Aliens in This World

An ordinary Catholic and a science fiction and fantasy fan.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

On Responding to Annoying New Liturgy Elements

Yesterday, Barbara Nicolosi posted some comments about the latest silliness propagated by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and the charming fascist way her parish's priests and ministers were promoting this bizarre interpretation of the GIRM regulations. I really did feel for her, particularly about the latter; and I'm so glad my archdiocese has actually followed the intent of the GIRM and not made me stand around. But I stand by my comments in Amy Welborn's comment box: there is a lot to be said for just offering it up.

Sometimes we can and must act. Sometimes we cannot. But either way, we have an obligation not to brood about our wrongs. We are not supposed to tell over the beads of our Miseries, meditating on either the Crowning of Liturgists or the Slapping of the Ruler. Conservative and liberal whining is equally stupid. It does not produce progress or peace; it only gives us high blood pressure and a sense of other people's sins.

(Also, moaning and poning about Latin has been going on all my life. I love languages and naturally felt sympathetic initially. If I can stay away from hearing people whine about it, I can remember how much I like Latin myself. But I think everything has already been said about five zillion times, so you're not only giving yourself high blood pressure; you're giving it to me! Whining alone has affected my sympathy for your cause.)

This is not to say that some people do not genuinely suffer at the hands of some other people in the Church. This is not to say that real abuses and even some sillinesses should not be fought; they should. But Catholics should always act in respect, courtesy, and love -- sometimes tough love, sure. And before or after action, we need to give ourselves and our troubles to God, not give ourselves to our troubles. If those troubles are not so great and terrible as others' are, we need to keep them in perspective. And then, we might just offer up our own suffering as a prayer for the relief of those who have it worse.

So don't whine. Don't dwell. Don't get distracted. Offer it up!


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