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There's concern in some circles that Pope Francis is taking aim at Church traditionalism (scoring those who obsessively count prayers, reminding pre-Cana instructors not to be overly harsh, accenting the poor, and warning the rich), but as basically traditional types ourselves, we see nothing to fear. The Pope is not taking aim not at traditionalists but at legalism. That's when we put man-made laws ahead of spiritual ones and operate religion in a way that's mechanical, oriented toward technicalities, and judgmental. An example: marching through a litany of rituals and prayers and genuflections while looking upon others with superiority instead of  love. Living the faith by technicalities instead of its Spirit contradicts Christianity. It's what the Sadducees and Pharisees were about ("you can't heal on Sundays!"). Though they have a place, the fact is that canonical strictures are mentioned nowhere by Jesus, not in the way we know them today, when we have reams upon reams -- libraries -- of such legality. A crisis in our time is that there are ten times as many canon lawyers as exorcists. (Please note: exorcism is mentioned, and repeatedly, in the Gospels). Pope Francis wants us to live as Jesus taught, not make laws and by-laws and governing bodies and ever-new theologies and cerebral gymnastics to do with what He taught. Jesus was direct and Francis is also direct. Jesus took aim at legalism. Francis is simply following His example. It is a breath of fresh air. It is attracting new throngs. Legalism has indeed infected and in some cases strangled the Church. Traditional prayers, litanies, novenas, and other practices are excellent -- and powerful. They are often crucial. They involve discipline; the Holy Spirit honors discipline. We are devoted to many of them ourselves. We enjoy the Latin rite. We find joy in august basilicas and churches in Rome where the tabernacle (not a chair) is at at center of the altar. At the same time, it is crucial to orient everything to prayer from the heart. There is a crisis in that seminaries have largely deleted courses in mystical theology and replaced them with philosophy. We see nowhere where Christ used a blackboard. We also can find no place where He quoted Plato. He put faith (far) above reason. He used no polysyllabic words. Somehow, our Church strayed greatly into a worldly academic mindset, starting during the "Age of Enlightenment." Too much was conceded (in the wake of Galileo) to scientism. And too often, there was not an enlightening, but darkness. There are Church documents that are all but impossible to read -- steeped in a vernacular that seeks more to complicate than teach, equating impenetrability with truth, when Jesus taught the opposite. Those who write in a way that is not understood may lack clarity in thought. We have quite enough motu proprios. Most truths -- really: all -- are simple. The Ten Commandments, the Sermon on the Mount, need no codification. We should love to pray, and pray to love. 

[resources: Uniformity to God's Will]

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