Saturday, October 6, 2012


Is there a connection between right worship and right living? Of course, whether one worships in a more traditional Catholic way or in a more contemporary Catholic way, we are all sinners. But I wonder if there is any empirical data to indicate that traditional Catholics know their faith better and have a better formed conscience compared to their contemporary counterparts.

The limited data that I've seen in our own traditional Mass is that there are many families who attend who have five, six and seven children. This tells me they are pro-life and see children as a gift as well as a sacrifice. They are open to having large families even if this means their lifestyle is not as materialistic as it might have been if they had fewer children.

It also seems to me that traditional Catholics make use of the Sacrament of Penance more frequently and take it most seriously.

I guess one could ask the question or pose the dilemma in a different way. Does contemporary Catholicism form superficial Catholics who merely seek to fulfill their desire for feel good Christianity and worship. And does traditional Catholicism form Catholics who are deeper in intent and take things more seriously? Just wondering.


Anonymous said...

Wow...this is loaded with dynamite question you've posed!

Considering how we act affects how we think (Lex Orandi, Lex Crendendi)one would imagine that the obvious answer would be.

Yet, can people have serious interior movements within the environment of a modern style V2 Mass and parish life?

Well, in my opinion, the evidence is all around us...RARELY does that happen.
Not never, but rarely.

It's difficult for the average joe and for children to hear God calling them amid the noise of actions that pacify the urge to 'feel good'.

I mention children on purpose. How we teach them and the worship environment they experience forms theri consciences and either assists or suppresses their natural ability to hear God's call.


Andy Milam said...

"But I wonder if there is any empirical data to indicate that traditional Catholics know their faith better and have a better formed conscience compared to their contemporary counterparts."

As a catechist, I've worked in both settings. I was in a liberal parish for several years and as I have noted, I've lived in a very conservative parish. I can tell you from experience that the more traditional parish promotes thinking whereas the more liberal parish promotes feeling.

Obviously, there is some feeling which goes on in a traditional parish and there is thinking that goes on in a liberal parish, but by and large, the think v. feel mentality is very obvious.

Liberal parishes encourage people to believe based upon their personal feelings. This causes a huge problem, because the subjective reigns supreme and there is very little objective teaching which goes on. Everything is experiential and personal. The Church simply doesn't base it's operation that way and what results is a distorted and subjective form of worship and theology based upon the faulty subject.

To contrast, traditional parishes promote thinking based upon objective truths. This creates an enviornment whereby the people are not basing things off of their experience and feelings, but rather on teachings which have existed for thousands of years. They can make those teachings personal, to be sure, but the teachings are not based upon their faulty views. They are based upon objective truth.

When one learns and applies traditional Catholic thought, the growth is immeasurable. When one bases their Catholicism on the personal and feelings, he is limited by his own experience. Of course there are exceptions, but this model holds by and large to be true.

If we are to be authentic in our Catholicism we must not rely on our personal experience to guide our views, because that gives us a limited worldview, but rather we should rely on the objective truth which cannot be limited by personal experience.

So, to answer the question directly, yes...contemporary Catholicism (as you have applied the terms) forms superficial Catholics, because they are limited by their own subjective experiences. Traditional Catholicism does form a deeper Catholic because he is not limited by his own experience, but rather he is freed by the objective truth to know and understand that which is beyond and outside himself.

My .02

Carol H. said...

God speaks to us with a still, small voice. We can hear and respond to that voice in traditional Masses. In modern V2 masses what do we hear? Guitars, tambourines, and ourselves.

rcg said...

The short answer I think is 'no'. Traditional Catholics in this day and time are people who have taken the time to delve deeply into their faith and explore the root documents and teachings, rather than the interpreted versions in most NO parishes. They have found their Faith and and desire to seriously adhere to it. This manifests itself in 'tradition;' appearances. Yet in the early days of the 20th Century when very traditional Missals were in use and Tradition was the norm, the very seeds of rebellion were growing in the hearts of the people and their clergy that burst open after Vatican II like so many dandelions.

If there is a concept from Vatican II I completely agree with it is that you can not tell the faithful and good worship by its appearance. It seems that SSPX is evidence of that. But as is often the case, tolerance and understanding is abused by the one tolerated and understood so that real reverence is replaced with self glorification. The Irish priest in one of the previous blogs experienced that and like so many in that era and went in exactly the wrong direction in response.

So it is probably a mistake to judge, as Samuel was warned, by appearance, yet the appearance will manifest itself when the Spirit is present.