Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Shakespeare and Chant?

Over at 1Peter5 there is a piece entitled: Liturgy, Adaptation, and the Need for Context by Adam Michael Wood. The man is well versed and plays with the topic such that he would leave spinning the heads of liturgical aficionados straight across the spectrum. He brings up a lot of good questions and does so with a bright, sort of sprightly abruptness. 

Read the article and stay with him to the end. You may not agree, but I find him constructive throughout and seriously reassuring in his concluding sentences:

"If it is true, as Odo Casel observed, that modern people are unable to perform a true act of worship, then we must engage in a process that transforms people and guides them out of modernity, out of the abyss of secularism. This work includes both catechesis and community development outside the liturgy as well as careful adaptation of the liturgy itself and the elements that surround it.

"Whatever (valid) form of the liturgy you are celebrating, and in whatever language, it is not enough to simply “Say the Black, and Do the Red.” Nor is it enough to mean well and be sincere. Both literally and metaphorically, we must teach people how to sing, or else what we ask them to sing is of little consequence.

"The liturgy requires a context. We must provide it."

I think one can fairly draw the conclusion that Wood is calling for a new approach or metaphor for addressing the liturgical disarray which plagues us despite denials. Fair or not, he chooses an option which is neither a "reform of the reform" nor a "restoration as reset" for the sake of setting forth the organic development of the liturgy. 

He's written an article not the definitive monograph; he has played the devil's advocate and done so well. Such cannot be ignored, even if attention to our patrimony precisely because it is caught up into the worship we owe to God would seem to demand more respect for the Mass of all times and much more attentiveness to the discontinuity or rupture laying the Ordinary Form open to so much abuse.

The wise counsel of exposing the two forms to each other for the sake of the mutual enrichment must indeed be treasured.

 Adam Michael Wood, the blithe spirit notwithstanding, I renew my urgent plea for turning worship in the Ordinary Form to God, ad Orientem. This and more is due to Adam's un-quantifiable "Globe theatre" audience.


The Other Mendicant Friar

Today's Second Reading from the Office of the memorial for the Angelic Doctor is taken from a conference by Saint Thomas Aquinas, priest, entitled: The Cross exemplifies every virtue:

"Why did the Son of God have to suffer for us? There was a great need, and it can be considered in a twofold way: in the first place, as a remedy for sin, and secondly, as an example of how to act.
  It is a remedy, for, in the face of all the evils which we incur on account of our sins, we have found relief through the passion of Christ. Yet, it is no less an example, for the passion of Christ completely suffices to fashion our lives. Whoever wishes to live perfectly should do nothing but disdain what Christ disdained on the cross and desire what he desired, for the cross exemplifies every virtue.
  If you seek the example of love: Greater love than this no man has, than to lay down his life for his friends. Such a man was Christ on the cross. And if he gave his life for us, then it should not be difficult to bear whatever hardships arise for his sake.
  If you seek patience, you will find no better example than the cross. Great patience occurs in two ways: either when one patiently suffers much, or when one suffers things which one is able to avoid and yet does not avoid. Christ endured much on the cross, and did so patiently, because when he suffered he did not threaten; he was led like a sheep to the slaughter and he did not open his mouth. Therefore Christ’s patience on the cross was great. In patience let us run for the prize set before us, looking upon Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith who, for the joy set before him, bore his cross and despised the shame.
  If you seek an example of humility, look upon the crucified one, for God wished to be judged by Pontius Pilate and to die.
  If you seek an example of obedience, follow him who became obedient to the Father even unto death. For just as by the disobedience of one man, namely, Adam, many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one man, many were made righteous.
  If you seek an example of despising earthly things, follow him who is the King of kings and the Lord of lords, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Upon the cross he was stripped, mocked, spat upon, struck, crowned with thorns, and given only vinegar and gall to drink.
  Do not be attached, therefore, to clothing and riches, because they divided my garments among themselves. Nor to honours, for he experienced harsh words and scourgings. Nor to greatness of rank, for weaving a crown of thorns they placed it on my head. Nor to anything delightful, for in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink."

For those eager to keep at least at arm's length a life of sacrifice and self-abnegation, the words of this Dominican "giant" go in one ear and out the other, bypassing the heart and conscience. Even for good people, ignorant of our Catholic roots, many haven't a clue as to where to start with such. We need an awakening, all of us, I fear. This would be my prayer intention for today.

