June 11, 2008

Smells and Bells Only

This is a response to someone who upset saddened me.

The Catholic Church is the wealthiest institution in the world. It's the wealthiest that has ever been. How can any amount of money or anything or anyone else even come close to making the claim: "contains the fullness of the Truth". I bet even the Sage of Omaha doesn't have that in his portfolio.

If the Church lost all of its buildings and land tomorrow; if all of our vestments were burned up in a fire; if all of our bells were melted down; if all the Confessionals were closed; if all the organs were silent; yes, even if the Eucharist was denied us; the losses would be tragic and devastating but The Truth would still live on. It would live on is us to whom the Truth has been revealed. Once you've seen a glimpse of it all; once you've experienced it all; once you've accepted it all, you can't forget it. You will not willingly go back.

St. Teresa of Avila talks about Faith as a progression of rooms in a castle. We move within the rooms as we wax and wane in Faith but I don't think any of us would like it too well if we were stuck out in the moat.

Some of us may not be in the moat but we are stuck on the battlement wall or in the exterior rooms. We don't move in further. We have only a superficial understanding of the Faith.

Perhaps we are attracted to the Faith by an exterior expression. We really love the Gregoian Chant and the orchestral Masses. We think the rich vestments are gorgoues. We can't inhale enough incense. We feel peaceful in a candlelit Church. We enjoy reading the great poetic and faithful writers of our history. We accept that the Bread and Wine really become the Body and the Blood of Our Lord at Holy Mass.

Yet, in spite of all this, we are like 3-legged stools with only 2 legs. We totter and fall over when we refuse to accept the fullness of the Truth. Maybe you think the Church should ordain women. Maybe you think homosexulity is ok. Maybe you think contraception should be allowed. Maybe you don't understand why abortion is called evil. Maybe you don't think Satan or Hell really exist. Maybe you think all priests are pedophiles just waiting to catch you unaware.

For you, we can only pray that the things that attacted you to the Faith will, over time, encourage you to go deeper. I know. I've been there. I'm still there. Part of my journey toward spiritual maturity is not just reigning in my tongue and practicing charity, it's also striving to journey below the surface to the Ultimate Truth within.

It's true that I'm not any more pious than anyone and I don't make any claims to be so. However, as we heard in our Gospel reading last Sunday, some of us need help. We need The Physician to help us. It's not enough to just go to The Doctor, we need to follow His course of treatment too.

See you at The Clinic!


Blogger Terry Nelson said...

I hope you realize that now Adoro and I are going to think this post is about us.

June 11, 2008 11:52 AM  
Blogger Terry Nelson said...

Oh yeah - and we are going to be trying to figure out what we could have said.

June 11, 2008 11:54 AM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Hmm..uh-oh! It's not about anyone you know!

June 11, 2008 8:22 PM  
Anonymous Adoro said...

It's ALWAYS about ME. The world REVOLVES around ME! And Terry. Actually, mostly him.

June 11, 2008 9:30 PM  
Blogger Terry Nelson said...

LOL Adoro. Seriously, it does. ;)

June 12, 2008 6:41 PM  

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