26 January 2010

Daily Quotation

When I became Catholic, I did so knowing that I came from a world that was radically impoverished liturgically, and so I did not take it upon myself to waltz into the Church and start holding forth on How She Could Improve the Mass to Suit Me.  What did I know?  Some wet-behind-the-ears convert from a non-denominational storefront church presuming to hold forth on the Divine Mysteries?  Who needs it?  Best for me to keep my trap shut and say "thanks" for the Awesome Gift.  I've held to that policy ever since.  I don't know from nothing about the fine details of liturgy, but I do know it's my business to be grateful for the Mass, not bitter and hyper-critical about it.  I have this weird notion that "Eucharist" means I should be thankful.  And this policy was only reinforced by the spectacle of watching not a few converts of the Matatics variety sashay into the Church, look around, find that it's not perfect enough for them, and proceed to walk out the opposite door because She doesn't suit their discriminating tastes or theological theories.


Like many other Catholics, I have this funny notion that when the Church teaches something in council, my task as a Catholic is to listen and obey, not repeat it in the same tone of voice as I would use when saying, "You left your soiled underwear on my coffee table."  I dislike Reactionary Dissent as much as Progressive Dissent, not least because despite the contempt for the Decree on Ecumenism with which the Reactionary Dissent crowd is redolent, the fact remains that Vatican II's demand that Catholics engage, rather than avoid and heap contempt upon, Protestants is in no small part one of the reasons I could eventually become Catholic.  The post-Vatican II Church's attempt to live out ecumenism, despite some of its loonier excesses, also produced a crop of Catholics who took the time to actually explain the Faith to Protestants like me in terms we could understand.  I'm oddly grateful about having a crack at eternal life and the fullness of the Faith, so I'm grateful to the Church's teaching on Ecumenism at the Council.
~ Mark Shea - The Paradox of the Neo-Catholic Traditionalist ~

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