Sunday, April 15, 2007

My Catholic identity

For those regulars to my blog, it is no secret that I am a traditionalist. I've made some very common and good news type entries that have turned bad because people have been judgemental of my decisions on where I go to church, how, why and other things out of the blue. If you are new to my blog and don't understand why I am harsh on liberal Catholicism, let me explain why.
I had a dose of completely empty and false teaching on the Catholic faith as a child. The 70's were a difficult time to be growing up Catholic. Most of my peers have lost their faith, went to a "feel good" church somewhere or remain some form of cafeteria Catholic. I was a die hard, feminist, pro-abort, blatant sinner and full of bitterness over what my life had become. I had absolutely no faith. Through the grace of God, I was given a second chance when I lived in Taiwan. I was near death and promised God that if he gave me another chance I would seek the truth, not knowing where it would lead. I spent a lot of time searching the Mormon faith, coming up empty, wondering where the truth could be found. After a year of this, I found my Catholic faith and every year I search out things that I did not receive as a child. Most of the things bring tears to my eyes because it saddens me that I was robbed of authentic Catholic teaching, sacraments and worship. When I see my children at Mass, I see myself all those years ago and wonder what they are taking in, how they are perceiving what is being taught and what they are getting from their church and school. I realize most parents do not care. I am responsible for the souls of my family, including my husband. If I lead them astray, knowingly, it is my fault.

There have been events that have happened to my family that I have not put on my blog because they are tragic and personal but they have been hard to deal with alone. It is hard enough to raise a family when I work full time but I also have 2 autistic boys and other than my parents, no support at all. None. If you are familiar with the mind of an autistic child, they can't handle straying too far from what they know or routine. My son loves his faith so much he has talked of wanting to be a priest. I don't know if his disability will effect this desire and I tell him to pray for God's will. He wants to know why the church is changing and he gets breathing problems sometimes before Mass. It is hard to comfort him and know how to make things better.
I've had comments lately judging my decision to attend a local Tridentine Mass with my family, why I am not loyal to my parish and other things from mostly Anonymous comments. If you don't understand a non-liberal form of Catholicism, why not try to find out why people of my generation and younger are craving the holy and sacred instead of pointing fingers. Many of the songs in our typical local parishes contain heresy. If they don't they are dumbed-down and just bad. Singing songs with no mention of God or Christ do not belong in a Mass. Singing as if we ARE God or Christ is flip and irreverent. Music in the Mass should sound different from a local easy listening radio station. That is my opinion, it's not going to change.
While those of us traditional Catholics in this diocese are scattered and frustrated, I do wonder how and when change will occur. Souls are being lost. Faith is being questioned. I have seen it from people in my immediate community and family. I can't help but have righteous anger over what I see happening. This is not a matter of a change of a word or a hymn, if it were, I could deal. I see a complete return to the banal and empty church of my youth and that is a place I will not visit.
So while I appreciate people taking the interest in what I write and my opinions, please realize I am also writing with restraint and my current situation saddens me immensely. There are truths that I don't believe belong online. I will say, for those not familiar with the Covington diocese, the majority of parishes are liberal. The problem in our diocese is there is no parish that could be considered completely orthodox or traditional. When my family is considering moving just to get out of the diocese, things are bad. I pray for our priests, I pray for our bishop, I realize they have a very tough job and have been entrusted with many souls. I do not attend my church or parish for networking, to make friends, to join groups or to be entertained. I think many people go to church for these reasons, not just Catholics. So when you judge the things that are important to me, know that I have good reason(and I am not alone).
The Mass alone, done with sacredness and reverence, is enough to build the Church. All of the other wonderful things about being Catholic flow from this celebration of the Eucharist.
I felt I needed to post this because of people wanting me to comment on heresy, hymns, orthodoxy and the like. It is not appropriate and I have had to delete a post that was simply wishing a blessed Easter because I did not want to "out" problems of a personal and local nature.

I love my faith, I work hard to keep on the correct path and have to keep my family on that path with me. I pray for our seminarians, the hope of our diocese and the future. If God wills it, like Solanus Casey, maybe one of my boys will one day have a religious calling. Thank you for letting me share my story.

4 comments:

Jacob S said...

Very good, thorn. It is truly hard to restrain one self anymore. I wonder if my posts sometimes are a little too much, but I trust that God wants me to write what I write. Please, continue to pray. We must all bear a cross in our lives, and for us traditional Catholics, it is the cross of seeing Holy Mother Church being profaned by those who call themselves Catholic. Everyone, please pray for all seminarians currently trying to get through seminary with their orthodoxy intact. There are so many guys here with me who question whether they should go join a traditional order or fight to bring orthodoxy to their dioceses. I am actually arguing and praying about that now. Remember, though, that Christ triumphed over death through His Resurrection. Christ will be the ultimate victor, not these pseudo-Catholics or the devil who influences them.

a thorn in the pew said...

Thank you, Jacob. There is a fine line and I sometimes need to pray before I post that I post truth, but in that truth, build up or correct wrongs. It is getting harder and I realize that I have to temper my quest for truth with prudence. One day I may get the hang of it.
Interestingly, Fr. Fitzgerald touched on "psuedo-Catholism" in his homily today in reference to Thomas. If no one stood for truth during the Arian controversy, we would not be were we are as a Church today. I want to make sure I am on the side of truth in the end, as I promised God. I loved what you said on your blog about carrying the cross. I can now picture myself carrying this and knocking out a few liberals singing "On Eagle's WIngs" as it gets heavier. It would be an accident, of course. ;)

Anonymous said...

Dear Thorn, I read your blog on a daily basis, but have never commented before. Your commentary today prompted me to respond. I, too, had a conversion many years ago, and after much praying and seeking the truth of the Catholic church, I now consider myself a Traditional Catholic. It is so difficult to find a church in the Covington Diocese that is truly Traditional. Many of the priests wish to put their own stamp on the Mass by changing and/or adding to the Sacred Liturgy. Most of the music is by no means "sacred". Why is it that most of the priests try to please the liberals? Church to them is more of a "social event". I go to Mass daily and I pray for our priests and religious that they will seek and find the truth, but above all they will follow the Magesterium. Our Catholic Church did not survive for 2,000 years by liberal priests "doing their own thing". Also, please let Jacob know that I am praying for him and for all our seminarians -- they are our hope and our future!!! Thanks for your blog, Thorn, and thanks for the Truth! Terri

Sara said...

Thorn,
While I am not Catholic I applaud your lack of hypocrisy and apathy. So many people pick and choose what they want to believe or follow from their particular religions - it's like they are at a salad bar. While we have different beliefs we both share a love of the bible, learning, and adhering to the laws that God has set forth for all of us to follow.