What does God have to do with it?
The more we give witness to the things and ways of Mammon, the less we show our love for God and things divine.
"The priest told me, "If the doctor makes a mistake with me, I die. No one dies if I make a mistake as a priest." I was incredulous. A mistake made by a priest might result in the eternal death of a soul, which is far more grave than a mistake made by a physician that might result in the physical death of a patient. Alas, men who live in the secular environment - and who lose sight of the fact that everything in our lives must be supernaturalized as we live in the presence of the Blessed Trinity at all times - come to compartmentalize the Faith and seek to accommodate it to the culture in which they find themselves."
A woman who has attended both my "Living in the Shadow of the Cross" and "To be Catholic from the Womb to the Tomb" lecture programs at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Massapequa Park, New York, told me an all-too-believable story after my lecture on Thursday, September 19, 2002. Her story exemplifies the problems created by a theology that has nothing to do with content of the Deposit of Faith Our Lord entrusted to Holy Mother Church, no less than God Himself. The spirit of Freemasonry's religious indifferentism and syncretism is alive and well within the hierarchy of the American church, as I demonstrate in "No Room for Christ at Saint Patrick's".
The woman, who I will call Mrs. O'Hara, attended a Catholic Youth Organization training program for those who serve as athletic coaches within the Diocese of Rockville Centre. The program's attendees were addressed by Auxiliary Bishop John Dunn (who should be worried about tolling bells at the moment he breathes his last breath). Bishop Dunn told the coaches that it would be wrong for them to use the forum provided by coaching to try to correct them in their personal lives. For example, it would be wrong for a coach to tell a student who is not going to Mass that it is a sin for him to miss Mass on Sunday. We are called to be understanding and "compassionate" to young people, never calling them to correction. Doing this might be harmful to their self-esteem. Above all else, it is necessary to reaffirm young people, not to correct them. Teachers must understand where their students are, not seek to impose something on them that might wound irreparably what they think about themselves. Part of being "compassionate and loving" is reaffirming children at all times, so that their psychological self-esteem will be high enough to withstand the pressures of life. Thus, one must hold one's tongue if one believes it necessary to correct a child in most circumstances.
To add the proverbial insult to injury, Mrs. O'Hara was asked by a Don McPherson, who is a former athlete hired by the diocese to "motivate" the coaches, as to why she wanted to be a coach.
She responded, "For the honor and glory of God and to teach my students to glorify God in their pursuit of excellence as swimmers." He responded quite gruffly, "God ain't got nothing to do with coaching. If you want to talk about God, go teach Sunday School."
Mrs. O'Hara, who is not partial to the Traditional Latin Mass, said that her eyes were opened by what Bishop Dunn and Mr. McPherson said. "Is this part of the 'new religion' you keep telling us about?" she asked me. I replied in the affirmative, noting that a theology that has turned around the priest to face the people and watered down the expression of the Faith in the Mass results ultimately in the triumph of anthropocentricity over Christocentricity. Once we lose sight of First and Last Things, I noted, we become focused as true Rousseuean narcissists upon our own splendor, believing that what we believe privately has no relation to how we act in the rest of our lives, especially in work, in recreation, in our politics and government. Mention of "God" is controversial. We must concentrate on our own powers, forgetting that we do not take our next breath unless God, who has counted every hair on our heads, wills it, that we are utterly dependent upon him for everything, that everything is indeed a work of His ineffable grace. And the purpose of human existence is not to be reaffirmed in our "self-esteem." It is to honor the Blessed Trinity by cooperating with the graces won for us on Calvary to live in such a way so as to be ready at all times to die a holy death and thus one day know an unending Easter Sunday of glory in Paradise. Go tell that, however, to Bishop Dunn and Don McPherson.
