A plea from Anon:
The wife and I starting going through (in-person) RCIA classes at a local Roman Catholic parish when they started in the fall.
I’m struggling with some of the attitudes of the Church as relates to Covid. They aren’t requiring masks in church or the class right now, but the bishop makes the priests wear them for the Eucharist. I also have some more general “issues”. One of the concerns I have is that the team that leads the classes is run by two women (there are some well-read men also teaching, whom I’ve been able to connect with). The priests seem to know less about Church doctrine in some cases then the laity. Is this common? Also, it’s completely unclear to me where some teachings are Dogma but some are Tradition. They talked about the differences but it seems even many Catholics vehemently disagree (e.g. “transubstantiation”).
I know you are super busy, but if you or maybe one of your catholic readers or friends could help encourage me. I’m at a point where I am not sure if I want to continue.
The biggest thing, though, is there’s a major focus on “getting to heaven”. I struggle with this a lot because this seems like a very protestant mindset—do the rituals, say the prayers, then get to heaven. Isn’t there more to it than just “this is a bump on the road to heaven”? God’s Creation is good by his own word. Isn’t there value in the here and now more than just “getting to heaven”?
I invite all readers to offer their best advice to dear Anon.
Stick with it. After all, given the Church was started on the command of our Lord, we don’t have much choice. We cannot abandon friends in the time of distress.
Now is a not a good time to be alive. Our rulers and elites are immoral, greedy, concupiscent, haughty, short-sighted, lovers of self, really quite stupid or in thrall to insane ideologies, and, worst of all for the great majority of bishops, complicit with the enemy or cowardly.
You’ve heard the CS Lewis’s line about men without chests. We’re living through an entire era of soy-shrunken chests, the inevitable consequences before our eyes daily.
It is only going to grow worse. We know this for all the reasons we’ve discussed over the years. There’s no point repeating them here.
Anyway, you have to gut it through. We all do.
Oh, there are many practical things to try. Avoid all silliness. Seek out an FSSP or SSPX parish, if you can. Which most of us cannot (there are none anywhere near where I live either). Try to find a mass without guitars, hand holding during Our Father, or enthusiastic women.
You can, and must, seek out other men. I recall (I’ve told this story before) I once went to a “men’s conference” in New York. Meant to be for men. As in “men’s conference.”
Women were everywhere. Not just in making sandwiches, which is right and proper, but lecturing us from the dais, giving us our minute-by-minute schedules, hanging around in all portions of the day’s activities, guiding us everywhere.
Well, not unlike your RCIA, really. The solution is obvious.
If we are going to take over, or stand any chance at all, we have to build. And to build you must have a foundation. There is no better foundation that knowing why you are here, what life is about, and what you should be doing.
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