What is our religion for? Hint: It’s not “Peace and long life”

What is our religion for? Hint: It’s not “Peace and long life”

It’s sanctification.

What does that mean?

Well, you know all that floating, bilocating, stigmata-getting, raising-people-from-the-dead stuff that the Really Big Saints do?

It’s that.

(And the realisation dawns in 4… 3…2..)

Yes. That’s why we are Catholics. If that’s not what we’re aiming at, we’re doing it wrong.

The rest in my latest bit for The Skodge.

The other day I had an email from an Important Monastic Personage that suggested that all our estimates about the origin of the current ecclesial crisis are way, way, WAY off. It got me thinking; what if we’re looking at all this completely wrong? Is it possible that even self-identified traditionalists are thinking without realising it like moderns?

And what if the solution is nothing like what we are thinking either? What if a great mass re-catechising of Catholics, or authentic Catholic action in politics, or a great revival of moral teaching on sex and the family, or even the complete reversal of the liturgical disaster, were all putting the cart before the horse? What if the “solution” is something completely different? Something that relies on us and our efforts in the natural realm not one whit?

You’ll have to go read the whole thing to get the answer.

But it seems to mash pretty well with this from our other friend:

On Monday morning, I called up a good friend who is far more deeply immersed in the theology of the Church than I am. I asked him for a gut check on all that is currently transpiring, and he immediately gave an impassioned response.

The problem, he said to me, is that we keep trying to address all these symptoms of the disease. We see Communion for the divorced and remarried, or the attempt to abolish the death penalty, or the revisitation of Humanae Vitae, or the anthropocentric changes in the liturgy, and we go running after them, chasing them down, trying to fight them.

“The root of it all, though,” he said to me, “is the worship of man. It’s Gaudium et Spes 12 and 24. It’s Evangelii Gaudium 161. And very few people truly see that.”

Fortunately, at least one of the people who see all this is a bishop. (At least there’s one, right? That’s something… Right?)

Bishop Gullickson says, 

I cannot blame Lehner for my reading of his work. I have concluded that the Enlightenment was little better than anthrax poisoning for monasticism. The Catholic Enlightenment is little more than a repetition in a new century (the 18th) of the iconoclastic proposals of the two prior reformation centuries with a pitiable admixture of slogans from the French revolution. It involved petty demands to suppress the tonsure which marked their consecration and trade the venerable old habit for the dandy dress of their contemporaries.

The obligations of choir, especially the night office, were opposed as an impediment to study, travel and scientific work, to be furthered by social exchanges at dinners in mixed company and by frequenting the theater. I can see now that the secularization movement, à la Joseph II Hapsburg and his like in Bavaria and elsewhere, which paved roads with monastic library materials and sought to abolish the monastic vocation as unproductive, found allies in these monastic illuminati and their like for their anti-Catholicism.


Today’s musical selection

seems apt, in a sort of oblique way…


V: “Live long and prosper.”
R: “And also with your spirit too”.

Also, this made me laugh.  Our friend Joseph Shaw of the UK’s Latin Mass Society posted this photo to FB today, saying that it was the site of a Trad Mass in England somewhere.

Of course, what’s the VERY first thing that pops into your head?

“You’re having Mass on the bridge of the Enterprise? Umm… that’s cool, I guess.”

I can just imagine the Vulcan Salute of Peace…

WHICH made me realise something: Novusordoism is TOTally the religion of Star Trek. It’s justice without reference to the transcendent, “compassion” instead of mercy, the worship of Man and his replacement of God.

And next time I have to go to the village NO Mass, I’m ABSOLUTELY giving the Vulcan Salute o’ Peace. Yeah… live long and prosper, baby, cause there ain’t no afterlife…


Kirk: Pastor’s log, Stardate 1517.3. We’re en route to the Luther system with a diplomatic envoy. Our mission is to welcome the inhabitants of Luther 5 into the Federation. Analysis, Mr. Spock. 

Spock: Curious. Despite our attempts to conform our appearance and manner of speech to their way of life … rather than accepting our attempts, they only move deeper into a societal structure radically opposed to our own. It’s as if they are hoping the Federation will cease to exist altogether.

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4 comments on “What is our religion for? Hint: It’s not “Peace and long life”

  1. Captain Kirk: Mister Spock! The purpose of religion and “peace and long life”…analyze using your usual superior Vulcan logic which we no longer call “superior” in public discussions in order to avoid being accused of neo-Pelagian triumphalism and excessive rigidity

    Spock: Fascinating, Captain. While peace and long life are worthy values it should be understood that acknowledgement and awareness of the transcendent and sacred in prayer and ritual formulae involve a certain metaphysical and phenomenological complexity which would require some time for rigorous analysis and exposition.

    Captain Kirk: What about The Talking Heads? Which Talking Heads song would you recommend for an exposition of the phenomenological complexity of the transcendent and sacred?

    Spock: Fascinating, Captain. Your question takes us to the heart of the matter.
    It would seem that “Take Me to the River” hints at the spiritual journey of redemption along with the symbolism of the cleansing waters of baptism. However, “Burning Down the House” also participates in the hermeneutics of apocalyptic Angst and eschatological pathos.

