Friday, April 03, 2009

Oh my good dear people,

I have been neglecting you - mea maxima culpa!

But you see, several things occurred that distracted me.

On the negative side, Oxford declined to accept me (on the basis of my grades, I do believe, which weren't perfect. But I maintain that grading is what you do to meat...or eggs). The evening I was rejected found me wielding a large knife. Chop! Chop! CHOP! I was making cheddar cheese soup for the fambly. My eyes were streaming (onions) and I was holding a beer because I'd lifted the self-imposed beer fast for a day. A friend wandered in and saw the beer, the tears, but not the onions. Thinking I was going off the deep-end, he drew me aside and delivered a gentle caution on my state. That was all sorted out eventually, however - don't worry! I'm fine and have a revenge plan - years from now, when I'm a glamorous and internationally renowned philosopher, when Oxford asks me to lecture &c., I shall, with lofty visage, shun them. That's right. They'll be SHUNNED!

HAH! Take THAT Oxford! (Le sigh...)

On the plus side, I went skiing gambling out-of-town and won Two Whole Dollars (which I promptly lent to a destitute sister). I Am A Winnah!

On the miscellanous side: I found this quote on Fr. Z's blog and thought it Quite Good:

I don’t know Father. From a historical stand point “terrible twos” might be better than adolescence.

I need some cheese to go with all this whine in the combox. I’m not saying the older form isn’t beautiful and I am fully aware that much was lost in the transition. But come on people, grow up some. ‘All the blame is with this new mass’ ‘Paul VI betrayed us all’ ‘the N.O. is the smoke of Satan’ ‘Judge by the fruits, see (insert favorite liturgical abuse canard here)’.

Look, as someone who grew up knowing only the Ordinary Form, this gets old fast. Was it boring and bland most of the time, yes. Do I wish that we could’ve had a sense of continuity and beauty, yes. Did I turn into some religiously indifferent modernist, hell no. And most of the catholics I know didn’t have that happen either. (And if we want to get into an argument about fruits, the Ordinary Form and the Second Vatican Council were fruits of the TLM! )

Strictest adherence to rubrics is not enough. Perfect memorization of catechisms is not enough. Incense, beautiful vestments, gorgeous churches, and trained scholae are not enough. If it were, then we wouldn’t have had anything changed. The people of the church are imperfect, as such we are always in need of reform (see St. Benedict, St. Francis, St. Gregory the Great, etc…) And because the people are imperfect, the reforms are often imperfect. So we need to keep working at them. There is a lot that was abandoned that needs to be remembered and relearned, but that is par for the course in history.

Seriously, stop this mindless bashing of the Ordinary Form. There are many of us who grew up with it and are glad to see the changes in translation which better reflect the ancient Latin prayers, the resurgence of chant, and the general increased beauty of the Mass that comes from rediscovering and using our glorious patrimony. But the bitterness poisons these efforts. Those who do not understand why these things are important hear things like “Now here is an abortion i would have supported 40 years ago” and are completely turned off to the ideas of tradition.

St. Padre Pio said it is better to bear an injustice than to cause one. Widening the divisions with bitter rhetoric only causes a bigger injustice to the Body of Christ.

Baron Von Korf

Props to you, sir! I hope I am not still one of those bitter rhetoricians. I think I was, at one point (only in the opposite direction), but got better. Bitterness provokes bitterness. Light begets light. Love one another, y'all's!

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