Friday, October 12, 2012
CALLING THE CHURCH TO HUMILITY AND RECOGNITION THAT WE CAN'T SAVE OURSELVES IN A HAPPY-CLAPPY WAY
Younger professionals in the Church formed in the worst of the "spirit" of Vatican II happy, clappy church and hand-holding informality as well as guitars, tambourines and liturgical dance are scandalized by the phenomenon of sin especially when they see it in their Church leaders, like deacons, priests and bishops.
Their Catholic formation also is based upon coloring book Catholicism, a happy, clappy family coming together for a nice meal and feel good theology.
Of course this is very vapid, misses the entire point of the Sacrifice of our Lord and His continuing redemptive work through the Church and the Church's pilgrimage on a ship buffeted by strong winds and the power of hell. A serious liturgy that focuses on personal sin, the drama of Satan, the excruciating pain of carrying the Cross, being nailed to it, taking on every other sin in the world, past, present and to come in a great cosmic event, suffering beyond comprehension and finally death is forgotten as the strumming guitarist and the happy clappy lyrics of pseudo-liturgical music anesthetizes the congregation of progressives who seem not to really grasp what the Sacred Mysteries are truly about.
And then scandal hits and the happy clappy theology crumbles and off and running are those formed in such vapid pseudo-Catholic ways. They don't get Adam and Eve, the fallen nature of the world, Satan, evil, and our participation in it that causes God to suffer beyond comprehension to reign His creation back toward Him. They just don't get it. They thought the Utopia of guitar strumming liturgy, hand holding euphoria and a theology of Mass turned into a child's happy meal would bring about perfection. What fools!
Last night the Holy Father spoke eloquently the truth of God, of humans and of the Church. Is the truth too much?
“Today, too, we carry joy in our hearts, but I would say a joy that is more sober, a humble joy: in these fifty years we have learned and experienced that original sin exists, and that it translates itself into personal sins, which can become structures of sin, given that even in the Lord’s field there are also weeds, that even in Peter’s net there are bad fish, that human weakness is present even in the Church, that the ship of the Church is sailing with a contrary wind, with opposing threats and sometimes we have thought that ‘the Lord is sleeping and has forgotten us.”
Fr. Z commenting on the above quote from the Holy Father muses, "One of the things that Pope Benedict is probably reacting to here, and this is consistent with his earliest commentaries on the Council, was an impression from documents such as Gaudium et spes that perhaps.. perhaps… salvation was a human achievement rather than a gift from the Lord. Certainly the optimistic focus on man and his accomplishments, and the openness to dialogue with modernity, lead many to forget about the perennial teaching of the Church about the fact that we are flawed and sinful and that we have constant threats from the world, the flesh and the Devil."
And thus this brings us back to an authentic Catholic Liturgy, a Mass that captures the reality of who we are, what we need and how God alone accomplishes for us what is in our best interest, He accomplishes that which we can never do for ourselves even in a happy-clappy Mass--He saves us, even when we think He is asleep or has forgotten us.
So, we need the modern Mass produced as though a new fabrication and after Vatican II and in the spirit of the delusion that we can manufacture for ourselves the salvation that only God can give us, a dumbed down liturgy that exalts humanity and forgets that it is not God who has forgotten us but rather we have forgotten that only God can save us not our manufactured unrealities.
So even if the manufactured Mass remains it needs to be brought into line with the Liturgy that acknowledges who we are, Who God is and that God alone can save the world and He does so at a great expense and the ultimate sacrifice.
The manufactured Mass needs the following to show more clearly what the pre-Vatican II Mass did marvelously:
1. We are sinners and participate in evil and thus need forgiveness.
2. Gregorian Chant and its humble counterparts need to be the music of the Mass especially in it wonderful sobriety.
3. The Liturgy of the Word needs to be offered to us from the one Table of the Lord and from each side of it, Epistle and Gospel. There are not two tables at Mass, but a single table from which we are fed by God, first in the Old Testament and Epistle on one of its sides, second from the Gospel, the very words of Jesus from the other side and then finally in the Most Holy Eucharistic sacrifice and our Lord's Body and Blood from the middle of the Table.
4. The direction of prayer is not to humans and an enclosed circle but to God and thus ad orientem must be recovered.
5. We are raised up in Jesus especially when we humbly acknowledge His great Sacrifice and our humble acceptance of Him and His Sacrifice as we kneel to receive Holy Communion rather than receive Him in uppity arrogance standing and on the run.