Spiritual warfare: within the ranks

It’s understandable that we ought to expect to be at war with a secular culture, with a world that doesn’t acknowledge the Ownership of the Creator and who is determined to have things their own way in flagrant defiance of the Creator’s “terms of service,” if you will –

But when we see the battles brought into the Church itself, it’s shocking.

The Church – how do I begin to express the multiple dimensions of what it means to be Church? Bride of Christ, Deposit of the Faith, home of the Faithful, the place where God enters time and place in very specific ways, through the liturgy and very literally through the Eucharist – the training ground where we’re supposed to be equipped for life in the world, the place where we’re supposed to be prepared and shaped and made ready to face Eternity……

And so often it seems we’re finding the Church to be on the side of the world. Well, particular priests, catechists, liturgists and other leaders – sad to say – have adopted practices in flagrant violation of the Rules of the Church. We hear of priests badly counselling couples about abortion and artificial birth control, sexual experimentation, divorce – too many priests even reduce the Holy Eucharist to mere symbolism.

Music and liturgy are seriously crippling the Faithful and retarding their growth in Grace. I’ve worked with a well-known (in my diocese) music director twice, and both times, in the pep talk he gave his choir, he told us all to “go out and have a good time, because it’s all about you!” I wanted to stand up and shout, “IT IS NOT ABOUT US! IT’S ABOUT THE CREATOR OF THE COSMOS COME TO US IN THE EUCHARIST!!!” but I was a guest and I kept my mouth shut.

Have you read some of our most popular songs, lately? Frightening, the heresies we are injecting to the consciousness of the Faithful through horrid music! Music that is narcissistic (or “Isn’t God so lucky to have us!”), that reduces the Eucharist to mere symbolism, that promotes a social activism divorced from theological grounding…

And that doesn’t even take into account the lame, banal, trite and saccharine songs that were all I could find in Louisiana, seven, eight years ago (can anyone say “Glory and Praise Songbook”?)

We are in such a crisis, in this Nation – a crisis of Faith and of Culture. I’m not into politics, but you don’t have to be a political scientist to see that our upcoming elections have far too much at stake to be taken lightly and unintelligibly. We Christians must be salt and light in the world, or the world is lost and without hope.

We must deliberately, intelligently engage in knowing our Faith, in entering the act of Worship and in living consistently as the sons of adoption.

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