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Sunday, 13 July 2014

Jesuits, Jesuits, Everywhere, and Not a....

This thread at the Musica Sacra forum has devolved, partly through my own offices,  into a bit of Jesuit-bashing, through jokes at the expense of those good men, (I kid! I kid because I love....)
"A good liturgy by Jesuit standards is any where there are no serious injuries."

And in the strange synchronicity of life, my interest in matters Benedictine led me belatedly to this post.

So, H/T to The New Liturgical Movement for directing me toward a fantastic series of articles by the great Dom Mark Kirby at Vultus Christi, the best Blog-I-Forget-To-Read, (in my defense, since I always have an excuse, like New Liturgical Movement, it is a beautiful, often graphic-heavy site which my puny 'puter is wont to balk at loading.)

You understand, I knew nothing about the liturgical reputation of the Society of Jesus, I have, to my knowledge, only encountered them as teachers.

But a commentator at Dom Mark's blog says that he is a Jesuit, so naturally his liturgical formation is wanting, as if that were stipulated by all and sundry as a matter of course.

That is wonderful humility, (a dear friend who is CPPS speaks quite frankly about the liturgical lacuna in their society's current approach to formation where Liturgy is concerned, and I cannot think but that such honest self-examination is a good sign of better days ahead.)

Anyway, I knew nothing of a Benedictine/Jesuit controversy/conundrum, but it seems to me that all this is an explication of the thought that is behind my unconsciously profound statement of belief when I coined the phrase, "Save the Liturgy, Save the World.")
The Benedictine—Jesuit controversy over the place of the liturgy in the Christian life was ignited when, in 1913, Dom Festugière, a monk of Maredsous, published a lengthy article in La revue de Philosophie, in which he developed the teaching of Pope Saint Pius X in Tra le sollecitudini (22 November 1903): the liturgy is the primary and indispensable source of the authentic Christian spirit. Certain Jesuits, alerted to Dom Festugière’s article, took offense at its premise, and set out to counter it with their own arguments in favour of the Spiritual Exercises. Zealous sons of Saint Ignatius, among them the learned Father Navatel, director of the Jesuit review Études, argued, even in the face of Pope Pius X’s clear affirmation, that the liturgy need not be considered the primary and indispensable source of Christian piety, and that one could grow in holiness without engaging in the liturgical life of the Church save, of course, in the sacraments. Many Jesuits, as well as a multitude of religious congregations and pious sodalities under Jesuit direction, felt shaken by the new wave of emphasis on liturgy, fearing that it would gain popularity and, in the end, diminish the appeal of the Spiritual Exercises and of the various currents of piety derived from them.

By the way, I've never delved much into the frequent blogosphere argument about whether or not a layperson who is not bound to praying the Office engages in a liturgical actions or not when he does so alone, and maybe I should.
Himself joined in Compline and Lauds at the end of the Colloquium, and except for the fact that we had arrived at a totally Latin singing of those Hours by that point in the week, (against which his Protestant upbringing more than disinclines him,) found it both edifying and do-able.

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