25 June 2007

Floods and rumination

We live high up so last night's rains and this morning floods did little more than cause a twenty minute drive to turn into a ninety minute obstacle course to get child to school and us to work.

It gave me time to ponder on Fr Dwight's posting on why anybody would want to go to Mass celebrated in the traditional rite.

His are good questions, and well put: why would people want to go to a Mass where they couldn't see what the priest was doing or hear what he was saying? How, to cap it all, is Mass better when it is in a language that nobody understands that Jesus and his disciples never spoke? There has been a good preliminary answer from the NLM, but time spent waiting in traffic, once my helpful advice to my wife had been treated with the scorn it no doubt deserved, made me think about the radical change in Catholic praxis since the Novus Ordo was made normative.

Why should the priest's actions be visible?
Why should the priest's words be heard?
Why should the participation of the laity be audible?
Why should the laity have to do physical things in unison to be thought to be participating?
Why would anyone think that Latin was not the appropriate language for the Roman Rite?

These are not questions which occurred to anybody - well, to anybody except for heretics - until the second half of the twentieth century. Sacrifice and Immolation demanded behaviour and language from the Priest, and from those privileged to witness what he was doing, appropriate to the actions he was to perform.

I don't want to criticise Fr Dwight for asking the questions: they are the questions my children ask me when I insist on the superiority of the Classical Rite. They are the questions that anybody who has been brought up in the Church since Vatican II feels are right to be asked.

I wonder what happened that anybody feels that it is normal that such questions can be asked.


Moretben said...

Judging the past in the light of the present is about as unCatholic as it gets, but it's the inevitiable consequence of rupture. Coincidentally I was thinking about the NLM post tonight, while leading family prayers. Versus populo is a weird, weird thing to do. Why did anyone think of doing it in the first place? My children's bedroom has a shelf on the wall opposite their beds, on which reposes Our Lady of Grace, a Byzantine diptych and lots of little holy pictures and cheap statues of the kind beloved of little girls. Above it is a very decent Christus Rex crucifix. Naturally we all kneel facing the crucifix. Why on earth would I turn around and face the children? Why on earth would they expect me to? It's completely senseless.

Apart from that, I wanted to post what I always post at NLM in these discussions, but I'm afraid of irritating Shawn at this point.


Biby Cletus said...

Hi, i just surfed in searching for interesting blogs on Spirituality, you have a cool blog. Do keep up the good work. I'll be back even though i live far from where you live. its nice to be able to see what people from across the world thinks.

Warm Regards from the Other Side of the Moon.

On a related note perhaps you might find the following link interesting. Its propossing a theory and i'll like to hear your take on the subject via comments. See ya...

Jesus an Essenes ?


Kerala, India

White Stone Name Seeker said...

Glad you're not being flooded out. We had huge flood tanks put under the park near us a couple of years ago and it's made a big difference.

I agree about the priest facing us during Mass. It means he spends Mass with his back to the tabernacle-which can't be right. And WHY anyway when the NO Mass does not ask for it?

I do think it is right that we pray with body and soul-not just inwardly. The NO is good for that, but I assume there was kneeling, standing, breast striking, bowing etc as part of the Old Mass too. (I've never been to one so please forgive my ignornance)

I hope the MP comes soon despite the Cardinal's letter asking not to have it (*sigh*)-but what I would REALLY like is the end of all the abuses in the NO.

God bless

Jeffrey Smith said...

I see Biby Cletus is at it again. I'd best warn you. He tends to come back.