Saturday, February 11, 2017

Possibly autistic saints, the sanctus bell, and Lourdes


  • Three saints who may have been on the autism spectrum. I'm reminded of pious spinsters such as St. Catherine of Siena (one of the few saints who graces my walls), a tertiary who lived with her parents, very Italian, not in a convent, Russian holy fools, and their Western version, St. Benedict Joseph Labré. Grace builds on nature, as I believe St. Teresa of Avila said. It's best to understand your nature, infirmities and all, so grace can flourish, but part of the moral of this story is God can work with anything. If you are a misfit not cut out for marriage (sex, parenthood) or for the monastery or convent, there is still a place at the Lord's table for you. A late friend who was a widowed grandmother, Alison Engler, an Anglo-Catholic who ended up in the Continuum: Protestantism doesn't know what to do with celibacy. Autism is a spectrum; not all are like the Rain Man. I don't much endorse current popular culture but to get a positive picture of high-end autism, Asperger's syndrome, watch TV's "Bones." The heroine is not to be pitied; sexy and successful, even socializing on her odd terms. And I recently saw a quotation saying Margaret Sanger's "soft-sell" eugenics is proving wildly more successful than the Nazis. For all the left's vaunted compassion, caring about the disabled, they really wish the autistic and other inconveniently impaired people were dead. There is evil in the world such as disability, a puzzle (theodicy). But unlike the secular world, which in the West is a bad knockoff of Christian ethics, saying it's merciful to murder these people, God hasn't given up on them.
  • The sanctus bell. Like much of our Mass's ceremonial, it's medieval. (The Byzantine Rite doesn't natively use this bell — latinized parishes do — but it's just as medieval ceremonially.) I first heard one not actually in church (I was Episcopal at the time, by birth, and my parish wasn't that high; Anglo-Catholicism didn't hook me in person until I was 17) but on the radio: Fr. DePauw's recorded Low Mass (the traditional Latin Mass, the cause he dedicated the latter half of his life too; before Vatican II he was a respected seminary professor, a canonist). I love it and my parish agrees so much that our white-gloved altar boys ring two of them!
  • "Immaculate Mary, thy praises we sing..." Que soy era Immaculada Concepciou. (St. Bernadette didn't originally speak French. Her language was Provençal, like Catalan, a halfway house between French and Spanish.) Today is the feast of title of "my parish officially and by choice," yet the event commemorated isn't part of the Catholic faith! Private revelation has a confusing place in the church. Contrary to what you might think, the church doesn't jump on apparitions (visions) to exploit them, nor are they part of our doctrine. The bishop's approval only means the event wasn't a hoax and its content isn't heretical. You don't have to believe in it, even though it's liturgically commemorated and you can name churches after it. (Medjugorje's not approved: the bishop said no, many years ago; case closed.) Lourdes of course is world-famous for healing; non-Catholics go there. A team of doctors scrupulously checks any alleged miracle there.
  • "Amoris Laetitia and my crisis of faith." Stepping into the fray for the good of souls.

5 comments:

  1. "And I recently saw a quotation saying Margaret Sanger's "soft-sell" eugenics is proving wildly more successful than the Nazis."

    Nonetheless, Sanger and the Nazis still amount to the same thing--unequivocally Evil.

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  2. Re: Amoris Laetitia--I recognize that the Orthodox commenters on AL are likely sincere in their beliefs and statements. Nonetheless, OC.net is not the place to go for a RC who is having troubles with AL, apostolic exhortations, Papa Bergoglio, the role of the Papacy, etc., etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I recognize that the Orthodox commenters on AL are likely sincere in their beliefs and statements.

      At least not the ex-Catholics.

      Nonetheless, OC.net is not the place to go for a RC who is having troubles with AL, apostolic exhortations, Papa Bergoglio, the role of the Papacy, etc., etc.

      Of course. My guess is this person already made up his mind to leave the church and is just looking for support in that: a forum that will tell him what he wants to hear. I've done my duty presenting the truth; the rest is up to him.

      Delete
    2. You couldn't possibly know of the "interior forum" of ex-Catholics, now Orthodox, as a whole. Nobody could . . . and the Church doesn't claim knowledge over the interior forum. This belongs to God alone.

      Delete
    3. Yes, and I'm careful not to claim I know the states of their souls. The church never says any one person on earth is hellbound. All we can do is warn them that leaving the church is a grave matter.

      Delete

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