Friday, November 11, 2011






For those school in the catehetics of coloring way back in the 1970's, '80's and even the 90's, more than likely cannot name the "Four Last Things."

They were schooled in the happy face, happy-go-lucky Jesus who would never judge them or send them to hell. Even death had a happy face for these "Easter" people for it was the way to instant sainthood. To heck with black vestments and requiem Masses, we celebrate and with great joy "Resurrection" Masses and wear white and are happy and joyful. We even sing at "Resurrection" Masses, "Joyful, joyful..." and "Alleluia!" No one wants to feel bad at a funeral since instant sainthood through the Resurrection Mass's canonization is all about happy face Catholicism!

I've read on some "catholic" blogs that if only the bishops would do this, or that and stop being an "all male, men's club" protecting their interests and forcing their authority on the rest of mankind, oops, I mean, peoplekind, that the world would be this smiley face, happy-go-lucky place that Vatican II ushered in until those godawful pre-Vatican II sad faced men wrestled back control of the church from the happy face theologians.

These happy faced theologians go so far as to insinuate or outright declare that the sex abuse scandal in the Church is all about the male hierarchy and thus exclusive to them. They even say that the method that has given us the corrected English translation of Mass is a part of a "monarchical" form of Catholicism that enables sex abuse and abuse of God's people! It must be toppled through grass roots movements similar to those who toppled the governments in Muslim nations. Such nonsense.

Of course they are dead wrong in their evaluations and "spirit" of Vatican II corrupted thinking. There is a woman Episcopal bishop in a very high place who is being questioned about something in her Church that she approved that sounds awfully male dominated to me!

Of course these happy face theologians fail to call on the carpet academic institutions that do the very same thing. In fact I would say that today, academics enjoy the privileges of being academics in a "clerical" way that makes the "clericalism" of priesthood look like small potatoes. And just to name one, can you spell "Penn State?"

Can you spell "public schools?" Can you spell the "nuclear family?" Can you spell "scouting?" Can you spell any institution where children are involved? Evidently, these smiley face catholic "theologians" must have been coloring through spelling!

So let's have a healthy dose of DEATH, JUDGEMENT, HEAVEN AND HELL!

Death is in the here and now and all of us will experience it, some happily so, others in the most grisly way possible! Macon, Georgia learned that this summer. Death is here and now.

Judgement is here and now too. Each time we go to confession, we are judged and called to die to sin and live for Christ. Christ judges us, our sincerity in repentance, offers us a punishment (penance) (since purgatory is here and now too) and then forgives and reconciles us to Himself and His Church, which is like heaven on earth when this happens sacramentally.

But also think about the Last Judgement for traces of it are being experienced on a more cosmic level also in the here and now. The sex abuse scandal in the Church, at Penn State, in public schools, scouting and yes in the nuclear family is being exposed in a way that would have be unthinkable even 40 years ago.

Isn't the Last Judgement meant to do the same thing, every thing will be exposed and all secrets revealed as well as all good deeds and not only will individuals be judged, but the world as a whole will be judged and all her institutions? It won't be a pretty picture either. Those who have done evil and have been unrepentant will go to hell forever with their resurrected bodies and those who have done good and repented in Christ will go to heaven with their resurrected bodies. You know what? That scares the hell out of me! I wonder how many "happy face" Catholics who were taught coloring book Catholicism know this? How do they make sense out the horrible scandals of sex abuse in the Church and elsewhere and its public exposure in the media?

Heaven of course begins in the here and now too. When God initiates us into His Church through Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion. When God heals us in the Sacraments of Penance and Anointing of the Sick, when God shows us His spousal relationship with us in the Church, with us as the Bride of Christ and a part of His Glorified Body and He has our Bridegroom and Head. And heaven is on earth through the ministry of those men who receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders and continue the "ministry of Jesus Christ" in sacramental ways, especially at Holy Mass as the eternal event of the Sacrifice of the Cross that is re-presented in an unbloody way at every Mass and where Christ is truly and substantially present in the sacramental Food of Bread and Wine whereby when we receive Him worthily, He does not become a part of us, but He continues to make us a part of Him through His Body the Church which is also the His bride.

