Saturday, August 27, 2011

ZenTiger Obligation is counter-cultural

On discussing Holy Days of Obligation, I left this comment on another blog, I'd thought I'd file back here at NZC:

Reference was made to the idea that in a Christian/Catholic culture, we made time for going to Church. Indeed, it seemed that the Church, by setting multiple days of Obligation helped the population step outside their daily work-life and think about bigger things – their relationship with God, their family and life. It was good.

Now, we tip-toe around this word “obligation” because we understand that with Sunday trading (for example) we can’t be talking about obligations and responsibilities in this “new” society, for fear of putting pressure on people.

The key is to understand that we are now back in Roman times for the Catholic Church. We are now counter-cultural*.

It is understanding our obligations and responsibilities that will differentiate us from the main-stream culture that is currently suiciding. Obliged to go to mass? Oh, lets make it optional. Obliged to stay married? Oh, lets make it optional. Obliged to give birth to the life already created? Oh, let’s make that optional. Obliged to have responsibilities? Oh, that might generate a sense of guilt!

We practice the small things to help build the strength to take on the big things.

*I get this sense in a lot of discourse that we acknowledge our Christian heritage and note that it has put in place a lot of the cultural norms we enjoy today. But we have been riding the wave of history and not had to fight to build or establish anything special, even as we watch it crumble away.

The sanctity of marriage is a joke given how easy and common divorce is; the importance of the traditional family is treated as almost an embarrassment, for fear of alienating the growing number of single parent families. We either join in the culture and then ultimately secularize and trivialize the Church, or we concentrate on the deeper theological values that attracted the pagans to eventually turn Christian. Because here we are again, folks.

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