AT ONE WITH GOD|
"...now they are no longer two, but one flesh" Matthew 19: 6
The Keys to Rediscovering the Sanctity of Life through the Charism of Conjugal Love
by Michael and Cyndi Cain
Lesson Fourteen: Putting the "Vitae" back in "Humanae Vitae"
part two: When will we realize Pope Paul VI was right?
Few realize the severity of how failure to follow "Humanae Vitae" has crippled the Church and the Mystical Body of Christ. It gave rise to the liberal voice within the ranks. This encyclical was released three years after Vatican II, most of the measures, especially in the Liturgy had been passed down but not implemented the way it was intended. The modernists used the backlash against Paul VI to establish what they wanted, not what the Holy Spirit intended. They took advantage of this confusion to install their people, many former priests and ex-nuns in key chancery positions, appointed by pathetic and sympathetic liberal bishops and Vicar Generals. In time we can see that what they have reaped, they have sown.
Slowly but surely God was cleverly lowercased. Statues were removed, communion rails taken down, altars and sanctuaries deconstructed, other sacramentals shelved, the tabernacles shoved to the side or worse, into a closet somewhere in what were called "chapels" so it wouldn't be so relevant. Yes, there was a definite schemed method to their madness. Gregorian Chant was scrapped in favor of a new up-beat "anybody can write liturgical music" mentality. The bells were silenced and a bigger chair or sedalia placed front and center behind the altar where once was placed the holy tabernacle holding the true presence of the Son of God, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. Oh, they were clever not to remove Him totally. Satan is too clever to do that...yet.
But over the past thirty years we can see the subtle changes that, looking back, have not been all that subtle. The foundation of our learning - the Baltimore Catechism was dropped and in its place: make-it-up-as-you go ideology where black and white became many, many shades of gray in a tendency toward tolerance; a planned tolerance that would give rise to a growing number of homosexual priests who sought this august position as a refuge for the body, not the soul; a planned tolerance that would make it easier for annulments - some worthy, but many for convenience and political expediency (read the Kennedys); a planned tolerance that would deemphasize the importance of the confessional and make it more of a counseling session face to face, taking away the Christ-centered nature of the Sacrament. In the meantime, vocations dropped drastically and once-teeming seminaries across Europe, the USA, and Canada became ghost towns. The women went from the role of support and dedicated prayer warriors, as they had always been since the time of Christ, to demanding equal status on the altar, cleverly introduced through altar girls. The liberal feminists had their foot in the door and they have been trying to break it down ever since, demanding ordination. In some dioceses, bishops have tolerated women on the altar as MC's, a clear violation of Canon Law and the rubrics. Then there was the advent of Eucharistic Ministers. This evolved from the shortage of priests because of the obvious reason mentioned. Where hitherto only the priest or deacon was allowed to touch the Body and Blood of Christ because they were consecrated in the traditions of the Old and New Testament, now both men and women handle Our Lord regularly. The majority of these Eucharistic Ministers are very reverent, but the routineness of this has given rise to familiarity and lack of respect for the august nature of the Sacred Bread and Wine confected at the Consecration. A singular Amen, sung in response at the Great Doxology, began to be sung out of sync melody-wise to the celebrant's standard Gregorian intro. The number of Amens sung increased from one to three to now six. Ouch, we all know what that number signifies.
Reverence and respect for the House of God has greatly fallen off. The great cathedrals and basilicas so ornately adorned with reminders of our Faith past and present, built by the blood, sweat and sacrifices of our ancestors have given way to the modern, sterile all-encompassing gathering hall that cries out for architectural correctness and in no way resembles the hallowed shrines that shout Catholicism. Where once even a whisper might be considered a distraction from the prayerful, silent atmosphere of a church before Mass or anytime, today it has become a social hall where everyone communicates and it is tolerated in the "spirit of fellowship" while the true Spirit is largely ignored in favor of a communal celebration of us at the Eucharistic Meal.
Where once we were allowed to meditate in silence after receiving Our Lord, we are now strongly encouraged to sing with everyone else merely as part of the participation agenda. The result: very little silence - just noise that does not soothe the savage soul, but ravages it. We need the silence of meditation, yet it is difficult to find today in our Church save for the monasteries and convents where few can go. We are being coerced into doing what everyone else is doing as part of the mob mentality no matter what it is, no matter that it did not come down from Rome but rather some liturgist who concocted yet another new "expression." Yet, if you do not go along with the sheep, you are accused of not being a team member, not being in unity with the congregation. We have seen this in the parish we are closest to proximity-wise and it is scaring us away because we are not fulfilled spiritually or psychologically. The church has long been without kneelers, just chairs and everyone stands during the Consecration and Holy Communion. If we dare kneel we are accused of trying to distract others; if we genuflect before receiving Our Lord we are looked upon as disregarding the "common good" by straying from the norm. They fail to remember the words of Isaiah 45: 23 and Paul's words in Romans 14: 11, "...every knee shall bend, and every tongue shall give praise to God" and Philippians 2: 10, "so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in Heaven, on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father."
And that has been the major problem within the Church over these last thirty-plus tumultous years since Paul VI issued "Humanae Vitae". We have failed to recall the sources of our Faith in the great Deposit of Faith. We have failed to root out the heresies that are so cleverly phrased through verbal engineering that dilute the doctrines so. We have failed to plumb the depths of the gifts and graces so abundant if we only heed the teachings of Christ's Vicars He has placed in Peter's role now and in the past.
While it is easy to blame the bishops and pastors, we, as responsible Catholics must share the blame for we are intelligent beings; we are accountable before God as well. We all knew what Paul VI wrote and intended. But we were afraid to speak out, to "make waves" for fear of ridicule. What kind of Christians are we if we fear reproof from our peers yet do not fear rebuke from our Creator? Remember well Our Lord's words in Matthew 10: 28, "And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather be afraid of him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."
Yes, we have reaped what we have sown. But the garden is not entirely barren. There are a few buds still there and through our individual care we can once again begin to nourish the garden of the Sanctity of Life. We can put the "Vitae" back in "Humanae Vitae" by recommitting to carrying out and promoting all that Paul VI conveyed. It may be the only way we can turn a rotting vineyard into a flourishing valley of virtue and return civilization to its rightful heir of citizenship in God's kingdom. It won't happen if we continue on the current course.
Finally, recall what Paul VI said on his deathbed regarding the effects of the Second Vatican Council, "We had intended to open the window to allow in some fresh air, instead the door has been pushed open and satan is now in the sanctuary." He's still there, folks, and he remains there because we have failed to heed the sage and solid counsel of a very good Pope who has been badly maligned and who is too holy a man to be smirking in Heaven with, "I told you so." We don't have to be told, we know now he was right in everything. Now it's up to us to do something about it! In the next lesson we will begin!
NEXT WEEK: Lesson Fifteen: Reconstructing "Humanae Vitae"
For previous Lessons in this Series, see At One With God
January 27, 2001
volume 12, no. 27
AT ONE WITH GOD - Special Series on Conjugal Love in attaining Oneness with God