December 11, 2008

Out of Context

People who read items out of context: Scripture, Catechism, tea leaves whatever...It can be done and perhaps you may gain some insight from it but it's like having pasta with nothing on it. You are missing the impact of enjoying pasta for the delivery vehicle for explosive flavor that it can be. Cream cheese on nothing.... why? Fat with no substance.

So it is with the folks who read a few lines of the Catechism without any context. What else can you do but try to give it your own context in an effort to make sense of it? Yes, that's very Prot but this is also what happens to Catholics who read a little bit of Scripture or Catechism or Enycylicals or even a few sentences from the Holy Father's latest weekly catechesis in the dark. They refuse to read by the light of the Magisterium because they:
* think it's ridiculous to be encouraged to do so, or
* they always think they are right, or
* they usually don't like what the Magisterium has to say because if conflicts with what they've decided

This may sound like a minor thing but this out of context reading is how Catholics end up personally out of context with Holy Church. They may be in Church every week and listen to the same readings but they are not really there. They are running thru it all in their heads trying to justify all of it in their own minds using context they've decided as truth all on their own.

This is how dissent is born and propagated. You can be a member, technically, but not really attached to the same Body. A limb separated from the Body cannot live on it's own. However, there are slithering creatures who crawl on their bellies who can be cut in half and both halves can still twitch for a time though both halves be dead.


Blogger Chris said...

Adoro, Cathy, et al,

I must say, I am very, very touched at the care which everyone here takes in explaining matters "Catholic and apostolic". Keep up the good work!

Adoro... yes, it's good being named after Our Lord Himself. Nobody who met us could mix us up, though. By the way, I went through RCIA last year and am helping with the program this year. What better way to keep learning!

My former Evangelical colleagues would be shocked... and I hope delighted... to hear a bunch of Catholics talking about not taking Scripture out of context. Of course, that's exactly what they accuse the Catholics of doing. You know, though, I think the situation is rather reversed.... Everybody pray for a Protestant friend today, please!

A note to all Cathy's coterie: I am Chris #2. So as not to be confused with Chris #1, I will sign myself,


December 11, 2008 7:30 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

I guess that makes me "Chris #1". ;D
I like the slithering creature analogy. How do you think of this stuff?

December 11, 2008 7:38 AM  
Blogger Adoro said...

Bede ~ I am a "revert", had fallen away from the Church and actually can thank an ex-Catholic Evangelical friend for helping me on my journey Home.

A couple years ago I taught RCIA, and would still be doing so but now I'm working in a Church. The good thing is...I get to teach parents the scriptural foundation for Confession and the Holy Eucharist. :-D

It's fun, and some of them hate me for telling the Truth, but so be it.

I think all of us here love our non-Catholic brothers and sisters and really pray that they will finally be united with us!

And to you...welcome home!

December 11, 2008 7:58 AM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Bede - Just about an hour after reading your comment about some things you were being taught in RCIA (from yesterday's post), my new issue of Homiletic $ Pastoral Review arrived. Allow me to quote what Rev. Edwin Gordan wrote in his article on the reforms of Vatican II...

"On his letter to all the bishops, on the Feast of the Holy Eucharist, 1980, Pope John Paul II spoke about the tendency to blur the distinction between the sacred and the profane. This took place particularly in Church music and architecture. Many churches were vandalized at enormous expense, as altar rails and statures were removed. The removal of altar rails, which was never recommended by Vatican II, was based on the theological error that the congregation was saying Mass with the priest. A certain so-called theologian stated in a lecture that the consecration did not take place until the great "Amen" at the end of the Eucharistic prayer."

We participate in about the same way we do in a political election. We're casting our affirmative vote, so to speak, with our Amen, but we are not the candidate nor did we run for election.

I have taught RCIA for about 9 years and am very thankful that our pastor always attends, so that if one of us "mis-speaks" he is able to get up and, with great care, mop up after us. We even joke about getting nervous when we see him taking notes while we are presenting. We immediately wonder what in heck we just said that was wrong.

December 11, 2008 12:52 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Oh yes, Cathy -- excellent post!!

December 11, 2008 12:55 PM  

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