Tuesday, June 14, 2005


SpiritDaily.com has been running a series of articles promoting a book by Father Anthony Bus, talking about what is behind some of the problems in the church. One is a lack of adoration, which stems from an abundance of pride and lack of devotions and holiness. I concur with this as I have struggled to keep my pride in check as well, and as a result of this recognize an abundance of pride in others also. I see it in ways I’ve discussed previously where in certain “Catholic” forums, people do not want to be confronted with the concept of “fearing” God, “obeying” his laws, but instead prefer to dwell in the warm fuzziness of peace and love, etc. I don’t dispute peace and love. But to only focus on this is to choose to hone in on only one portion of Christ’s ministry and teachings.

We've also seen that one of the most overlooked aspects of Christ's time on earth was his prayer life. How many times do we read in the Gospels where Jesus went off to pray with His Father? Obviously prayer and even adoration were key in His life. Isn't there a lesson to be learned from this, too? A lack of a prayer life can lead to many temptations, as Fr. Bus notes:
It gets back to the oldest of temptations. Behind many of the Church disturbances, says Father Bus, is pride. There is "egocentricity" among the consecrated. "Too often, hidden beneath the guise of sheep, are wolves that, perhaps unknown to themselves, devour the sheep," he says. "Pride, pomposity, sloth, egocentricity, and arrogance do more harm to the mission of the Church than those in the world who profess to be unbelievers or with honesty show their disdain for the Christ."

The lack of training and spiritual depth have led to another problem, refusal to discuss the devil, which has allowed him to run rampant, including through those seminaries. Satan is not mentioned much from the modern pulpit even though Scripture calls him "prince of this world." And then there is that issue of holiness. It has been shunted aside, as if an embarrassment.

Parishes are now oriented around programs instead of prayer, points out this priest (whose book bears an imprimatur). "Priests are so pressured into sustaining and participating in a multiplicity of programs, meetings, services, committees, and councils that the sacraments and prayer run the risk of being relegated to an afterthought," he warns.

Those programs are man-made. What the Church needs is what God has designed. Father Bus found freedom when he allowed himself to be formed "in the spirituality of the Blessed Virgin Mary."

At our parish of 1200 families, it does seem that we have a program for everything. Asking our already busy priests to go from meeting to meeting "administering" instead of "ministering" is worrisome. My first clue as to how stretched these men were was when I found out that several of them carry a PDA of some sort on them to track all of their appointments!

I’m a member of several committees myself, and have heard discussed that by having so many options for busy families and individuals, we ensure there is something for everybody to participate in. The hope I think is that by getting people involved in something, they will enjoy it and eventually seek out other things in the parish for them to be involved in, which will hopefully bring them around eventually to the spiritual aspects of the Church. You know what I’m talking about. The Big Three: Time, Talent and Treasure. Or if you prefer a more modern spin: Spiritual Resources, Human Resources and Financial Resources. But then people get so busy in the activities of the parish that their spiritual banks get drained and run low. People need time in prayer and contemplation in order to refuel and refill their spiritual tanks which gives them the energy and drive needed to fuel their good works. Adoration is, I believe, one of the most important “programs” a parish can have, as summed up below.
As Father Bus knows, Adoration solves problems that Church councils can not. Why Adoration?

"In the Holy Eucharist, there is a truth that does not deceive," says this priest. "Satan may seduce us, friends may betray us, parents may abandon us, and priests may disappoint us," but Christ does not, writes Father Bus.


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