Habits do not make us immune to error or arrogance. Neither are Roman collars or spicing our comments with Latin. We are all capable of mistakes. If I am not fair in my comments, I appreciate the honest feedback. I don’t think I said anything really outrageous when I said I disliked the use of human remains as decorations and lamps for the chapel. It did, and still gives me the creeps. I know that it comes from a time in history that had a different focus on death and sought to make a statement. I can appreciate that sentiment, but today I find it “over-the-top”.
The same can be true of the creative liturgies of the 70s where people did some things to make the mass “cool”. When I was a teenager I attended liturgies where we consecrated a bagel and a glass on wine. The liturgist in me would be horrified. But those were the days… and to be quie honest, in those liturgies is when I heard the call of the Lord to life as a friar and ministry as a priest.
Today, most of us can see that much of that was in bad taste, and moving in the wrong direction. Although the intent was justified… helping people connect life and liturgy… a lot of mistakes were made.
Similar mistakes are made when in an effort to retrieve some of the beauty and challenge of our tradition, some people seek to pretend we are still living in the 50s! We can’t go backwards. We can and most hold on to what it most dear in our tradition… which is old, ancient, and yes eternal. But this still has to be in dialogue with and reflective of current culture and society.
In my last post I included comments by Cardinal Castrillon about his surprise by the reaction of some in the church who are not satisfied with what Pope Benedict has done to allow for more use of the Tridentine Form. I don’t undestand his surprise. Many in the church who are supporting the Tridentine Mass are doing so out of a desire to experience the beauty and transcendance which that liturgy which that mass provided in contrast to the somewhat pedestrian experiences sometimes found in our parishes. But others, have a more profound and subversive agenda, which is to change the course of the Church in it’s effort to engage the world, society and culture in dialogue. My hunch is that Pope Benedict knew full well what he was doing when he allowed for the Tridentine Form. He is saying to Catholics on the extreme margins of the faith, there is more room for you in the middle… move over to the centre a bit and we can go forward… but the edges are going to be closing in a little… both on the left and on the right!