Tuesday, April 3, 2012
ARE TRADITIONALISTS FALLING INTO THE PIT OF IDOL WORSHIP ALONG WITH "sPIRIT OF VATICAN II" CATHOLICS?
In what ways has this idol worship (worshiping false gods in other words) manifested itself? Keep in mind that Moses had to contend with the Chosen People doing the same thing and this continued in the history of Israel in various ways.
1. In terms of morality, personal Conscience was elevated to godlike status. While conscience holds a place of ultimate importance in moral decisions but never divorced from Scripture, tradition and authoritative teachings on morality especially natural law, a product of Divine Law.
2. In terms of liturgy, the liturgy itself, renewed, restored, more like the early church and open to creativity and manipulation by priests and laity has and is an idol (false god) to many people; the liturgy becomes the object of worship and adoration rather than God who is present under the veil of the liturgical and sacramental actions. For example, a preoccupation with the signs and actions of the liturgy become idols, the type of bread, the lavish gestures, the kind of table, the arrangement of laity, the liturgical ministers, all these become a source of preoccupation and truly become gods, so much so if anything is out of order or not as progressives conceive it should be, the action of God is diminished.
3. Traditionalists too fall into the same pit when a preoccupation with what is wrong with the post Vatican II liturgy blinds them to the truths that are revealed in this liturgy when celebrated according to the books, "doing the red and saying the black."
In these "spirit of pre-Vatican II Catholics" the pre-Vatican Mass and other ways of celebrating the Sacraments become idols.
Now for a confession on my part: I too have fallen into this idol pit. When I go to other churches for Mass, I become so critical of what is wrong in my mind that it prevents me from receiving all the grace that God wants to give me in that celebration. I'm preoccupied by the idols and don't fail to give God my attention and worship in order to receive the graces He bestows.
Prior to Vatican II I don't think most lay Catholics were preoccupied with the style of the Mass or its language or ceremonies. These were a given and there were three ways to celebrate the Mass, low, high and Solemn High. The laity weren't preoccupied about the idol of the personality of the priest either or what kind of person he was/is. What was and is important was experiencing in a sacramental way the One Sacrifice of Jesus that is for us and our salvation in the here and now, the "nowness" of God and His actions to save us in salvation history. The same was true with receiving Holy Communion. Catholics were/are concerned almost to the point of scrupulosity about recieving our Lord worthily and observing all the laws of the Church concening this reality. The predictability of the Mass and clear canons on what was expected avoided the pitfalls of idol worship or lack of reverence for what is celebrated in the Mass.
So, no matter your preference for the Mass, has the Mass become a false idol or is God the "Object" of your worship? Just wondering.