The foundation of all the deadly sins happens to be pride. Every other sin that follows pride is a thorn produced from it. There is also ”spiritual pride” which again all the other sins in the spiritual sense flow from it, one being anger.
I like both the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and the Ordinary form as instructed to us to be said by Vatican II, and not by the SSPX or the progressives, who’ve destroyed the ordinary form. The Extraordinary form, however, seems to attract a very rigid type of Catholic. Converts and reverts in search of a deeper spirituality are especially eager to seek out such things as suits their tastes. Being aware of this, it’s partly why I fear getting involved or attending such masses.
What is a rigid Catholic? He sees doctrine as being either black or white and that is that. I’ll give an example. The Church teaches that if you commit suicide you go to hell because you’ve died in a state of mortal sin. A Catholic with a very basic understanding of Church teaching will understand that this is not always the case. Many factors which contribute to the suicide greatly diminish the culpability that would make it a mortal sin. The person who has fallen into the temptation to delineate from the narrow path into the rigid one, will often be adamant that there are no factors that would diminish culpability, and you’re going to hell.
Another example would be the infallible doctrine ”Nulla Salus” which is the doctrine of the Church that outside of her, there can be no salvation. Many popes have reminded us through the centuries, that one has to knowingly know that the Catholic Church is the truth before leaving her or coming into her. The likelihood of that taking place is very small indeed, as very few people would leave the truth knowingly. Many other factors such as mental illness play a role in diminishing the culpability also. The rigid Catholic response to this? No.. you’re going to hell. It’s either black or it’s white, there can be no stipulations.
Many are very by the rule book, and because of the spiritual pride, some suffer from the Jansenist heresy which existed in Ireland and parts of Europe in the 18th-20th century. It was a very strict moral theology in which even refused many absolution from their sins and focused on the severe judgment of God rather than mercy. I feel this is every time I go to a Latin Mass because many who attend it, especially of the elderly generation and young eager converts, have a longing for the ”old church”. It’s not only the tradition and prayerful nature of the Mass that attracts them, (this is fine, it’s what attracts me), but the old ways and behaviour of the Church. Their moral compass is greatly amiss.
Yesterday, my son and some other kids were playing in the Church, my kids ran inside and took the play into the Church which they shouldn’t have done. After all the other kids had gone my two sons quieted down but continued to be scolded by two middle-aged women one of whom donned a black mantilla, clutching her liturgy of the hours. The admonition was enough to quiet down my children, but as they sat quietly in the pew, these people weren’t satisfied. They wanted them out of the Church altogether and continued to scold them to leave.
You see, letting the children know they can’t play in the Church and excessively scolding them, asking them to leave after the fact they’ve calmed down, presents an underlying mental issue there. Not only is it mental, but also (and more importantly) a spiritual sickness lying heavy on the soul. On my way home in the car, I understood why there is so much tension between the right and the left in the Church, with Christ being pushed aside in pursuit of – pay attention to this now – MY spirituality. My spirituality becomes more important than Christ himself. My peace, my prayer time, my liturgy and my church. We push Christ and his teaching aside in pursuit of what it is we want. This is the heart of spiritual pride, making a god out of oneself and our personal liturgical taste, rather than Christ Himself.
This is a trap we must be careful not to fall into in the spiritual life. We must pray for the discernment to move forward, because the Devil prowls around like a lion looking to devour peoples souls and their intellects. If he doesn’t succeed in getting you to the right, he will no doubt succeed in getting you to the left.
What I’ve realized, is that sometimes you’ve just got to ”work out your own salvation” as St.Paul says and save yourself and your family. I’ve discovered in the last 10 year or so, that there is nowhere that’s safe inside the Lord’s church from bad doctrines and approaches to the faith. I have to learn how to deal with my own bad approaches that seem to exist continually, that’s true, and I’m the greatest of all sinners. When it comes to the modernist and fundamentalist mindset within the Church, together with St.Paul I can sorrowfully say, ”There but for the grace of God go I”. I also need to say these things at risk of sounding like a pharisee, but if I don’t say it who will?