The Value of the Mass

The Value of the Mass
Up to our own times, it has been the constant concern of supreme pontiffs to ensure that the Church of Christ offers a worthy ritual to the Divine Majesty, 'to the praise and glory of His name,' and 'to the benefit of all His Holy Church - Pope Benedict XVI, Summorum Pontificum

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Serious Faith or Mockery






Wow, I haven't blogged for a really long time. I almost forgot I had one! Seriously, though, I've been in a slump about what to blog about. Not to mention, I've been a bit disorganized as of late. Not to disappoint any of my readers (who have probably given up on my blog thinking it was closed) but I won't be posting anything about my trip to Denton last October. My reasons are my own.

I am however going to speak about this video. I saw this on another blog (and subsequently through youtube) and was disgusted. This video is the most absurd thing I have ever seen. I was watching it with a friend of mine and asked him "When did the Catholic Church stop taking itself seriously?" This is an important question. I can say, coming from a background which includes protestantism as well as extreme secularism, that any non-catholic who saw this would never feel any ounce of a pull to become involved in the Church.

This video reminds me of when I was in high school and would see such things. Jesus Jams, Youth Rallies; they're all a bunch of crap. I apologise for the harsh language, but my feelings about such things are coming to a head. This is because the mecca for such patronising crap geared toward young people, the National Catholic Youth Conference, is coming to Columbus. Just before leaving the Josephinum, I got to see the promotional video for this. You can see it here.


I'd like to know who plans these things. Are they seriously trying to convince young people that the Apostles and saints died for this emotional high Mickey Mouse crap!?!

It really is patronising if you think about it, and it isn't going to increase the attractiveness of young people to the Church. I would bet my life that the majority of the young people in the above video will either be in this situation in less than 5 years. They will more than likely not regularly attend Mass and will probably approach a priest within that time asking to be married while cohabiting and using birth control. This isn't the way to approach young people.

I remember when I was young(er than I am now) all I wanted to do was be an adult. I wanted to do what adults did. I wanted responsibility. I wanted my life to be a serious thing heading for a serious good. I would look at these goofy gospel rallies and laugh. I always thought then that, quite obviously, faith was not something people took seriously. It was a game, and that game looked boring to me. I could find 1000 things more fun to do than go to something like that. And I did.

I didn't know that faith could be serious until I met some people who were serious about their faith, and unfortunately, at first, those people weren't Catholic. I only say this as an example to the opportunities that the Church truly has to reach out to young people thrown out the window. Not only that, but I wasn't entirely sure I made the right decision until I saw the faith taken seriously like this , and this. Thank God for faithful priests and bishops who take their faith seriously.

14 comments:

Joan said...

Mardi Gras beads? *shakes head*

Andrew Haines said...

Zach,

I'm sure you know that I'm going to disagree with much of what you said. However, I wouldn't bother if you didn't get a sizable number of hits here, thereby making my comment somewhat profitable.

In short, you are discounting wholesale something that is not all bad; particularly, your regarding any type of "youth rally" as completely non-Catholic is very arrogant and shows great ignorance of the spiritual life. I love Catholic tradition (enough to be studying in the seminary for the Church I love), but there is certainly a place in the Catholic spiritual life for well-intentioned and well-functioning youth events that are somewhat 'emotional.' My point is that, even if these events (i.e. Jesus Jams, etc.) aren't being carried out completely properly, the best thing to do is fix them, not discredit them from afar. The reality persists that they will continue, and so it's better to lead souls to Christ in ways we can than complain about ways we can't.

Also, in general, I'm really disappointed by the approach and tone you take on your blog. I have a blog too (http://inumbrissanctipetri.blogspot.com) and, although many things upset me gravely, I think there is a more positive way to approach almost any problem. The unfortunate reality of Catholic blogging in the past few years has been a steady degradation of charitable catechesis into driveling charades about Church politics, liturgical supremacy, etc. Many people, myself included, love the beautiful traditions of the Church (like the Mass of John XXIII), but find other ways to express their wishes than simply bashing what we have now.

