness because he's being hunted).

    1. Shrinking the papacy to pander to others isn't an option; the papacy is an excuse for protestants and the Orthodox. The real problem is that they want to be their own magisterium, which is why there are so many protestant churches. Anyone can put out their shingle and say they're the leader of a church. They don't even need any doctrine; from a Catholic and Orthodox perspective, the more protestants buy into contemporary society and stray from Christ, the less likelihood it is that their desire for Christian unity is sincere; if it was, they wouldn't have innovated by allowing ministers to marry (while Latin Rite Catholic priests are celibate, both Eastern Rite Catholics and Orthodox ordain married men), ordaining women and openly gay men, and elevating married persons to the episcopacy, which they have also opened to both men and women. There's no reason for the papacy to come in to the equation when the protestants don't follow Christian teaching; discussion of the pope's role would only be appropriate with others who share Christian doctrine.

      Most protestant sects don't have any sort of hierarchy; the Orthodox do. The Primacy of Rome has always been with us; it is biblical, as Christ gave the keys to the kingdom to Peter, who became the Bishop of Rome. While there were 5 patriarchical churches, the primacy of Rome wasn't seriously questioned until the end of the first milennium of Christianity, at which time there were disputes that were more political in nature than religious. There are a few minor points of doctrine on which Catholics and the Orthodox differ; however, they're otherwise more similar to one another than to any form of protestantism. In addition to being Bishop of Rome, papa is also Patriarch of Rome. Note that the Patriarch of Moscow seems to be more visible than the others but according to Orthodoxy, each patriarch is in charge of his own dominion.

      Francis refers to himself as the bishop of Rome and that's going to be as close as they get to reducing the papacy. The Church is about God's will, not man's. It began as one Church and for all that the Orthodox talk of Catholic innovations, it was they who changed the manner in which they receive communion.

  4. @ Scott...I was hoping the Holy Father would at least disappear into Castel Gandolfo for one month for some rest and recreation and prayer and reading and silence and just sleeping in til noon. ^^

    But alas...like his predecessors before him...he knows there's work to be done and he will rest for all eternity when he goes to his eternal reward.

    One wonderful thing is that we can pray and interceded and cut our time down from the Internet...we don't need Papa Francis to set the example as we are all more than capable of doing that.

  5. Pope Francis' 10 keys to happiness:

    1. "Live and let live."

    2. "Be giving of yourself to others."

    3. "Proceed calmly" in life.

    4. Have "a healthy sense of leisure."

    5. "Sunday is for family."

    6. Be "creative" with young people and find innovative ways to create dignified jobs.

    7. Respect and take care of nature.

    8. Stop being negative. "Letting go of negative things quickly is healthy," he said.

    9. "The worst thing of all is religious proselytism, which paralyzes."

    10. Work for peace. "We are living in a time of many wars," he said. "The call for peace must be shouted."

    1. The sad thing is that people will read or hear of this list and adopt it, as if it's a distillation of the Faith.

    2. How could you know this?

      I didn't even know this was really from the pope. I think people generally blow off memes such as this. I only read it through today - it is pretty much common sense. You would do well to take #8 to heart.

    3. Because when the Pope speaks, any Pope, one expects something relatively Catholic, not something that could be offered by any secular life coach. Remember: we're not to ignore the Pope, as some have counseled. You told us that yourself. So, in listening to the Pope, it's very thin gruel. Depressingly thin.

      Yes, it is from the Pope. I believe it became a meme after the list was extracted from yet another interview: http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1403144.htm

      The fact that it is indeed "common" or at least commonly accepted "sense" coming from the Pope is itself bewildering to me. If these are meant to be keys to "joy", then the "joy" that I understand as coming only from Christ is not the joy that the Pope is speaking about.

    4. To offer a clarification by way of comparison, regarding the last point, these ten items do not bring me joy. Joy is a supernatural grace, which can come only from communion with Christ. His face is joy: http://vultus.stblogs.org/index.php/2014/08/the-transfiguration-of-the-lor/

      A Catholic seeks Him (or ought to) and knows that only in Him is his or her peace, joy, "happiness." God, you are my God, for you I long.

