Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI Rocks!

There are many reasons why I love our Pope, but THIS is at the top of the list.....

From "The Ratzinger Report~An Exclusive Interview on the State of the Church" by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger with Vittorio Messor.

     "The liturgy is not a show, a spectacle, requiring brilliant producers and talented actors.  The life of the liturgy does not consist in 'pleasant' surprises and attractive 'ideas' but in solemn repetitions.  It cannot be an expression of what is current and transitory, for it expresses the mystery of the Holy.  Many people have felt and said that liturgy must be 'made' by the whole community if it is really to belong to them.  Such an attitude has led to the 'success' of the liturgy being measured by its effect at the level of spectacle and entertainment.  It is to lose sight of what is distinctive to the liturgy, which does not come from what we do but from the fact that something is taking place here that all of us together cannot 'make'.  In the liturgy there is a power, an energy at work which not even the Church as a whole can generate:  what it manifests is the Wholly Other, coming to us through the community (which is hence not sovereign but servant, purely instrumental)."

He goes on:  "Liturgy, for the Catholic, is his common homeland, the source of his identity.  And another reason why it must be something 'given' and 'constant' is that, by means of ritual, it manifests holiness of God.  The revolt against what has been described as 'the old rubricist rigidity', which was accused of stifling 'creativity', has in fact made the liturgy into a do-it-yourself patchwork and trivialized it, adapting it to our mediocrity."

Further:  "The Council rightly reminded us that liturgy also means actio, something done, and it demanded that the faithful be guaranteed an actuosa participatio, an active participation."  The interviewer then expressed that he regarded this as a good thing.  The Cardinal continued:  "The concept is no doubt correct.  But the way it has been applied following the Council has exhibited a fatal narrowing of perspective.  The impression arose that there was only 'active participation' when there was discernible external activity-speaking, singing, preaching, reading, shaking hands.  It was forgotten that the Council also included silence under actuosa participatio, for silense also facilitates a really deep, personal participation, allowing us to listen inwardly to the Lord's word.  Many liturgies now lack all trace of this silence."

I came across this passage as I was doing some follow up reading to the book "Mass Confusion" that I mentioned here.

Over the years, I have seen some pretty serious liturgical abuses.  Sometimes subtle and sometimes blatant.  In any case, I have noticed, lately, that the trend has begun leaning toward orthodoxy once again.  It is refreshing.  Many religious orders are returning to more traditional wearing habits and living in community. As a matter of fact,  I have been told (from a very reliable source) that the orders that were growing like wildfire in the late 60's and early 70's (the ones without habits) are pretty much dying off.  Those religious orders are not growing like they once were.  However, the orders that are growing the fastest are those that choose to wear the habit. 

I understand that there are benefits to both sides of the "habit" issue.  There is an excellent blog post at A Catholic Life regarding this very subject.  Take a few minutes to read it and see what you think.

It's interesting to me how my own preferences about these issues are changing.  I'm being drawn to a more quiet, traditional way of life and I can't really explain why.  There is so much noise in my life...between work, the TV., the phone,   the radio, and three kids ages ten and under....I'm craving more silence.  I no longer turn on the radio when I'm in the car.  My time with Glenn Beck on my way home from work has been replaced with some quiet time to reflect on my day.  The T.V. is never on during the day anymore!  I don't miss it at all.  As a society, we are so busy 'doing'...that we miss out on just 'being'.

Even Sunday Mass has become a place for constant noise.  It's seems as though  in many churches someone has decided that there can't be any silence during Mass at all.  I know that people are craving some quiet time, especially after communion so that they can pause and speak to the Lord directly and concentrate on what He might be trying to say to them.

How do you deal with the constant noise in your life?


Sarah Oldham said...

Nancy - this strikes a chord with me . . . I, too, long for the quiet. It's needed and necessary. I've started to take five minutes a day just sitting with my eyes shut in total silence (unless a boat in the harbor toots, a plane zooms overhead, a car drives by . . . noise out of my control). It helps! I am going to add a minute each day this week and keep adding until I get a full half hour of quiet a day.

I'm interested to see what others will say here.

Michelle said...

I, too, am seeking quiet. Cartoons for the kids are nice (especially when I'm trying to get some chores done), but we are all happier and in better moods when the TV is off and we actually spend time together.

Pope Benedicts words concerning the Mass as entertainment strike home, also. And the trend towards traditional communities? I think a large part of that is because younger people want to be challenged in their faith. We want to feel the difference between going to church and going to a show. We want the pleasure and privilege of sacrifice.

It certainly gives me hope for the future.

(Love the new blog design, BTW!)

Jackie C said...

Nancy, I so do understand your longing for quiet. I never have quiet literally. I have a vestibular disorder and severe tinnitus, ringing of the ears, and let me tell you I have been longing for silence for almost 17 years of my life with this disease.

But when I do get the kids around me to be quiet, I understand what you mean. A time to be silent within us, a communion with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
My way of letting go and having my "quiet" time so to speak is to listen to the nature all around me when I am driving. I sometimes just enjoy the air noise and little bird noises that I once took for granted before I lost my hearing.

You have a beautiful Catholic blog. I love it. Thanks for sharing news about Pope Benedict! God bless.

Nancy said...

Sarah...that's exactly what I've started doing...taking a few minutes each day to just BE QUIET.

Michelle...I think you've hit the nail on the head about young people wanting to be challenged in their faith! I so agree! I think they want to be serious about a commitment and they understand what a sacrifice that entails!

Jackie....My husband also suffers from this disease. I used to think he was just ignornig me, but he truly can't hear any low pitch sounds at all. For me, quiet can just mean being alone with my own thoughts...without too much outside stimulation. I too love the noises that nature makes me more aware of Gods greatness!

Thank you guys so much for commenting and sharing some of the ways you seek a quieter closeness with God! I believe I will be talking about this more and more over the next several months as I seek some internal peace....please continue to share your insights with me!

Owner of Homeschool Faith and Family Life Website said...

Well, at first I was going to comment on how I, too, LOVE our Pope and how AWESOME his writing on this subject is...and then...I read your line about not having TV on during the day anymore and I AM CLAPPING AND CHEERING FOR YOU!!!!! WOW!!!!!
That's GREAT, Nancy!When I need quiet, there are a few reliable things I do:

1) Go to my room and shut the door to sit on my bed and fold laundry while I send the kids outdoors to play. I LOVE is a very prayerful time for me.

2) I go to our campfire circle or to our clearing in the woods. Jake has a bench (built for him as a gift by his older brother one year) by a huge tree, there. I sit on that bench and stare out into the vast expanse of woods and I just "take it all in".

3) I make myself rise up in the morning before my family. Not only is it quiet, but I get to enjoy the BEAUTIFUL sunrises that God sends!

Many people I talk to and correspond with say the same things as you...that they are craving more silence in their all-too-busy, ever-so-noisy lives.

(You KNOW my house gets pretty noisy! LOL)

I think that this "craving" is merely God's quiet voice beckoning and calling us unto Himself.

It truly sickens me when I see Liturgical Abuses...especially in the areas of music. It's just SO sad. But, with the help and wisdom of Benedict XVI, the Mass can be restored.