19 October 2013

Our Holy Father on ideology...reportedly

Pope Francis is at it again...I got this from Fr. Z's blog...who stole a piece from here

Here is something that the Pope said:
It is, he said, “the image of those Christians who have the key in their hand, but take it away, without opening the door,” and who “keep the door closed.”
Asking those present how a Christian is able to fall into this attitude, the Pope reflected that “The faith passes, so to speak, through a distiller and becomes ideology. Andideology does not beckon (people).”
Noting that it is a “lack of Christian witness does this,” he stressed that “when this Christian is a priest, a bishop or a Pope it is worse.”
“When a Christian becomes a disciple of ideology,” urged the Pope, “he has lost the faith: he is no longer a disciple of Jesus, he is a disciple of this attitude of thought,” and “the knowledge of Jesus is transformed into an ideological and also moralistic knowledge.
Ideology frightens, ideology chases away the people,” he stressed, stating that it is because of this that many are distanced from the Church.
“It is a serious illness, this Christian ideology. It is an illness, but it is not new,” he said, recalling how the Apostle John alludes to this mentality in his first letter.
Pope Francis then emphasized that the attitude of those who lose their faith in preference of personal ideologies is “rigid, moralistic, ethical, but without kindness.
“But why is it that a Christian can become like this? Just one thing: this Christian does not pray. And if there is no prayer, you always close the door.”
“The key that opens the door to the faith,” the Pope noted, “is prayer,” and “when a Christian does not pray, this happens. And his witness is an arrogant witness.”
The Christian who does not pray, urged the Pope, is “arrogant, is proud, is sure of himself. He is not humble. He seeks his own advancement…when a Christian prays, he is not far from the faith; he speaks with Jesus.”
When we pray, the Pope reflected, Jesus tells us to “go into your room and pray to the Father in secret, heart to heart,” because “It is one thing to pray, and another thing to say prayers.”
Those who do not pray abandon the faith, stressed the Pope, and allow it to become a “moralistic, casuistic ideology, without Jesus.”
Anyone have an idea of what's going on? I most certainly don't...nor am I going to try to interpret this...however, I am going to say this:

1. As a teacher, I agree with the axiom that, we're supposed to teach students how to think, not what to think. That said, one can not understand how to approach a problem, if one does not have a clear understanding of definitions and laws from which to form a thinking process. Hence I do not agree that the Holy Father is doing the same thing as a teacher.

Eg: When I teach Newton's Laws of motion, in particular the 2nd Law of motion. I do 3 things:
1. State the law
2. show the consequences, conditions, etc.
3. Give them a chance to come to a conclusion

From the above, they have the opportunity to be able to apply and think for themselves in various situations. It is important for students to understand what they are doing, before they attempt to apply it. Without guidance people become lost and very frustrated. To extend this to what has been going on, this is the frustration when people do not say what they mean in the first place. The ambiguity leaves everyone very frustrated and no direction as to where to go with the comments that are mentioned.

 2. Most certainly everything that we do as Catholics should come from our love for Our Lord, however, that said, that is the perfect, the ideal so to speak, the fact that we follow the laws even if it's from a sense of justice or obedience as well as rigidity shouldn't be so condemned as people are trying. The perfect should never be an enemy of the good, insofar as we're capable. It is of course one thing to criticize when one has the ability to follow the law and forcefully refuses....Hence why the Liturgical abuse by the Holy Father on Holy Thursday was such a big deal...The law explicitly states "men" are to have their feet washed (viri). There was a means to have that law followed at a prison (the women could have been excluded), yet the law was willingly disobeyed. It doesn't matter if it was a pastoral situation or what not.  (Had the feet been washed outside of Mass, again, it wouldn't have been an issue...as there is no law on this practice outside of Mass)...Some might call that rigidity, but hey the laws are there for a reason are they not? If one doesn't like it, change the law...seeing since the foot washing is not a matter of Divine Precept, it can surely be changed. But following the law out of the fact that the law is x is not evil or horrible in of itself.

3. People may very well be repulsed by how we approach x, y or z, but since when is their interpretation of our approach of our concern? We do not control what others think, they are their own individual, (for better or for worse).  The only thing that is within our power is correcting errors where they are perceived. (For example, we Catholics do not worship the Saints, or Force is not defined as mass times acceleration). We can't force them to accept the correction of the error when we point this error out. They are free once they've heard the correction to accept it, or reject it (again, for better or for worse). Errors do not have rights, most certainly, but we do not coerce people into correction, we point them in the right direction. They still have to make the decision. Those that reject the Truth, don't reject the Truth because they don't know, or it "wasn't presented lovingly enough," they reject it because of their own free will, that God has granted us with. As the old saying goes, one can lead a horse to water, but one can't make it drink.

4. While it is most certainly possible for an intellectual idolatry to form, where one relies too much on their intellect rather than faith, does not mean that everyone will fall to this trap or form. We have intellects for a reason folks, we should use them, and there are things that are beyond capability of reason (Faith in the Trinity for example) and those thing that are beyond our reason, we need to be able to recognize and act accordingly. Prayers can certainly become habitual, but isn't habitual a good thing in the sense that one has engrained in one's memory prayers...even if the "feeling" is absent. The grace of consolation will not always be present when praying, or even feeling when we pray. Emotion and feelings are not necessary to pray...otherwise I'm sure the vast majority of us are screwed. I get little to no emotion from Mass/Divine Liturgy, and most certainly not when chanting various prayers. ...while there certainly is a difference between saying prayers and praying..."who are we to judge" when this is the case? Again, emotion is not a guarantee in the life of a Christian...

We need to pray for Our Holy Father...Pax Vobis

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