      To that end, how could anyone quibble with what Louis Verrechio has posited as ten items leading to happiness, a Catholic version? For one, the call to Confession is necessary preparation to see His face (clean hearts only can see Him). As I so often have my heart unclean and soiled over and world-weary, I turn to the Church to help me return to Him, but we're getting this secular speak instead.

    5. Then you already know what brings joy, love, peace in the Holy Spirit. Live that. You don't need a top ten list. Church teaching, the Gospel, Christ has not changed, he is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. The Holy Father has his job to do - he is doing it. Go to confession and communion and live united to Christ in the Eucharist, in the heart of the Church. You neither have to like the pope or follow his personal remarks. If my blog and posts on the Holy Father disturb or annoy you, by all means stop reading me. Fr. Mark at Vultus often used to comment here, email me, call me on the phone - now he has found his niche and no longer does. he didn't like what I post and he dropped me from his links and no longer comments. Please, don't waste your time here or elsewhere online.

      You know what brings you joy - share that with others outside the Church. Don't worry about what the Pope says.

    6. This is where you are wrong. You continue to invoke this indivdulastic, just go do your thing Catholicism while in the same breath taking to task those who would 'ignore' the Pope or "resist him to his face" because of the ridiculous and scandalous things that are occurring. Yet you continue to cling to the illusion that "everything's OK" and those who are confused are the ones to blame and parade pious-sounding niceties on the blog about the state of the Church. But you cannot actually defend what's occurring. You haven't really even tried. You tell people like me either to shut up or to go away, or try to shame us into feeling prideful, like we're "more Catholic than the Pope." It's irrational nonsense.

      There is truth in what you write here and in your other post about wasting time. I am guilty of that. Fighting on the internet about the elephant in the room really is not accomplishing much. Perhaps the sole merit of the activity is in the fact that it is a stand against the untruth, the illusion perpetuated so often online, from Patheos to EWTN, that everything has been a seamless transition for so long now and we just need to hop on the bandwagon of 'joy'.

      But beyond that, I don't think it makes any difference. What makes a difference are the souls of individuals who have been robbed at least of the opportunity of salvation and the Truth because of illusory nonsense parading as the Faith. Guilty as charged, and I sincerely are grateful to you for that call to repentance and to doing what actually is worthwhile. I mean it. I should have much greater concern for what I can do, for the souls that I can actually try to convert rather than continually look aghast at the trainwreck.

      I will try to do better, or rather do what is worthwhile from now. There may be little time left and I have no hope outside of the devotion to Mary who alone can offer to God anything of value and salvage any of my stained efforts.

    7. I'm sorry for not always understanding what you write in the com box. I'm quite sure I'm wrong about many things. Let's keep praying. God bless you.

  6. Papa Francis's keys are from a man who knows true joy because of his love for Jesus, the Church and his neighbor. Keeping St. Joseph busy helps too. ^^ Terry, have you seen the picture of the sleeping St. Joseph in the Holy Father's office? He keeps it stuffed with many and I mean many prayer petitions.

    The 10 keys to happiness I believe can only be realized through our relationship with Christ and His Church. I tried to be happy, for the longest time, without Jesus, without going to Mass, without the sacraments.

    I was full of bitterness back then so much so that even compliments were met with sarcasm.

    1. I love his devotion to St. Joseph - his placing petitions the way he does is a very old custom - I learned it myself from the Little Sisters of the Poor.

  7. Great post Terry - :)

  8. Well put, Terry. I'd add just one additional qualification when talking about blogs to avoid: those that try to provoke a reaction through ridiculing or otherwise tempting those with doubts about the pope. Lack of charity is surely a sin, but so is needlessly provoking someone else until they express it. Like poking a stick in the lion's cage, I suppose. Not all blogs expressing doubts about the pope are bad (and I know you're not saying that), and not all blogs "supporting" the pope are good. But whatever your thoughts, surely it must be better to write as if you're trying to win people to your side, as opposed to antagonizing them until they lash out.

    1. Thanks Mitchell - you are right. Not all blogs.

      Today it seems meaningless in view of what is happening in the world - my latest post may explain what I mean.


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