How Would a Saint React to Liturgical Abuse?

I’m not big on linking to other pages, but here’s an interesting Catholic Answers topic I came across on how a saint would react to liturgical abuses.

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8 Responses to How Would a Saint React to Liturgical Abuse?

  1. Chad Toney says:

    Hmm. Dorothy Day seems to be a strange choice to illustrate her case to a traditionalist, but OK.

    If we’re including non-canonized, but highly respected Catholics, I’d go for this Tolkien quote:

    “…I can recommend this as an exercise (alas! only too easy to find opportunity for): make your communion in circumstances that affront your taste. Choose a snuffling or gabbling priest or a proud and vulgar friar; and a church full of the usual bourgeois crowd, ill-behaved children – from those who yell to those products of Catholic schools who the moment the tabernacle is opened sit back and yawn – open necked and dirty youths, women in trousers and often with hair both unkempt and uncovered. Go to communion with them (and pray for them). It will be just the same (or better than that) as a mass said beautifully by a visibly holy man, and shared by a few devout and decorous people. It could not be worse than the mess of the feeding of the Five Thousand – after which our Lord propounded the feeding that was to come.”

  2. Stacey says:

    Here, here! Same idea, methinks. I really don’t know who Dorothy Day is, but thought the message was good: abuses don’t change the fact that God is present, and so He changes these vulgar things into a holy mass.

  3. lenetta says:

    Bleah! I can’t get it to come up! Maybe my computer will be in a better mood tomorrow. Sigh.

  4. lenetta says:

    Finally got it to load . . . I know bits and pieces about Dorothy Day but didn’t know she was Catholic. Anyway – I agree with your paraphrase of the message, Stacey. And I really like that Tolkien quote, Chad!

    I’ve been trying to figure out how to explain a vague connection that is in my mind – something about people expecting things to look or sound or whatever a certain way and if it doesn’t (even if it is perfectly licit), they think it isn’t “right”. We are such creatures of habit.

  5. agellius says:

    That’s fine, but something still needs to be done to stop the abuses. We can’t just be perpetually having charitable reactions to them, can we?

    An occasional screw-up can be excused in one way or another, but at some point you can’t help suspecting that a pattern has developed, and feeling that something needs to be done to stop it. And when those entrusted to guard the liturgy fail to curtail the abuses, and in fact contribute to the perpetuation of some of them, a certain degree of frustration and maybe even anger would appear to be justified. IMHO.

  6. Stacey says:

    Well, I agree that sometimes abuses are serious enough and not for any conceivable valid reasons or done without approval from the Church, so we should speak up, take the issue to our bishops, and something should be done. But I think even when action needs to be taken to correct abuses, that response should be out of charity and done with respect for the Body of Christ and His Church. Even sometimes anger can be righteous (like Christ at the temple) and done out of love for God. So, yeah, we can perpetually have charitable reactions 😉

    What I really take away from this post is that we should always act out of love and behave with awe and respect of the Real Presence at any valid mass, regardless of the shortcomings of the people who run things or our fellow parishioners. Personally, I don’t think I’m in any place to speak out against abuses, especially since I’m not even a member yet.

  7. agellius says:

    I agree with Stacey that if we do get justifiably angry over liturgical abuses, we should still refrain from judging or condemning those who commit them. Charity demands that we assume they mean well.

  8. lenetta says:

    That reminds me – here is an article I saw linked to from Faith & Family Live on what to do regarding liturgical abuses. Been a while since I skimmed it, but perhaps it can shed some light. :>)

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