Reportedly, director Philip Groning had to wait sixteen years before he was given the green light to film a documentary on the Carthusians. Their founder’s, St. Bruno’s, feast day is my birthday, Oct. 6th, so perhaps that is why I have felt an affinity for this spiritually spartan order for as long as I have known about them. I purchased his documentary Into Great Silence as soon as it was made available to an American audience. Of course, now you can watch the entire deal on YouTube. For me, the most moving sequence features close-up profiles of several of the monks. One can also watch it on, wait for it, YouTube. A few look uncomfortable; a few look almost confrontational; a few look confused; a few of look bored: such a penetrating look at the humanity of men who have removed themselves from society, for all of them possess a dignity and authenticity that is lacking in most of our lives. Whether you believe or not, these are men of whom the world is not worthy, for they pray daily for the salvation of the world and do their penances accordingly. Whenever I watch this clip, I am reminded of how I have wasted my life. I, perhaps, could have been one of them, praying for the salvation of the world. Perhaps it would have amounted to nought, but what else have I done with my life? If I were ever to encounter one of these men outside his monastery, I think that I would immediately break down and fall down at his feet and ask him to pray the prayers I can no longer pray.
This other clip features the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. This trailer comes from the documentary Outcasts and shows the friars doing what they do best–corporal works of charity (there are also a few scenes of Adoration for those racialist trads wary of corporal works of charity for brown people). While I think that any sensible Catholic (or bad Catholic or simply a Catholic-minded person) would support a return to the Latin Mass and better catechetical formation, it does not seem like such is coming, scattered young stud traditional seminarians aside. Furthermore, Islam is poised to surpass Christianity as the dominant religion. Transhumanism and robotic automation will challenge all our conceptions about the limits and distinctive value of humanity. Perhaps the only way that Christianity will persist is through a combination of the Carthusian and the Franciscan models: silence, prayer, penance, and corporal works of charity. Oh yeah, and much, much suffering.
If I have learned nothing else from Catholicism, it is this: suffering is not without value. For this alone, I could never go back to Protestantism, for there is no true place for suffering in that scheme. If salvation is a sealed deal, then why in heaven or hell would God allow for suffering? To aid sanctification that is utterly divorced (heh–Protestants) from justification (and, thus, not that essential)? To manifest his Jewish sense of superiority and lack of empathy? This applies especially to Calvinists. Y’all keep your Five Points of Calvinism; I would rather rest on the five wounds of Jesus.
In addition, if there another thing that I have learned from Catholicism, it is that true obedience means complete motherfucking submission to the will of God. Protty pastors can still marry and have children–how sweet. Not so for those truly called by God; you must forego the comforts of the marital embrace and the hope of children. Also, as evidenced from social media, too many self-professing believers think that they can baptize their selfish and hedonistic lifestyles because they are elect or made a profession of faith when they were five. I mean, so you may wear immodest clothing and bathing suits, take extravagant vacations and live beyond your means, idolize social media, watch whatever the hell you want on TV, get drunk regularly, treat most people like shit, support bombing those poor fuckers who live in countries that should not even be included on maps, and give or receive the regular blowjob, the precious blood of Jesus makes it all good. No wonder more and more people are walking away from the faith of their fathers.
Look at what happens when I get a few drinks in me: I start blabbing about a faith that I no longer practice and criticize those who do not live their convictions. True, sugar tits, my hypocrisy knows no bounds.