Matthew J. Bellisario
I wonder if a fellow Catholic would give the Pope a slice of stale pizza and a flat RC Cola if the Holy Father visited their house tomorrow? It seems so based on the attitude many Catholics have for the Mass. I ran across a post put up today by the Catholic "apologist" Mark Shea. Some unfortunate person sought liturgical advice from Mark regarding liturgical music. Mark makes a few comments on what he feels to be going over the line in such matters. For the most part the post was quite a bore, but one portion that his reader wrote caught my attention, and it really shows the ineptitude that we have stirring in the Catholic world today.
"As in everything Liturgical these day, it seems one must try to be as generous as possible, assume the best intentions, and allow for simple incoherence by people who are not thinking too clearly. So bad music, intentions that don’t intend anything, priests ad libs that don’t actually make any sense – these, and other like them I can live with, and have for decades." A Catholic Reader-
So here is the basic attitude many Catholics have for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. People who have no idea what they are doing regarding the liturgy is no problem for them. Bad music and priests ad libbing during the liturgy, no problem either! They can live with it, and so should you! After all, he has for decades folks, whats your problem? Should we have a problem with abuses that Holy Mother Church has been opposing for years, like bad music and ad-libbing priests?
In case we have forgotten, the problem is that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is present at each and every Mass! That is why we should not just "live with it." In case Catholics are wondering, it is almighty God to whom we are giving due worship to in the Mass. It is not a social function where anything goes as long as I get the Eucharist, which is the constant attitude many Catholics have today. If the general churchgoer on Sunday never says anything about these abuses then the abuses will not stop. And if one is content to "live with it", that he means he really could care less about it. This lackadaisical mentality is why the liturgical abuses have been going on for decades. Its because people like "the reader" can "live with it." If the priest makes up his own words, no problem. I mean after all, its only the Mass right? Its only the most sacred act of worship that has ever occurred on the planet. Christ is being crucified before our very eyes, offering Himself, the pure sacrifice to the Father for us miserable sinners, why not tolerate bad music and ad-libbing! If the music, words or the actions of the priest don't even come close to the liturgical context of the Holy Sacrifice, just deal with it! Why be a stickler on such things? I think you get my point. I am not saying that we should jump out of our pews every time something happens. But I am saying that we should do our best to oppose such actions in the liturgy as best and as charitable as we can. We should not just "live with it."
I know, I'll be labeled a Rad Trad by many for expressing my concern about how we give honor and worship to God in the liturgy. I would however rather be a "rad-Trad" than one who can just live with ad-libbing priests, bad music, and people running the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass who have no clue as to what is happening! Unfortunately its no problem for many Catholics today.
Pope Urban VII said he following in 1634. Perhaps those with this "I can live with it" mentality should think about his words.
"If there is anything divine among man's possessions which might excite the envy of the citizens of heaven (could they ever be swayed by such a passion), this is undoubtedly the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, by means of which men, having before their eyes, and taking into their hands the very Creator of heaven and earth, experience, while still on earth, a certain anticipation of heaven.
How keenly, then, must mortals strive to preserve and protect this inestimable privilege with all due worship and reverence, and be ever on their guard lest their negligence offend the angels who vie with them in eager adoration!"