A refuge from Southern Californian chaos

Christ Cathedral is a holy place near from Disneyland
Christ Cathedral campus (Diocese of Orange)

Christ Cathedral campus (Diocese of Orange)

The following comes from a July 28 OC Catholic article by James Day:

A growing Catholic metropolis of 34 acres, the Diocese of Orange’s Christ Cathedral campus in Garden Grove, California is a bastion of evangelization at the crossroads of secularism and transcendence. It is also a couple of blocks from Disneyland—so if planning a family vacation to Anaheim, a visit to Christ Cathedral would be a convenient and worthwhile stop.

Carving out time to merge a vacation with a pilgrimage sends a subtle message to both family and community: we are not limited to this realm alone, and even vacation should include renewal time for the spiritual. While on the one hand, the world’s holiest places are often subsumed with tourists and photographers, selfie sticks threatening to transform holy grounds into disposable Instagram backgrounds, visiting such sites with the approach of contemplation and appreciation invites pilgrims to enter a mystery being contemplated around the world.

This hub of Catholic activity offers a glimpse of possibility: as secular culture drifts further from the pillars that originally formed it—the very same pillars that continue to guide Holy Mother Church—into new territories of tenuous foundations with questionable motives and principles, a place like Christ Cathedral is both a refuge for the wayfarer and a stronghold of spiritual sustenance.

How do faithful communities following Christ reconcile this stake of belief with living in the world today? One cannot expect the millions of Catholics of the Pacific Rim, for instance, to retreat to forested monasteries. On the other hand, perhaps the sway of contemporary modern culture should be reduced in its overblown import. Is a happy medium possible? While a remaking of the Middle Ages is less a possibility than mass exodus away from society, the attitude of that time is nonetheless worthwhile today.

Romano Guardini, writing in The End of the Modern World, suggests a spirit that believers today can recapture: “There is only one standard by which any epoch can be fairly judged: in view of its own peculiar circumstances, to what extend did it allow for the development of human dignity?” In the same way that a cathedral uplifts the soul from the everyday to the heavenly, Guardini saw the Middle Ages as a period that strove to fuse the transcendence into the everyday, the will of God into the human spirit; the strive for perfect union of ora et labora. This is the Benedict Option for our own time: once the will of the individual becomes aligned with a care for the greater context—family, community, church, the transcendent—a cultural revolution will not be far behind.

In this way, Christ Cathedral symbolizes exactly what a cathedral should be, especially today: a holy place of solidarity amid cultural chaos and upheaval, so that the pilgrim—and even the tourist—who upon leaving the grounds may marvel at what the mystery of divine providence can accomplish through human hands, and in turn become a human agent of a cathedral’s fundamental mission, the mission of us all: to bridge the divine with the human.

Comments

comments

To add a comment, click on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ icons OR go further down to the bottom of comments to the Post your comment box.

Comments

  1. Dave N. says:

    “It is also a couple of blocks from Disneyland” Um, no. Try a couple of miles—at a bare minimum.

  2. Investing in real estate has had great outcomes for the Catholic Church in California. These 34 acres at a prime location will also be a great investment. Excellent.

    • Catherine says:

      “Investing in real estate has had great outcomes for the Catholic Church in California.” = Adoration of those so-called “excellent” investments $$$ a day, keeps reality away! A great loss of faith should NEVER be seen as “great”.

      Proverbs 11:4

      Wealth is useless on a day of wrath, but justice saves from death.

  3. Yeah, and the Roj-Mahal here in Los Angeles just makes me feel good all over.

  4. I wouldn’t advise the Church to invest in any more real estate in California.

    Soon enough there will be no refuge anywhere in California from the depravity, chaos and totalitarian secular Marxist state government.

    Catholic churches and schools will be ordered what to do with their facilities, who may use which bathroom, what to say and what must not be said. Institutions that currently benefit from government funds will be threatened with denial of those funds and will be forced to close or to compromise their Catholic identities. Institutions that adhere to Catholic orthodoxy will be sued every which way by militant leftist agitators until the last institution capitulates to the Left or moves.

    California is hopelessly gone…

  5. Isn’t that where Bishop Vann caught a Pokemon with his cell phone?

    Apt metaphor for California’s episcopate being out to lunch while California Catholicism erodes from within and is relentlessly attacked from outside.

  6. St. Christopher says:

    What — “exactly like a cathedral should be?” In what sense? It does not look Catholic, it does not do much to act as a Catholic Church. To whom, and by what means, exactly, does the “Crystal Cathedral” evangelize?

    I see the card table out there, front and center. And, you can go to “Mass” in Vietnamese, how wonderful! To bad the Church’s language is Latin (which you will never hear in Crystal Cathedral Wonderland). Ah, this story is ridiculous and no one should ever give a penny to this Protestant glass tent revival building.

  7. Catherine says:

    Thank you, Saint Christopher! Who do they think they are fooling? Not God! I guess it’s the many trusting sheep who do not know any better. I remember a priest announcing at Mass that when he heard about the purchase of the Crystal Cathedral, he was sick to his stomach. Then he said, “As time passed, I began to think, well maybe it’s not that bad.” How many times are we warned to not ignore our gut instincts when being faced with different types of dangers? This purchase was about serving pocketbook deals and egos more than serving Almighty God. This structure evokes the coldness and sterility that has consumed so many hearts.

    • What is more, the original reason for purchasing the property — that it would be substantially less expensive to purchase and renovate an existing “cathedral” than to buy land and build a new cathedral from the ground up — has turned out to have been wrong because the Diocese of Orange recently announced that the original estimate of the cost to complete the project was far too low: reportedly $40 million below actual renovation costs.

      As a result, the diocese is now stuck with an inadequate space for Catholic worship as its cathedral for at least the next century when, if the diocese had acted more prudently, it could have designed and built a truly worthy Catholic cathedral for about the same amount of money as it will end up…

COMMENTS POLICY: Comments are limited to 750 characters and will be truncated at 750. Comments should not contain offensive or libelous language. Please strive to be civil. All comments are subject to approval by our moderator and to editing as the moderator deems appropriate. Inclusion of your email address is optional.

Speak Your Mind

COMMENTS POLICY: Comments are limited to 750 characters and will be truncated at 750. Comments should not contain offensive or libelous language. Please strive to be civil. All comments are subject to approval by our moderator and to editing as the moderator deems appropriate. Inclusion of your email address is optional.