Monday, May 3, 2010

Finally A Catholic Who Can Preach (Probably because he's an Convert)

"How careful we must be not to reduce the atonement to simply speaking about the obedience of Christ as it is shown to us in His life and in His death. We must not fall into that danger of thinking more of the example of Christ, than of His sacrifice. That’s something of a temptation for some -- to think that if we simply imitate Christ, then that’s enough. Now, certainly it is true, that all which He did and suffered for us is an example which is important to copy. But if this is all there is to the Catholic faith, then it’s difficult to see why Christ’s life of perfect obedience should have been crowned by a death so bitter -- and why such importance is attached to that death... We must cling to the fact that Christ is “the Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world,” and that by “the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all,” there was made “a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world.” As we groan over the evil that is within us, we know the need we have for a true atonement -— not just a good example, but some eternal, Godly and forceful healing of our broken lives which have been maimed and crippled by sin." - Fr. Christopher G. Phillips (

It seems like the only things we ever hear about in mass are: social justice, how awesome the Church is, abortion, and ethics... lots and lots and lots of ethics. But somewhere between the Moralism, ecclesiolatry, and Socialism, there is a glimmer of the gospel. Finally someone talking about Jesus, and not just Jesus as a great moral teacher, or a proto-marxist, but actually as the sacrifice for our sins. The reason God loves us. Our only mediator, saviour, and hope. Without Christ, Catholicism is just Aristotle for the people.

I went on 'pilgrimage' today to St. Joseph's Oratory, where Brother Andre resides, who will soon be canonized. The mass was a disgrace. I haven't been to an Anglican service less reverant. The priest made up half the liturgy, left out the profession of the creed, added extra musical numbers in random spots, and after the great amen after the consecration he decided to give a little speech about how nice the acoustics were in the room while our Lord sat on the altar.... Christ have mercy...

I'm so sick of Freewheeling liturgies like that. It makes me ashamed to be Catholic, I got almost visibly angry. But as the apostles said to our Lord, 'to whom shall we go?" Indeed there is nowhere outside the fold of Peter I know of with any certainty (I have alot of 'feelings' though).

Anyway, this Anglican use parish which had the above quoted sermon gives me hope, as well as the Book of Divine Worship, and the whole Anglican-Use and Anglican Ordinariate thing. I'm probably just biased, but to me, a homily should be about what God has done for us, before it can be at all about what we do for God. Otherwise we just become moralists. Kant could give us that without God. We need -as one Baptist said- to preach the bloody cross and the empty tomb. I think anyway... if I'm wrong and Catholicism does not agree, then I might have to go knocking on Rowan Williams' door, but I hope the Church that claims St. Augustine, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, and St. Thomas Aquinas, can begin to properly preach the gospel, or more specifically what Christ did "for us men and for our salvation", "according to the Scriptures" as the Creed says.

Here's a sign of hope for me: I need to find one of those churches...

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