Editor writes: The following comment came to me in an email a few days ago, and I thought it might provoke an interesting discussion on the question of whether Third Order membership risks distorting the lay vocation…
Correspondent writes: I found [the following] on an SSPX [Facebook] site…
Education is a process. It [does not happen] overnight. So if you think you are educating people by provoking them, [no matter] how good your intentions may be, still you [make] them feel [angry, notwithstanding] your charitable intention with [what seems like an] uncharitable approach. How do you feel after posting things that provoke your neighbor? if you are happy, I think you are on your way to great punishment. We should not be happy [when we provoke others to anger] instead we [should] show some remorse or [pity for] those who do not see the crisis.
Instead of talking, have you gone in the streets to bring food for the hungry? Or have you dressed the naked? These things are much more important than you asking the approval of people and in the process your virtues are compromised. So live a normal life in accordance to one’s state. If you have kids better save them and discipline them instead of other kids you focus your attention to. If you are an employee focus your attention to your work and offer every work for God rather telling people about the crisis, which makes people flee from your sight and [you] lose the chance of showing them – instead -your good works. That is not the way.
Let God do his works in finding sinners, not you. You are to show your light in that area where you are, for people to see God through you, and find people whom He wants to give the grace. That is our work. Let the Church[man] do his job and you focus on your job and save your soul.
Yes, the Church is in a state of emergency but let the hierarchy do the job not you. God asks from you to pray for the Pope, for Him to solve this crisis. God is not asking you to tell the people about the crisis. He sent Mary to inform people, to [tell them to] offer prayers and sacrifices for the reparation of sins and that is what we should do. More often we are more concerned about informing people about the crisis and we have not even prayed and fasted for a month, or at least become a victim for others.
God’s way is consistent. St. Therese of the Child Jesus preached through offering every little thing for God and why can’t we do the same? It is better you take away your TV at home than you telling people about the crisis. See the difference?
In conclusion, the Church is in its stage where people knows about the Catholic Church, however they hate it. So if you start talking you will lose the chance. It would better if you recommend him or her to God and say your rosary every hour for them. Let your deep conversion transcend and illuminate your light for others to see God through that light.
Unfortunately, our correspondent was unable to copy the link to the above Facebook comment. If you click here, however, you will read the official SSPX Third Order page. While the sentiments expressed in the above Facebook comment do not accurately reflect the official position of the Society as set out in the above Third Order page, they are not uncommon among the Catholic laity today. How come, then, that the above commentator has formed his/her erroneous view about the lay vocation? Do you think Catholics who take on membership of Third Orders – whether SSPX, Franciscan, Dominican, whatever, risk misinterpreting their vocation as lay people – as the above Facebook commentator has misinterpreted it? Or maybe you think he/she has not misinterpreted the lay vocation, but has got it right. That we should forget about alerting other Catholics to the crisis in the Church, and the fact that Pope Francis is doing much damage, and just leave it all to God. Share your thoughts. Politely 😀