Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Note to a Friend

I wrote this to a friend when he worried that his fearful complaints had sounded a little crazy:

What else can we do but sit helplessly by and watch these clowns flounder miserably in their incredible ineptitude?

But seriously, I blame Bush & Co. as well as, perhaps more so, the thieves and scoundrels in Congress, for paving the way for this to happen.

If we can't learn to be responsible and exhibit a fragment of decency and honesty, then we'll, as they say, "reap the whirlwind."  If businesses cannot police themselves, then they've in effect opened their doors for the government to rush in - as it's salivating to do, and has now done.

I don't care so much for me, though I feel a tad miserable at heading into my last act impoverished and uncertain, but I think about my kids and grandchildren, and wonder how on earth they're going to cope? What kind of a world are we handing off?

We eviscerated our Church because we were too selfish to want to obey its rules and we were so young and tasteless we didn't even know what incredible beauty it once offered; we've turned politics into glamor contests among jejeune poseurs; we've allowed government to regulate every aspect of our lives so that we can't even go sledding without a helmet and a permit; we've emasculated our culture - and let men remain children most of their lives, while women have become humorless, androgynous, angry harpies; we lie to our children routinely in school, teaching them not the truth but whatever nonsense is being spewed this year by the Ministry of Truth.

It's discouraging to say the least - and all we can do is rant a little to people who see it, too.

And I guess we can pray. One of the reasons I so treasure my little parish is that is really is like stepping back in time. The liturgy is intact. Our priests are tough and don't let you get away with anything - including caling them "Father Joe." I watched a nun go up the aisle to a child who was misbehaving and settle him down quickly. Boys are boys, girls are girls, and great respect is paid to the difference.

I don't think that everything from the past is "better" automatically. In order to thrive, every institution has to move and change as needed. So I'm sure the Church needed to address some issues at the time of VII. I do think that ecumenism needed to be addressed for the simple reason that life put us in touch with many more people than the average person came in contact with in 1850. Divorce had become a major problem for people who were now more routinely marrying out of the faith. If priests were getting lazy and sloppy in the way they offered Mass, or in instructing their congregations, then that needed to be looked at.

But what we got was another Protestant Reformation. Some day, long after you and I are gone, they'll have a name for this - when, I hope, the Church and society have recovered some sense (but usually it takes some kind of calamity for that to happen).

But in the meantime, I just complain (to relieve the pain), and pray (to hope for a better tomorrow). 

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