Well I said I was coming out fighting and I did. I had energy Monday and I used it. I’ve tried to keep it up during the rest of the week and I’ve been largely successful. Its tough to describe the effects of depression though, just how draining it is. Its like living with the flu, permanently.
I’m on new pillz that build on the first lot. They seem to be working, I’ve actually been happy three times these last few days and this after a rough weekend. What does that mean? well that’s big news, its like fireworks going off in my brain, I’d say its like the 4th of July but wait I’m not American. (November the 5th isn’t quite worth celebrating as far as I’m concerned, like the battle of Stalingrad it had no winners only losers…)
Which brings me to something else, we need to celebrate more as a nation and this brings me back to religion. This country doesn’t celebrate enough. Why? I think it started with the reformation. We all know about Oliver Cromwell cancelling Christmas and fundamentally misunderstanding the English spirit, it was just as unpopular then as it would be now. But do we know about all the feast days this country used to hold dear before Henry the 8th needed to get laid and didn’t care about being excommunicated to get it?
As an aside, my local city has just started putting up its winter lights, thus begins the two month commercial slog towards Xmas (not Christmas) a lot of people find Xmas a total blowout and I don’t blame them. Remove Christ and the Mass from Christmas and what are you left with???
I’ll leave you to ponder these things. Meanwhile a more controversial question has been rolling around my brain recently and it is this: Is protestantism a heresy? I know I’m very fortunate to have protestant friends and family, who through a bizarre form of self flagellation read this blog of mine. I’m not looking to offend them. But a lot of questions the world wished you never asked seem to be especially pertinent. There is the old joke that goes like this, ‘what’s the difference between a Dominican and a Jesuit? have you ever met an Albigensian?’.
For those of you who aren’t of the Catholic persuasion the Dominican order was founded to combat an outbreak of a brand of gnostic heresy in the south of France and the North of Spain commonly called the Albigensians or Cathars. And yes, they as a group are not around today… (though gnosticism is alive and well and always will be because it seems to have a hook in the human psyche)… They also had political backers which laid them open to warfare and there was a crusade declared against them which was a perfectly valid part of European politics and religion at the time. (To understand history you have to be a man of their time not your own.)
The society of Jesus, aka the Jesuits, were formed during the counter reformation to take the Christian faith to the world, a world threatened, in the eyes of Rome, by protestantism. Of course to be fair to the Jesuits they were phenomenally successful in spreading the faith, but as we all know, protestantism is alive and well.
So then, back to the question, is protestantism a heresy? My answer is yes. It is an awkward answer, an answer I wish I wasn’t so sure of. Maybe even an answer I wish I didn’t believe. But there it is, springing unbidden, unwanted and undeniable.
Why is it a heresy? Because it is a reduction of the faith, it places faith in a slightly smaller and more comfortable box than Catholicism. Why is it smaller? Well the first thing that springs to mind is this. The most beautiful experience of my life was participating in a sung latin mass, this will forever be denied to protestants. (it is also denied to many Catholics in this country! which is a grievous crime against the body of Christ but that is a story for a different post)
Many protestants think that worship is just singing. Sacramental worship will never be available to them, worship that is valid regardless of your ‘gusto’, regardless of anything bar your presence and participation at whatever level you are capable of. (for someone who struggles with mental health issues that is vital)
Catholicism gives the best sermons in my experience, but the level of engagement with the Mass, by the congregation, does not depend on IQ, theological savvy, or even Bible study, as beneficial as those things are to have. That too is of vital importance to me, I cannot be a christian and look down on my brothers and sisters because I do have a high IQ, theological savvy and I’ve been lucky enough to have had the scriptures exposed to me from a young age. (by my wonderful protestant parents I would add)
Everything comes back to the Altar. Salvation by grace alone is a truly Catholic belief. Anyway I’ve been up all night, I will have to leave this as an unfinished thought. God bless.