Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Cult of Personality.

What is one of the most destructive things from our culture infecting the Church today? The cult of personality and celebrity. The first thing you see on a parish or diocesan website should not be a picture of the pastor or bishop. Dear brother priests, don't imitate the protestants and put your name on the church sign. Don't hang your own picture in the office or even worse the church vestibule. Just remember who it is supposed to be all about.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Company Men.

Company men. The company men are revealing themselves. You know the guys who change their positions and behaviors based on who is in charge. (A subspecies of this is the brown noser.) You will find them in any business. They are in academia and I saw them in the Air Force. And yes we have them in the Church. Company men are not obedient. They exploit the ego of the supervisor for their own advantage. They want to be part of the in-crowd and ride the dominant wave. I have been tempted to be a Company Man, but I want to be able to look at myself in the mirror. A Company Man is not a disciple. A disciple is one who follows because he knows he is being taught the truth. I suspect that Judas Iscariot was a Company Man.

The Company Men always make me think of the Vicar of Bray:

In good King Charles's golden days,
When Loyalty no harm meant;
A Zealous High-Church man I was,
And so I gain'd Preferment.
Unto my Flock I daily Preach'd,
Kings are by God appointed,
And Damn'd are those who dare resist,
Or touch the Lord's Anointed.
And this is law, I will maintain
Unto my Dying Day, Sir.
That whatsoever King may reign,
I will be the Vicar of Bray, Sir!
When Royal James possest the crown,
And popery grew in fashion;
The Penal Law I shouted down,
And read the Declaration:
The Church of Rome I found would fit
Full well my Constitution,
And I had been a Jesuit,
But for the Revolution.
And this is Law, &c.
When William our Deliverer came,
To heal the Nation's Grievance,
I turn'd the Cat in Pan again,
And swore to him Allegiance:
Old Principles I did revoke,
Set conscience at a distance,
Passive Obedience is a Joke,
A Jest is non-resistance.
And this is Law, &c.
When Royal Anne became our Queen,
Then Church of England's Glory,
Another face of things was seen,
And I became a Tory:
Occasional Conformists base
I Damn'd, and Moderation,
And thought the Church in danger was,
From such Prevarication.
And this is Law, &c.
When George in Pudding time came o'er,
And Moderate Men looked big, Sir,
My Principles I chang'd once more,
And so became a Whig, Sir.
And thus Preferment I procur'd,
From our Faith's great Defender
And almost every day abjur'd
The Pope, and the Pretender.
And this is Law, &c.
The Illustrious House of Hanover,
And Protestant succession,
To these I lustily will swear,
Whilst they can keep possession:
For in my Faith, and Loyalty,
I never once will faulter,
But George, my lawful king shall be,
Except the Times shou'd alter.
And this is Law, &c.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Some Things to Consider:

Some things to consider:
1) We are not Donatists. The authority of a bishop or priest does not depend on his personal holiness, wisdom, or prudence. So we need to obey them in all matters they have authority and as long as the command is in accord with Divine and ecclesial law.
2) Only the Apostles were chosen directly by God. Since then, we have had to rely on those with Apostolic authority. We hope that they act with wisdom and prudence, but this has not always be the case; for example, Weakland and Ziemann. Only the overly pious think every Pope and bishop is selected by the Holy Spirit.
3) Clergy don't have to be perfect, which is a good thing since they are not. We make a grave mistake when we pretend they are. However, this does not detract or invalidate the office. Respect and reverence the office even if you can't the man.
4) We are not called to be lemmings or mind-numbed robots. This is why we have a Church not a cult.
5) You never know what an office will do to a person. St. Thomas Beckett was no great shakes before being made a bishop. God's grace did remarkable things to him. Conversely, your perfect candidate for bishop of X may turn out to be a dud. I can think of a retired west coast Cardinal who seemed to be the very incarnation of orthodoxy but turned out to be very different.
6) Pray. Pray often and pray hard. We can't make other people orthodox or holy by waving a magic wand or coming up with the perfect pastoral plan. Certainly we can hold them to account and give them good example, but they have to make the choice themselves. Some will and some won't. Only the Modernists think they can build the City of God here on Earth. Our home is not an earthly one.
7) This too shall pass.

(Update) I need to add one more.
8) The Gate of the Netherworld shall not prevail against Her.