To: CAtholic Family Association
Many years ago Fr. Greeley and I being of the same age - studied from a now passé little book called The Baltimore Catechism a simple, yet effective, primer directed at helping to set the course for our character development.
We studied it hard if for no other reason than to avoid the wrath of Sr. Mary Watchout when her inevitable call came in class to recite from it. Poor motivation? You bet. A reality of our then lives? You bet. Effective? You better believe it! Did we learn the purpose of life . . .why God made us . . . the Works of Mercy . . . the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes? No doubt about it. That snot-nosed little fat Albert kid sitting next to us in class might well trip us in the playground at recess, but by all that was sacred to us we were determined that absolutely no one would ever be able to find a flaw in our ability to buzz through the Catechism. Being able to conquer the little book of life was a hell of a lot more important than avoiding Fat Alberts playground challenges and harangues.
Fast forward some many decades decades beset with much more learning through empathic involvements in the intricacies and nuances of the process called maturation and, through sound and quiet reflection ask, . . . what has changed from those pristine days spent in grade school where we sweat the flash card drills, . . . the geography and spelling lessons,. . . the history workbook assignments, . . . the Palmer methodologies writing drills, . . . the stand-at-attention when Father Highbritches walked into the room, . . . the dreaded trip to the Principals Office for talking in class or sassing back at Sister Whats Her Name when she told us to clean the erasers after school?
Boiled down to one simple word what has changed is simply focus; focus drifted away from the Beatitudes and the Ten Commandments and now obsessively locked-in on annihilating that guy who is still with us Fat Albert. The Fat Albert then, is, for Fr. Greeley today, none other than his political opposition now the President of the United States.
With this change in focus blessed and embraced by the Greeley Generation Clerics, we have exchanged principle for politics, relegated the lessons of the Baltimore Catechism to the back shelf and replaced them with a new set of rules and procedures. We have embraced expediency at the expense of eternity. In a most disturbing fashion, we have forgotten the one simple and elementary question - why did God make me?; a basic question, the answer to which we once so well knew and proudly heralded.
We have permitted the Father, Son and Holy Ghost to be replaced by the Pro-Choice tripartite alliance of Beelzebub, the NARAL crowd and Americans United For Separation of Church and State. Playboy magazine outsells Our Sunday Visitor while God Bless America has become a treasonous epithet.
We have permitted the prenataly lobotomized relativist thinkers du jour to supplant the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church in our thought processes.
We have embraced a style of expedient manipulation in lieu of forceful frontal confrontation with the patently absurd and fatally flawed egalitarian carpe diem doctrines of the times.
We genuflect at the altar of Political Correctness to such a degree that it has replaced the Promise of Fatima. The once simple and humble concept of public prayer is now as feared as a diagnosis of diphtheria was a century ago. The writings of Fulton J Sheen and Daniel Lord, S.J. have been supplanted by the blather of the social engineers of the day a la Bill & Hill, Kim Gandy and Gloria Stinem.
In short, weV made a Faustian pact with the devil himself wherein political advantage trumps the Ten Commandments, the Natural Law and all of the once good news we got from that now out-dated and much forgotten Baltimore Catechism.
We are not, with these comments, suggesting that we put Christ back into Christmas as Christ has never left Christmas. We are as with the new clerics of which Fr. Greeley complains - suggesting an honest and sincere return to Christmas; a return burgeoning with a rededication to the concepts and tenets so clearly and basically outlined in our Baltimore Catechism; a return, to be very specific, for those among us making up the cabal of miscreant catholic social engineers and pontificating political figures who have, with hardly a peep from the bishopric, worked in the past to derail the likes of the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, together with other comparable legislation aimed at protecting Gods most delicate and beautiful human treasure; the treasure worth dying for our kids, in utero and beyond.
With the assistance of the Holy Spirit,and the young clerics about whom Fr. Greeley so vociferously complains, we as a human race, made in the image and likeness of Christ shall succeed.
My husband gives my 3rd grade son (homeschooled) new flashcards to memorize from the Baltimore Catechism every week. He tells us he wants to save those flashcards to use with HIS kids someday.
posted on 01/17/2004 7:33:30 AM PST
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