Saturday, May 5, 2007

The making of a traditional

On this eve of my son's big day, I was able to think on my last year and my spiritual journey. In an emotional sense, it is as if someone thew a bucket of ice cold water on me that has turned to this elastic goo that I now cannot get off. That is symbolic but about the only way I can describe what has happened. I may write on this further after tomorrow as I may have more insight. I wonder if I would feel that I identify as more of a traditional because there is a huge lack of orthodoxy in our diocese. The few priests who would be considered orthodox are tucked away or are not fully utilized. That or the parish they are in is so overwhelmingly led by the lay people that their identity and orthodoxy is hidden or goes unnoticed. It's my opinion and something I need to think more on.

Then I look at what happened to me and those I see like me "out there". The few "LAF" (liturgical abuse free)parishes have either "rock bands" for music(so there goes that) or other such nonsense that disqualifies them. How can a priest have a reverent Mass when you have Susie Sings-alot banging "We Remember" or "City of God" at an inappropriate time(yes, I know, there is no APPROPRIATE time)? Why do our churches in this diocese all need bongos, guitars and clangy pianos? Why is it okay to wear shorts, jeans, tube tops and soccer uniforms to church? I've been to other diocese in the country and this is not the norm in EVERY parish in their diocese. I've been to some great parishes in Cincinnati, Buffalo, Akron. Is the best you can give God halter tops and "Abba Father"? Are we even trying anymore or is it just to far gone to bother? I mean I am asking. When or how will it change if we are okay with bad music, silly homilies(that don't offend), changing hymns that were already hippie and PC to be even more so.....stop the dang madness. Okay, a rant.

So tonight, I wonder how did I start out in life as just another hippie 70's kid, lose my faith entirely, revert as a 20 something to an eventual orthodox and now I lean in the trad direction? Because of that journey, that can be the only answer. We are led and influenced by priests(both positive and negative). A priest can lead someone astray or lead them into further holiness. They can draw us in or make us pull away. They have a bigger influence on who we are and who we become than we probably realize. Even the very liberal and casual priests throughout my life had a positive influence on who I am(not in the way they had hoped if they saw me now). Not because of leading me to holiness but by having something to compare their "theology" to when the real thing comes along. It's like I tell my kids, we have to have bad days otherwise we would take the good days for granted. Without comparisons, we wouldn't realize a good thing when we have it. I am thankful for all the priests I have come in contact with over my life. The good, the bad and the holy. I wouldn't be, perhaps, as conservative as I am today without their influence on my life. God allows people and events in our life and it sometimes isn't until years later that we understand why. So this hippie Catholic kid singing "And the Father Will Dance" loudly at Mass in 1975 has grown up to appreciate Mozart, incense, chant and Latin(not to mention the True Presence I had never known or learned). If it hadn't been so bad in 1975, I may be a grown hippie going to environmental demonstrations and charismatic Masses. It was just bad enough.

Not sure where I will go or what will lead me other than Christ. He's led me this far, I think I need to trust that the next chapter will be just what I need.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gee, Thorn, I live in the diocese and I don't find it as bad as you say. Maybe I'm missing something. My parish is not that bad. Sometimes the music is not what I prefer but overall it seems to be pretty good. I'm sorry you're having such a difficult time. I hope today is a special day for you with First Communion. At least the sun is shining.

Have a good one.

a thorn in the pew said...

First, no need to be patronizing(on my "special day"). You may never venture out of the diocese or realize how bad it actually is with no comparison. While there are many churches trying to regain some of the sacred that was lost after V2, we are stuck in some time warp that has also nabbed some neat habits like the soccer uniform to Mass trend, LifeTeen Mass(love that wonderful invention) and other silliness that can be found throughout the diocese. I have yet to walk into a Mass(even the indult I am sorry to say) where someone isn't wearing shorts, jeans or has bare shoulders hanging out. And the priest says nothing. Don't want to chase off all those people who are already so lost is the mantra. Not sure which exceptional parish you belong to (the Cathedral has the least abuses on the richter scale, found mostly because of just darn good priests) you either have to be blind or liberal not to see these things.

Anonymous said...

I was not trying to be patronizing by wishing you a good day for your son's First Communion. The nasty tone of your response is insulting. Sorry I said anything at all. And I'm not blind nor am I a liberal.

a thorn in the pew said...

Starting your comment "Gee Thorn" was patronizing, period. With the exception of that tone, I could have taken the post to be sincere and well intentioned. I think most would agree.

Jacob said...

For those of us who study the history and know how the liturgy has changed dramatically since Vatican II, we know that what is offered now, even in the Cathedral, is close, but not as good as we had. If you don't know the history and have lived with the Novus Ordo Mass all your life, then you know nothing. I used to be one of these people until I became a seminarian. After studying (on my own) what the Mass used to be, and seeing both extremely bad (LA Religious Conference), minimally bad (my old parish) to even good NO Masses (Cathedral or Old St. Mary's in Cincy), nothing compares to the traditional Mass, the Mass that has been passed down to us in basically the same form for over 1500 years (not just from the Council of Trent). The New Mass has a tradition only lasting 40 years, barely. Which would you prefer; old and proven, or new and innovative and make up as you go?

Ma Beck said...

The "Missa Normativa" at my parish, that is, the new Mass, offered in Latin, is wonderful.
It is reverent, offered ad orientem, like all Masses at my parish, and employs chant and classical Mass settings and incense.
Having said that, even the most perfect new Mass cannot compare, because of one simple reason: the prayers in the old Mass have more spiritual depth and they are infinitely more penitent and adoring. (Yes, Jesus is still there, and that's the important thing.)
I could argue for or against the Mass in Latin or English or Chinese - but I cannot argue for making the prayers less, well, prayerful.
I cannot argue that it was okay to mistranslate the Holy Mass on the grounds that 'consubstantial' was too difficult a phrase for us to comprehend (what? and "one in being" is any better?)or that "through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault" was too much of a bummer for our self-absorbed generation.
The new Mass is valid, of course, and I am not opposed to it, necessarily, though I am vehemently opposed to what it has become, in some areas. I am infinitely opposed to sacrilege and disobedience and heresy.
'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer' is a Christmas piece.
So is Handel's 'Messiah.'
To pretend that they are the same, just because they are both Christmas pieces, would be silly.