Question for top Catholic Church clerics: Why the obsession with all things “pastoral”?

pastoral

by Doug Lawrence

From the sound of things, a person might get the impression that no one in the Catholic Church, prior to 1965, knew anything at all about the proper care and guidance of souls. Of course, that is totally wrong!

The real issue is how the Catholic Church should continue to conduct itself, going forward – whether the church should be IN the world but not OF the world: “If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”
(John 15:19)

Or whether the Church should “knuckle under” to the influences of the world, the flesh and the devil: “Having an appearance indeed of godliness but denying the power thereof…” (2 Timothy 3:5)

The Definition of PASTORAL – from the Merriam Webster On-line Dictionary:

: of or relating to the spiritual care or guidance of people
who are members of a religious group

: of or relating to the pastor of a church

Being “pastoral” is not rocket science. The Catholic Church has been blessed with many generations of great pastors. Being pastoral is nothing new. So what are these “obsessively pastoral” modernist clerics trying to say?

In a recent interview, the new head of the USCCB, Archbishop  Joseph Kurtz made the following comments:

Francis’ “primary word is mercy,” said the archbishop, and this emphasis on mercy comes from a deep awareness of his own shortcomings and imperfections. His humility is also the fruit of this awareness, and Archbishop Kurtz identified the pope’s genuine humility as being key to his widespread popularity: “It’s holy and it’s very beautiful. But it’s also very engaging … He seems to remind people of Jesus.”

Throughout our conversation, Archbishop Kurtz kept returning to one particular facet of Pope Francis’ message that appears to have resonated deeply within him: the importance of “accompanying the person.” Pope Francis does not call us to ignore sin entirely… 

Isn’t that special! 

stjohnmaryvianney

Saint John Vianney, Master Pastor and Patron of Priests,
please pray for the men who presently lead our church.

The deliberately ambiguous language inserted into various Vatican II documents infects the Church just like malware and viruses infect a computer.

vatbugs

by Doug Lawrence

The ambiguous language inserted into various Vatican II documents provides more than ample room for errant interpretations of divine truth, inducing many to follow the world, the flesh and the devil, rather than Jesus Christ and the authentic teachings of his Catholic Church.

And as is often the case with computer malware, many who are infected have no idea that anything out of the ordinary is actually occurring.

Hence, anything produced  much after 1950 (bibles, catechisms, books, pamphlets, liturgies, school curricula,  religious art … even the design of churches)  should be the subject of intense scrutiny by faithful Catholics … whether such things are accompanied by a bishop/pope’s imprimatur … or not.

Not surprisingly, religious art and architecture produced during the same period typically suffers from a similar lack of beauty and divine truth.

The only sure “cure” for such a faith malady
is a return to the unadulterated truth
of earlier church documents and practices,
which were not subject
to these types of liberal, modernist flaws. 

This is not to say that everything produced by the Catholic Church after 1950 is in error. It’s not. But it’s hard for most people to know what’s true and what’s not. So be careful, give everything it’s due diligence … including the personal opinions of priests and bishops … and don’t forget to worship, receive the sacraments, study and pray.

Otherwise, you may be all too easily deceived.

A reliable “touchstone” that would be very useful for the identification, illumination and verification of authentic Catholic truth would be the documents of the Council of Trent.

Vatican II Documents

Council of Trent Documents

Note to media: The Church exists to make the world more like the Kingdom of God. It has nothing to learn from you.

devilcolor

You’re offended because in every one of the instances you cite, the Church behaved like the world instead of the Church.  You’re absolutely right to be offended too, because it’s the Church’s job to look as little like the world as possible so that we can tweak your conscience, make you think twice, get under your skin.

We MUST be different because we, quite literally, are called to irritate the hell out of the world.

The more the Church does any of the things you want it to do, the less it functions as Church and the more it becomes some benign social club.  But be honest.  You’d love that wouldn’t you?  Because you’re tired of the Church making you think twice about questions you can barely stand to think once about.

Read more from Dr. Greg

Spiritual weapons to overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil, by the grace of God.

Jesus Knows

The word of God teaches us that our life on earth is warfare and the Lord reminds us that if we have decided to follow the Lord we must be prepared for combat. The Sacrament of Confirmation strengthens the Gifts of the Holy Spirit within our souls and transforms us into “Soldiers of Christ” the King. With the “Cristero” martyrs of Mexico our battle cry must be “Viva Cristo Rey!”—long live Christ the King.

An important note! The devil exists, has keen intelligence (in a perverted way), is exceedingly sly and crafty, and is constantly at work and persistent in his work— temptations. However, God, Mary, His angels and saints are far more powerful than the devil!

