Many years ago, I heard (I believe it was a priest, but can no longer remember the source, only the message) someone answering another who had been saying that the Catholic Church needed to 'get with it' and change.
The response was that it is not the job of the Church to continue to lower the standard, but to raise the Standard HIGH, and when WE fail to meet it, to lift us up and help us to begin again to meet it. To continuously LOWER the Standard simply means that as mankind continues to sin, fall short, fail, etc, that banner would continually need to be lowered further and further.
Jesus Christ never lowered the Standard. The Sinners came to Him, repentant, and He lifted them up, challenging them to 'GO AND SIN NO MORE'....... He knew we would fall short, fail... not make it though we intended to, and He provided a way to reconcile with Him AND with others. AA and Alanon have given this process the title "The Fifth Step". (Fourth is examining our conscience) The Church calls this process "The Sacrament of Reconciliation" (aka "Confession").
Yet everywhere I look today, including Television Media, Print Media, and Internet, we have been hearing speculation for YEARS that when JPII dies, the Church MUST choose a Pope that will 'bring the Church into today'. One that will lower the Standard that Christ has given us to make PEOPLE's LIVES easier, because in the minds of Catholic dissidents (aka 'Cafeteria Catholics') the Church is out of touch with reality.
Secular and religious alike, many were hoping for a new and improved Church that would suddenly change to meet THEIR standards so that they do not need to repent and confess and rise up to try again to meet HIS standards.
Fr Joseph Fessio, a friend of the former Cardinal Ratzinger now Benedict XVI, has said something very close to the words of Wisdom I heard long ago.
Fessio said Ratzinger's devotion to the message of God as revealed through Jesus Christ and Scripture proves that he deserves to be the pontifical messenger to the church.
"The messenger does not water down the message," Fessio said.
So what happens when those who do NOT want to hear Truth want to plant seeds of doubt in people's minds? They begin to depersonalize the messenger in any way that they can. It is called propaganda, also known as 'brain washing'. They call names, they write half-truths, they repeat this so often it 'becomes truth'. Those who are not discerning people, who believe what they read and hear without researching buy it and pass it on, and it becomes embedded, though without basis. All lies have a small piece of truth in them, but no lie has Truth in them. It is propaganda, aka 'brain-washing'.
brain·wash·ing (brnwshng, -w�shng) n.
- Intensive, forcible indoctrination, usually political or religious, aimed at destroying a person's basic convictions and attitudes and replacing them with an alternative set of fixed beliefs.
- The application of a concentrated means of persuasion, such as an advertising campaign or repeated suggestion, in order to develop a specific belief or motivation.
It began whenever Cardinal Ratzinger's name was mentioned as a possible successor to JPII. It continues, and grows worse as time goes on now that he is Pope Benedict XVI.
Articles and emails, talk shows that interview those who call him various names in order to lessen him in the eyes of the general public, and, in the Church. Dissenters in the Church began to minimize him by calling him an 'interim Pope' almost immediately.
ONE such dissenter almost immediately dissed the new Pope to a combined class of 9th-12th grade CCD students
, including telling them that he had been a Nazi. Those students came enthused, left disillusioned with a false teaching of who this man is. They learned that he is not worthy of being heard nor followed.This dissenter is a PRIEST
Was John XXIII an interim Pope, or the man God chose for a season?
If he was an interim Pope, as many say he was, he has affected our lives forever with VII. Dissenters there also took the Council and tried to run with it, making changes never called for in our Church, and eventually calling this the 'spirit of vii'. There is spirit, and there is Spirit (as in Holy Spirit). Those who were frustrated with JPII were those who chose to heed the 'spirit', and continue to tell us that the Holy Fathers 'just don't get it'.
I think that they DO get it.
I think that Truth exists, absolutely. Jesus Christ never said... oh, ok, you did good by having so many husbands and now living with your lover to the woman at the well. He told her what she had done, how she had lived in sin, and then, when she repented, He said to her, "Go and sin no more".
And SHE left thrilled, telling everyone that she had met the one that they had been waiting for! Truth sets us FREE.Moral relativism
: the belief that right and wrong (ethics) are arbitrary and transitory, determined by the individual or the culture. It has invaded every aspect of our society, including the Church, and it spouts its philosophy in every possible media that we have today, be it books, news (all types, print, tv radio, internet, etc), homilies/sermons, schools (from grade school to high school to college), and advice of friends and family.
Cardinal Ratzinger spoke about it during the Mass at the beginning of the Conclave
, his last words to us as simply Cardinal, though he did not know it, nor did we. It was a prophetic homily as to the direction his Pontificate will take. He will not be speaking in the false sense of 'compassion' that so many do today. He will speak Truth in Love.
To SOME, that will sound like anything BUT love. To those mired in relativism, it will sound as 'old-fashioned and out of touch' as did JPII. To those who want to make the Church into a democracy and form it in mankind's image, it will continue to frustrate.
To them, the words found below may not mean much, but they DO to our Benedict XVI:
Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of stress.2:
For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,3:
inhuman, implacable, slanderers, profligates, fierce, haters of good,4:
treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,5:
holding the form of religion but denying the power of it. Avoid such people.6:
For among them are those who make their way into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and swayed by various impulses,7:
who will listen to anybody and can never arrive at a knowledge of the truth.
2Tim 4:1-41: I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2: preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching. 3:
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings,4:
and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths.Speaking Truth in Love
.... it won't be a pleasant job for him, nor will it be pleasant for many to hear. But without Truth, we cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven, for sin cannot enter there. Our Salvation depends on it.
Cardinal Ratzinger to those about to enter the Conclave:
Let us dwell on only two points. The first is the journey towards "the maturity of Christ" as it is said in the Italian text, simplifying it a bit. More precisely, according to the Greek text, we should speak of the "measure of the fullness of Christ," to which we are called to reach in order to be true adults in the faith. We should not remain infants in faith, in a state of minority. And what does it mean to be an infant in faith? Saint Paul answers: it means "tossed by waves and swept along by every wind of teaching arising from human trickery" (Eph 4, 14). This description is very relevant today!
How many winds of doctrine we have known in recent decades, how many ideological currents, how many ways of thinking... The small boat of thought of many Christians has often been tossed about by these waves - thrown from one extreme to the other: from Marxism to liberalism, even to libertinism; from collectivism to radical individualism; from atheism to a vague religious mysticism; from agnosticism to syncretism, and so forth. Every day new sects are created and what Saint Paul says about human trickery comes true, with cunning which tries to draw those into error (cf Eph 4, 14). Having a clear faith, based on the Creed of the Church, is often labeled today as a fundamentalism. Whereas, relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and "swept along by every wind of teaching," looks like the only attitude (acceptable) to today's standards. We are moving towards a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as for certain and which has as its highest goal one's own ego and one's own desires.
However, we have a different goal: the Son of God, true man. He is the measure of true humanism. Being an "Adult" means having a faith which does not follow the waves of today's fashions or the latest novelties. A faith which is deeply rooted in friendship with Christ is adult and mature. It is this friendship which opens us up to all that is good and gives us the knowledge to judge true from false, and deceit from truth. We must become mature in this adult faith; we must guide the flock of Christ to this faith. And it is this faith - only faith - which creates unity and takes form in love. On this theme, Saint Paul offers us some beautiful words - in contrast to the continual ups and downs of those were are like infants, tossed about by the waves: (he says) make truth in love, as the basic formula of Christian existence. In Christ, truth and love coincide. To the extent that we draw near to Christ, in our own life, truth and love merge. Love without truth would be blind; truth without love would be like "a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal" (1 Cor 13,1).