To "hobbyhorse" for a moment, this brings me back to the urgency of recovering our Catholic culture. The passing of a dear friend of our family, last week shortly after their 69th wedding anniversary, brought back stories from my Mom about Fritz and Dad "having to pay" for sleeping in on New Year's Day and having to go to the over-filled Pontifical High Mass at noon and kneel on the stone floor in the back of the cathedral. I could laugh with Mom's generation, but younger folk need every detail of the story about young adults explained. Even then I doubt if people under 50 can really understand, as they do not even comprehend the simply beautiful interplay of choice and obligation, obviously cloaked in devotion, which brings forth laughter from 65+ years ago.

We are a very long way from the world of the mendicant friars, like Francis and Dominic, Albert the Great and Thomas Aquinas. We talk up poverty, but these men mostly refused to ride a mule, let alone get into a carriage; they walked clear across Europe and back. Most of them didn't live to be 50, because of the deprivations which were typical of the mendicant lifestyle of their day. St. Elizabeth of Hungary or Thuringen pleaded with her confessor after having given away all which was hers for the privilege to be able to beg door to door.... in imitation of Christ. Do we really understand what these people understood by saying with fervor and determination that they wished to follow Christ in His poverty? I think not. Blessed Theresa of Calcutta and her sisters today come close and meet misunderstanding and criticism for failing in efficiency in helping the poor to escape their poverty. It is indeed another world.

Another of my favorite authors, Lorenzo Scupoli, in his classic, The Spiritual Combat, taught very clearly what our priorities should be, especially in a world other than that of the mendicants and even other than his world, so caught up in missionary zeal:

"For, although in itself the conversion of souls is dearer to God than the mortification of an irregular desire, yet it is not your duty to will and perform that which is in itself more excellent, but that which God before all else strictly desires and requires of you. For He doubtless seeks and desires of you self-conquest, and the thorough mortification of your passions, rather than that you, wilfully leaving one of them alive in you, should perform in some other direction some greater and more notable service for His sake. Now you see wherein the real perfection of a Christian lies, and that to obtain it you must enter upon a constant and sharp warfare against self..." (p. 4, Kindle Edition)

St. Thomas Aquinas rightly exhorts us to embrace the Cross like Jesus did. He teaches us what that implies. May our hearts be open and the adventure of self-conquest through obedience to the Divine Will allow Christ's Light through us to shine upon our world!

PROPERANTES ADVENTUM DIEI DEI


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Just an Impression?

Following the Holy Father's visit to Sri Lanka and the Philippines, two blips went across my radar which both independently and in contrast to each other left me troubled: the rabbit thing and the video documentation of the less than respectful (sacrilegious) way the Most Holy Eucharist was passed around in the crowd at the outdoor Mass with the Pope. Many push back from both insisting that we not overreact or read too much into either. 

In the case of the rabbit thing, efforts have been made by the Vatican to assuage those feeling offended and perhaps to counter the most aggressive (German speaking?) campaigns to set something like a "catholic family quota" where after confessors are supposed to forgive most anything in the realm of birth control. Hence, I suppose the repeated appeals of the Holy Father to people to get themselves to confession. 

The outrage or "slow burn" over the Holy Father's choice of words is justified, because once again some, if not many, are taking advantage and pushing their anti-life and anti-marital chastity agenda. Unintentional or not the "barn door" was left open and unguarded. The best efforts on the part of others to witness to the fullness of Gospel life in and before marriage are being snowed by those who scorn big families and deny the role of asceticism in the life of all Christ's followers. The allusion to the classic "rabbit putdown" played right into the hands of those who have no time for self-sacrifice within a life-long marital commitment, let alone for the glorious Catholic procession of virgin martyrs which extends over all the centuries, starting with St. Agnes and continuing on through St. Maria Goretti, regularly punctuated by single-hearted little boys and young men like St. Dominic Savio, St. Charles Lwanga and his companions. An exhortation to perseverance, to holy indifference and to entrusting of our lives and the Church to Christ the King, directed toward all those who feel offended or simply nonplussed, is certainly in order.

The obvious disrespect shown to the Holy Eucharist at outdoor Masses, not only in Manila or Rio, but perhaps despite best efforts even in St. Peter's Square, has to do with attempting the impossible. Communion for so many people at once cannot be organized and organizers' attempts to go through with it end in "accidents", in disrespect, if in no other way than by rendering casual or bland/routine the encounter with the living Lord, Christ our God, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. Those responsible for organizing the occasions must stop "trying" and draw the conclusion that it cannot be done without disrespect and hence should not be done. Open fields, beaches and giant public squares do not lend themselves to a devout reception of Holy Communion and higher authority should recognize this and bring others to face up to the fact as well.