Two extremes must be avoided with respect to the devil. These were warnings given by the Servant of God Pope Paul VI. The first extreme to avoid is to deny that the devil exists. Indeed this is one of the tactics of the devil. On the other hand, we should never give the devil too much importance. Individuals, fearful alarmists, speak more of the power of the devil than of the Omnipotence of God Himself. Let us avoid the two extremes!

Read more

Related article

We’re all called to stand up for human life … for the truth … and for what’s right and good.


(Click on picture to enlarge)

by Doug Lawrence

The biblical account of the creation of man duly records the fact that the entire human race is derived from a single, original couple … and when that first couple united in one flesh… the first child was conceived.

Like every child ever since, there was never any real doubt as to precisely who or what a child is. It is a newly minted human life … begotten of 100% human stuff … stuff that was originally derived from Adam and Eve … according to the God-given power of procreation.

Thousands of years later, nothing has really changed. Most importantly, neither has the character and consistency of human life. Every new life bridges the gap between one generation and the next … extending the human race … and every new life explicitly begins at the moment of conception … no matter how some people, in order to suit their own ends … might attempt to redefine the terms involved.

The Bible also clearly records God’s main purpose for humanity:

“So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that move upon the earth.

And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which [is] upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which [is] the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creep upon the earth, wherein [there is] life, [I have given] every green herb for meat: and it was so.

And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, [it was] very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” (Genesis 1:27-31)

So … God blessed man by giving him the ability to bear offspring (procreate) … and by giving him dominion over all of the substantial resources to be found on the earth … in order to nourish, shelter, and otherwise accommodate all who would eventually come to be.

The plan was a good one, and it still is. Unfortunately, many have other ideas about how things should be done, and they prefer instead, for whatever reasons, to pursue disordered and sinful lifestyles that are in direct opposition to God’s will.

World governments also used to be guided by God’s express instructions, as clearly stated in the Bible, and faithfully interpreted by the Catholic Church. But those days too, are long gone.

Today, the secular courts make government policy, while increasingly embattled and divided legislatures are unable (or unwilling) to come together and stand on their own, in order to meet judicial challenges.

The result is a literal death spiral … with governments going financially bankrupt, while their citizens are increasingly lulled into the spiritual bankruptcy of godless lifestyles … all under the guise of expanded personal freedom and liberty.

The process of corruption greatly accelerated in the aftermath of Vatican II, when wholesale apostasy within the church unfortunately coincided with a similarly undisciplined social revolution taking place in the world’s great institutions … and on the streets.

The Catholic Church, which was supposed to be the divine bulwark that kept the forces of the world, the flesh, and the devil, at bay … instead turned out to be “missing in action” for one of the most important spiritual battles in the history of the world!

The combined death toll from abortion and AIDS can easily be counted. It is absolutely staggering … and still mounting …. yet the Catholic Church continues to speak with a weak voice, split almost down the middle between the protestantized “social justice” types and traditional, sacramental Catholics.

Worse yet is that both sides together (if such a thing is actually possible) based on their visible participation at Sunday Mass, make up only about ten percent of those who are actually counted today as Catholic … perhaps 100 million out of an estimated 1.1 billion.

The rest are AWOL (absent without leave), MIA (missing in action), or they have simply left the church without telling anyone.

The bottom line: We no longer have enough active, properly trained, fully informed and equipped Catholics in the world, to get the job done.

And the devil knows it!

So … faced with 39 years of generally unrestricted world-wide abortion deaths, numbering in the hundreds of millions … and 50 years of general apostasy and corruption so widespread that few even care anymore … what are faithful Catholics to do?

Here’s a plan that can’t fail:

1) Start by making a good confession, in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. If it has been so long that you no longer remember how, simply tell that to the priest and he’ll walk you through the various steps. This will “clear the decks” and permit you to cast off any and every type of past sin. It will also fill your soul with God’s grace, in order to give the Holy Spirit some “room” to work.

2) Get to Mass. The Sunday Mass obligation has never been rescinded. And there’s absolutely nothing to prevent your attendance at a weekday mass, or two.

The Mass is the universal prayer of the whole Church, and it is also a solemn renewal of the one time, once for all, perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ, on the cross. Our participation at Mass confirms our distinct identity as Catholics, and it also serves as a major channel of God’s grace, which typically helps empower us to discern … and then (hopefully) carry out … God’s will … according to his plan. Successfully accomplishing that is about as good as it gets … this side of Heaven!

