Saturday, November 24, 2018

Between Noah's Ark and a World Destined to be Consumed by Fire

Where to turn? November, our month of intercessory prayer for those who have preceded us in death, is roaring to a close. No doubt, any number of Catholics have not given the Poor Souls a second thought. Whose fault is that? So much of the blogosphere is taken up with sex abuse and episcopal dereliction of duty, with wringing of hands, bulging veins at the temples and the menace of withholding one's tithe. Who is praying for the dead and who is trembling for the salvation of his or her own immortal soul? Libera me, Domine...

By chance I happened to watch the first of a three part video on the UGCC Marian Sanctuary of Zarvanytsia. I had the great grace and joy of being present there for the pilgrimage on more than one occasion during my years in Ukraine. The word which comes to the fore when I reflect on the video, as well as what I gleaned from testimony shared with me by folks I met there, is "refuge". The Mother of God has chosen to offer her people, respite, rest, refuge, consolation in her shrine there in Western Ukraine. It's a place, sure, for grandmas and baby buggies, but more than one young man has found there his Mother's embrace and the courage to knock on the seminary door or ask a blessing for marriage from that special young woman's dad.

Six women here in Switzerland have made a big thing of turning their backs on the Church they cannot seem to perceive as mother. That is profoundly sad, not because we'll miss their church tax, but because the Mother of God must be nowhere to be found on their church scene and "refuge" from the wrath which is to come doesn't seem to be on their radar, Libera me, Domine...

As I never got much out of my formal education in philosophy and theology (late '60's and early '70's), which tended to privilege experimentation or inconstancy, I hanker for something older and steadier and still tend to see the Enlightenment as a black hole and St. Thomas Aquinas and the Scholastics as having been abandoned untried and hence unappreciated. Not that long ago I read a little collection of documents: The Popes Against Modern Errors, 16 Papal Documents, Anthony J. Mioni, Jr. TAN Books. Kindle Edition.  I found them, especially the Oath Against Modernism, to be frightfully relevant to our day and time.

Maybe we need to go on pilgrimage. Certainly, we need reassurance and our Mother's embrace! Libera me, Domine...


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