Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Some Reasons It Was Hard to Return to the Church After Vatican II

Today's post is a response to a Canterbury Tales blog from May 6, 2013, titled: "Ten Reasons Why It's Hard to Become Catholic." 

I was a lapsed Catholic, then I relapsed to Catholicism. For several years I believed in society's message that there is no God, then I dabbled in odd and dangerous spiritual alternatives to Christianity for a while. After I became converted to Christianity, I spent several more years as an evangelical Protestant, and so the things Taylor Caldwell wrote here ring true to me.

I had left the Catholic Church in 1963, and I came back to the Catholic faith in 1980 or so. To my dismay, the Church of my childhood with its liturgy and certainties and dogmas was apparently gone. I had come back because the good zealous Protestant denominations I had tried were contradicting one another all over the place because they lacked Tradition as a guide and because the Eucharist was to be found nowhere else than in the Catholic Church.

I attended several RCIA programs and was shocked at most of what I heard and saw. For just one example,  I heard from one converted Lutheran RCIA leader that Jesus was just an itinerant  Jewish story teller.  Nope, sorry sir. Jesus is God made Man, and while He was on this earth, He told stories. That didn't make him merely an itinerant Jewish story teller.

Jesus Teaches About the Kingdom of God
And I was discouraged by Novus Ordo Catholics who thought my faith in the Bible was outmoded.  I quipped (to myself) that as far as I could tell the only Catholics left were me and the Pope, and sometimes I wasn't too sure about the Pope. Many of the Catholics I met seemed to be living the world's morality, to my dismay

If I hadn't had the good Catholic education I'd obtained as a child behind me, I may have thought the new Church was right. But I was well-grounded. And I was in love with Christ in His Body the Church, and so even if nobody else I ran into believed any more what I had been taught, I stayed like Peter because where else was I to go? In prayer in my isolation, Christ taught me that in the midst of bad liturgy and bad theology (in the purported spirit of Vatican II) I was to climb up on the Cross and find my comfort with Him.

By God's providence, I was eventually led to start singing with a Gregorian chant choir that sang the propers of the traditional liturgical year during Novus Ordo Masses. Eventually I was led from there to sing in a small schola at a Traditional Latin Mass. In the small oratory where the schola sings, I have finally found people who sincerely accept the teachings of the Magisterium on birth control and other morality, along with the unchanged dogma and pious practices of the Church. It is a joy to be surrounded by families with large numbers of happy, bright, accomplished, mostly homeschooled children who haven't been contracepted or aborted out of existence. And kindnesses abound. People help the large families with gifts of money and food, and with other expenses like orthodontia. And when one choir member died, people chipped in and made the arrangements for a Requiem Mass and Catholic burial, since the family was going to cremate him without ceremony. The corporal and spiritual works of mercy are being acted out.

I marvel  that I had to wander in the desert after my relapse  for about 25 years, between 1980 and 2005, until I found this oasis.

What I want to say is that if anyone who reads this has come back or come newly to the Catholic Church and is not happy with the liturgy or dogma he's finding, I suggest you should google for traditional Latin Mass locations near you, and try to get connected to the true believers you are likely to find there.

A traditional priest will probably give you instruction, if you ask, rather than delegate the instruction to an RCIA leader who might just be too fond of spouting his own erroneous ideas about how the Church has changed instead of teaching the authentic doctrine of the Catholic Church. 

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