Saturday, July 8, 2017

Why Our Church is in Decline

From Roman Catholic Man:
The major error was ditching the transcendent. We domesticated God. We became functional Arians. This doesn’t mean racist (that would be Aryans) , it means we act as if Jesus was merely human, that He is a guru, self help teacher, social worker extraordinaire. Mass started looking less like the worship of God and more like a pep rally.

Our churches stopped looking Catholic and were overrun by iconoclasts. We went from churches which exuded Catholic belief visually, to ubiquitous ‘sacred spaces’ that looked more like theaters. Some places ran with the theater aspect. Worship transformed to entertainment. What I got out of it became much more important than what I put into it.

By ripping out the transcendent heart out of worship, we reduced Mass. It is little wonder that belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist plummeted. It is little wonder that priestly vocations plummeted. While the generation that ushered these things love them, the subsequent generations fled in droves. With worship emptied of the transcendent, Catholic life soon followed. Devotional life in parishes dried up. Parish churches became Mass stations. It has been heartening to see a rise in Eucharistic Adoration.

With the focus off the transcendent, awareness also plummeted. Confession lines disappeared. Families shrunk as we started contracepting ourselves out of existence. The loud din of children gave way to seas of gray. Accommodation of the secular culture went largely unchallenged. Causes replaced action. The works of mercy declined as a false idea of social justice rose in its place.

In this mileau, it was easy for people to leave. Without the transcendent, we offer nothing more than any fraternal order. Without the transcendent, objective morality withers. With our eyes off the ball, 78% of Catholics simply quit coming to Mass. Without the source and summit that is the Eucharist, the Catholic life dies…it is starved to death.

But those who leave, even if they go nowhere else, still have that longing. Many identify that as ‘spiritual but not religious’. There is still an unrequited longing for the transcendent. If they cannot find it with us, they will look elsewhere, even if that means cobbling something together themselves. We can sneer and belittle them at our own peril. Because they aren’t drawn to a pep rally isn’t on them…it is on us. How do we turn this around? It can be turned around. (Read more.)

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