Wednesday, June 2, 2010
IS EMOTIONALISM THE KEY TO GOOD LITURGY AND GOOD POLICY? LIBERALS THINK SO!
As I exercised this morning and watched CNN's repeat of Anderson Cooper, 360 from last night, I noticed that good old Anderson was up to his usual tricks as he interviewed a person on the Louisiana Gulf Coast. Perhaps you do not recall that it was Anderson's tearful and distraught reporting on Hurricane Katrina's aftermath in New Orleans that rocketed Anderson to fame and his own entertainment news show.
Anderson asked the gentleman being interviewed about President Obama. "Do you think that the president could have been more effective when he visited and just simply showed some emotion?"
There you have it, the key to effectiveness is emotional displays even if the policies and ideologies behind the leadership stink.
The same was and is true of Katie Couric. Years ago when the Columbine massacre occurred, Katie went to Denver and interviewed the parents of children who had been murdered. Her line of questioning was meant to illicit deep emotion and tearful responses from the parents being interviewed. Questions like, "how did you FEEL when you heard your daughter's brains had been splattered all over the classroom along with other students?" I'm exaggerating of course, but the point is that for her and for liberal America, a good interview is when the one being interviewed along with the interviewer breaks down and cries on camera. Emotions are elevated to a sacrament or at least a sacramental.
Even in the horrible on-going reporting of the sex abuse scandal, the most important thing that Pope Benedict has done to date if you see reporters as the high priests of culture now, is that he cried when he met in Malta victims of those who were abused as children by clergy. Never mind that his policies and positions on this scandal have been the most stringent of any previous pope.
When it comes to the Liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church in the Latin Rite, liturgical progressives promote a touchy, feely sort of liturgy, filled with smiles, handshakes, hugs, kisses, handholding and the hoped for warm fuzzies, and ocassional tears of joy, sadness and ecstasy. If none of these are present, for instance in the EF of the Mass, then the Mass is a failure. Never mind that the real presence of Jesus Christ comes down and transforms, transubstantiates the bread and wine into the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the Risen Christ and the one Sacrifice of Jesus is made present in an unbloodly way. These realities take a back seat to emotion. Emotions are the sacrament of preference. If these are lacking, then it is a poor celebration.
I'm not opposed to ecstasy or a tear here and there or even hospitality. But it should never trump what the Mass is meant to bring about--our salvation through the One Sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross, and our worthy reception of our Lord under the form of consecrated Bread and Wine. Emotions are secondary to the experience of true faith in what we celebrate and Who it is that we receive.