Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Value of Things - Part 1

Number of rosaries said in reparation for the desecration of the Eucharist: 6
 A lot of our opinions, thoughts, actions, tendencies, and priorities stem from how we unconsciously value our world and existence.  It's something we don't normally think about, but a conscious reevaluation of how we order our lives will give insight into what we really value and in what order.

If we take a look at a normal Novus Ordo mass, we get a glimpse of what the post-Vatican II church values.  Among other things, the following things could be classified as being valued in this mass:

1. The participation of the laity.

2. A welcoming environment for ALL people, believers and non-believers alike.

3. Unpretentious music that is welcoming.

4. Easily understandable Bible passages.

5. A positive homily by the priest or deacon that focuses on the "good things" about Christianity and conveniently stay away from the challenging things of Christianity.

6. A communal consecration by the priest and the faithful.

7. A select group of parishioners are asked to come up to the table to receive the meal first and then are asked to distribute the meal to everyone.

8. Everyone is asked to come up and receive the meal regardless of belief, sin, or any other hindrance.  All are welcomed.

9. When everyone is done, the priest and deacon, and sometimes the special helpers, clean up the mess from the meal and return the bowls back to where they are stored.

10. A final message that further encourages a welcoming environment is given by the priest and then he walks out to talk to anyone and everyone in the back of the Church while everyone is encouraged to meet old friends, say hi, and generally engage in community activities, both inside and outside the church.

Though the weight of any of these items can vary from parish to parish, these items are general markers of the post-Vatican II, Bugnini-designed mass.  So what does this say about what the Church values at this moment?

It clearly values community and active participation by everyone present.  It wants everyone to feel welcomed.  It doesn't want anyone to feel as if anything is happening above their understanding level.

Are these the hallmarks of a valid, supernatural religious and belief system?  Or is this another version of AA?  Pope Francis continues to say that he wants a poor church for the poor, that the church should be a field hospital for wounded people.  Is he just stating what the post-Vatican II changes have created in the Church?  Rather than guiding the Church in a new direction, is he just stating what has been said behind closed doors for decades?  

And does this mesh with previous commentary here about the priesthood?  Does it complement Pope Francis's comments regarding seminarians that are "creepy"?  

Has the Church morphed into a feel good, AA-like organization? 

Judging by the values expressed in the current Novus Ordo mass, it has.      

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