Monday, November 21, 2005

Headship, continued

First, my spiritual formation. I was born and raised into a "Traditional" Catholic family. I had always attended the Tridentine Mass, and learned my faith from the Baltimore Catechism as well as many spiritual classics of the church. I pretty much ignored the rest of the church, as I saw no fruits there, and was quite fulfilled, intellectually and spiritually speaking. I attended church at a Society of Saint Pius X church for most of my formative years. I was confirmed by Archbishop Levebvre. This was all prior to the 1988 consecrations that caused the charge of "schism" to be used. After that, I didn't really know where else to go to church, so I stayed there, and figured God understands my "tight spot" and will lead me where he wants me to go. I am grateful for my time at the church of my childhood. I did learn my faith, was exposed to eternal spiritual truths, and beautiful music and traditions of our church. But whether as a consequence of where I attended church, or as a outcome of my own weaknesses, I definitely intellectualized my faith, and it became a faith of my head, not my heart. I followed the rules, (thank God I knew them) out of obedience, not love. I attended church out of duty, not love. I recited my prayers out of duty, not love. I could defend my faith against any number of attacks, and did so out of duty, and by using my intellect, not my heart. The mystical portion of our faith was not opened to me at this time of my life. While the western tradition did offer me mystics and mystical theology, I had no context with which to digest it. It seems in my experience, in the Western Tradition, the intellectual life of the soul is emphasized over the mystical work of the soul. There seems to be much influence of Jansenism in the pre-Vatican II era. I see this as the "head" is superior to the "body", i.e. intellectual knowledge is superior to soul knowledge. The body is to be subjugated, ignored, mistrusted. It's only the soul that counts. I know this hasn't ever been the formal teaching of the church, as a matter of fact actual Jansenism was condemned, but the effects of such a heresy sunk in, and poisoned the Church for many generations.

Don't forget to answer my question from last post. And for those readers who are not Catholic, please bear with me, and feel free to ask questions about things I don't make clear. I am already struggling to make this clear to Catholics, and realize I may assume understandings that my non-Catholic brothers and sisters don't have.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mary Poppins Not,
I came across your blog site from another link...In the Eye of the Storm. You seem to be both stuggling in life right now...
I am a Catholic woman, who, by my parent's choice, was raised in the Vatican II era "new mass" if you will. Please bear with me...
When we are growing up under our Mother and Father's direction, we don't completely understand our faith, at least not in a spiritually uplifting sense. It IS our duty to do what they teach us- and consequently; what Our God was teaching us. It is not until you grow up and experience life that one learns more about their faith. When we are children, we understand our duty to God- to fulfill our obligation to Him- and like Christ said: be like the children to attain heaven. Which means to me- you don't need to have some spritual revelation, or some kind of miraculous feeling to be close to God. Knowledge is nothing unless you have faith, and you subject yourself to God in all His glory and will. Souls are internal and different form person to person- there is no need to enhance your 'soul knowledge' as you said...think about your duties to God now. Simply put- you still have the same duties as before, no matter what parish you belong to. Obviously, your parents guided you well- remeber that when you are guiding your matter what the situation is when you are a child, it has to be almost forced upon you as a duty to achieve a long lasting obligation, especially to Our Ever Lasting Father.
Peace be with you,
City Girl

November 21, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Renee- I didn't realize you were raised SSPX; gosh, I thought your background was standard RC...
That is a sort of hothouse atmosphere, isn't it?
I share your distress about the annulment situation. I realize that the conversation back on the Caelum et Terra weblog has gotten sidetracked into all sorts of side issues [some of them more central than the main issue!] but I trust we are getting somewhere, if slowly.
Maclin quoted a B.B.King tune in a private email to sum up the insecurity that the come-one-come-all attitude toward annulments engenders [which cracked up my bride, who's background is a bewildering modern mess]:
"Only my mama loves me, and she might be jivin'"
Lord have mercy.

November 21, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marry Poppins,
I came across your posting from two years ago and found it quite interesting in light of thinking and conversations that my wife and I have had recently. We also have an SSPX background. After a year in an indult community, we have been absorbed into the East at a Byzantine parish and there is no looking back. Now we fulfill our obligations, Sunday, fasting, prayer with a different outlook. Thoughts of "obligation" have been deemphasized and the thoughts of love for God, for Christ, of spiritual growth have taken "obligations" place. Yes, the obligation is still there, and we still fulfill out duties, but it is no longer the focus of our Catholic life. Instead of fighting (as traditionalist) to be Catholic, we have fun and are happy being Catholic.

Thank you for your wonderful post,

November 20, 2007  
Blogger Renee said...


Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to add to any of the conversations around here. It sounds as if our families share quite a bit in spiritual formation, and I find that fascinating. Blessings!

November 24, 2007  

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