I remember as a child, before the Council, that Holy Communion was not distributed at Funeral Masses with the body of the deceased present. In the parish, that meant suppressing the early morning Mass (bination was not an option) in favor of a Communion service for the daily Mass folk, as well as any mourners who wished to receive Communion on the day of burial of their loved one. I am sure there were reasons for the practice; I don't recall what they were. The important thing for me as a child and I suppose for most adults was simply that Communion was not distributed at Funeral Masses in the presence of the body of the deceased. Might I suggest, that for the sake of decorum the distribution of Holy Communion should today be omitted at all Masses where people cannot easily approach the Communion rail or altar step, understood as extensions of the altar at Mass. Apart from the extremely diseducative and often disrespectful (if not sacrilegious) Communion practice common to large gatherings in the open and in stadiums, I think I remember being told by an older generation that Holy Communion, before the Council, was not generally distributed even inside the Basilica at Papal Liturgies (more of a rarity then, of course, than now): reverence no doubt being the primary factor.

Whether an embittered "slow burn" or embarrassed silence, pastoral sensitivity would require much more from bishops and priests vis a vis the "little ones", those whose faith is weak or who lack sufficient catechesis in their lives to be able to sort things out. Why should people today be dispensed from the beautiful asceticism their parents and grandparents fought so hard to practice in marriage just because of king mattresses, central heating and air-conditioning, Iphones, Ipads, big screen TV and XBox? Pastoral sensitivity would seem to demand an honest effort at recovering the sustaining Catholic culture, which once helped people live their sacrament, whether it was Baptism, Holy Matrimony or Holy Orders.

Once again, even inside church walls at Sunday Mass, I would make an appeal for putting order in the Communion procession, eliminating the hectic brought on by putting too many extraordinary ministers on such that ushers are pushing people to hurry down the aisle (keep moving!) and return to the Communion rail, which gives each person a moment to focus before Father arrives to feed them with the Bread of Angels.

If we would have mercy on the crowds as Jesus did, like He we would give ourselves tirelessly to teaching, both in and out of season. No doubt many hearts are hardened, but as many or more languish like sheep without a shepherd. St. John Paul II used to repeat to various groups that the true pope for most Catholics was the parish priest in their home parish. The nurturing task of teaching persuasively about chastity for the laity, both single and married, rests squarely on the shoulders of those at home. Beyond witness, parents have much to share with their children about the true nature of love and the ineluctable embrace of Christ's Cross which lets that love shine out in all its eloquence.

PROPERANTES ADVENTUM DIEI DEI


Friday, January 23, 2015

In the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Chapter 14 of Peter Kwasniewski's book "Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis: Sacred Liturgy, the Traditional Latin Mass, and Renewal in the Church" bears the title: A Threefold Amnesia: Sacred Liturgy, Social Teaching, and Saint Thomas. For what it says about "social teaching", my guess is that it would be the toughest chapter for people who might class themselves or be classed as Catholic neo-conservatives. Personally, I would question the term "amnesia", seeing as how multiple generations in most parts of the world separate us from the regular practice of Divine Worship with the 1962 Roman Missal as the norm. The rupture with our past, with the (T)tradition is undeniable; to suffer amnesia you have to have been in possession of something at some point.

Similar could be said of the role of Saint Thomas Aquinas in seminary studies, which has been contested and often neglected for an even longer period; most of us were deprived of St. Thomas and have nothing to forget. But the toughie for most folks in terms of restoration or recovery would be that of what Kwasniewski describes as "social teaching", also because it flies in the face of commonly held notions about religious liberty in a multi- or a-confessional state and what ecumenism is supposed to mean for a Catholic today. Wise or unwise, I want to talk about this recovery called for by Kwasniewski right in the middle of the week of prayer for Christian unity 2015.

The proviso or caveat placed by the author would be that the three are yoked together; they are inseparable, which might be a problem for some of the less integral minds in the crowd. Kwasniewski promotes all three as interdependent, referring to them in a school context:

"In all the Catholic schools with which I have been associated, I have noticed a striking fact: a person who does not hold onto all three of these things faithfully and integrally cannot, in the end, manage to hold onto even one." (Kindle Locations 2912-2914).

