Perhaps the greatest damage done by Pope Paul VI's reform of the Mass (and by the ongoing process that has outstripped it), the greatest spiritual deficit, is this: we are now positively obliged to talk about the liturgy. Even those who want to preserve the liturgy or pray in the spirit of the liturgy, and even those who make great sacrifices to remain faithful to it - all have lost something priceless, namely, the innocence that accepts it as something God-given, something that comes down to man as gift from heaven. Those of us who are defenders of the great and sacred liturgy, the classical Roman liturgy, have all become - whether in a small way or in a big way - liturgical experts. In order to counter the arguments of the reform, which was padded with technical, archæological, and historical scholarship, we had to delve into questions of worship and liturgy - something that is utterly foreign to the religious man. We have let ourselves be led into a kind of scholastic and juridical way of considering the liturgy. What is absolutely indispensable for genuine liturgy? When are the celebrant's whims tolerable, and when do they become unacceptable? We have got used to accepting liturgy on the basis of the minimum requirements, whereas the criteria ought to be maximal. And finally, we have started to evaluate liturgy - a monstrous act! We sit in the pews and ask ourselves, was that Holy Mass, or wasn't it? I go to church to see God and come away like a theatre critic.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Greatest Spiritual Deficit
~Daniel at The Lion and the Cardinal posted this excerpt from Martin Mosbach's The Heresy of Formlessness. I thought it quite excellent, especially the part about our lost innocence in receiving the Mass as a God-given gift.