Tuesday, February 19, 2008

An exhausted project

~from Owl of the Remove. Father said:
Various blogs have noted the recent comments of the young Russian Orthodox Bishop, Hilarion, at a Council of Churches meeting in Switzerland. Rather like Daniel in the lion's den, he declared that "liberal Christianity will not survive long and political correctness within the Christian community is destined to die." This reminded me of a quote from Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, easily the most intellectually able of the US Bishops:

"We are at a turning point in the life of the Church......liberal Christianity is an exhausted project. Essentially a critique, even a necessary critique at one point in our history, it is now parasitical on a substance that no longer exists. It has shown itself unable to pass on the faith in its integrity and inadequate, therefore, in fostering the joyful self-surrender called for in Christian marriage, in consecrated life, in ordained priesthood. It no longer gives life."
For ordinary parish life, the mindset is still there embedded and eating away at the spiritual life of another generation. A friend and I were speaking yesterday of how our children are at risk for sliding into indifference with catechetical programs so anemic and sheepish as one now finds in parishes. What is sustaining my teenage boys is their opportunity to serve at the Traditional Mass. I think especially at a TLM they are able to experience transcendence, the Otherness of God...objective reality as opposed to manufactured feelings. The prayers, the Latin, and the rubrics that they had to learn by heart are all working away in their interior lives. Even the simple act of hands pressed together, thumbs forming a cross while at prayer shows to me a change in their understanding of reverence. On the night before they have to serve, you can catch them studying the text and rubrics of the Mass, their eyes closed as they imagine the steps they must take. Serving the Old Mass cannot but help form their whole approach to the Mass and its centrality for their lives. It affects them even down to small details like their shoes and the way they comb their hair. Details.

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