The clincher, however, is his description of classic Catholic social teaching and the point made that the separation between Church and State in the words of St. Pius X is a pernicious error, the reference being to France's Law of Separation from 1905:

"Let us be frank, even if the Franks fail to be so: the sovereign Kingship of Christ over both individuals and nations, in the order of nature no less than that of grace, is denied almost everywhere since the Council, whether by being simply forgotten as one might forget about grandmother’s rocking-chair in the attic, or by being repudiated as an extravagant relic from the benighted Middle Ages. Our Lord’s Kingship is qualified and spiritualized to the point of irrelevance, as if Jesus Christ had not come to change radically our lives and our world." (Kindle Locations 2829-2833).

Who in the western world deals well with such? Who in the Catholic community today would push the principle "error has no rights" to all its logical conclusions? I am just saying... Kwasniewski is undoubtedly right that a full liturgical restoration would make us more appealing to the Orthodox world, but the social teaching part might renew the kind of American "Know Nothing" chatter which tried to frighten people during the JFK election campaign with the menace of the Pope taking up residence in the White House... I am just saying.

The WCC would be at a loss if the Catholic Church weren't not ready essentially to carry the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Why is that? Does it say anything about the formula now in use for decades? A goodly part of the Orthodox world cannot even pray together with us for unity. Perhaps Kwasniewski has something else in mind for Chapter 14. I say this firmly denouncing multi-culturalism and insisting on the primacy of truth as it comes to us from God. Again, I am just saying... If you read his book and have thoughts as to where Kwasniewski wants to go with a Catholic social model developed on the rebound from the loss of the Papal States and why he wants to yoke it to the other two truly sublime "steeds" let me know.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Hard Hitting Treatise

Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis: Sacred Liturgy, the Traditional Latin Mass, and Renewal in the Church
Kwasniewski, Peter
Angelico Press. (2015-01-03). Kindle Edition.

I never thought I'd be referring to anything as a "hard hitting analysis". The expression sounds somewhere between sensational and trite, but it actually says something very important about the Kwasniewski book. The book is truly upbeat and hopeful, despite some of the tough criticism it chooses to level in making its points. I liked it a lot because it is born of some of the bibliography on the topic of liturgical reform that the author and I share in common. Kwasniewski is very much cognizant that the question of renewing the Church involves renewing Catholic culture. I am certainly not that feisty in expressing my opinion and I think he should review his stance on a very few points. Let me first share a true gem from the book and then attempt to explain myself. From the get go, let me say, I think this book is a must read for those interested in the life of the Church. The quote!

"The traditional Latin Mass is celebrated for God, on his account, as an act of profound worship directed to Him. The new Mass, as it has been allowed to be celebrated around the world, often looks like an exercise mainly for the sake of the people—almost as if the people are the point of the Mass, and not God. Are “for God” and “for the people” necessarily in conflict? No, but only if what is truly to the people’s benefit is borne in mind; then there is no conflict. The way the liturgy should be for the people is by turning their minds and hearts toward God (versus Deum), aiding them to reach contemplative and sacramental union with God." (Kindle Locations 1070-1075)

Permit me one compliment, one criticism and then some thoughts on Papal Primacy!

The most exciting pages of Peter Kwasniewski's book were those where he is dealing with the Traditional Latin Mass according to the 1962 Missal as speaking more eloquently to children than does the Ordinary Form Liturgy. The author is from my perspective a very young man and hence what he states as discovery really is something for which nothing in his own life prepared him. Granted, as a pre-schooler up through kindergarten in 1955-56 I was probably more focused on the organist and grand organ back up in the choir loft in our cathedral, but my elementary school memories of another parish in northern Minnesota, my recollections as a boy of sung Solemn Mass with our three Benedictine priests serving as celebrant, deacon and subdeacon were of something into which I could thoroughly insert myself, especially as an altarboy. I even knew which Gospel went with the Low Mass for a Virgin Saint. If for no other reason, pick up the book for what he has to say about children; it very well illustrates the sense of the quote above.

