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A Program of Spiritual Formation for Candidates to the Priesthood

The Lay Monastic Community of Caryana






Many solutions have been tried to solve man's problems. None of them has been proven to work; a strong hint exists that those that have not been tried could have saved the world.

We only have time to allude to two solutions; the Catholic Church, that has never been tried and that child of the French Revolution that has been tried but where the Liberte, Fraternite and Equalite is still nowhere to be found.

It is said that when Tracy and his English knights or, should we say, goons stabbed and scattered the brains of St. Thomas of Canterbury, they were aiming at his thoughts. . .wherewith Thomas believed that the Church is the judge of kings and of the world. Thomas objected to the heresy that the Royal Chief Justice should judge the Church on moral issues.

The Church's idea is to create an invisible kingdom without armies or prisons but with complete freedom to condemn publicly all the kingdoms of the earth. Whether this would have cured society we do not know because it has never been tried.

What the world has always wanted, we see before us today. What the Catholic Church wanted, we see nowhere; but she is not a failure just because the men of the Church have failed. And the insistence on the world's ways made Henry VIII scatter the bones of St. Thomas. England would try to solve society's problem on the premise that the King can do no wrong.

All society aims at the ideals of the Catholic Church; yet hates her reality. Yes, the Catholic Church has many defects; but all of them are because she is not Catholic enough. Monasteries were attacked, not for the chastity of monks but because of the unchastity of the monks. Catholicism is unpopular not for her humility but because of the arrogance of Christians. The failure of the Church is largely due to the clerics, the  men of the Church. Add to this the hostile evil elements that are continuously besetting the Church.

The sad story of Catholic Europe is that it became Protestant before it could become thoroughly Catholic. The ideals of Catholicism failed not because it became old-fashioned but because they were not lived to the full. The Christian ideals had not been tried and found wanting; they had been found difficult and left untried, quips G. K. Chesterton.

Catholicism was founded by a God. It could have solved all of man's problems. In fact, it is the only solution. If there were another solution, Christ would never have come. But Catholicism is a brave solution for brave men and women. With the progress of civilization and its concomitant result, the weakening of character, I doubt if this solution, Christ's solution, would ever be tried.








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                                                                                        - Teresa of Avila


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