Tuesday, September 27, 2005

More Catholic than the Pope

I admit it- I'm an Internet addict. When I get up in the morning I take care of business and then jump on the computer, check my e-mail, see if anyone has checked out the blog lately, and then hit the forums/message boards. Then check my mail again. Then check the forums again. What can I say, I'm pathetic :)

Now that I'm Catholic again I have been hitting the Catholic forums. Interesting breed, religious forums. A medium that should bring people together around a common faith is generally used to insult others and nitpick over the stupidest stuff. If you like modern Catholic hymnody, Marty Haugen, Glory and Praise, etc., I can guaran-dang-tee you that you are now being ripped to shreds at Karl Keating's forum, with no mercy shown. Is the slightest bit of vocal inflection by a lector at Mass acceptable, or should they act as if they are reading the phone book? The answer is here. And God have mercy on your soul if you are a part of Life Teen or the charismatic movement.

There are battles that need to be fought; there are hills that need to be defended; there are truths that we need to be willing to die for. A woman desiring to wear a veil at Mass isn't one of those hills. If she is doing so out of a desire to honor her God, then she deserves praise, not scorn. People on some of these forums are only too willing to take the adversarial position on any issue that arises. They are also more than willing to tell you when you are violating the rules, no matter how obscure such a rule may be. They will take a bullet for Pope Benedict XVI, unless he criticizes the Iraq war or capital punishment, then of course he is only speaking as a private theologian who doesn't understand the nuances of American politics. The Pope wants to issue a universal indult to widen the permission given to celebrate the Tridentine Mass? By golly we need to listen to him- he's the Pope! The Pope approves of the existence of the charismatic movement? Well, you know, his infallibilty isn't an issue here, he could be mistaken on this... and the hemming and hawing goes on.

We need to choose our battles, folks. And when we engage in the battles we choose, let's remember that we are not spiritual terrorists whose aim is simply to bomb and destroy. Our discussions of the truths of the Catholic faith should be done boldly, with fervor, but with charity as well. The Mass is a truth to be defended at all costs. If someone chooses to wear or not wear a veil, that's between them and God.

Let's not get more Catholic than the Pope here.


Blogger jdobbs said...

Hi. I wanted to share how I dealt with many of the issues. For better or worse, I wrote a book called The New Springtime, which deals with the liturgical changes following the Second Vatican Council, set as a novel. I have received many compliments, and there is a surprise ending you don't want to miss. I hope you'll enjoy it. Here is the URL. www.angelqueen.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3064 . I hope you enjoy it.

11:55 AM  
Blogger jdobbs said...

The URL includes t=3064.

11:56 AM  
Blogger onionboy said...

Hello, my name is Owen and I am an Internet junky too. :) And, as you know, I am on my way to becoming Catholic and the Internet continues to be a great resource for me. However, forums are something I stay f-a-a-r away from. This artist with a soul-gardener's manner just finds forums to be populated by the same people regardless of the nature of the forum. Home to vociferous, my way or the high way, diatribes with monologues thinly veiled as dialouge and or, for shame, conversations. Nah, don't have the stomache for it.

On the other hand, my advanced RCIA sessions, like the one I just came back from, are rich; rich in teaching, rich in friendship and in actual face to face relationship.

Ah, well, at first I thought I had nothing to say on the matter and, I was right.

10:39 PM  

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