I guess that's what it comes down to, really. Traditional Catholicism, as it is dressed up in the "store-front" of various Traditional newspapers, books, magazines, web sites, tapes, lectures, etc., is very good at identifying what we shouldn't be doing, what things we should be getting rid of in our lives (whether objects, like TV, rock music, etc., or ideas, such as NFP, Americanism, etc.) - but rarely does it tell us what to do with these new holes in our lives.
You must avoid all of these things - that part I understand. But now that has become my life! Looking out for things to avoid; taking a critical (and even cynical) approach to everything; replacing the bad somethings in my life with idle nothings. And frankly, I'm bored. And I'm not getting any holier.
Catholicism used to be on the cutting edge of originality - leading the way in producing the brightest thinkers, the most brilliant theologians, the most talented artists, the best musicians, the best-read historians, inspired poets, and on and on ... but it seems to me now that we've become largely unoriginal and boring - reactionary even.....
Let's start dealing with the universal and eternal, things that will be relevant long after the crisis has ended, and stop worrying so much about the temporal stuff that's going to be ancient history just as soon as Russia gets consecrated.Sorry for the lengthy quote, but this was on my mind when a discussion about Michael Voris' Church Militant and his Vortex podcasts came up. In these podcasts, Mr. Voris (in incredibly sharp fashion) diagnoses just how bad things suck in the Church today. He shows with evidence how corrupt bishops are, how lax the faith is in many quarters, and how in many places secular liberalism is ascendant, even in our Churches. He is inspiration in telling people what to avoid.
Yet that is almost all of what he does. It is about what to avoid. It is seldom (if ever) about what to replace it with. While Mr. Voris does not consider himself a "traditionalist", a huge amount of his fan base do identify as such. We trads are really susceptible to this stuff. It has gotten better since 2004: we aren't the second-class citizens we once were for starters. Yet still to this day a lot of people deny there is a crisis, or at least try to say the crisis can be solved with tinkering at the margins, or by, wait for it, implementing what Vatican II really meant. Trust me, we are waaaaayyyyy beyond ecumenical council pixie dust fixing things. We are scandalized by a lot of what goes on, and we should be scandalized.
Yet when you are scandalized, you risk letting that scandal dominate you. I think Mr. Voris' Vortex promotes that mentality. I find myself agreeing with most of it, yet finding myself utterly bored by it. Don't just tell me how things suck: tell me what I can do about it. Don't just tell me how bad others are: remind me to get my own affairs in order via the confessional, and pronto! Tell me how to build Christendom in my own household, even if I can't instill it within nations.
All Catholics need this, not just the traditionalist movement. Mr. Voris is obviously incredibly smart and a very good presenter. Yet what is he presenting? How often does he mention the great Catholic works of spirituality as ways to overcome all the crap we see today? How often does he advise his audience to frequent the sacraments? Read the Bible daily? Organizations that operate on the local level to work with in building up the Culture of Christ? If he even devoted 10% of his programming to these things, we would be a lot better off. I'm not saying he never covers it. Sometimes he does.
Faithful Catholics don't need to hear how things suck. We know that. We live that life. We see how much things suck every time we walk out the door and are mocked for our faith. We know it sucks when we hear Father give another dull homily full of his interesting little pet ideas, and having nothing to do with the Gospel. We see it in the hurt souls experience because they got stuck in traffic and missed the 15 minute window of confession for the week. We see it when even our church leaders from priests on up act more like secular politicians than individuals shepherding the Church of God. Most importantly, we see it when we constantly screw up. The righteous man falls seven times a day, and most of us aint' righteous.
How can we overcome these things? That's what we need to hear about from Catholic personalities.... free of charge. Voris could be a powerful voice in that effort. Right now, it is just a vortex sucking in wreckage.