A Tainted Libation
“I am already being poured out like a libation, and the time of
my departure is at hand.
I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the
(2 Timothy 4:6-7)
we been “poured out as a libation” for Christ Jesus?
In fact, the point of our being Catholic at all very likely has
had little in the way of any adverse consequences in our lives.
In other words, if we have not suffered for the sake
we have not been marginalized as:
If we have not been:
If no epithet has been
hurled at us to make us feel like fools in the mocking faces of
“modern” and “progressive” Catholics,
to say nothing of the world at large — then we have not been
have cherished the world over Christ;
and have even been applauded for it. We use “the Name” even as we
repudiate the “Person”. We lustily sing that “We are the sheep of
His fold” ... even after we have torn down the fence and strayed,
with no clear direction from our priests and bishops, into other
pastures. We are told, in an age of mindless and unbridled ecumenism,
that there really are no fences any longer and that one fold is
really no different from another, however much the sheep somehow
look like wolves. And behave like wolves. And howl like wolves.
Why, then, is Saint Paul’s fate so different from our own?
Following Christ literally cost him his head in Rome.
The answer is found in the previous verses omitted from today’s
“For the time will come when people will not tolerate
sound doctrine but, following their own desires and
insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers and will
stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to
will not tolerate sound doctrine”
Let us put
Saint Paul’s words in a more contemporary setting:
our own desires and insatiable curiosity, we have accumulated teachers
(bishops, priests, theologians, CCD teachers, RCIA instructors)
will teach us
what we want to hear, and not what we
must hear; who will teach us that sin and
corruption, properly understood, are acceptable to God after all,
and that this whole “Roman thing” doesnâ€™t apply to Catholicism
in America, Europe, or, for that matter, to any “enlightened” culture
any longer. It is, we are told, hopelessly archaic, unenlightened,
“patriarchal”, stultifying, and terribly dissonant with everything
that is now socially correct, legislated, mandated and rigorously
enforced by a ruthlessly secular State which is intolerant of intolerance
... and that, by policy, refuses to acknowledge this contradiction.
This attitude explains why we have kept our own heads (in a manner
of speaking), while Saint Paul lost his.
We have no libation to pour out — because no one has
filled our cups since the Second Vatican Council
... or if they have, the substance is either profoundly diluted,
or brazenly tainted and contaminated with foreign doctrines. Instead
of sound dogma, our cups have been, by and large, filled with
quite nearly anything calculated to satisfy
our desires — which are not the same
as God’s. And this really is the root of the problem.
We still want God’s “stamp of approval”, and since Rome
will not give it to us, we seek out bishops, priests, theologians,
clerics, ecclesiastical functionaries of every sort more perverse
than ourselves who will give us both: our own corrupt desires
and a counterfeit stamp of God’s approval.
This is what the Roman State wanted from Saint Paul.
And it is
precisely what Saint Paul would not give them.
But ... unlike St. Paul, for Heaven’s sake ... we must not lose
our heads over it. Mustn’t we ...?
Geoffrey K. Mondello
Boston Catholic Journal
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Totally Faithful to the Sacred
Deposit of Faith entrusted to the Holy See in
opera tua ... quia modicum habes virtutem, et servasti
verbum Meum, nec non negasti Nomen Meum”
know your works ... that you have but little power,
and yet you have kept My word, and have not denied My
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