"The greatest persecution of the Church does not come from external enemies, but is born of sin within the church"-Pope Benedict xvi

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

The heresy of waffle.

Heresy would be a Priest preaching something like, "Jesus is a cucumber". Outright nonsense.

 Heresy of silence, which is popular these days, is Father not talking about Jesus at all.

Then there is the insidious heresy, that which I call the heresy of waffle. It actually has little to do with the yummy, maple-syrup slathered breakfast product however.

Heresy of waffle is the ability of a Priest to preach for 30 minutes on what basically amounts to nothing of any substance. 
Not to be confused with the heresy of silence, which is the ability of a Priest to preach for 30 minutes on the rugby scores, or golf, without actually mentioning any of that silly God/Jesus/Gospel nonsense. 
The heresy of waffle is much cleverer. You will hear things that are not untrue like "Jesus loves you" and "Jesus wants you to love one another" and "Jesus wants you to be kind" . This might well be linked the the weekend's rugby match, or peppered with amusing anecdotes about Father's golf handicap, but there is nothing inherently heretical about what Father is saying.
But with the failure of further catechesis, the phrase "Jesus loves you" can become whatever we interpret it to be. It can justify the terrible self-love that is pride. 
It can keep people away from Confession, because "Jesus loves you", and "Father said". Our idea of love has become very distorted. 
Gone are the ideals of suffering,self sacrifice, and willing the good of another, and in are happy feelings, hugs and niceness. And since Confession requires an awareness of personal sin and  a degree of humility, it stands in opposition to our self-centred, we're-alright-really modern theology. 
So Father, if you preach "Jesus loves you", you have to explain what that means or you will encourage sin rather than encourage Virtue. Perhaps you could fit a bit of basic catechesis in during that time of "waffle", or talking for ten minutes without actually saying anything worth listening too.
And if you merely say, "Jesus wants you to love one another", but don't explain that further then you are as good as telling Susy to move in with Bob or even Sharon because, you see, they "love each other".
Furthermore the heresy of waffle, or the preaching of fluffy sentiment with no understanding behind it would be like taking much care to help people pick nice colours of wellies to people back in Noah's time, rather than ensuring they are safely on the ark. Or in other words, ignoring the bigger picture.

No cheesy waffles for me, thanks.

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