"Flowers are nature's most beautiful reproductive organ."***
Christopher West said that at the seminar in the sanctuary after going up to the altar and pointing at it, saying in a high-strung tone, "Do you know what this is?! Do you know what this is?! This is the marriage bed where the bridegroom comes down to the bride!"
Of course, with all things analogical which West penetrates: yes in a different context, but absolutely no in West's penetration; in West's utterly depleting and deleterious use of analogy - or, to be more accurate, his wrenched and tortuous abuse of analogous language. He is what I call a "reverse processor". It would initially sound like a compliment, like he was some kind of genius, except that it's not.
Anyways, it was after this that he picked up the bouquet of flowers sitting in front of the pulpit and proclaimed, "Do you know what flowers are? Flowers are nature's most beautiful reproductive organ! Why does a bride walk down the aisle with flowers? They are reproductive organs. When we visit someone in the hospital we bring them reproductive organs."
And on and on, being the breathless example of how "When you have the ears to hear it, the eyes to see it, the Song of Songs is everywhere!"
It was while he was talking about how flowers are nature's most beautiful reproductive organ (of course if he said "vagina" or even "genitalia" it would have been game up for Christopher West) that my mind went back to first walking into the church where in the narthex piles of Christopher West's latest book were waiting to be sold.
To which, I add ...
One of the amazing things about the bizarre cult surrounding Christopher West is that he could only have made the inroads he has at this particular time in Church history, and for the following reasons ...
- We Catholics are tone deaf. We are so used to bad homilies, bad music, bad art, and bad catechesis that we can't tell a rake from a razor - and this man is a bit of a rake.
- When most of the Church has turned heretical, the only thing you need do to convince people you're legit is to make a superficial show of orthodoxy. Throw around a few pius platitudes, and you're in. Maciel and others have been very good at this. In a different climate, this would not be as easy as it is. It's the abdication of the bishops and the priests and the fathers and the mothers that have created the vacuum that West's obsession with sex rushes in to fill. People trust him. He quotes John Paul II and all. He's published. He's successful. He's more Catholic than their priests, and probably more Catholic than their bishop. How could he be wrong, or leading people astray?
- West's game succeeds because of a basic illiteracy on the part of his audiences - as well as a frustration and an unsatisfied hunger. They are easy marks. They are not being adequately fed by the Church, and they look with a jealous eagerness on the sexual promiscuity that surrounds them, which, naturally, it pains them to renounce - for what seems like increasingly pointless reasons. Along come the Westians to tell them that they can have their cake and eat it too - that not only does sex lead to God, but God leads to sex! It doesn't take much because they're A) tone deaf, B) starving and illiterate, outcasts trying to contain the one thing that the world keeps telling them to indulge, and C) after all Christopher West is orthodox - isn't he?
Well, enough of this. I'm off to do my Christmas shopping. Don't tell my wife, Karen, but for Christmas I plan to get her a nice bouquet of reproductive organs.