This excellent short article by David Martin, and published on A Catholic Life just after Christmas, challenges some of the questions and opinions that have come up in comments on CP&S. It also raises many of the worrisome issues that have been much discussed on the Catholic blogosphere in recent times, which can probably best be summarised as an attack on the Sacredness of God’s Temple.
The holiday season with all its feasting and merry-making is an appropriate time to reflect on the profanation of the temple, which is the major issue facing the Church today. Desecration is rampant throughout the universal Church through the present frenzy of secular activity that is tearing the Church asunder.
Today’s “contemporary” pop liturgy, the use of lay Eucharistic ministers at Mass, and the widespread practice of receiving Communion in the hand are among the many abuses that are destroying the Faith. The Church has become a meeting place for heretics and a stomping ground for ecumenicists that are trying to merge the Catholic Church with other world religions, fulfilling St. John’s prophecy that the Holy City will be overrun by the Gentiles for a symbolic time of forty-two months. (Apocalypse 11:2)
The primary difference between the Church of yesteryear and that of today is that the former demonstrated a healthy cognition of the divine presence in the sanctuary. The Church before Vatican II conducted itself with reverence and respect, evidenced especially by the way Catholics were more observant of God’s laws and ordinances, both in their personal lives, and in the context of divine worship. The Church before the Council was more focused on the presence of Christ in the tabernacle, which in turn was reflected in the true charity and selfless giving that existed among the faithful.
Whereas the church in our time has largely turned its back on the divine presence and is taken up with a new-found encounter with its “environmental” surroundings. Yea, the church today is abuzz with all manner of socialist, busy-body activity, only because the new makeshift procedures since the Council have brought about this unprecedented shift of focus where the emphasis today is on the community.
We might say that a new order of distraction prevails. The post-conciliar church is bent on appeasing itself with change, as opposed to the Church of old which labored to appease God with sacrifice. Divine worship has become cheap, superficial, and mechanical, where the congregation is wound up in robotic fashion to sit down, stand up, shake hands, and utter pre-constructed “psalms and responses,“ while the minds and hearts are blank! Very little heart and soul goes into today’s Sunday Mass worship.
This is lamentable when we consider that the Holy Eucharist is the very heartbeat of the Mystical Body, around which the entire church must revolve. Hence a true renewal is needed to place the church back into focus with its Head. Genuineness in worship means contrition and compunction of heart, and that the church go down on its knees before God in the Eucharist. Without this self-abasement before the King of kings, the mercy of God does not rest on His people. (Lk 1: 50)
Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem when He threw the money-changers out of the temple was significant in that it marked the only time in the Gospel when He became downright angry and even violent with the Jews. This was to serve as a lesson for all generations to come that the wrath of God is especially enkindled against those who abuse the House of God for their own selfish gain.
Christ indeed will come among us again to fling the wrongdoers from His House, but this time it won’t be just for matters of money, but for heresy and blatant betrayal of the Faith before the people. The Pharisees in purple hats will tremble and shake “because they have transgressed the laws, they have changed the ordinance, they have broken the everlasting covenant.” (Isaias 34:5)
Enough could not be done to sensitize ourselves to the horror of the present sacrilege and how it is re-crucifying Christ in His own House. St. Padre Pio relates that when he was alone in the choir to pray, he observed a young monk who appeared to be dusting the candelabra near the altar. When he asked who he was, the monk answered: “I am a brother of yours that made the novitiate here. I was ordered to clean the altar during the year of the novitiate. Unfortunately many times I didn’t reverence Jesus while passing in front of the altar [didn’t genuflect], thus causing the Holy Sacrament that was preserved in the tabernacle to be disrespected. For this serious carelessness, I am still in Purgatory.”
If this was the verdict for a simple monk who wasn’t quite perfect, what can we expect for a church today that has been turned into a socialist merry-go-round with the use of churches for concerts, plays, meetings, rehearsals, heretical talks, kiddie Masses, charismatic séances, and all manner of sham religious activity that has overrun the sanctuary and made the Holy Place a shambles?! Christ today is an outcast and exile in His own Church, crushed and buried under the sins of His people who neither reverence nor take notice of His physical and supernatural presence on the altar. The people stream into the church talking, laughing, and swinging to the beat of a new gospel (guitar Mass), while women come in half-dressed exposing the indecency of their flesh for their own gratification!
The worst of it is that the present-day profanation of the temple is carried on in the name of God, which shouldn’t surprise us. The Pharisees condemned and crucified their Savior in the name of “God their father,” but Jesus told them who their father was, the devil, just as the devil is the father of those who seek to turn the Church into a humanist meeting hall. The modern day “renovation” of the Church is done to placate the complaints of those who protest, thus making the renovators protestors in the process. Thereby they display contempt and mockery for the Holy Place, as did the Pharisees who saw the temple as a forum to advance their own egoistic designs.
Unfortunately the Church’s mission has taken the brunt of this latter-day revolt. Pope Francis has emphasized how the Church must reach out and reinstate souls to the friendship of God, but how shall this be done if the church is serving to repel souls? Very few parishes today have kept their traditional beauty so as to attract conversions and vocations. The Church has been so discredited by all the ridicule that outsiders no longer take her seriously as in former times. If clergy and laity no longer believe that the Creator Himself dwells in the tabernacle in full Body and Spirit, how will outsiders ever believe this? If the church is not first enlightened from within, how shall it enlighten those from without? The Church has truly lost its magnetism, and is presently not effective in drawing souls to Christ.
Yea, the post-conciliar revolution is driving souls from the Church and bringing the scourge of God upon His people! The Blessed Virgin at Fatima warned of the divine scourge that was to come in the latter days, but this scourge will not be of little knots on a rope, but of boots, tanks, guns, and nuclear warfare over mankind. The chastisement indeed is coming, but the most painful part of it will be the devastating knowledge that it was justly due to man’s sins. In the final analysis the world will have learned that it was the profanation of the temple that incited God’s wrath and set in motion the great chastisement through which billions were lost.