I took “OCDS” off my Facebook profile.
But I feel more Carmelite than ever.
I just don’t know how I can be “Catholic” anymore. And the questions I have are so deep and existential that no one can answer them but God.
Kindly people are answering with platitudes and apologetics. Folks, I was reading Catholic Answers when I was 12. I read the entire New American Bible, with footnotes, from ages 12-14 because at the time as a Catholic among Protestant kids in the South, “Have you read the whole Bible yet?” was a kind of a status question I wanted to be able to answer affirmatively. I spent most of 1990 and 1991 reading Lewis, Merton, St. Augustine, St. Teresa of Avila, St. JP2, etc.
St. John of the Cross wrote Dark Night of the Soul while he was imprisoned by his “brothers in Carmel.” The Dark Night is when one is cut off from “the Church” by the wolves in shepherds’ clothing.The Carmelite motto comes from 1 Kings (3 Kings in the traditional naming) 19:14:
 With zeal have I been zealous for the Lord God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant: they have destroyed thy altars, they have slain thy prophets with the sword, and I alone am left, and they seek my life to take it away.
Juridically, one must be a “Catholic in good standing” to be OCDS. I do not believe that the man posing in white robes in the Vatican is the Vicar of Christ. I believe the true Vicar of Christ has been forced into hiding for the past 5 1/2 years, per numerous prophecies, some of which have come to us through Carmelite mystics.
I believe that, in order to truly be a good Catholic, one cannot at this point even pretend to be loyal to a man who:
a) As Archbishop actively covered up sexual abuse
b) Was a Jesuit but broke their Rule by accepting ecclesiastical preferment
c)-zzz) Do I really need to list them?
At this point, anyone who supports “Pope Francis” is either a raging liberal, poorly catechized or so blinded by an oddly inconsistent popalotry that they are willing to say that a cube is round if the “Pope of Humility” says so.
So until this mess is cleared up–and one way or another–I’m tired of playing “undercover Catholic” within the Church, though ironically, it is now the “Vatican II Catholics” who are demanding Ultramontanism.
But I’m going through a deep spiritual crisis, and it’s not one anyone has an answer to, or can answer, except God Himself. And if and when He does answer, whatever it is, I know I’m not going to like the experience:
1) I’m wrong and Francis is legitimate, and I have to completely rethink my understanding of everything
2) I’m right, and we’re in for some pretty drastic Chastisements before either the Second Coming or whatever the “Era of Peace”/”New Springtime” is
3) The immediate future of the Catholic Church will be more the long, arduous persecution that then Fr. Ratzinger predicted in the late 60s
4) The Orthodox are right, Roman Catholicism is and always has been a vast conspiracy of homosexuals, and I have to rethink several fundamental aspects of my spirituality and theology.
5) The notion that there’s one, “True” Church is wrong and God doesn’t care as much as we’re told He does.
6) Then there’s always the fear of C. S. Lewis and St. Francis de Sales that God’s just the Cosmic Vivisectionist.
I was diagnosed with Epilepsy last month and while researching it, found all these articles with convincing explanations that the Bible is nothing but a series of stories about epileptics having seizures, and I have to admit they’re pretty convincing.
The only thing I cannot accept is that God doesn’t exist, because His intervention is too obvious in my life.
For example, He worked an amazing miracle this weekend, dissipating Hurricane Florence, though most people are chalking it up to “unpredictable weather” and “the media got it wrong,” which means the next time there’s a hurricane they won’t prepare and it will get worse.
I keep asking Him to intervene, and He seems to remain silent while things keep getting worse.
Life is always “One step forward; two steps back,” and us “Older Brothers on the Porch,” begging for the Father to show us some love, get maligned, while His vicars don’t just greet the Prodigal siblings returning (which we’re more than happy to do): they go out to them in the mud and tell them to stay in the mud because God loves them just the way they are, and God made them that way, and we’re the wrong ones for being so judgmental.
At what point does one give up trying? Which “trying” should I give up?
If God doesn’t care, why should I?
But He remains silent.
I was going to quote Holy Father John, but I decided to quote Eliot’s Ash Wednesday, instead:
“Suffer us not to mock ourselves with falsehood
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still
Even among these rocks,
Our peace in His will
And even among these rocks
And spirit of the river, spirit of the sea,
Suffer me not to be separated