Friday, July 27, 2007

Restoration in the Catholic Church

~from Real Clear Politics (speaking of connecting dots)

Liturgy is "just words," and sometimes music, in the received post-modern view, which immediately overlooks dress, gesture, censing, intonation, and the spiritual atmosphere. To the contrary Catholic view, we do not go to church of a Sunday only to see and be seen, nor strictly as a "memorial" of the Last Supper, nor as a healthy habit on the analogy of bran muffins. All of these things count, too, but the Mass combines such incidentals into something larger and simpler and therefore harder to express. At its centre is an act of Communion, with the Christ. Which is to say, with God. It is not, in the Catholic view (shared by many other Christians), a looking back to the Gospels through history. It is a participation, a dipping, a step out of current time, into the eternal.

Why am I telling you all this? In the hope that even if my reader is repelled, he may try to understand what is going on in Catholic churches, where far more than a billion of the earth's inhabitants go to pray, if they go anywhere. Likewise, though not myself a Muslim, I have tried to imagine what goes on in a mosque. For I must do that if I am to understand anything at all about Islam.

Practically, I explain this in the hope of making my sceptical reader understand why liturgy might be so important. I do not imply by this that good works are not important, that Christian life is not exhibited in faith, hope, and charity; in prayerful humility, and a bold willingness to suffer with Christ. I am only saying that from the Catholic view, love is not a nothing. It springs from a fount, and in this world we go to the Mass as to that fount. That is what sustains our spirits, just as food sustains our bodies.

The significance of the Motu Proprio, in current affairs, is in where it points. Catholics recovering their heritage will make a huge difference in the world.

Read the whole thing

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