Heaven is on earth when we know God's unconditional love for us and His sanctifying grace through Holy Baptism and actual grace through other means enables us to love God in return with our entire being and our neighbor as ourselves.

Hell is in the here and now too, when we refuse God's gift of unconditional love, do not participate in the gift of grace given us nor make any attempt to unwrap it in our lives and we live in the opposite manner that Jesus teaches as revealed by the Magisterium of the the living Church, Sacred Scripture and Tradition. Hell is chasing God out of our lives and living as though He does not exist and being perfectly content with that--that's hell and that begins in the here and now and looms as a very real possibility for those content enough with this for an eternity!

But make no mistake about it, if someone is in hell, God has made no mistake in allowing them to be there for an eternity. They truly deserve it beyond a shadow of a doubt. But the good thing is that those in heaven, even those harmed horribly by those in hell, will nonetheless be fully reconciled to them and love them as God loves them although those in hell deservedly spend an eternity in hell. Those in hell don't love anyone including God and love that just perfectly. They love hell perfectly and are pleasured by being there as they were pleasured by their mortal sins and lifestyle here and now. Think about it!

Folks, this isn't coloring book Catholicism, but it is the truth of Catholicism. Do we fear the harsh aspects of our faith and the looming possibilities? This is the truth of the Last Judgement, not in coloring book, happy face style, but in powerful mosaic:


Seeker said...

That Shrine is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. When I saw that mosaic, it definitely caught my attention and strenghten my resolve to live out my Catholic idenity. Great post Father.

Ave Verum said...

Love the last picture! In the year 2000 a humble parish priest sponsored a pilgrimage to this awe-inspiring site, the Basilica of the National Shrine. Dominating the North Apse of the Great Upper Church is the Byzantine style mosaic of the Pantocrator "Christ in Majesty". It is one of the largest mosaic images of Jesus Christ in the world and contains more than 4000 shades and colors. It throws you to the floor on your face. Do not fail to "pilgrim" to this site if you have the chance...

Anonymous said...

It matches the old hymns, too:

"Waked by the trumpet's sound
I from my grave shall rise
And see the Judge with glory crowned
And see the flaming skies" - IDUMEA


Rood Screen said...

Some seem to think the Church is just another civic group like Rotary International or the Lions Club. I suspect a kind of reluctant atheism is behind it all, prompting those who fear there is no God to force a purely secular meaning onto the Church which keeps her "relevant" as a community-building and charitable-giving organization, even if God doesn't exist. I don't know how else to explain the novelties you mention or such losses as ad orientem and kneeling for Communion.

Anonymous said...

We affectionately referred to that image of Christ as the "Tarzan Jesus." While I think the exterior of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (WHEW! Who wrote that title? It's very Liturgiam Authenticam-sounding) the interior disappoints my tastes. De gustibus...

Build a BEAUTIFUL church on this spot...

Gene said...

Fr. Shelton, I think you have pretty well captured it.

Anonymous said...

Remind me not to come to supper at the rectory if you are serving ratatouille...

Pater Ignotus said...

Two very good books on the evolution of Jesus in popular thought:

Jesus Through the Centuries, by Jaroslav Pelikan
American Jesus: How the Son of God Became a National Icon, by Stephen Prothero.

Prothero's work gives an excellent overview of how we, in these United States, have thought about Jesus through our few centuries. I recall one of his comments: One hundred years after "Sinners in the hand of an angry God," the most popular Protestant hymn was "What a Friend We Have in Jesus."

Mr. C said...

