Posted by: Joe of St. Thérèse | August 2, 2008

Justfication and Expectations

There are two topics that I want to talk about. The first one is on pastoral vs. intellect, and the 2nd one is Expectation.

1. pastoral vs. intellect.

I was over at Fr. Z’s blog this afternoon, and there was discussion on “pastoral” vs. “intellectual” and how often times they are separated.

I was discussing how when Liturgical abuses (such as: pouring the Precious Blood after the Consecration, EOMHC’s pouring the Precious Blood, Glass Flagons, etc, etc). The reasoning that priests would use is something called “pastoral” reasons. But Ironically when a Bishop decides to move a pastor for “pastoral” reasons, they obey immediately.

The question becomes, what is up with this contradiction in terms?

Not to say anything bad about Vatican II (the council was valid, and I’m not going to argue validity)..but it was coined a “pastoral” council. And seeing how Vatican II was (not) implemented makes you think.

It’s because of these particular things when we hear “pastoral” we tend to think of weakness and intellectual ability is not associated with “pastoral”

The fortunate part is that there are several priests who are pastoral, but don’t use this as excuse to do abuses, such as Fr. Jan from my parish, Fr. Hyacinth from old parish, Fr. Matthew from St. Joe’s in La Puente.

The whole point of this discussion is that the two terms pastoral and intellect need not be separated. All we need to do is look at our Pope for a great example of someone who is pastoral and intellectual.

Someone who is pastoral should have the intellect to do the proper things and listen to Rome. As well as know his flock well enough to make the decisions proper to them.

Continue from this point…

2. Expectations

It is often times asked: Why don’t our kids know their Faith? Why aren’t they appreciative of what they have? Why aren’t they staying Catholic?

The answer to the question is actually simple: You don’t expect it of them.

I have a reputation as teacher of Maths and Physics of being an EXTREMELY hard teacher. Yes,
I’ve given 200 problems in both classes, without even thinking about it. But the funny thing even though I have this reputation, those that pass my class are quite knowledgeable in the subjects as well as thankful for me pushing them. The bottom line is that none of them would have done what I asked of them, had I not expected it of them. I expected them to work hard, and they did it. I am often surprised as a teacher in what my students show me. They are not as stupid as some think that they are.

If you set the bar low everyone will clear it, but of what benefit will it be? Catechesis has gone from memorizing the Baltimore Catechism to going broke at Michael’s arts and crafts store. I have news for you. All modern education theories don’t work. You think it’s a coincidence that Europe and Asia have higher test scores than us? I don’t. But to my point, if you expect the students to memorize dogma’s and such, they will and they will show you far greater things than you ever expected…

Continue from this point.


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