My prayer life has shifted these days. It's much more simple, & less rote. I ask God to help me understand things. To help me believe. To help me love Him.

I express gratitude, though not enough. Frustration, too.

Also, been saying the Jesus prayer a bunch. It says it all.
The thing is, I don't really know what he wants from me. I just know that the way things are has me deeply unsettled. I've been afraid to say that for a long time, like somehow it's my fault for being scandalized, & saying so means I'm responsible for anyone who agrees.
The thing about being a cradle Catholic is that you never get know what it's like to not have the gun to your head of going to hell for not doing it right. For not believing right. For not saying and doing all the right things.

You do what you're told because you have no choice.
That's one of the most ironic things. How much we talk about free will. But in the same breath, you're reminded that if you mess up, hell awaits. It just takes one mortal sin. It just takes one obstinately doubted dogma. It's a weird way to live. It's all fear, not love.
So I ask God to help me love him instead. To know how. Because fear isn't doing it anymore. I'm fed up with threats. I'm tired of being told I have to cling to an abusive Church because it's the only means of salvation. We're being gaslit, constantly.
I'm also sick of the people who tie themselves in knots to defend the pope's manifest errors being the same ones who are eager to jump down your throat for questioning things. It all feels like Stockholm Syndrome.

There's got to be a better way.
There's a scene in Good Will Hunting where Robin Williams' character tells Matt Damon's character that it's not his fault he was abused by the people who were supposed to love him.

And Damon's character, Will, starts brushing it off. Because he's really, really smart. He knows.
Will always has an answer for everything. He's always got an angle, an analysis, a smartass reply. He's always one step ahead.

He reminds me of a lot of Trad Catholics.

But Williams just keeps telling him, "It's not your fault. It's not your fault. It's not your fault."
Eventually, Will's shield comes down, and he just starts sobbing. All the hurt comes out. All the betrayal and the fear and the overcompensation. It all just breaks down.

Every day I feel closer to that point. I'm tired of trying to have an answer for everything.
It's not our job to make sense of what the Church has done. It's not our fault that she has, through the men placed in charge of her institutions, abused us for so long.

The gaslighting, the confusion, the self-contradiction, the split personality, the insistence that we...
... Have to follow all the rules, even when the popes and bishops and priests flagrantly violate them.

We have to just shut up. Pay, pray, & obey. Always assume the best. Never speak ill of clergy. Interpret heresy in an orthodox light.

The truth is, we're just as much orphans as Will Hunting is. We have been abandoned by the human element in the Church. We are treated with contempt.

And it's not our fault.

It's not our fault.

It's not our fault.
There's a masochistic strain in Catholicism that says, "You deserve all the bad things you get, including bad popes, bishops, and priests."

I reject this. People trying to be faithful to God do not deserve this. They deserve to be helped on the path to salvation, not tripped.
And the people who can't take the abuse anymore? The ones who leave? The orphans who run away from home because they can't take anymore abuse? They deserve compassion and empathy. Not scorn or blame, because "there's no salvation outside the Church you know..."
I don't know what it's going to take to fix this. But things are so much more broken than I know how to fully articulate right now. Or even grasp. TLM enclaves aren't really safer, they're just less obviously infected.

God is going to have to break this all down. A lot.
A lot of people seem excited about this. Admittedly, I want to see the corruption burned out. I don't care how much of the edifice topples. But a catacomb Church isn't going to be easy.

And lots of people will be lost along the way. They matter, too.
We've got a lot to go through, I think, and it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better. Most of us will probably never see Catholicism restored. We'll live our entire lives without a healthy Church.

I don't know why that's ok. As a father, I can't imagine allowing it.
So that's why my prayer life has changed. I'm too upset, too hurt, too tired, too angry, too fed up to muster up anything but the simplest prayers: Lord, help me understand why. Help me believe in you. Help me love you and believe you love me.
And of course, "LordJesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."

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More from @SteveSkojec

15 Oct
So now that @EricRSammons started a thing, I'll offer my quasi-counterpoint.

I'm a "gamer." Have been since I was a little kid with an Atari 2600. As the father of a large family, I don't get to play as much as I used to, for obvious reasons. Some considerations follow (thread)
First of all, to Eric's point on "video games are more likely to draw you away from Christ than toward him" - I think it's a leading statement.

Does any form of entertainment, strictly speaking, lead you to Christ? TV? Movies? Novels? Plays? Watching sports?

Nope. They don't.
I can already hear objections being raised, & that's a good thing. It helps you understand my perspective better.

There are many leisure activities that do not, strictly speaking, move us in the direction of virtue. Yet they are not wrong, & they can inspire contemplation.
Read 31 tweets
13 Oct
In light of @StefMLozinski's frustrations about how awful people can be on Twitter, I'm going to run through my TL and add the names here of some of the people I most enjoy interacting with. It won't be a comprehensive list, so I hope nobody feels left out if I forget. See below:
Read 4 tweets
8 Oct
Mini-thread. Feeling frustrated again today. I think the issue is that many of us feel roughly the same things about what needs to happen in the Church, but know that we're powerless to make it so. So what do we do?
Why do I have to sit and argue with a prominent dominican like @PetriOP on Twitter (who I believe has me muted, since he never responded once to the discussion, which involved a number of other folks) about what is so obvious with the DP teaching change?
Why do I have to write yet another article holding everyone's hands and walking them through why this DP issue matters so much, how Francis works, and how to interpret what is happening?
Read 14 tweets
8 Sep
Thread: Someone mentioned to me last week that there is an impression I've been defending the SSPX on abuse charges. I want to make it clear that I've not. I want to let all the facts come out, & I've decried the overt bias of those reporting gleefully on this situation. (1/ )
What I **have** done is defend some of the theological positions held by the Society. I see this as a separate matter.

As for the abuse allegations, the SSPX promised transparency & then failed to provide it. I think they've done a huge disservice to themselves & victims. (2/ )
At the end of this affair, I've no idea what will come of the investigations into what they've done, but my hope isn't to see anyone who is guilty spared. I won't blindly defend an organization (esp. one I have zero stake in) because we're ideologically in alignment. (3/ )
Read 11 tweets
1 Sep
It's absolutely more dangerous to be black than white in America. But that's because of their own community, not ours. Blacks not only kill twice as many whites as vice versa, but they kill 10 times as many of their own as whites do:…
Do you know how many black men were killed by police in 2019? 235. Do you know how many whites? 370.
"But wait!" I hear you protest. "There are fewer black people in America than whites, so taken as a percentage of their total population, the rate of black people being killed is three times higher per capita!"
Read 19 tweets
14 Aug
I guess 1 Cor. 7:4 is crazy controversial even in Catholic circles
From: Moral Theology A Complete Course Based on St. Thomas Aquinas and the Best Modern Authorities

Authors: John A. McHugh O.P. & Charles J. Callan O.P. Image
"The obligation is grave, since the marriage contract is one of the most momentous of human agreements, its direct end being the propagation of the race, while the denial of its essential right is productive of most serious evils, such as incontinence, scandals and...
Read 18 tweets

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