Thursday, April 17, 2008

What did he say?

I'm sorry, I have a hard time hearing the homily of Benedict XVI from his Mass at National Stadium today. The noise of bloggers complaining of horrid liturgical practices is just a tad overwhelming.

I was reading Whispers in the Loggia the other day and a rather convicting statement was made in regards to people paying attention to what the Pope had to say instead of what he wore. I think the same can go for the Masses he celebrates.

Fr. Neuhaus had a wonderful comment on EWTN. While he wondered if those planning the Liturgy had ever read any of Benedict's works, he said "but the Pope is being pastoral, knowing that he cannot allow this to get in the way of the message of Christ and the graces of the Eucharist". I think Fr. Neuhaus is dead on.

Sure, the music wasn't great. I myself am no fan of Marty Haugen's Mass of Creation. But I have come to realize "is this really the core of the Mass?" I am not denying the awesome wonder music can create. It most definitely has an essential role in the Mass. But things take time. And the important things from the Mass happened. The Pope delivered an awesome homily, and the Sacrifice of the Mass was celebrated.

If people were not so busy complaining about this and that about the music, maybe they could be quiet long enough to hear the awesome message of the hope Christ brings to us. Maybe, JUST MAYBE, they would be able to understand that Christ is greater that bad liturgical practices, and that his message can come out in those settings as well.

It is important to note that Msgr. Marini has been taking a very active role in planning the Papal Liturgies. Note, however, that they allowed these things to happen. They may not be perfect, but the Pope knew that the Eucharist being celebrated was the pinnacle of the Mass, not its music. If people could start realizing that, I thik we could do a lot to grow.

The issue, in the end, is that when we are too busy complaining about bad liturgy, we are not open enough to listen to the words of Christ. This is something I have been coming to learn. This is not to say we ought not to work to have the Liturgy celebrated according to the desire of the Church, discussion is an essential means for the further promotion of proper liturgy. But we must remember that things take time. Instead of complaining, there must be work done with those who do have different liturgical views. We must remember that the Liturgy is an expression of our faith in Christ, and if our faith is true, so will be our expression. Thus the solution is not a pragmatic concern in which policies can easily change things. Rather, the issue is one of holiness. If people would have actually paid attention to what the Pope had to say today, you would have noticed that he said that this is our fundamental goal as Christians, that our hope rises in a life lived in holiness.

The Pope knows that in order for the Liturgy to be properly celebrated, there needs to be holiness first. And so, far from pragmatic concerns, the Pope is looking towards a supernatural means of bringing people to the heart of the Church. When holiness is lived, it expresses itself in everything, and the Liturgy is definitely one of those times.

-Harrison

3 comments:

Owen said...

He is definitely a Pope of many surprises. I've been struck by his courage but also his clearsightedness. I think he has a tremendous understanding of history - certainly much better than any of those media chatterers that "report" on him.

It was interesting to note that before Benedict's US visit, BBC predicted there was NO WAY he would talk about the child abuse scandal in the Church. With typical Benedictitude, he has tackled it head-on.

tibotmorfenoo said...

Harrison,

This is the best commentary I have read thus far on the Blogosphere in regards to the Mass. You took a real cue from Pope Benedict's "affirmative orthodoxy." Your wisdom is beyond your years. I hope others take note! Thank you!!! God Bless you in your journey

Friartuc said...

Nice blog! Keep up the good work! Cya in Edmonton in the fall. Remember to start praying for humidity . . .