Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Men in the Cave

On this Octave Day of Corpus Christi (or Feast of St. Barnabas in the 1962 Missal) I was thinking about how important the externals and music are when the Liturgy is celebrated.  There is a certain segment of the Church who I would consider to "low church" who would be in favor of pure "simplicity."  They would say things like:

Why do we need elaborate chasubles when cheaper ones will work too?
Why Gregorian Chant?  It is too complex for the People of God.  What we need is Dan Schutte and some guitars.
What is the need for a High Altar when a simple table altar will work as well?
Traditionalists should stop worrying about expensive chalices and patens are start to worry about the poor in the streets!  
When I hear comments like these and others made in a similar fashion, I must confess that it perturbs me greatly.  When you look at the life of man, his whole day is full of the banal.  He goes through the daily duties of his life and even though he might look forward to certain part, it he was honest with himself, he would tell you that those duties are mundane.  However, when such a man goes to Church on Sunday, does he not deserve the greatest of Divine splendor?  Why does Divine Worship have to be bland as well?  This reminds me of a certain Priest who would give financial support to the homeless only if they attended Mass first.  The parish offered both the Old and New Rite and it was clear that over time, more of the homeless were attending the Traditional Rite.  Father, being curious about this, asked one of the homeless men why he went to the Mass in the Old Rite.  I do not recall the exact response but I believe that the man told the Priest that the TLM was sublime and showed him a Beauty that he had never experienced.

I like this story because many of us have fallen into this mindset where religion needs to simple and complexity should be left to the "more important things in life."  For example, how many of those who object to the chant Civabit Eos (Introit for Corpus Christi) and would give great shouts of joy for Schutte's Here I am Lord?
  True Sacred Music
What?  Why?
The really tragic thing about it is that since so many Catholics have grown up with music like Schutte's, they will object with great anger if you told them that their music "ministry" has failed them.  They are like the men, who in Plato's Allegory of the Cave, refuse to leave their cave and would even kill someone from the outside just to preserve their state of ignorance.

Wake up, my fellow Catholics!  You deserve better.  You deserve all the Tradition the Church has!  You have this one life to save your soul and so use all the Wisdom the Church has given us for 2000 years.  The Chant, the Old Rite, the Traditional Office, these will be your anchors towards Heaven and your consolations here on your pilgrimage.

11 June 2015
Octave Day of Corpus Christi

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