A Cryptic Traditional Catholic Travelogue 8: Liberal, No More …



The beautiful churches in France … big and empty. This one in Perigeux inspired Paul Abadie in his design for the Sacré Coeur de Montmartre.

Introduction 2013: This is the eighth part of a curious little ‘travelogue’ I wrote, whilst travelling through the wreckage of Catholic France during 2010.

It certainly helped create a deep relief in my soul that after years of indecision, I was no longer a liberal Catholic …

The series starts here – which is probably the best place to begin to understand why I make that last remark – RB.

From 2010:

More fragments. Very personal:

Travelling through France.

So very hard to find a daily Mass.

But here appears to me an opportunity.

Yet another half-dead convent – the second half dead convent we have found which appears like this.

The aged sisters dressed as to be nigh-indistinguishable from the non-religious state. No young at all.

Am I being condemnatory, when I say this is how it appears to me?

Perhaps I am deceived, but if there is much of living inspiration in these places, it is hard for me to detect.

But – there is still daily Mass here.

The first convent we found like this will be gone very soon, I imagine.

But this one serves as an “inn” it seems, on the way to Compostela.

And due  to that fact, it has not yet closed down. This one might be kept on “life support” just a little longer.

I am grateful indeed to find Mass here, but my heavy heart is grieving.

And I am glad to FEEL this heaviness.

Years ago, as a more liberal Catholic, my heart was more insensate to scenes like this – the slow death of the Church

Back then, I thought stupid things like:

“Perhaps it isn’t so bad, after all.

Perhaps the modern world demands a modern spirituality: New forms, not old wineskins.

Perhaps these old religious houses do not matter that much, really …”

In those days, I did not go to Holy Mass daily.

Sometimes I missed the Sunday obligation too.

I was not HUNGRY then, as I am hungry now, for the Catholic Mystery.

I was still too much like a New Ager – who just happened to have converted. Confimed in the Catholic Church, that is, but not fully converted.

Not really.

It took me years to feel the PRECIOUSNESS of this.

It took years for my doubting mind to be convinced of the sheer tragedy of losing all of this.

It took years to begin to FEEL as much as I do now.

Thank God, I feel. Or at least begin to feel.

Thank God, my heart begins to feel, if just a very, very little, a little more like Yours must feel, Lord.

Thank God it begins to become pierced. – pierced by the tragedy of all of this and therefore more ready to implore:

“What must be DONE, O Lord?”

Yes more ready to implore and more committed to the responses that come in prayer as I implore …


Next Installment: A Cryptic Traditional Catholic Travelogue 9

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