Thursday, September 26, 2013

Deacon Scott Colley of Our Lady Immaculate Parish in Athol bans me for defending reverence in the liturgy

Albert Drexel, in Ein Neuer Prophet? (Stein am Rhein: Christiana, 1971) explains that: "The modernism or neo-modernism within Christianity, and especially within the Roman Catholic Church after the Second Vatican Council, is above all characterized by a turning away from the supernatural and an exclusive predilection for this world, the Aggiornamento of Pope John XXIII interpreted one-sidedly and hence misapplied. Teilhard's ideology was was a definitive precondition for this. Inasmuch as he turned his back to the past, fused God and the supernatural with the process of a universal evolutionism, and proclaimed religion to be an active participation in a progressive development ending in Point Omega, the basis was given for a humanist cult of the secular." (p. 115).

In the New World Order, man will no longer believe in a God whom he cannot control. Man will worship himself and his new leader who will, like Hitler, be deified: the man spoken of by Saint Paul as the Man of Sin, the Son of Perdition.

The new worship which is emerging is man-centered. And it is reflected in various liturgical actions such as banal pop-style music "concerts" and spontaneous applause over human achievement. Pope [Emeritus] Benedict XVI - while still Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger - wrote a book entitled "The Spirit of the Liturgy," in which he warned that, "Wherever applause breaks out in the liturgy because of some human achievement, it is a sure sign that the essence of liturgy has totally disappeared and been replaced by a kind of religious entertainment. Such attractiveness fades quickly - it cannot compete in the market of leisure pursuits, incorporating as it increasingly does various forms of religious titillation...Liturgy can only attract people when it looks, not at itself, but at God, when it allows him to enter and act. Then something truly unique happens, beyond competition, and people have a sense that more has taken place than a recreational activity." (The Spirit of the Liturgy, Ignatius Press, pp. 198-199).

Since Vatican II, we have entered the time of wretched idolatry prophesied by the Fathers of the Church - for they emphasized the corruption of the liturgy which would prevail just prior to Antichrist during the last days. The Holy Mass is valid in her essence. But years of reckless tinkering with sacred realities has produced a mediocrity-ridden liturgy, a shallow show which has distracted from the holy while driving the faithful out the doors or so weakening their faith that they find themselves paralyzed before the current zeitgeist. Emptied churches, convents and seminaries does not a reform make.

On many occasions during the liturgy at Our Lady Immaculate Parish in Athol, Massachusetts [Diocese of Worcester],the entire atmosphere has been more akin to a circus than a solemn liturgy. I am reminded of the words of the Psalmist:

"Why, God, have you cast us off forever? Why does your anger burn against the sheep of your pasture? Remember your people, whom you acquired of old, the tribe you redeemed as your own heritage, Mount Zion where you dwell. Direct your steps toward the utter destruction, everything the enemy laid waste in the sanctuary.Your foes roared triumphantly in the place of your assembly; they set up their own tokens of victory. They hacked away like a forester gathering boughs, swinging his ax in a thicket of trees. They smashed all its engraved work, struck it with ax and pick. They set your sanctuary on fire, profaned your name’s abode by razing it to the ground. They said in their hearts, “We will destroy them all! Burn all the assembly-places of God in the land!” Even so we have seen no signs for us, there is no prophet any more, no one among us who knows for how long. How long, O God, will the enemy jeer? Will the enemy revile your name forever? Why draw back your hand, why hold back your right hand within your bosom? Yet you, God, are my king from of old, winning victories throughout the earth. You stirred up the sea by your might; you smashed the heads of the dragons on the waters. You crushed the heads of Leviathan, gave him as food to the sharks.You opened up springs and torrents, brought dry land out of the primeval waters. Yours the day and yours the night too; you set the moon and sun in place. You fixed all the limits of the earth; summer and winter you made. Remember how the enemy has jeered, LORD, how a foolish people has reviled your name. Do not surrender to wild animals those who praise you; do not forget forever the life of your afflicted. Look to your covenant, for the recesses of the land are full of the haunts of violence. Let not the oppressed turn back in shame; may the poor and needy praise your name. Arise, God, defend your cause; remember the constant jeering of the fools. Do not forget the clamor of your foes, the unceasing uproar of your enemies." (Psalm 74)

After leaving the above quotation from then Cardinal Ratzinger's book The Spirit of the Liturgy at the Facebook page of the North Quabbin Catholic Community, Deacon Scott Colley, who manages the Facebook page, blocked me from participation.  And this as he preaches on the importance of being a "welcoming parish."  Welcoming apparently to anyone except those devout Catholics who hold onto tradition and a spirit of reverence in the liturgy.