3) If there’s any impediment to your receiving Holy Communion … do whatever is necessary to remove it. You are what you eat, and without the right spiritual food, you’re likely to be quickly vanquished by the enemy. Additionally, the Holy Eucharist … worthily received … remains the only known antidote to eternal death and hell.

4) Pray several times a day, every day. Pray at regular, set times. Pray at regular, specific places. Pray for specific purposes. Pray for the people and institutions you love. Pray for the conversion of your enemies. Pray in order to give thanks and praise to God. Pray to ask God for favors. Pray to ask God for forgiveness (but be sure to get to confession promptly, in the event of mortal sin.)

Prayer is the way we officially give God permission
to interfere in our lives … for good.

5) Team up with other like-minded Catholics. The Church is the communion of all believers in Jesus Christ, but today’s church, as an institution, along with many associated apostolates and religious orders, is highly dysfunctional, in many ways.

Don’t let that stop you. Instead, accomplish whatever you can, in and through your own little group … but always in complete conformity with Catholic doctrine and tradition (which may not be easy, since it’s still quite difficult to get a firm and accurate opinion on things, from most Catholic priests and bishops.)

Remember: In the first century, twelve well disciplined, highly dedicated men, by the power of God’s grace, and against all odds, successfully established the Catholic Church throughout the known world.

Today’s Catholics still worship the same God, and we still operate according to the same grace. The mission has never changed. Only the results seem to be lacking. And that’s a real shame, since:

“… we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestine to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Moreover whom he did predestine, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things?

If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:28-31)

Time to get busy!


Like Jesus Christ’s 40 days of fasting in the desert … Lent is preparation for our Catholic mission.


Lent, beginning on Ash Wednesday, is a time of personal penance and conversion.

During this 40-day period, Catholics typically fast and abstain from various foods, as well as certain activities, while adopting other traditional practices, with the general intention of:

1) Honoring Jesus Christ’s perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world.

2) Advancing in our own personal struggle against the forces of the world, the flesh, and the devil.

3) Helping to make the world a bit more like Heaven.

Cutting back on television and other forms of popular entertainment, while meditating more frequently on the birth, public life, and Passion of Jesus Christ, we hope to better appreciate all that God does for us, and greatly benefit from the example of the only perfect human ever to walk the earth.

Fasting and abstaining from certain foods, we soon begin to reassert a certain mastery over the desires of our flesh.

Shortly confronted by what should now be an obvious “hole” in our normal, everyday schedule, we prudently “fill” that time with prayer.

Praying … we strive to hear the voice of God.

What is that “voice” telling us?

Listen frequently (and very carefully) over the next 40 days and 40 nights, and then you’ll know.

It doesn’t get much simpler than that!

On-line Resources for Lent

Jesus … the world, the flesh, and the devil … and us.


Jesus Christ … since he is God … and absolutely incapable of committing sin … lived only to die … so that sin would not totally and forever, consume us all.

Yet, for more than thirty years, Jesus’ human flesh was exposed to myriad forms of earthly temptation.

Hebrews 4:15  For we have not a high priest who cannot have compassion on our infirmities: but one tempted in all things like as we are, without sin.

So it remained always necessary for Jesus to anticipate, contend with, and repeatedly overcome the wicked snares of the devil, in order to successfully complete a mission of redemption that required nothing less than perfection.

Since we all seem to agree that absolute power tends to corrupt, absolutely … it’s my personal opinion that Jesus’ battle with the world, the flesh, and the devil took on staggering dimensions that were never suitably developed or completely revealed in the Gospels … simply because no mortal man could possibly imagine (or properly describe) their full extent.

But Jesus knew precisely who he was, why he was sent, how he was supposed to live, and what he was expected to do. As Christians, so do we … even though we tend to get more easily confused and side-tracked.

In the words of the late Pope John Paul II … powerful words, which shortly resulted in the spectacular and totally unexpected fall of the Soviet Union:

“You are not who they say you are.
Let me remind you who you are.”

If you’ve been baptized, you’re already an adopted child of our loving God. Your eternal soul has already been indelibly marked for salvation. You’re meant to be a living temple of the Holy Spirit. You’re a citizen of Heaven, and once completely initiated and confirmed in the faith, you’re a full-fledged member of the Church. A co-heir with Jesus Christ, to all that God is, and all that God has
to give, you’re already destined for eternal glory.

That’s what we’re called by God to live “up” to. And that’s no lie!

It remains true for you, true for me, and true for every Christian everywhere, for all time.

And while we don’t all bear the same type of temporal, earthly “cross”, there’s no doubt that the eternal rewards and the glory always go to the overcomers (link).