Tuesday, March 27, 2018

BEING TRANSFORMED BY FULL, CONSCIOUS AND ACTIVE (NOT "ACTUAL" ACTIVE) PARTICIPATION IS MORE REALISTICALLY ACHIEVED THROUGH WORSHIP IN A LANGUAGE THAT IS IMMEIDATELY UNDERSTANDABLE!


I won't identify the one who wrote this, as it was commonly taught to everyone in the seminary after Vatican II and thus transcends the semi-Palegianism of any one person:

"Being transformed by full, conscious, and active (not "actual," active) participation is more realistically achieved through worship in a language that is immediately understandable to the worshipers."

 This sentiment is the infection of the vernacular Mass but also seems intrinsic to the Ordinary Form of the Mass. We need to comprehend and understand everything in order to be transformed by the words and actions of the Mass! We have to be as verbal and loud as possible or we aren't transformed by the words of the Mass. We have to understand all the words or no Christian transformation. SHEESH!



Never mind, that once the Latin Rite Mass was primarily in Latin, the very mystery and reverence of the Sacred Rites and Words allowed clergy and laity to into the Holy of Holies where God's grace, despite the incomprehensibility to those less educated concerning the language, rites, symbols and words. How many saints were made in the Church of incomprehensible beauty and God's love express in signs, symbols, repetition and beauty apart from the so-called Palegian, full, active and conscious participation? In the incomprehensible Mass these saints of God, the multitudes, experienced the intimacy of what God was, is and will be doing for the poor miserable sinner enveloped in the Mysterium! An embrace is worth far more than millions of comprehensible words!

The East knows this even in the vernacular by the complexity and incomprhesibleness of their rites. It is the closed iconastasis behind which the priest, as in the Jewish temple, makes present the one Sacrifice of Christ and His true Body and Blood. Does it matter if the laity see this happening? NO, HELL, NO!

While the Latin Rite has always had to deal with Pelagianism and Gnosticism in her life such as a litmus test that a candidate for Holy Communion and Confirmation know this, that and the other, ultimately the Church's greatest instincts places the emphasis not on knowledge but God's Divine Love and Mercy that only the human heart can comprehend apart from words spoken or knowledge derived. 

I'm not opposed to Faith seeking understanding. That's for outside of Mass in a classroom setting, a sort of mystogogia.  The Mass, though, is Mystery, Awe and Wonder, beauty, transcendence and mostly silence, like a silent Canon.

Prayer to God even if silent is prayer to God! And God's grace transforms the sin sick soul whether that soul understands how God does it or not  in the words the priest or the congregation hears or speaks.


6 comments:

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Allan, these are your words and thoughts, not mine: "We need to comprehend and understand everything in order to be transformed by the words and actions of the Mass! We have to be as verbal and loud as possible or we aren't transformed by the words of the Mass. We have to understand all the words or no Christian transformation."

It's a caricature (a picture, description, or imitation of a person or thing in which certain striking characteristics are exaggerated in order to create a comic or grotesque effect) of what I wrote and does not reflect what I think - at all.

TJM said...

Fr. McDonald,

Now quite on topic but an excellent piece by Father Dwight Longenecker:

https://dwightlongenecker.com/ten-reasons-why-liberal-catholicism-will-fade-away/

John Nolan said...

'The one Scarface of Christ' ?!

Proofreading, anyone?

Isn't MJK touchy? Fr Allan makes it quite clear that he was not quoting anyone in particular.

Anonymous said...

I assume you meant the one sacrifice of Christ, not "scarface!"

ByzRC said...

Certainly, the magnificent liturgy of the Christian East is complex however, I don't agree that it is also incomprehensible. During liturgy, all of our senses are engaged while we physically participate by singing responses, crossing ourselves and bowing. If we didn't comprehend, the aforementioned would be impossible.

The iconostas separates heaven from earth - it is our glimpse into the divine, a foretaste (I'm not going to get into which Eastern Churches open/close the Royal Doors at what times). Not all has been revealed in our earthly state; and, hopefully, if a life has been well lived, we will see the kingdom of heaven after standing before the judgement seat.

TJM said...

No response from touchy?