So, I know some people think it's not too classy to talk about what you gave up for Lent. The whole don't let your right hand know what your left hand is doing and praying in the streets to be noticed thing and all that. But stick with me here.
I'm not big on giving up things for Lent. Never have been, and as long-time followers of my blog know, I have mega issues with the no meat on Fridays restriction. I follow it mostly; although this year I probably won't be overly-strict about it because I gave up sugar and all carbs for Lent and if that isn't suffering, I don't know what is. I admit it was mostly a health decision that I hope becomes more spiritual as Lent progresses. Anyway, when you make such a huge change to how you eat, believe me, it's all about what you can have. Meat and vegetables are what power a low/no carb diet. Sorry Church.
What I normally do for Lent is add on things. Like an extra mass a week, or Stations of the Cross, etc. This year I decided that I will read St. Faustina's Diary by the end of the Lent, given that two people who love me very much have endeavored to give me gift copies AND my Catholic therapist has been after me to read it.
This afternoon I sat down in my beautiful new living room with a cup of coffee and started to read the introduction and immediately became seized with the exact same thoughts as when I tried to read this book once before, many years ago. These thoughts are:
Damn Trads. Damn Trads and SSPXers with all their casting aspersions on any saint canonized after Vatican II. Damn uber-uber-uber Catholics openly ranting on the internet about how suspicious it was that Pope John Paul II, a Polish man, got a Polish nun canonized, and hey, shouldn't we be questioning that a little bit more? Isn't that, shall we say, a very pro-Polish agenda? Besides, it says right there in the diary that Faustina's writings used to be subject to various censures and restrictions. Then add in assorted commentary about all the fast-tracking of canonizations since Vatican II, which of course makes them invalid?
I wish wish wish that I had never heard these arguments, no matter how extreme (or well-intentioned) they might be. Or how much of a minority voice they might represent. Yes, I know it's not all Trads - please don't remind me it's not all of them; I get that.
Here's the thing: Words matter. (The irony of me saying that isn't lost on me.) But still, there are some kinds of words that one can't forget - that, at minimum, are meant to plant doubt. Traditional Catholicism excels at this kind of thing. All it takes is one little grain of doubt to get you questioning your mass, the consecration at your mass, your parish, your priest, your devotions, your Catholic school, etc.
I hate it.
OK, I still firmly intend to read Sister Faustina's Diary this Lent, but with the caveat that part of it has been ruined for me by the things I've seen and read out there.
My husband says: Maybe we should perhaps consider that the Holy Spirit, in its infinite wisdom, has allowed certain saints to be fast-tracked because of the intense need and help we sinners here on earth have of them? And he also reiterated to me that the problem with certain Traditional Catholics is that they want to be the judge and arbitrator, instead of allowing the Church to do her own job.
Well I'm gonna try real hard to remember these points, but it's gonna be difficult.
Trad commentary on many subjects (but not all) is like the car wreck scene I can't get out of my mind's eye. Sometimes I wonder if that's exactly what they want? Like the scene they've made of Fatima.The Trads have totally ruined that for me. I will likely never have a devotion to anything Fatima-related or read anything about it.
So, anyway, welcome Lent. Say a short prayer that I might have some mercy on the Traditional Catholics that get under my skin.