May 20, 2018

A Random Thought Process (Pt 1)

The Thinker Drawing by Paul Stowe

               THOUGHT PROCESS:
any of the mental procedures involved in cognitive activities which are past interpretation, like remembering, reasoning, problem solving, imagining, and making decisions. (By Nugent, Pam M.S.-April 29, 2013. Source: Psychology Dictionary)

On a daily basis - relative to achieving Salvation - it is sometimes hard to know just what kind of Catholic I really am supposed to be in 2018: 

(1) Modernist?

(2) Traditionalist? 
(3) Radical Traditionalist?
(4) Charismaticalist?
(5) Sedevacantist?
(6) Orthodox-ist?
(7) Neopelagianist?
(8) Opus Dei-ist?

I never knew there were so many flavors of the One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church instituted by Our Lord Jesus Christ. But the ultimate question yet remains: which flavor will get me to Heaven? 

For instance, I am Traditionalist (if there is, objectively speaking, such a term for a Roman Catholic). But then again, it is equally certain that I am no Modernist, either. As the Roman Catholic Church "tolerates" divorce, I can only "tolerate" the New Paradigms; the New (c)atholicism; the (latest) New Springtime of Vatican II (Met Gala, anyone??); the New Mass which, as most every Catholic knows was borne of Man and given approbation by heretics in an "advisory" capacity at Vatican II. Which - in my opinion - confirms its non-continuity to the Tridentine Mass (for true continuity, see here). 

Do I, the Traddie, accept it (the New Mass), then? 

Yes, albeit grudgingly. But...I will never "like" the new Mass, which has devolved into a (Low Mass) mixture of Latin-English liturgy, sung-not sung parts of the Mass, and Protestant/secular words set to the more beautiful polyphonic music of ages-old Catholic hymns. 

Ed. note: I have many times attended the OF Mass at the (now) local Wichita parish during past travels, which is staffed by a very well-liked and much respected orthodox priest and his young associate. Both give excellent sermons on what it means to be and to live Catholic; avoidance of sin; frequent need of Confession and Holy Communion, etc. The OF Masses are said as reverently (if a bit rushed and robotic) as the OF Mass can be, with no "personal touches" thrown into the mix. In short, my recommendation of this parish to anyone looking to fulfil their Sunday/Holy Day obligation would always be given (and this knowing full well some will strenuously object to the mix of girl and boy altar is what it is, people.) I currently attend the SSPX Church in Wichita (or the Diocesan Latin Mass on the odd Sundays) unless otherwise prevented from doing so.)

I'm not even sure that I am even a sinner, anymore. 
I mean...Amoris Laetitia, et al. If one can now self-discern that living in adultery makes them good, holy and pleasing before both God the Father and God the Son, then who am I to judge otherwise. If a sodomitical relationship can apparently lead both of the sinners penitents partners (enter the appropriate gender-neutral term here) to Sanctity, then who am I to judge what The Francis and his current co-leaders of the Catholic Church approve over what even God himself deemed to be aberrant - and abhorrent - behavior. If the 6th and 9th Commandments can now each have their own subset (and you can pretty much nowadays name your own subs and sets) for moral legitimacy, who am I to judge? If adulterers can receive the Blessed Sacrament after the self-cleansing of their continued fornication through the careful discernment of a priest, then who am I to judge?

Indeed...who am I to judge?

Who am I?

I'm a Roman Catholic, baptized into Holy Mother Church on March 27, 1954. I was confirmed by Bishop William A. O'Connor at St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Grafton IL and graduated from St. Francis Catholic Grade School, in Jerseyville.

I am a public high school graduate who never finished college, but did attend and graduate from a Vocational one. I've held jobs far above my pay grade and knowledge base, but eventually became proficient and successful in all of them. I never really practised my Faith outside of the usual youthful pre-Vatican II mode - I came of age just when all the changes hit around 7th grade - and involuntarily followed my parents as they drove around trying to find a decent Latin Mass (Ugh! oh what a bother!! Again, Mom! Why can't we just continue to go to St. Pat's like before? Huh???). 

In my youth I had served at many Tridentine Masses and after high school served in the US Air Force. I rarely went to Mass and/or Confession while on active duty (the Military was well entrenched with VII stuff by then), fantasized for the "girl-in-every-port" meme, bought more than one copy of Playboy Magazine, tried smoking cigarettes and got stone-cold drunk at least 3 times. And all the while I carried in my pocket my trusty Rosary, even though I rarely - if ever (my memory is not that good 40 years on) - said 5 decades.

In sum, I was never a fervent Catholic in my youth, sinned often, and lived with mortal sin (and somewhat uncaringly at that...) on my Soul for a very long time. I rarely practiced my Faith the way Christ intended or wanted, internally or externally, and sometimes even wished that I wasn't Catholic (that pesky Conscience thingy was always getting in the way, though). I was ambivalent, mediocre, insincere, lazy and perhaps even a bit agnostic at times. 

(Continued next week)

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