As I prepare to make a trip, I find good reading is available.
First, from The Catholic Thing:
Drawing Bright Lines
by David Carlin
I’m an old man, and though I hope, and on certain days even go so far as to expect, that the Catholic Church in America will eventually recover from the very bad slump it has been in for the past few decades, I fear that I won’t live long enough to see this recovery.
When I’m on my deathbed (a piece of furniture I hope to avoid for at least a few more years), in order that I may die with a smile on my face, I will ask my grandchildren to bring me news of any signs of Catholic recovery. “Report to me,” I’ll ask them, “any bishop who has been brave enough to excommunicate a Catholic pro-abortion politician. And tell me about any diocese in which it has been discovered that there is not a single example of a homosexual priest.”
Next, something sent by a friend. At Church Life Journal:
When a Pope Writes and the Church Rebels
by Richard Yoder
A papal document seems to change Church teaching, dividing the Catholic world. Much of the controversy depends upon divergent disciplines around the reception of Holy Communion and different ideas of sin and grace. What seemed pious and holy yesterday is now condemned as heresy. Much confusion ensues. When asked to clarify what he means, the Pope refuses. Resistant bishops are threatened and punished. Invoking the Tradition of the Church, four bishops mount an ecclesiastical challenge of the document, with others soon joining. They become popular heroes, especially after their leader is publicly humiliated and demoted by Church authorities. Their partisans think of themselves as a remnant of the faithful, holding carefully to the Truth of Christ in a time of general darkness. They find their own positions foreshadowed in prophecy. They blame the Jesuits and the hierarchy for this period of widespread apostasy and confusion. They claim to discover the Jesuits teaching idolatry and compromising with paganism in their missionary efforts. They circulate their ideas through samizdat, popular polemics, and oppositional journalism. They become increasingly skeptical of Papal power.
Is this the Church of today, under Pope Francis? No, it is the Church of the early 18th century, in the tumultuous years after the Papal Bull Unigenitus. This landmark document of 1713 wrought a major trauma in the life of the Church when it first emerged. Unigenitus, like the wider Jansenist crisis to which it contributed, is mostly forgotten among the faithful today.
I am reminded of my own reminder that Popes come and go. Some are good. Some are bad. Some are significant and some aren’t. The same is to be said for Councils and for the decades we live in.
Whatever our situation is, this is the time that God wanted us to be here. Hence, it is an honor to serve in in this set of circumstances, no matter what they may bring. This is our time to make a difference.
Also, my friend Fr. Lang of the London Oratory has a good offering at Adoremus Bulletin. Fr James Bradley of the UK Ordinariate commented on Twitter that this helps fend off the reification of sacraments. His argument might be a touch subtle. However, this caught my eye. Remember… We Are Our Rites.
Newman’s love for the Divine Office illumined his path towards the Catholic Church. When in spring 1842, beset by doubts in the theory of the Via Media, he retired to Littlemore for a period of prayer and study, joined by a number of like-minded friends, the daily recitation of the Roman Breviary (with some omissions, such as the Marian antiphons) became a staple of their community life. After Newman and two of his companions were received into the Catholic Church on October 9, 1845 by Blessed Dominic Barberi (1792-1849), a small but significant change occurred in the community’s daily prayer. While they had recited the Latin text in the Anglicizing manner familiar from school and university, after that momentous day they adopted the Italianate pronunciation known as “Church Latin.”