Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Saturday, 27 May 2017

"My" Mass... Surprisingly Little Relationship to the Coloring Book I Was Given When I Was Five

The author of the newly published book from OSV, “Bored Again Catholic: How the Mass Could Save Your Life,” [Timothy P. O’Malley] wants to reignite an appreciation in Catholics who may have short attention spans at Mass or find the rituals repetitive and dull.
The director of Notre Dame’s Center for Liturgy says,
“For years, my students have told me that they’re bored at Mass.” ...
Many of them come from parishes with active youth ministry programs, where the kids felt fed and uplifted. But in college, they feel less enthusiastic and worry their faith lives are receding.
“What people understood by ‘active practice of Faith,’ especially young adults,” he said, “was that faith was supposed to be exciting all the time; you were supposed to be perpetually entertained.” 
And that hasn't worked?
I am shocked, I tell you, SHOCKED.
Why, why... it's almost as if although each of us was told the world revolves around him, OTHER people think it revolves around them, and when we all get out into the real world -- well, someone forgot to tell the rest of the world.

Here's my take on it, (I'm developing this idea for Sunday school):

The Mass is the Source and Summit of the Faith.
It is the ritual in which/place where/means by which, we can most intimately join ourselves to another human being. (Ha. You thought was sex, didn't you?)
Mirabile dictu, that other human being is also God. (This union occurs to a great extent even if we don't receive Communion, but never mind that for now.)
A mind-blowingly miraculous event occurs, for everyone, but even if you were the ONLY one - JUST FOR YOU.
Yes, it, no, not "it", "HE", He is nourishing, but don't compare Him to food for the body, this Food for the soul is easier to understand as analogous to food for the mind.
In short, think of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as a book.
Think of it, of Him, as a book.
THE Book.
It is as a volume filled with "all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."
So we have this Book.
Oh.... and it's hard to understand. Because it's.. well, it's pretty big.  Because It is wherein are contained ALL THE TREASURES OF WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE.
All of them.
So, we better translate it into our mother tongues, we'll "get" more if it that way.
But we don't. Because we can't. Because He contains ALL THE TREASURES OF WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE.
Which is... you know. beyond us?
But we think we should somehow understand it.
And then there are children.
So instead of, I dunno, teaching us to read, you gave us books in which you had scribbled all over those "incomprehensible" words with crayons, pictures and colors you thought we'd find to our taste,and you pasted on stickers, and you gave us more markers and crayons and spray paint and ribbons and firecrackers and kites and kiddie pageants...
And then you wondered why people didn't ever recognize, much less appreciate the Book. when they encountered it in the real world
Where they weren't the center of the universe
In any language.
They couldn't understand it.
And they didn't "want" it.
So yeah, VCII liturgists and RelEd directors, and priests, and music directors, and Catholic school teachers, and USCCB-types, and random bishops (I know some  of them fought this drift.)...
You got a lot of 'splaining to do.
And you best not do it by handing out crayons...

Friday, 12 May 2017

"The Summer of Love Rape"

In "The Real Thing," Tom Stoppard had a line, something to the effect, "what 'free love' is free of is love."
All I can say is, yup.
 I reads lot of magazines, or at least, I skim them. A friend, because of her profession, subscribes to a few in which I am interested but too stingy to buy, so I asked her to give me her back issues now, instead of throwing them out, and when I finish, I'll bring them to the nursing home.
She gets about a dozen a WEEK.
So, as I said, I skim.
But the March Vanity Fair stopped me in my tracks.
There's a piece about 1967, the so-called Summer of Love, (I thank the Lord that it passed without the notice of my prepubescent self,) a conversation amongst some glamorous or artistic women of the time, about how Fashion, with a capital " f," was completely altered for all time by the hippies and rock stars and feminists and models.
That's what the piece is SUPPOSED to be about, at any rate.
But what jumped out at me was all these empowered women telling tale after tale of sexual assault, coercion, rape, belittlement...
How, after the talk turned that way, did the author, Sheila Weller, not see that the real story was not about bell bottoms and boho blouses?
Vanity Fair is not, after all a fashion mag.
 "If someone forced himself upon you, it was almost as if you had to pay for your sins; you accepted it."
When women spoke at DDS meetings about need for equality men would shout them down, "Take her off the stage and f*** her!"
 "I remember being made to feel bourgeois by[my much older husband] if I exhibited discomfort with the freewheeling sexuality."
"Rather than fighting, you just closed your eyes and gave in."
One of the more prominent of the women does NOT, of course, reference her own notorious autobiographical confession that the entire time she was THE outspoken icon of empowerment she was herself a submissive, abused woman.

I'm surprised, even in a climate that doesn't want to admit that there is any movement toward sexual expression on which the brakes ought to be applied, this hasn't occasioned any comment, so far as I can see - because I was aware of the issue, I knew there was some too-ing and fro-ing about the movie star cover girl and whether showing her breasts in the fashion shoot contradicted her brand of feminism. (And no, I concur with her that it doesn't; although it's a damned silly looking dress.)