The Global Tragedy of Demythologisation

Some time ago, I stayed with a friend who is studying Catholic Theology at a Swiss university. We had some difficult conversations about the Faith. Difficult because we once shared many beliefs, but now stand in very different places. Our current differing perspectives clashed.


Something my friend said to me, still rings in my ears. She said that “Mary was just a mum”.

What my friend does not know, is that this particular comment, “Mary was just a mum”, penetrated me in such a deeply painful way, that I was effected the rest of that evening and the whole of the next day. In fact, the following morning, I cried through much of my Rosary prayer and then at Holy Mass.

I cried because I felt so much pain at the dishonouring of Our Lady, the Mother of Our Lord and our Mother. A dishonouring of the mystery that brought Her into relationship with the Holy Trinity.

I cried because my friend it seems to me, has been sucked into an academic world that is destroying the Faith, by materialising its mystery.

I cried because this attempted destruction is occurring everywhere. That is, for example, my friend will go forth to teach these things, like countless others across the world, indoctrinated by these so-called ´truths´.

I recall a lecture, given by the head of faculty at the Anglican university I attended some years ago in Wales.

He taught us that in the past, people believed in angels, demons, the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection. Yet, in this day and age, these things are understood for what they truly are, superstitions and not reality!

At another time, a different lecturer laughed, when someone mentioned the dangers of Satan.

At a Novus Ordo Mass in the Chapel of the Apparitions in Paray-le-Monial, France (where Saint Margeurite Marie witnessed the revelations of the Sacred Heart of Our Lord), an older priest celebrated Mass. In his homily, he mentioned the dangers of Satan and the congregation almost gasped. One could have heard a pin drop, whilst it seemed as if everyone held their breath in shock.

Even as I write these things, I have tears in my eyes, as I ponder these tragedies. The tragedy of the so-called demythologisation of the Faith, so that it can neatly fit into our modern, secular materialistic mindset.

And I imagine that as I weep at these things, the angels are weeping with me. I imagine, that whilst Satan laughs at these victories, the broken Heart of Our Lady bleeds.

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7 Comments

  1. roger
    Posted 10 September 2009 at 11:26 | Permalink

    I am going to venture something …

    Until now, I alone knew of your tears. Once in a profound dream, a saint I believe appeared and said that I did not FEEL sufficiently. How I admire your feeling! And how I see the importance of weeping, for we who see the danger to the Catholic Mystery.

    Too often in traditionalists there is an admirable AWAKENESS to this tragedy, but it can curdle – understandably – into bitterness and recrimination. This is understandable when one – by the Grace of God – sees what is really happening, but how I think tears are more vital and creative than acid …

  2. Edwin Shendelman
    Posted 11 September 2009 at 14:08 | Permalink

    It seems all of the reductionist theologies and spiritualities are pre-faced by the word \just.\ It reminds of something I read: \The word just puts blinders on you, so even though it introduces a miracle, you are unable to see it. Instead of a miracle, you see \just\ this or \just\ that. It keeps you from looking into the depths of anything. You never open your eyes in wonder.\ from the Seventh Telling by Mitchell Chefitz.

  3. kim
    Posted 14 October 2009 at 10:02 | Permalink

    Thank you, Edwin, for your comment, which I find both tragic and poignant. I regret taking so long to respond.

    Reading these words: “It keeps you from looking into the depths of anything. You never open your eyes in wonder.” … the tragedy of what I wrote and what you are commenting on strike me all the more powerfully.

    To not be deep about anything, to not look with eyes of wonder, this leads to a dead world, indeed.

  4. Carlton
    Posted 15 October 2009 at 15:35 | Permalink

    As a traditionalist Catholic, I understand that Mary is much more “than just a Mum”. My question to you is why did you not readily engage your friend in your feelings and your woe. Not in a fashion that would be disrespectful or full of condemnation, but in a fashion of true compassion and true communication. From your writing above, it seems that you harbored this pain inside yourself with silence but with emotions as well. It also seems that you never communicated such then and there. I apologize if I misread this. If I did not, I would challenge you in the future to engage with those around you more readily.

    As a former New Ager, you should also use that experience profitably to kindle inside yourself compassion for those around you who, like yourself are naive or unaware. In addition, it is important that all of us focus on the refinement of our relationship to the Divine, and the planks that habitually curse our own eyes, and to not worry so much about the splinter in our neighbor’s.

    Iesu, mitis et humilis Corde, Fac cor nostrum secundum Cor tuum.

    Pax tecum.

  5. Edwin Shendelman
    Posted 23 October 2009 at 00:38 | Permalink

    It interesting to review our reactions when the views of others cause pain to ourselves. Sometimes it so sensitive that we fear engaging in debate because we fear the emotional storm may grow. If there is an emotional storm brewing inside to the comments of others it may not always be the best time to engage. Our emotions might lead to hasty, angry words.

  6. kim
    Posted 28 October 2009 at 14:22 | Permalink

    Carlton and Edwin, thank you both for your comments. I really appreciate your engagement with my words, it brings them more alive. thank you again.

    I am sorry it has taken me so long to reply. Due to relocation upheavals, our internet access has been more limited than ever over the last two weeks!

    I will try to respond to you both here, hoping to make my position clearer.

    When I write, I use personal experience to direct attention to something I see as occurring within society as a whole. In this case, the title I chose illustrates this point: ‘The Global Tragedy of Demythologisation’.

    I therefore used the situations both with my friend’s comments of the past and with my own more recent experience with my friend, to illustrate this demythologising of the faith.

    Both of you have commented on emotion here and I cannot deny that I was filled with personal pain when both writing and experiencing these things recently with my friend.

    It is a profound sadness for me, as my friend comes from a deeply Marian background and even helped me to discover the graces of prayer and devotion to Our Lady.

    Again, I was using my friends comment that Mary is “just a mum”, to illustrate my point. I did not want to go into our personal disagreements.

    I did indeed challenge my friend, but actually felt that integrity was better served by withdrawal. Very sadly for me, not only was the tragic comment made, “Mary is just a mum”, but it was made as an attack on my position of faith.

    I do not see that there is any reasoning with this type of argument. It seems to me to be about defeating the other, rather than a search for truth.

    As I say, I felt the wise thing to do was to withdraw.

    Yes, my tears were very much about the above. They were about the loss, (hopefully temporarily), of a friend in faith. But more deeply, they were tears of mourning for a situation I see all around me. A situation that I see as a global demythologisation.

    For me, this type of shedding of tears is connected to the opening of my heart, making it feel raw and tender. It is as such a prayer.

    It is in this state, that I feel greater connection to the Hearts of Our Lord and Our Lady. For it is a state that connects me more deeply to the shedding of tears for the tragedy of our world.

    I hope these words will help you understand me more deeply. Thank you again for your engagement.

    To close, I repeat your prayers Carlton: Iesu, mitis et humilis Corde, Fac cor nostrum secundum Cor tuum …

  7. mi tu
    Posted 28 March 2015 at 04:31 | Permalink

    Mythology would mean the Blessed Virgin is a myth. De-mythologizing the BVM means she is NOT a myth. So if it’s a tragedy that she is real, then someone either doesn’t know what they are talking about, or mistranslated the article.
    You’re right, I guess this is a good example of how Satan works.

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