Kwasniewski limits his discussion of reform of the 1962 Missal pretty much to the Lectionary, and suggests eliminating the two year cycle of readings for weekdays in Ordinary Time and restoring the Sanctoral Cycle to its fullness, while enriching Advent weekdays with readings. His argument in favor of abolishing concelebration is legitimate but heavily weighted on his monastic experiences in Europe. Albeit a limit case, he does not consider, just one example, elderly and feeble priests. Not long ago, I had a bishop present a conscience issue to me. At some point, for frailty, he had received a dispensation to celebrate private Mass while seated. I think it had been given to him years back because of an illness and for the length of the malady. His question was whether now in advanced age he needed to apply again to the Congregation in Rome (he celebrates according to the Ordinary Form). I assured him that he could in good conscience celebrate while seated. This summer, visiting the nursing facility where my brother lives, I had three elderly priests confined to wheelchairs who concelebrated with me each day. All were wheeled into chapel and reverently assisted in donning their stoles for Mass; they attentively and gratefully took their part as priests in the Holy Sacrifice. I would like the author to think again about the possible role of concelebration in certain cases for consideration in the organic development of the 1962 Missal. That would be my criticism.

Papal Primacy comes to mind in the sense that the author weighs in quite heavily on Blessed Pope Paul VI, especially for not having reined in Bugnini and the Consilium. I know we generally term the Roman Catholic hierarchy and the Papacy as monarchic and absolute in authority, as opposed to the synodal model of the Byzantine Church. In reality, the Papacy is and was always no less synodal than the Byzantine model, even granting that we do refer to the Pope as the Supreme Legislator, especially in matters of liturgical law. Even so, as Kwasniewski rightly points out, much of the abuse associated with the Ordinary Form has nothing to do with positive legislation, but rather with a capitulation to the "whirlwind".

I bring this up because the challenge has become no less in these intervening years since Summorum Pontificum. It has to do generally with the times and not just with Roman Catholics. I see it here in Ukraine in conjunction with the Epiphany Water Blessing of 19 January. Not so much with Greek-Catholics, but this annual event and the associated ice baths in various rivers, streams and lakes seem to unleash something among Orthodox folk. While Catholic people might mitigate their judgment in such matters noting that it is a question of para-liturgy, in point of fact for Orthodox we have a situation not unlike that which used to reign among 1950's Catholics, and that most anything could be labelled communicatio in sacris and some of the wildness and unclad bathing on the Epiphany would be a concession to the spirit of the world and not a sign of devotion. My point being that holding the line is no easier for Orthodox than it is for us today.

Kwasniewski does well to point out liturgical abuse and does better in pointing out the full restoration of the Extraordinary Form as the best remedy; he does less well to vilify and assign blame, simply realizing the amorphous forces unleashed by the Enlightenment putting us all to the test. The urgency of liturgical restoration as a prime vehicle for propagating the Catholic Faith and saving souls seems all too evident. We need to pray for the Pope and hope he will find ways to set forth the wisdom-filled process initiated in 2007 thanks to Summorum Pontificum.

PROPERANTES ADVENTUM DIEI DEI


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Belorussian Export or Constant Challenge

Paul Goble recently documented (here) another attempt in the Russian press to explain religiosity in Orthodox Russia using an expression generally attributed to the Belorussian Head of State, who has classed himself an "Orthodox atheist". The article insists that even before the Bolshevik revolution popular religiosity was not all that profound in Russia and perhaps the aspect of careerism among the higher clergy has generally played a more important role in delineating the public aura or persona in that Church than one is commonly led to believe. The article judges that present attempts by the regime to use Orthodox piety for political ends can only further damage the already fragile flower of popular devotion. 

I have a certain difficulty with the article. Whether in Russia or in the West, I find it hard to move so glibly from noting a very real and worrisome superficiality in matters religious to classing that poverty of spirit as atheism, albeit Orthodox atheism. The dialectic is often described as one between custom and conviction, between popular usage and profound conversion. 

Personally, I think the matter can be easily distorted at the expense of Russian Orthodoxy and, at least on the level of general conclusions based on the behavior of a social elite, be blown way out of perspective. Russia is not alone in facing a contemporary crisis of faith in the upper echelons of its society. I am thinking of a catch phrase similar to Lukashenko's which is still to be heard in certain circles of Mexican society riddled as they are with Free Masonry: "I may not believe in God, but I am thoroughly Guadalupan!" thus indicating a devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe, which does not carry over to Church or genuine faith. We would never apply such a description to Mexicans in general, so why should we call the faith of the whole Russian population into question based on the behavior of a high profile sampling?

Really, I prefer not to speak of Belarus, Russia or Mexico, but rather of the most recent threat to culture and fundamental values coming out of a SCOTUS (US Supreme Court) communique that the high court intends to rule on the definition of marriage and presumable strike down the remaining state laws defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Apart from discussion about the courts again and again overstepping their proper constitutional role, there is a discourse on culture in the United States and its decay which needs to be confronted for the sake of truth. The February issue of First Things is rich in reflections on the topic and Rod Dreher's piece entitled Christian and Countercultural is dear to my heart.