I write all this not to be rude--I knew you before you entered seminary at the SPO house, from back at the Josephinum, and you've never done anything to upset me as long as I remember. Instead, I simply want to be fraternally charitable and perhaps advise you that you could do more good by presenting your message in a positive light. You are getting lots of hits on your site; don't just use it as a vent, but make it into something truly edifying. I have no doubt that you are smart enough to do that.

I'd like to hear what you have to think, if you have time. Please pray for me and I will pray for you.

In Christ,
Andy

Zach said...

Andrew,

You left an awful lot for me to respond to so I'm going to comment to it bit by bit, so bear with me.

"your regarding any type of "youth rally" as completely non-Catholic is very arrogant and shows great ignorance of the spiritual life."

To this, I would ask how so? If the saints were to rise from the dead they would hardly recognize these things as Christian let alone Catholic. As a matter of fact, they would probably be appalled and consider it pegan. Given this, how are my comments about such things ignorant or arrogant?

"there is certainly a place in the Catholic spiritual life for well-intentioned and well-functioning youth events that are somewhat 'emotional.'"

Well, as for well-intentioned things, many things are well intentioned and don't amount to squat. As for well-functioning, how could these be considered as well functioning? As I said, in most cases, if these kids continue to follow this childish path, they will not follow through with their faith. Why? Because these event's aren't "somewhat emotional" but they are completely emotional. They base the entire faith on emotional sand and as soon as that sand starts to erode and the emotional high is gone, the faith of these people leaves with it.

"the best thing to do is fix them, not discredit them from afar. "

I will agree that pessimism on the whole isn't productive. I will say that in this case though it can be. I think the best thing is not to fix these events but to suppress them all together.

"Also, in general, I'm really disappointed by the approach and tone you take on your blog. I have a blog too (http://inumbrissanctipetri.blogspot.com) and, although many things upset me gravely, I think there is a more positive way to approach almost any problem."

Well, not to insult you but feel free to deal with these problems the way you feel on your blog.

"The unfortunate reality of Catholic blogging in the past few years has been a steady degradation of charitable catechesis into driveling charades about Church politics, liturgical supremacy, etc."

So, given that most Catholic bloggers are dedicated to not only the orthodox interpritation of sacred tradition but also to the orthopraxis of practical ritual tradition in the Church, what kind of reaction do you expect them to have when they are stonewalled and ignored by their bishops, harassed by their pastors and priests, and see seminarians formed to do the same by liberal seminaries? I, personally, would rather have simply uncharitable remarks (which I am not saying that these remarks are necessarily uncharitable) on a random blog than to be treated with the great lack of Christian charity as I was upon my dismissal from the Josephinum, or the uncharitable acts by pastors and bishops who disregard traditional catholics as loons, fringe groups, or schismatics when they clearly are not.

"Many people, myself included, love the beautiful traditions of the Church (like the Mass of John XXIII), but find other ways to express their wishes than simply bashing what we have now."

Could you provide an example?

Andrew, I know my comments may sound a bit harsh and perhaps they are. I do know, though, that things have to change soon. It absolutely boggles my mind why places, that I will not name, continue to practice goofy Catholicism and then turn around and wonder why they're not getting vocations when other places, that I also will not name, are busting at the seams with vocations and good, faithful catholics because of their orthodoxy and traditional practices.

semperidem said...

Novus Ordo Catholicism is a joke...I agree with you Zach.

Zach said...

semperidem,

Thanks for the vote of confidence. I do want to point out, however, that the problem that I'm highlighting in this post isn't necessarily the Novus Ordo Mass, but the goofiness of contemporary Catholocism it which peoples faith is treated as nothing better than a bad joke.

Kimberly Wasson said...

Zach,

I stand with you, my good young man! I lived this reality in a Catholic parish in Kentucky. The parish youth program was more Protestant than most of the Protestant youth groups. Many of our young people eventually quit going to our Church programs and began actively seeking the programs offered at the local Protestant Churches. Two of the young girls who were confirmed with one of my daughters, left the Church for this reason.

Our young people yearn for so much more. These current trends are insulting to them. I think it is time to "judge the tree by its fruit." This is not a good "tree."

Bless you, