Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Power of Not Praying

Rod Dreher, in a post by this title (The American Conservative, June 18, 2013):
A fallen-away Catholic named “Ellery” left an interesting comment this morning in the “Why They Left God” thread. I encourage you to read the whole thing. This was the most notable part of it, I think:
Years later, I have realized, especially after living in Israel and seeing Judaism in all its forms, that what is missing isn’t “liberal” or “conservative” but rather, a discipline of prayer. No one really taught me that, not my conservative, crazy 7th grade Catholic teacher who told us all the divorced & remarried parents of her students would go to hell for what they’d done, and showed us really horrible anti-abortion movies- nor the Jesuit church where God was sometimes referred to as “She” and Latin America was high on the list of things we talked about at Mass.
Marshall McLuhan — yes, the media theorist; he was a devout Catholic — said this:
I never came into the church as a person who was being taught Catholic doctrines. I came in on my knees. That is the only way in. When people start praying they need truths; that’s all. You don’t come into the Church through ideas and concepts, and you cannot leave by mere disagreement. It has to be a loss of faith, a loss of participation.

You can tell: when people leave the Church, they have quit praying. The active relating to the Church’s prayer and sacraments is not through ideas.
Me being me, I can’t be reminded of this often enough.
And me being me, I can't help being reminded of Francis A. Schaeffer's observation that the first step of apostasy among those who drift away from the Faith, is to stop giving thanks to God for His blessings.

[Hat tip to JM]


Anonymous said...

McLuhan of all people.

Things that make you go hmm...

Anonymous Bosch said...

This speaks to a profound truth, despite Dreher's defection. People don't often make a conscious decision to leave the Catholic Church, unless they have some conviction that motivates them to leave for an alternative church, like Dreher. Most people who lose religious faith altogether do so not by a decision but by drifting slowly away in a default mode, letting their ideas be determined by the left-wing entertainment media.

Charles said...

McLuhan was apparently no fan of the liturgical changes either. A friend of mine heard him give a talk in which he said that the turning around of the altars was embarrassing because it left the priest up in the front "with his bare face hanging out"