I would encourage you to read Dreher. People who read me regularly would know that I probably am more insistent than he about the restoration of Catholic culture as a sine qua non, not for establishing some sort of utopia but for effectively taking the battle to our world's misguided distopians and standing a chance of offering the present and future generations an option to whatever skull-numbing may be out there. Dreher describes present-day American religiosity, especially among the youth, as “moralistic therapeutic deism” (MTD) and he is no doubt right. 

George Weigel is present with an article in the same issue, entitle To See Things as They Are. Weigel is convinced that what he has described elsewhere at book length as Evangelical Catholicism is that which is necessary to take the battle to Dreher's MTD's and win that space in the public square which is rightfully ours. Weigel adds the notion of not only bringing personal witness to our individual conversion stories to our social exchanges but insists on a strategic institutional stance favoring the defense of human life and religious liberty as our two declared and non-negotiable points for countering relativism on its destructive way.

Neither man promises us a rose garden and I cannot help but think of one of the questions posed by Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman in his novel "Callista, A Tale of the Third Century". Persecution, even unto martyrdom, seems to clarify the Church's witness, renew the faith of those who have all but lapsed, and take the battle to those obstinate and primitive enough to choose darkness over light. While we are taught to avoid bringing trials upon ourselves, we certainly trust that the Lord knows better what may be required of us for the sake of the life of the world.

I beseech young parents to pray with their children, to read good books to their children, to look hard and long at the option of home-schooling. I think it is urgent for bishops and priests to restore the liturgy, urging the option of orienting worship, restoring decorum to the celebration, and seriously promoting the cause of enriching our worship by promoting the Extraordinary Form. We owe this much and more to society. The "lamp" must be dressed and returned to the lamp stand!

PROPERANTES ADVENTUM DIEI DEI


Saturday, January 17, 2015

An Anthropology - Ecstatic, Vertical, Submissive to God


“Contrast all this with the reverence paid to the Gospel or the sanctuary in the old rite, the magnificent prayers of the Offertory, the elaborate incensations, the Athanasian-style Preface of the Holy Trinity chanted in a solemn manner, the Roman Canon with its many signs of the cross and its reverent elevations of host and chalice— not to mention all the preparations the priest and people make: the Asperges, the prayers at the foot of the altar, the Lavabo accompanied by a psalm. Through such ceremonial actions man acknowledges the supremacy of God and his transcendent mystery, begs to be allowed to worship him, begs to be worthy to offer and to partake of the sacrifice that the Son, in his human nature, offers to the Blessed Trinity. The traditional liturgy reflects not only correct theology but correct anthropology. The anthropology embodied in the old rite, with its panoply of supporting customs and laws, is ecstatic, vertical, and submissive to God, as is dignum et iustum; that which is embodied in the new rite, due to its inculturation in the contemporary West, is rationalist, immanentist, horizontal, and dominative, submitting the sacred to a humanistic canon of “community.” The ancient Roman Rite, stately and hieratic, gives praise and homage to the Crucified Lord, thrusting the Infinite Paradox directly into the eyes and ears of the faithful who have the eyes to see it, the ears to hear it.” [Kwasniewski, Peter (2015-01-03). Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis: Sacred Liturgy, the Traditional Latin Mass, and Renewal in the Church (Kindle Locations 400-409). Angelico Press. Kindle Edition.]

I'm so glad Kindle got on the stick and made the Kwasniewski book available so quickly. Although I have barely started reading, I wanted to share a little lightning bolt which hit me while reading the same. It was the brief mention of the preeminence of the old rite for hand washing: "...the Lavabo accompanied by a psalm."  Why did it hit me you ask? Well, because of an experience on the second day of Byzantine Christmas this year in Ivano-Frankivsk: The Archbishop insisted that I preside at the Divine Liturgy, even if he still functioned as principal celebrant at my side. For this fact, I had the joy of going outside of the altar area through the Royal Doors to have my hands washed. The acolyte pours water three times while reciting in a low voice the proper prayer for the ablution. It was not so much how the gesture was performed but that it was performed with prayer. Hence, might I say, my yearning, my "anthropological" yearning for something more "ectastic, vertical and submissive to God..."

The notion of mutual enrichment of the two forms of the Roman Rite is bound to lead us to focus more and better on Christ.

PROPERANTES ADVENTUM DIEI DEI