This comes as no surprise.  For not once have I witnessed a spirit of prayer in Deacon Colley.  He usually arrives at the last moment before Mass and may be seen conversing with friends rather than preparing for Mass.  Reverence is the basis of all true personality.  Dr. Hildebrand explains: "The significance of reverence for the full personality can easily be grasped. The greatest natural endowment, the greatest latitude of talents and capacities can never lead to true personality if reverence is lacking. For the latter is the basis of the second essential component of personality, the perceiving of values, an organic contact with the world of values, and - most ultimate of all - the dying to oneself, the preparation of inner room for Christ. The man without reverence is necessarily flat and limited. This lack is an essential mark of stupidity. Even he whose mind is obdurate and helpless, but who possesses reverence, does not manifest that offensive, tactlessly persistent stupidity of which it is said that 'even the gods struggle against it in vain.'" (Liturgy and Personality, pp. 50-51).

Because lack of reverence may have two roots, Dr. Hildebrand notes that, "..there are two different types of men who lack reverence: the arrogant person and the senseless, blunt one. The root of the first is to be found in pride. The man who lacks reverence because of pride and arrogance approaches everything with conceit and presumption, imagines that he knows everything, that he sees through everything. He is interested in the world only insofar as it serves his self-glorification, insofar as it enhances his own importance...He thinks himself always greater than that which is not himself. The world holds no mystery for him. He treats everything tactlessly, with easy familiarity, and everything seems to him to be at his disposal. To his insolent, conceited gaze, to his despotic approach, the world is sealed, silent, stripped of all mystery, deprived of all depth, flat and limited to one dimension. He stands in desolate emptiness, blind to all the values and secrets of being, circling endlessly around himself...

There is however another form of irreverence, one which is born of concupiscence. The concupiscent man is interested in the world only as a means of procuring pleasure for himself. His is a dominating position in the face of being - not because he wills domination as such but because he wants to use being for his pleasure. He, too, circles around in the narrowness of his own self. He does not face the world with arrogance and conceit but with a blunt stupidity. Stubbornly imprisoned in his own self, he violates being, and seeing it only from the outside, he thus misses its true meaning. To this type of irreverent man the world also refuses to disclose its breadth, height, and depth, its richness of values and mysteries." (Liturgy and Personality, pp. 49-50).

Rather then engaging in knee-jerk hatred against my person for insisting upon reverence in the liturgy, perhaps Deacon Colley should examine his own attitude toward the Holy Mass and his motivations in banning me from participation in the life of the parish?


OrangeCatholic said...

Deacon Colley doesn't impress me at all. He once said that he left the Church twice in his youth. I wonder if he ever returned in both mind and spirit?

M.T. said...

For me, he comes across as arrogant and self-absorbed. If you're not part of the parish's cligue, you're not welcome. They use religion as a means to self-advancement and self-promotion at OLI!

Michael Cole said...

I am always greatly concerned when any cleric (be he Bishop, priest or deacon), neglects to show reverence for Our Eucharistic Jesus.

If this cleric continues to fail to set a proper example, he should be immediately removed from parish ministry.

Anonymous said...

I am disappointed too in Fr. Chris' lack of sound leadership. And I know too that many parishioners have complained to Bishop McManus about him.

The pastoral team at OLI - and I use that term very loosely here - sets a poor example in almost every way.

At OLI, there is talk(and that is all it is - talk) about welcoming others. But M.T. is right, the parish is very closed and comprised of a small clique which wants to dominate others.

David said...

Arrogant, proud people do not like to be corrected. Small wonder they banned your fraternal correction based upon the Holy Father's teaching.

But pride goeth before the fall.

Dale said...

The inability to accept constructive criticism is a major symptom of gross immaturity....The status quo at OLI evidently suffers from such immaturity.

Cyn M. said...

The deacon appears to be suffering from a lack of humility, immaturity, and a gross lack of understanding of the presence of the divine in the sanctuary.People who are insecure often overcompensate and cover up their insecurity by assuming positions of authority. If the deacon cannot graciously and prudently accept correction and constructive criticism regarding how he is conducting himself in the sanctuary, maybe he is unfit for the position of deacon. I say this with due charity, as all of us are sinners and fall short...

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Well said Cyn. When we go to Confession, we admit our faults and are given advice (constructive criticism) as to how to improve before we are given penance.

Fraternal correction has a place within the Church.

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