16 May 2015

How the Liturgy Opens a Window to Another World

The following passage is taken from a talk given by Martin Mosebach at Holy Innocents Parish, New York, May 12, 2015. The whole talk is very insightful and worth reading here.
The rejection of the traditional liturgy has certainly unexpectedly resulted in one particular problem for the contemporary Church. To outsiders, including many Catholics, the Catholic Church today is mainly embodied in the morality it teaches and demands of its faithful, which, manifest in prohibitions and commandments, are contrary to the beliefs of the secular world. In a church centered mainly on the immediate liturgical encounter with God, these moral demands were related not only to life choices, but were specifically conceived as preparation for full participation in the liturgy. 
It was the liturgy that specified the goal of morality. The question was: what must I do to attain full communion with the Eucharistic Christ in the liturgy? What makes me only able to observe this Christ from a distance? That which is morally forbidden appeared not simply as the incarnation of evil, but as something to be avoided for the sake of a specific objective. And when the commandment that excludes us from communion was transgressed, the sacrament of confession stood ready to heal the damage and prepare us for communion. Surprisingly, it turned out that the Catholic Church of the past, which focused on the liturgy, seemed scandalously morally lax to outsiders, while to contemporaries and not only the unchurched, the present Church seems unbearably preachy, merciless and pettily puritanical.

I believe this is the picture referred to in his talk.

This picture is similar to but not exactly the one referred to by Mr. Mosebach .  Nevertheless it should give pause for some reflection also.

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