Talking the liturgical talk just don’t add up to squat without the liturgical walk. I challenge every single human being in the entire universe who has opinions on the Liturgy to pray for the unity of the Church after every. single. exposition of those opinions. I mean it.
If you’re on Father Z’s blog and you spend twenty minutes articulating why the Latin Mass is beautiful, you should spend twenty minutes imploring Our Lady for a greater devotion to the liturgy. If you are taking the time to defend the Novus Ordo, you better be absolutely sure you take the time to pray for the unity of Holy Roman Catholic Church. If you argue with Traddys, get your head down, hands folded and pray with the Traddys afterwards. If a particular parish’s liturgy offends you – stay afterwards, in the pew that may or may not have kneelers, and pray for the parish. Otherwise don’t bother complaining. Don’t bother pulling up your favorite Church documents without real, earnest prayer to the writers of those Church documents, for their intercession and guidance.
I can’t guarantee it, but this man may very well arrive at the doors of all those who speak much and pray little:
I can guarantee that if we pray, we will see the wound healed. If we pray before we speak, love before we debate, and truly seek unity, we will have it. As that Christ fellow said, “Knock and the door shall be opened unto you.” Now I may be wrong — for I am Catholic and thus skeptical about this whole ‘Bible’ business — but I do not believe Our Lord can be accurately quoted as saying, “Sit near the door and bitch for an hour, then I’ll poke my head out and tell you who’s right.” No, we need beg from Our Father, not bash on our fellows. He alone promises to answer.
This is the point where one usually fades out and thinks, “Well that certainly is a nice thought.” Cut it out. Pray for unity! If we can be united in this regard we can be united over things like –oh I don’t know — abortion, contraception and divorce – sins which Catholics commit no less than the rest of the world. (Another post, methinks.) A couple more things, then:
1. If you are painfully aware of a parish’s lack of proper vestments/crucifix/altar/chalice/tabernacle/etc…buy and donate them to that parish.
2. If a church ‘band’ spent the entire Mass playing terrible, distracting music, with one – only one – redeeming Agnus Dei, or hymn, or objectively beautiful song, go up and thank them for playing that one song. “Thank you so much for the meditation hymn, it elevated my soul to God.” Pray about the rest.
3. Instead of starting a relationship with your pastor by informing him of his various liturgical abuses, start a relationship over a commonly-appreciated beer. A month of beer. A whole freaking year of beer, if that’s what it takes. Love your pastor, then mention that Vatican II in no way allows one to change the words of the Eucharistic prayer.
4. On November 30th I am holding a Rosary at the Franciscan University of Steubenville Ohio, in Christ the King chapel, in the narrow amount of time between Mass and Confessions — 7-7:30 — for the intention of greater universal devotion to the Liturgy. Come! Or if you can’t, hold a similar event. Don’t pray “A Rosary That God Might Wreak Vengeance Upon People Who Hold Hands During the Our Father.” Just pray for His will.
With God’s grace, we can destroy the false dichotomy of Traddy vs. Modern and learn what it means to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. Feel free to add your own methods below.
If you’re interested in the ongoing discussion we’ve been having on the Liturgy, it is all being most excellently compiled HERE.