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Sunday, December 15, 2019

Sunday Meditation: Guest Post -- Watch Your Language! Words Mean Something!

Fr. Tom Collins hits one out of the ball park again! Words are important. Be careful how you use them!

As the juggernaut of the Culture of Desecration and Death continues to push for the secularization and perversion of humanity, it is worth noting that Church leaders have been seriously remiss by allowing its premises to pollute even the Church’s New Evangelization.

Specifically, many Church leaders have embraced the premises contained in secularist language to pollute even the sanctuary of the Church. For example, many seem to agree that the Eucharistic Christ is either not a person or a transgendered person by routinely referring to Him as “it”. Note how, even in the officially approved translation of the commingling prayer before the Agnus Dei, the  Eucharistic Christ is referred to as “it’, not as “Him”. And the laity routinely and without correction refer to Him as “it”, just as they glibly and without correction refer to His Precious Blood as “wine”.

There are many other ways, in which we are allowing the consciousness raised by sacred language
to be obfuscated and denied by secularist terms. The following examples are worth noting.

We have embraced the euphemism, abortion, in order to sanitize the evil of aborticide. Aborticide is the deliberate killing of a pre-born child in a way designed to ensure that the child cannot be baptized. The term, abortion, is used to deny this reality. Thus many are led to overlook this evil.

That word makes them think merely in terms of a military mission. When that mission has to be aborted, the soldiers on that mission are not killed. Thus, many view aborticide as merely a morally
neutral means to get “unpregnant.”  Furthermore, in order to “pastorally” address the aborticide issue, numerous times the laity have been assured that we can presume aborted babies are automatically given eternal life, and thus that Baptism into the Mystical Body of Christ is not really necessary for salvation. Over the years, this line of thought has expanded to the point where we are now being assured that we can have a “reasonable hope” that practically all people will be saved. As a result, the pastors of the Church are increasingly viewed as some kind of spiritual activities director on the good ship, Salvation.

Church leaders have also uncritically embraced the secularist term, evolution, in order to describe human development, asserting that it is “more than a theory”. This is direct opposition to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Evolution is based on premises that prioritize power and survival. Whereas the Gospel prioritizes grace and sanctification. Evolution leads people to try to be “on the right side of history” rather than the right hand of Christ. Evolution prioritizes ever-evolving subjective “values” over authentic objective virtues based on the whole truth of God. Thus the uncritical use of this term and all its secularist premises in the New Evangelization is as obscene as would be the use of “the f-bomb” in pre-nuptial preparation classes.

In opposition to evolution, the real dynamic of authentic human development is better described by the word, evocation. Human development is the fruit of God’s gracious call/invitation for all of humanity to enter into an intimate, sacred and sanctifying communion with Him in Christ. And this call is creative, reconciling, regenerative and redemptive. Since we all are invited to share more deeply in the mystery and ministries of divine intimacy, we find our true joy and fulfillment through a deepening solidarity in seeking to faithfully respond to that call through the faithful and gracious guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Another desecrating term so uncritically used in liturgy and evangelization is pride. While pride is actually a vice, secular thought presents it as the foundation of healthy self-esteem. This is a lie. Authentic healthy self-esteem can only be built on gratitude. Pride arrogantly asserts, “I am better than you”, while gratitude humbly asserts, “I am better because of you.” Pride nurtures festering resentments, while gratitude nurtures a sacred and sanctifying resilience. Thus, unless the word, pride, is decisively excised from our liturgical music and catechesis, any effort to promote the New Evangelization will only yield fruit that will quickly sour and wither.

Another term that is uncritically used is sex. As the Culture of Desecration and Death promotes the liberation of libido as the ultimate fruition of human happiness, the use of this word is seriously detrimental to the New Evangelization. Human sex is not good, it is spiritually and socially poisonous when it is used outside and/or in violation of the covenantal commitment of husband and wife to love one another as Christ loves His Bride, the Church. To use an example, salt is good, but that goodness only exists because two elements, sodium and chlorine, each of which is poisonous, are united. Thus, the use of the word, sex, rather than the term, the conjugal embrace, is seriously detrimental to good catechesis. One is guided by manipulative lust, the other is guided by obedience to sacred and sanctifying love.

Words are important. They are the rudders which guide our formation both personally and socially. And every authentically human and humanizing word must be in full harmony with the eternal and sanctifying Word made flesh, Jesus Christ. Unless we conscientious and consistently assert this basic truth by purging from our vocabulary any and all words, which deny this truth, our efforts to promote the New Evangelization will result in conversions, which are merely perfunctory and peripheral.

Fr. Thomas R. Collins

Hot Springs, VA

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