As I'm sure that no small portion of this post was fueled by what reasonable folks would deem the inanity and insanity that the PTB regulars would have the world believe constitutes the Roman Catholic Church. If Fr. Barron is a clerical Neville Chamberlain, then I am the anti-Christ.
It is such a temptation to want to hop on the Harley and ride full tilt towards Macon, even to just sing in yer quire (know the Faure in m' sleep.)
C'est la vie.
I want to thank you for keeping a dedicated and faithful presence in PTB's comboxes. Another tempatation I know I suffer is the frustration of wanting to brush its dust off my sandals. But, in John Lennon-speak, "they are we and we are all together, goo goo ga joob.
If you're ever in Central California, please note that in SOrders.

Carol H. said...

When I lived in Dayton, Ohio, my parish priest said that if anyone truely understood how horrible the effects of their sins were, they would never commit any. He then went on to say that this proves our ignorance and therefore mortal sin is impossible. Nobody commits mortal sin, so everyone will go to heaven.
He then began a building renovation campaign, removed the tabernacle from front and center and hid it behind a glass block wall, and removed the pews-replacing them with interlocking chairs. He said the church should resemble a tea-house, and feel empty when no people are inside. He told us that we were no longer allowed to kneel for the consecration, and that we had to stand for all of the kneeling parts- even after receiving communion.
I thank God for EWTN because they educated me in the true faith. My family left that parish and found one that preached the truth.
Please pray for the ignorant victims who fall prey to false teaching, and also for the false teachers, that Christ shine his light upon them so they see their errors. Maybe if they receive this grace they, like St Paul, will spend the rest of their lives proclaiming the true gospel.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Charles, there have many times I have felt like avoiding PTB like the plague, but as I was schooled in the 1970's in so much of the nonsense I read there I keep going back as though it is some kind of comforting time warp for me although as you might tell, I've moved on. But I get nostalgic at times!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Carol, it is one thing when the Church decides how we should comport ourselves at Mass and when a priest decides it for his congregation. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal for the USA is quite clear about kneeling. I would protest with my feet and go to another parish too if a particular pastor decided that everyone should stand (although in the 1970's that is what my seminary did and I was too naive to ask to go to another seminary as I though my seminary knew the future--their supposed clairvoyance almost shut them down and they still hang on today by a little more than a thread.

Gene said...

It is really only a short step,theologically, from "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" to the neo-protestant "universal salvation" of Carol's misguided and heretical pastor. The protestant (and post Vat II for some Catholics) view of sin, embodied in its purest form in Calvin's doctrine of "Total Depravity," was intended to emphasize the overpowering triumph of Christ's Grace. The blacker and more hopeless our sinfulness, all the more marvelous is Christ's mercy. Only the terrible Sovreignty of a wrathful God is powerful enough, through the loving and redeeming Son, to save sinners in bondage to the power of evil. This, of course, leads to Calvin's doctrines of "Unconditional Salvation and Irresistable Grace;" God must do it all...we can do nothing because we are so mired in sin there is nothing left of God's Image in us.
There is no distinction, in Protestantism, between venial and mortal sin; theologically, stealing a piece of bubble gum is as much a stain on God's Holiness as murder. All sin, however small, is a violation of the Righteousness of God. So, the logic of such thinking leads, ultimately, to just the kind of mentality Carol is reacting to in her Priest...universalism. (Calvin, perhaps seeing this coming, could only avoid it with his misunderstood and extreme view of Predestination.)
Interestingly, this theology of Universalism plays right into the hands of the secular, egalitarian mindset and is what has led to such things as trying to normalize homosexuality and gay marriage, defending abortion, cultural and moral "equivalence," and a hatred for authoritarianism and traditionalism in any form...especially something as outrageous as the EF and all it implies theologically. This is a part of the reason I became a Catholic; the fruits of Protestantism are a clear indication of its error and continuing degeneration. We cannot allow this to happen in the Catholic Church...God will not allow it as long as we are faithful. Go to Confession! Go to Mass! Christ have mercy!

Anonymous said...

Go to confession! Go to mass!

Physician, heal thyself.

Gene said...

Ignotus, Hey, Priest...forgiven any sins lately. You seem to have missed the "Christ have mercy" part of that sequence. LOL! BTW, You are perseverating...