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“It has sometimes seemed to me there are three weak stones sitting dangerously in the foundations of the modern Church: first, a government that excludes democracy; second, a priesthood that excludes and minimises women; third, a revelation that excludes, for the future, prophecy.”

(Letter to Christophe de Gaudefroy, 7 October 1929, Lettres in⁄dites, 80)

In 1929 this Jesuit scholar saw to the heart of the matter regarding the clerical structures of the Church. And on the nature of the human experience:

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.”

The Phenomenon of Man (1955)
 

And in reflecting on the future of the universe, Teilhard is filled with hope and an awareness of human responsibility focused not just inward on personal salvation but outward into the universe:

“Human Energy presents itself to our view as the term of a vast process in which the whole mass of the universe is involved. In us, the evolution of the world towards the spirit becomes conscious. From that moment, our perfection, our interest, our salvation as elements of creation can only be to press on with this evolution with all our strength. We cannot yet understand exactly where it will lead us, but it would be absurd for us to doubt that it will lead us towards some end of supreme value.

From this there finally emerges in our twentieth century human consciousness, for the first time since the awakening of life on earth, the fundamental problem of Action. No longer, as in the past, for our small selves, for our small family, our small country; but for the salvation and the success of the universe, how must we, modern men, organize around us for the best, the maintenance, distribution and progress of human energy?”

(Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: Building the Earth, “Human Energies” p. 67-68)
 
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There was an article in today’s Times-Picayune commenting on the rise of popularity of the practice of Eucharistic Adoration, and it noted how the current pope and John Paul II both wrote in favor of a revival of the practice even though it marks a return to a medieval and potentially superstitious mindset. Why? Why support a tradition that marks a complete reversal of Vatican II’s theology of the Eucharist?

Yesterday I was reading about the priest shortage crisis, a shortage that has been predicted for some years, and today I read about the rise in Eucharistic adoration, and suddenly it made sense. How else could the Vatican prepare people for losing the availability of the Mass? They had to make people more comfortable with the presence of the consecrated host and the absence of a priest. Perpetual adoration chapels and eucharistic adoration hours fit the bill perfectly, and theVatican didn’t need a new ritual they just had to revive an old one.

What else could they have done? The only other options would be to allow married priests (another ancient tradition but one that is not currently in favor in Rome) or allow women priests (which some argue was also an ancient tradition but is considered by Rome to be more evil than the clerical rape of children.) Heaven forbid they should consider such radical solutions, far better to indulge superstition and magical thinking and lull people into thinking that by adoring the consecrated host they have done something that Jesus would have considered valuable. The Vatican is banking on the fact that Catholics still don’t read scripture and are therefore unfamiliar with Amos, and James.

“I hate, I despise your religious feasts; I cannot stand your assemblies … But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!  (Amos 5: 21-24)

“My brothers, what good is it to profess faith, without practicing it…” James 2:14‑17

Perhaps what is needed is for a group of Catholics to adopt the methodology of the Gideons and start placing bibles not in hotel rooms but in adoration chapels. And maybe bookmarking a few passages?

Today is July 8th, Feast Day of St. Prisca who, with her husband Aquila, founded and directed house churches in three of the most important early Christian centers: Corinth, Ephesus and Rome. With Paul, Prisca can be called an “Apostle to the Gentiles.”

This month, thousands of people across the world will celebrate the July 22nd Feast Day of St. Mary of Magdala, Apostle to the Apostles.  For more information see FutureChurch.org

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