And it came to pass that Yours Truly was at Mass in a far away parish, in a well-known touristic region of what used to be called the Dowry of Mary.
The stoup for the Holy Water bas, basically, a miniature. The altar was far smaller than the niche on the wall which, clearly, had hosted the ad orientem one before the Age of Madness. The candles on the altar were “Made in Lilliput”. The Stations were the smallest I have ever seen in a church. A true picture of Shrinking Catholicism, thought Your Truly.
The homily came, and a pretty good homily it was. The priest was clearly of the grumpy – in a good way – sort, lamenting the “Neo-Paganism” of modern England, but stopping short of mentioning the probable final destination of all those Neo-Pagans out there, fornicating and cohabiting. Still, there was a lot of veiled messages, carefully crafted – I thought – so that they don't put him in trouble with his bishop.
I couldn't avoid wondering if the Lilliput quality of his church was wanted from him, or rather inherited from some Jesuit or other fag who had been there before him.
Because surely, I reflected, the man must notice that the shrinkage of Christian thinking in the former Dowry of Mary is reflected very accurately in the shrinkage of Catholic symbolism in his very church, and what has happened inside the walls of the church mirrors exactly what has happened outside of them.
Symbols counts. Sacramentals are important. Catholic identity must be affirmed, instead of shrinked. When things start to improve inside our churches – not excluding more explicit homilies – they will slowly but surely start to improve outside of them, too.