    Father Mulcahy, S. J.: Oh, yes, “Take Me to the River” is a fine song. Father Tom used to have the choir sing this at the Teilhardian Novus Ordo “Mass on the World” at Georgetown.

    Dr. Strangelove: Ziss ist ze genius of ze liturgical revolution und ze Talking Heads, ja.

    Hans Küng: I would like to comment on that…

    Father Fitzgibbon: Talking Heads?

    [neo-Hegelian supercession]

    Natasha Fatale: Alinskyite Special Counsel has sent sealed indictment to distract attention away from Comrade Hillary and Uranium One bribery and kickbacks.

    Boris Badenov: They also suppress JFK Files. Deep State is devious, no? Send decadent Western bourgeoiskis running around in circles, as Alinskyite disinformation take them down rabbit hole of Russian collusion.

    Steve McGarrett: What’s this I’m hearing about the Talking Heads making a comeback tour?

    Maxwell Smart: Something about the Talking Heads making a comeback tour, Chief.
    I think it must be code of some kind.

    The Chief: Well, we have to find out what it means, Max.

    Philip Marlowe: Take Me to the River? That must be some kind of code.

    Hercule Poirot: Aha! Take Me to the River!

    Sherlock Holmes: Take Me to the River? How many rivers are there between the Russian Embassy in Washington, DC, and the United Nations building in New York, Watson?

    Maxwell Smart: Maybe Vladimir Putin is going sailing on the Potomac?

    Watson: He could be right, Holmes.

    Gomez Addams: A booze cruise!

    Gomez Addams: Get ready, my dear! We’re going sailing on the Potomac!

    Morticia: I thought we were going to review the writings of Albert Camus and Edmund Husserl.

    Gomez Addams: We’ll bring the books with us!

    Miss Weld: I wonder how Wally’s doing with the homework on the Kinsey Report….

    Eddie Haskell: Just talk about existentialism and you’ll be fine, Wally. College chicks dig coffee-house Beatnik philosophy.

    Captain Kirk: What about “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”?

    Spock: It does suggest certain apocalyptic and eschatological themes, Captain.

    Major Marco: They’re all Queen of Diamonds now.

  2. Captain Kirk: Mister Spock! Are there any other songs that relate to the exposition of the phenomenological complexity of the transcendent and the sacred, as we found with the Talking Heads?

    Spock: Affirmative, Captain. Indeed, the song “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” by the American rock band R.E.M. highlights the eschatological angst of postmodern American culture. Some interpretations of the Beatles’ “Revolution 9” also suggest eschatological pathos and spiritual disorientation.

    Father Mulcahy, S.J.: Oh, yes, very good.

    Captain Kirk: And that has significance for the implosion of the Swinging Sixties?

    Spock: It is logical. The piece begins with a slow piano theme in the key of B minor….

    Captain Kirk: We get the idea.

    There’s a nervousness out there, Spock. Can’t you feel it?

    Dr. Strangelove: Zat ist why we must begin building ze underground facilities, ja.

    June Cleaver: Ward, did you put the canned goods and bottled water down in the fallout shelter?

    Robin: What does the song “Helter Skelter” really mean, Batman?

    Batman: A valid question, Robin.

    The Riddler: When the Fab Four sing “Helter Skelter”…
    every man into the Fallout Shelter.

    Kierkegaard: Helter Skelter?

    Walker Percy: Pour a stiff one and get some popcorn…

    Professor Jürgen Habermas: The different forms of alienation, self-estrangement, and commodity fetishism under Cartesian dualism in modernity provoke various responses in the dialectic.

    Professor Adorno: Indeed, they do.

    Captain Kirk: You should think about a recording career, Spock. After the TV series, of course.

    Gomez Addams: You should think about a singing career yourself, Captain.

    Gomez Addams: Have you learned the Watusi yet?

    Reverend Neuhaus: That’s my opening….Forgive me for interrupting again as aggressive and pushy professional Protestant converts sometimes do, but speaking as a semi-recovering former Lutheran familiar with the pitfalls of eliminating reason and logic from discussions of religion, this might be a good time to discuss the Naked Public Square in modernity, Max Weber’s concept of disenchantment in modern culture, and Professor Taylor’s secularization theories….

  3. Captain Kirk: What about “Rocket Man”?

    Spock: It is possible, Captain, that there could be interpretations along those lines. There is a tradition that Lucifer fell from the sky like lightning.

    Dr. Strangelove: Und rockets can be fitted with warheads from ze Doomsday Bomb, ja.

    Major Kong: They sure can!

    General Turgidson: That’s why we can’t have Boris and Natasha running around with the Democrats and Alinskyite sleeper agents buying up all of our uranium!

    Dr. Strangelove: Who vould vant to do a thing like zat?

    Group Captain Mandrake: Twenty percent of their uranium reserves to the Russians???

    General Ripper: How’s that for your post-war Commie conspiracy?

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