What is lacking in the Church?

I hope the title attracts a lot of discussion. Of course, since Christ is with His Church it lacks nothing in the end, but it will feel the lack of anything that He makes it wait for. It could be said that if there is a spiritual good that Christ wants us to gain, He will first make us suffer the absence of it so that we might have our own merit to contribute. I think that I can observe the spiritual good that is lacking in the general faithlessness of the laity towards a more-or-less faithless clergy. In all the history of the Church it has been that we pray for them and they pray for us, but the modern attitude seems to be to complain instead.
Beyond the myopic view of the present state though, I think that we can observe the same thing lacking throughout the history of the Church. How many saints are lay? Is it not true that every single guide to the spiritual life was written by the religious person for the religious person, not the lay person? (Though the lay person can benefit from these guides still, I think that it is very likely for a person to get wrong ideas about some things if he tries to apply a guide meant for the religious life to his own life as a married person.)
Could it be that what Christ is looking for in this time we are living in is for an abundance of saints and religious material to come from the laity, to make up for that which is lacking in the past? Are we not the fruit that is meant to come from the tree of the Church, but we have not yet seen this tree produce the way a mature tree would?

I do think that the first argument I would make against myself is that don’t we see the fruit of the church in what the modernsists refer to as the dark ages? And my answer to that is that we do indeed see fruit there, but an immature fruit that is more-or-less only adequate for itself and not yet an overflowing fruit that comes from a mature tree. All missionary efforts, though largely successful, were out of force–the growth of the tree. In these end times I expect to see mature fruit that gains converts passively, where those who come to the tree do so out of desire for the sweetness of its fruit. Again, we do see passive profit of the church at all in its history, but I think we don’t see it abundantly. (I am not at all a historian, so if one shows up and cuts me down that is welcome.)

1 Like

I don’t know if you saw the video this week during a Sacred Liturgy in Germany, where a woman was on the altar, dressed as a literal clown next to a giant bluetooth speaker, leading the congregation in the chicken dance!!! This appears to be during Holy Communion! The camera pans to the congregation, where some, including children are participating in this circus! If this footage is real (who knows these days), where is the righteous anger from those who claim to be shepherds of Jesus Christ, our Lord?!

Then there is what happened in New York City, where the Priest allowed a funeral for individuals who made a mockery of God! He just sat there. And then Cardinal Dolan (of Washington D.C., whom I used to like and wanted to be our new Bishop of Rome after JP2 died), defended this nonsense!

This is just some of the things that are happening in the Catholic Church. But, then in the Protestant Church you have things like this.

I am currently reading through the the Early Church Councils during Lent and they would not have ever allowed such thing to take place in the church!

We are lacking faithful Bishops who are not afraid to protect truth. Last night I read The First General Council of Constantinople, 381 A.D.

Here are some excerts from a letter written by the Bishops of Constantinople in in 382:

“…God was disciplining us by means of the great number of our sufferings… He has instructed his own servants through the weight of their afflictions, and in accordance with his numerous mercies he has brought us back again to a place of refreshment The restoration of the Churches demanded prolonged attention, much time and hard work from us if the body of the church which had been weak for so long was to be cured completely by gradual treatment and brought back to its original soundness in religion… [We may seem] to be at the moment recovering the churches which have long been in the grip of the heretics. But in fact we are oppressed by wolves who even after expulsion from the fold go on ravaging the flocks up and down dale, making so bold as to hold rival assemblies, activating popular uprisings and stopping at nothing which might harm the Churches.”

In the Canons, they define what a Heretic is:

“We define ‘heretics’ as those who have been previously banned from the Church and also those later anathematised by ourselves: and in addition those who claim to confess a faith that is sound, but who have seceded and hold assemblies in rivalry with the Bishops who are in communion with us.”

But, sadly many of our Bishops today, are more like the wolves described in their letter, who would never expel themselves, but rather expel faithful Bishops who care about protecting the truth.

The Early Council conclude their letter with the following:

“Let spiritual love link us together, and let the fear of the Lord suppress all human prejudice and put the building up of the churches before individual attachment or favour. In this way, with the account of the faith agreed between us and with christian love established among us, we shall cease to declare what was condemned by the apostles, ‘I belong to Paul, I to Apollo, I to Cephas’; but we shall all be seen to belong to Christ, who has not been divided up among us; and with God’s good favour, we shall keep the body of the church undivided, and shall come before the judgment-seat of the Lord with confidence.”

The early Bishops were not cowards. They understood their role was not to become fluffy, like many of the Bishops of our times, but rather to stand up for the truth, even in the midst of persecution and affliction.

Lord, send us great Bishops, who care more about the truth than they do about a popularity contest. Ones who know that You are the one we need and not fancy gimmicks. Rid Your sacred spaces of nonsense and things that mock our almighty God and restore reverence and things ordered to the glory of God our Father. Amen

2 Likes

In a word: Faith
In a phrase: Supernatural Faith

3 Likes

Definitely! But isn’t God making us suffer this evil of faithless bishops for some reason? Is there a good that God desires so much that He is willing to suffer with us the failure of our bishops in order to gain this good?

1 Like

Maybe yes, maybe no. I do think good can come out of bad times. I also believe God sometimes gives us what we ask for. In the Old Testament, people demanded an earthly king. It does not say that this was a good thing, but God gave them what they asked for (1 Samual 8:6-7). Christ is King of Kings and Lord of Lords and He is good (Revelation 17:14). And He desires good for us.

Just like in the Early Church, they went through times of suffering, but darkness did not prevail (Matthew 16:17-18).

There is hope and I believe that light will win over the darkness, but it does not mean that we are going to have to go through some stuff.

1 Like

I think you may be right. I was at a conference recently where the presenter said we are no longer in a Christian age. We are really starting a new Apostolic age. He meant that so many people, including many of the laity, have never really heard and therefore understand and accept the kerygma. I don’t know if the next wave of saints will come from the clergy or the laity, but it’s certainly true that the laity are in a better position to be evangelized and to respond.

1 Like

I am not sure if I am answering your points but here is my impression of what is wrong in the Church today. In a nutshell…

The Church has the goal of the “salvation of souls” but these days the goal seems to have changed to the “salvation of MY soul”. It seems selfish to strive for Heaven simply for myself which is the point of most preaching in the Church and media now. Remember the last Judgement will be “I was thirsty and you gave me drink” etc. we must do for others, not for ourselves.

1 Like

I agree with you on one hand, but on the other hand I think the Church has become more concerned with “saving the planet” than she is about saving souls.

3 Likes

Good and courageous leadership.

1 Like

I have since learned a little more details about this. Apparently it had been scheduled to be a full Funeral Mass and upon witnessing the nonsense, the Priest swiftly made the decision to downgrade the Funeral to only the Liturgy of the Word (praise be to Jesus!) This Priest did the best that he could with the situation he was dealt (assuming he had nothing to do with the scheduling of this apostate’s Funeral).

1 Like

I think the lack of lay saints is less a result of their being less lay saints and more that the saintly life of a lay person is often very unremarkable looking from the outside and therefore not documented. Add to that the fact that for most of church history most people couldn’t read or write, the lives and experiences of lay people (who were mostly illiterate) could not be distributed widely enough to be learned about and eventually lead to their official recognition.

1 Like

Flexibility in interpretation, practice and culture.