Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Who Cares?

People these days need to stop equating the Church to merely a physical building, and instead see it as the unblemished, indefectible Mystical Body of Christ. Some of these people include those who identify as Catholics - they profess to be Catholic but openly reject a Church teaching. You know the teachings I'm talking about: Same-Sex "Marriage," Contraception, Abortion. But in declaring that they are Catholic, and yet refusing to learn about an infallible dogma of the Church, these people show that they hugely misunderstand who and what the Church is. They'll say that they believe in Christ. Well, what did Christ say? "The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you everything" (John 14:26). What else did Christ say? To his apostles, "whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me, and rejects the one who sent me" (Luke 10:16). And then just to Peter, "On this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18). And again to His apostles, just for kicks: "When the Spirit of Truth comes, He will lead you into all the Truth" (John 16:13).

The point is, Christ promised his Apostles that the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, would safeguard the Church until the end of time. The Holy Spirit prevents the Church from teaching errors of faith or morals. And let's not forget that the Holy Spirit is God. So when a Catholic says "actually no, I think the Church is wrong about marriage being only between a man and a woman," they're not just saying the Church is wrong. They're saying God is wrong. The phrase that begins, "I'm Catholic, but there's a dogma I just disagree with..." deserves a firm smack upside the head.

courtesy of @CatholicWonka
If people have this lofty idea that they know better than God and the Church when it comes to the huge, public, media-blown issues, then they've set themselves up for a big fall. Because if the Church is wrong on the huge issues, then why can't the Church be wrong on the smaller ones? Like the ones that have to do with Mass.

I knew that'd get your attention. (No, I'm not saying that the mass is insignificant; I'm fully aware that another thing Christ said was, "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you" (John 6:53). It's because of this that the Church says that the Eucharist is the "source and summit of the Christian life" (CCC 1324)). But what I am referring to are the things that happen in Mass that people use as reasons to not attend. There's the lazy excuse, where people just don't "feel like" getting off out of their beds on a Sunday so they can sit in a hard pew. There's the music excuse, where people say that they don't appreciate the music or that the choir sucks. There's the priest excuse, where people say that the priest gives poor homilies and so they don't get anything out of the Mass.

um. HELLO. IT'S THE MASS. I know that everything that happens in mass, and everything revolving around the mass, should serve a purpose. Music should aid people in meditating and praying to God, a priest's homily should help to open up the scriptures, etc. But all of these things should be a means to an end, not the end itself. And if a priest is doing a poor job and giving homilies, or if the choir is absolutely horrific, it should be fixed. These things can be distracting during Mass. The Church has written all kinds of documents, popes have written all kinds of encyclicals, directing these facets of the Mass towards an end. But what end? If the only reason you want a particular kind of music is so that you have something nice to hum during the Eucharistic prayer, then you're missing the point. Seriously - who cares? The objective reality - and this is the end that should be aimed for - is that at every mass, there is the Eucharist, and at every Mass, you have an opportunity to consume God, so that He can consume You. You owe it to yourself to be in a state of Grace, or go to Confession if you aren't, and receive Christ into your being. Then in faith, perhaps you could help to improve things at the parish, and not simply jump ship. I repeat: The Church teaches that the Mass - the Celebration of the Eucharist - is the "summit of the Christian Life." 'Summit' means 'top.' The highest point. Listen! 

It's ironic that people find all these reasons to miss Mass, to miss out on the Eucharist, when consuming Christ would be the #1 cure to those lame excuses and propel them to a more active life in the Church. Christ always draws Men to Himself, and people need to stop resisting Him and His Truths which He has revealed through the Church. It's all Pride. So often, we think we know better than the Bride of the Lamb. And from this pride comes nothing but unhappiness and disobedience, causing rifts between us and the Mass, and us and the Church. If for one second, we were able to totally forget our ego and instead put all of our faith in the Church that God Himself built for us, we'd reach new levels of wisdom, understanding, and peace. Our pride that causes us to disobey the Church can be done away with, simply by coming to the humility that Christ has in the Eucharist. Who cares about all the other stuff. 

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