GABRIEL'S CLARION (mar21gab.htm)

March 21, 2004
vol 15, no. 81

The New Order's Cosmetic Spirituality

Too many are obsessed with how they look on the outside, yet inside are rotting carcasses. In this fetish for temporal perfection, they have lost sight of the spiritual perfection towards grace which is the only thing that will hide the ugliness of sin!

    "In a New Order drunk with uniformity and conformity, the wounds of Christ are graffiti on a wall many would rather ignore. Christ's interactions with the Pharisees of His day tell us what He thought of this kind of superficial, cosmetic spirituality. Given that all our pathetic makeup will not hide what is in our souls at the Final Judgment, we would be wise to make our makeovers internal instead of external."

    I will never forget visiting the churches in Italy and Spain. Everywhere one turned were poignant, powerful images of emotion, of sacrifice so central to our Faith. One could see the emotion in the beautiful paintings, and feel that emotion, that depth of humanity, in the statues. The crucifixes show a Christ in full suffering, with the wounds and tattoos of torture clearly evident. It was upon my return to this country that I realized how bland, how superficial many of our churches are! The statues are merely statues, and the images of Christ look more like someone posing for a family portrait than He who absorbed the sins of the world in full measure. Our images are merely pointers of where our spirituality is headed, and the direction that spirituality is headed can only be described as cosmetic.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

    It is clear that the powerful images I saw in Europe were meant to evoke mutual feeling in the faithful. They were designed to ignite, and even rekindle, the faith every time one entered the church.

    What of our images? What are they designed to do? Do they, are they designed to, ignite or rekindle or do anything? Rather than ignite or rekindle, our images appear more designed to drown, to erase, to blot out, to dampen, any depth of feeling or passion for our faith. The word passion has often been used to represent the core of our faith, to represent the events leading to Christ's ultimate sacrifice. It is certainly in vogue and controversy today given the phenomenal success of Mel Gibson's magnificent masterpiece.

    The images in Italy and Spain ignited a passionate spirituality, but the ones here in the United States in post-conciliar times represent a cosmetic spirituality. By cosmetic spirituality I mean a spirituality, which seeks to make things more palatable, less controversial, cleaner, more antiseptic, more benign, less real. I have heard many people, including priests; criticize those crucifixes, which show a tortured, bloody Christ as being "gory" or "extreme." In a society, which is already seeking to hide the faces of poverty, injustice, evil, and pain, should it be any surprise that people also want to hide the face, the pain, and the sacrifice of Our Lord?

    Should it shock anyone that a society, which seeks to forget His Name, is also seeking to forget His pain? The bottom line is that The New Order wants to erase the images of that pain so that eventually we will erase the memories of it. That is one reason the enemies of Christ are so virulent in their attacks, they don't want people to remember the ultimate sacrifice.

    That is a word - sacrifice - which Mel brings up often in every interview. It is something so lost on the New Order which disdains anything that would give up the pleasures of the world, the flesh and the devil in order to turn to something so gruesome as a bloody crucifixion - a crucifixion of the God-Man, no less. Isn't it interesting that the fiercest critics of the violence in Mel's movie are the very defenders of making sure all know of the horrors of the holocaust in Germany. By Gibson's reigniting the reality of the ultimate Sacrifice on Calvary, it overshadows the propaganda that only the Jews have suffered over the centuries or that ecumenism is God-sent and meant for uniting mankind. Mel is seeking to cook up the truth and if he has to push them to the edge. So be it. From the box office returns, he is looking like a genius.

Diluted Soup, Anyone?

    Yet those chefs in the New Order who are trying to push their man-made menu on the hungry, are busy preparing more soup. It is called Pan Religion. It is the ultimate melting pot of religious beliefs and spiritual flavors. Extreme care has been taken to include all of the ingredients found in the spiritual and religious world around us. Naturally, with so many cooks in the humanist kitchen of tolerance and diversity, they've spoiled the broth, but won't discard it. They won't admit it is putrid and, yes, poisonous.