I guess both Bishop Dunn and Mr. McPherson forgot what they must have read in Pope Pius XI's Divini Illiuis Magistri (On the Christian Education of Youth):
"In fact it must never be forgotten that the subject of Christian education is man whole and entire, soul united to body in unity of nature, with all his faculties natural and supernatural, such as right reason and revelation show him to be; man, therefore, fallen from his original estate, but redeemed by Christ and restored to the supernatural condition of adopted son of God, though without the preternatural privileges of bodily immortality or perfect control of appetite. There remain therefore, in human nature the effects of original sin, the chief of which are weakness of will and disorderly inclinations. 'Folly is bound up in the heart of a child and the rod of correction shall drive it away.' Disorderly inclinations then must be corrected, good tendencies encouraged and regulated from tender childhood, and above all the mind must be enlightened and the will strengthened by supernatural truth and by the means of grace, without which it is impossible to control evil impulses, impossible to attain to the full and complete perfection of education intended by the Church, which Christ has endowed so richly with divine doctrine and with the Sacraments, the efficacious means of grace. Hence every form of pedagogic naturalism which in any way excludes or weakens supernatural Christian formation in the teaching of youth, is false. Every method of education founded, wholly or in part, on the denial or forgetfulness of original sin and of grace, and relying on the sole powers of human nature, is unsound. Such, generally speaking, are those modern systems bearing various names which appeal to a pretended self-government and unrestrained freedom on the part of the child, and which diminish or even suppress the teacher's authority and action, attributing to the child an exclusive primacy of initiative, and an activity independent of any higher law, natural or divine, in the work of his education. . . . But alas! it is clear from the obvious meaning of the words and from experience, that what is intended by not a few, is the withdrawal of education from every sort of dependence on the divine law. So today we see, strange sight indeed, educators and philosophers who spend their lives in searching for a universal moral code of education, as if there existed no decalogue, no gospel law, no law even of nature stamped by God on the heart of man, promulgated by right reason, and codified in positive revelation by God Himself in the ten commandments. These innovators are wont to refer contemptuously to Christian education as 'heteronomous,' 'passive,' 'obsolete,' because founded upon the authority of God and His holy law. Such men are miserably deluded in their claim to emancipate, as they say, the child, while in reality they are making him the slave of his own blind pride and of his disorderly affections, which, as a logical consequence of this false system, come to be justified as legitimate demands of a so-called autonomous nature."
What is even sadder, though, is that not an insubstantial number of truly believing priests have been influenced by the Freemasonic spirit of separating the Faith from how we look at ourselves and our work. A priest told me in 1981 that he had an argument with a physician who was a parishioner in the parish where he was then stationed. The argument centered around professional competency, with the doctor taking umbrage at the priest's recognition of the fact that half of all doctors finished in the bottom of their graduating class from medical school. The priest told me, "If the doctor makes a mistake with me, I die. No one dies if I make a mistake as a priest." I was incredulous. A mistake made by a priest might result in the eternal death of a soul, which is far more grave than a mistake made by a physician that might result in the physical death of a patient. Alas, men who live in the secular environment - and who lose sight of the fact that everything in our lives must be supernaturalized as we live in the presence of the Blessed Trinity at all times - come to compartmentalize the Faith and seek to accommodate it to the culture in which they find themselves.
As I have written about on so many occasions, there are multifaceted ramifications to a society that believes God has nothing to do with daily living. Contraception, abortion, pornography, sodomy, ready divorce, entertainment fare that glorifies and promotes sin, the rise of the monster state, the rise of barbarism among citizens on the highways and byways, a coarseness of speech unknown even to the pagans of Athens and Rome - and a myriad of other phenomena - are all traceable to the process of secularization begun in the Renaissance, quickened during the Protestant Revolt, and hardened like cement with the rise of Freemasonry and the modern, secular state. Sometimes, though, there are concrete manifestations of the fruit of Bishop Dunn's and Don McPherson's dismissal of the Faith as determinative in our daily lives.
Sharon, Lucy, and I were eating at a famous franchise restaurant, which the Surgeon General should place on the list of things that are dangerous to your health, in New York, the day after Mrs. O'Hara told me the story recounted above. The waitress, who was obviously a Catholic, was surly, inattentive and just downright rude. She claimed to be overworked. However, a professional does his work for the honor and glory of God, giving Our Lady's Immaculate Heart the merit he or she earns for carrying the crosses encountered by the fulfillment of the obligations imposed by our state-in-life. With the situation deteriorating as the meal progressed, I called for the manager, who was a flaming you-know-what. A little light in the loafers, shall we say?
The manager understood the problem. However, he became very hostile and belligerent when I explained that the phenomena of surliness and sloth in the workplace are explained by the forgetfulness of working for the honor and glory of God. "Sir," he protested, "God has nothing to do with this." Undeterred, I said, "No, He has everything to do with this. If people do not understand that God will render judgment on their souls for how they perform the duties assigned to them..." I was cut off. Apparently, he did not like the bit about judgment. "The table is no place to discuss such matters as religion and God." He explained that he was a professional and that he would rectify the problem, charging us nothing for our meal. I said we would never return. Thus, I have vowed this summer never to return to Shea Stadium, where innocence and purity are under attack, and this restaurant chain, where customers are under siege for expecting people paid to wait tables to actually do their work.
The only antidote to the forgetfulness of God is pray and to work for the triumph of Our Lady's Immaculate Heart. As Saint Maximilian Kolbe taught, it will not be until the City of Mary Immaculate is built that the beacon of her motherly love will inspire more and more people to entrust themselves to her for the honor and glory of God and for the salvation of souls, yes, in every aspect of our lives.
Viva Cristo Rey!
Thomas A. Droleskey, Ph.D.
Note: [bold, brackets and italicized words used for emphasis]
For past columns in The DAILY CATHOLIC by Dr. Droleskey, see Archives
First Week of Advent
December 1-7, 2002
volume 13, no. 145
CHRIST or chaos