Daily Archives: July 25, 2017
Cardinal Sarah's rosewater conservative intervention about the mutual enrichment of the two masses (the wrong one and the right one) is in part based on the claim that there is no doubt that the Lectionary of the NO is superior to the Tridentine one.
This is wrong on many levels. Let me explain why.
Firstly, and as already written, the Tridentine Lectionary is the fruit of a long process of slow development, and the Lectionary of the NO is the fruit of a short process of fast subversion. It is not that before the Sixties the Liturgists didn't realise you can have a three-year, massive scripture-reading program. It is that in their wisdom, they chose to do otherwise. This is argument enough for me, and is the most important one. Tradition. Get it?
Secondly, whoever is acquainted with the Tridentine Lectionary notices a trend in particularly (but not only) the Gospel readings: it is pithy, concentrated wisdom. At times it strikes one like a whip. It is chosen as to be a flash to be remembered, rather than a story to be told. It works.
Thirdly, and as pointed out by more learned bloggers than yours truly, the Lectionary of the Tridentine has a muscular, masculine, politically incorrect, unapologetic quality that Bugnini & Co. thought well to neuter, to emasculate. Fifty years later, many (bad) churchgoers and even more (worse) non-churchgoers think that Jesus was a pacifist vegan of sort. The NO Jesus is one-sided, and therefore distorted.
Fourthly, the Mass is not there to make you listen to the Scriptures. The scriptures are learned and interiorised as you learn and interiorise Catholic doctrine: at catechism and with private, devotional reading. Tellingly, the generation who was exposed to more Gospel reading at Mass than any generation before them is also the most ignorant of both doctrine and scripture, and the most incapable of making sense of the little they learn. In contrast, past generations of illiterate peasants knew way more of Catholicism than the arrogant, vapid degree-holders full of themselves crowding (not so much, really) the churches today.
Therefore, the Lectionary of the Tridentine is superior to the one of the NO in its logic, in its impact, in its truthfulness and in its pedagogic scope.
The V II crowd, Cardinals not excluded, do not get any of these arguments. To them, he who has more words wins.
Then we are surprised that we are in the state in which we find ourselves these days.
The United Kingdom is a heathenish, Christless Country. People's concerns are largely material. When they call themselves “spiritual”, they usually mean how beautiful and profound they feel they are. There are exceptions, but what I have described is the norm.
This heathenish thinking extends to the time before death. Every now and then you read of “brave” people who, once told they are going to prematurely kick the bucket, decide to “do something”. Normally, this something is linked with “fun” (the Paris alcohol binge), or with something “they wanted to do” (the exotic travel) or with someone “they wanted to meet” (a spiritual giant of our time like, say, an actor).
It is as if their spiritual (and otherwise) dumbness would want to cling to them until death, not even the announcement of the end to come being enough for a much-needed realignment of priorities. It is, in fact, fair to say that in an age in which fun and self-centredness are a religion, people who focus on those on their last stretch are considered examples worthy of following, as if they were the pious faithful of our time. A great waste of immortal souls, sadly, as the announcement of his impending demise is the last massive opportunity for, say, an atheist to send his brains into overdrive and (with God's grace) start working on his salvation until there's time.
Nor is there any warning, anywhere, of the judgment to come. People who die positively unable to think – and to publicly say they do – about their judgment are called “courageous”, when all generations before ours would have called them foolish. But hey, they launched a hashtag that made an awful lot of people of every conceivable degree of stupidity feel good with themselves. Isn't it wonderful?
And by the way: is it surprising? Nowadays even the Pope tries to make you march to your death without thinking of judgment; unless he suggest that you become a member of the Communist Party perhaps, because Jesus was kinda lika sorta Lenin, no?
The way we die is a very good indication of the rest of our – infinitely long – existence.
In a heathenish time, you see these indications all the time, whilst the press applauds.