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:
behind the times
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,
nothing of the world at large — then we have not been
We 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
(2 Timothy 4:3-4)
will not tolerate sound doctrine”
Let us put Saint Paul’s words in a more contemporary setting:
Following 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 ...?
Boston Catholic Journal
Totally Faithful to the Sacred
Deposit of Faith entrusted to the Holy See in Rome
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 Name.”
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