    Rather, like the French did in medieval times to masquerade the fact the meat was green and spoiled, they pile on more gravy to conceal the taste of rot. Cosmetic spirituality is not just reserved for facial make-up but can come in many different forms. The New Order creators of this cursed cuisine have been extremely successful in getting the masses to accept the foul taste for once one gets used to something, they'll begin to accept it. As an example, it takes an acquired taste for Scotch because the first time someone tries it they get a bitter, hot sensation in their mouth and pit of the stomach; so also they got the same bitter, awful taste the first time they were exposed to accepting the unacceptable and tolerating sin. Yet they came back for more. Why? Because the majority were doing it. Because they were told by those they trusted that it was good for them, while not realizing it was killing them softly but surely in body, mind and soul.

    Extreme care has also been taken to prevent any particular flavor from dominating the taste of this soup, this stew, or should we say slew? The true Catholic Faith, my friends, is a very strong brew. It is rich in tradition and history. Its ingredients are pure and profound in taste. It has a depth of flavor, which can only come from centuries of preparation and experience in the kitchen of the soul.

    That is why these charlatan chefs have sought to keep from the masses the unalterable truths of true Catholicism, locking it in the cupboard so no one will realize they're being fed slop and poisonous porridge instead of the magnificent manna that sustains eternal life. They realize that, served in its true measure and amount, the true Catholic Faith would overwhelm any broth concocted by any novice cook of The New Order. In order to get the vast majority used to a new fare, a New Order, they had to radically alter the ingredients while passing the fare off as still authentic. They did this with the pepper and other spices of Vatican II and the Revolution of the Sixties so that people would get used to it and clamor only for this new taste, declining to remember the delicious tenets they once tasted on the palates of their souls.

    This then was the recipe the agents of The New Order decided on. It would be easier, and even more effective, to weaken the flavor of our faith instead of trying to eliminate it from their soup. The most effective way to weaken the flavor of our faith would be to remove its most powerful, most passionate ingredients. Those ingredients include the true sacrifice, pain, suffering, emotion, and passion of Our Savior, hence the Christ in a Madison Avenue pose in front of His immaculately clean cross on the way to a picnic on a hill.

    What is one of the greatest criticisms of Gibson's movie? That it is too bloody and full of gore. This from a crowd which delights in seeing heads blown off and machete swinging maniacs chasing teens across a field or "powerful" portrayals of soldiers being blown to pieces in battle which "evoke" a sense of respect for their sacrifice. No, friends, it is not the blood and guts which The New Order dislikes. It is the context in which that blood and guts is shown. That context is the sacrifice, which the true Catholic Faith is based on, and its flavor is too strong for an Order seeking bland uniformity and cold lip service. No wonder we are losing Catholics everyday and many of our newest Catholics are dragging their own religious traditions into our faith!

    Instead of being the strongest flavor in the religious kitchen, our faith has become the blandest ingredient in the New Order's melting pot broth!

Now It All Makes Sense

    Once we realize that this society lives and feeds on cold leftovers, makeovers, nose jobs, euphemisms, spin, rationalizations, perfectionism, home improvements, and upgrades, it all begins to make sense. Now we understand why abortions and mercy killings have become life makeovers for many in our society. Now we can see why many refuse to feed the poor and ignore the homeless. This society, this New Order, is all about pretty, clean, sanitized, living. In a society obsessed with appearances, with superficialities, with trivialities, true emotion and sacrifice find no place.

    In a New Order drunk with uniformity and conformity, the wounds of Christ are graffiti on a wall many would rather ignore. Christ's interactions with the Pharisees of His day tell us what He thought of this kind of superficial, cosmetic spirituality. Given that all our pathetic makeup will not hide what is in our souls at the Final Judgment, we would be wise to make our makeovers internal instead of external.

Gabriel Garnica

    Editor's Note: We are pleased to announce Gabriel Garnica will be contributing many articles in 2004. Heaven is once again under attack by those who would seek to ignore and overthrow God's majesty and authority. Gabriel Garnica, educator and attorney, will submit regular insights and commentaries to remind and help guide readers toward a deeper and more assertive faith. Touching on topics and issues ranging from personal faith, doctrine, education, scripture, the media, family life, morality, and values, Gabriel's notes will be music to traditional ears but unpleasant tones to those who have bought into the misguided notions so prevalent and spreading in today's Catholic world.

    Gabriel's Clarion
    March 21, 2004
    Volume 15, no. 81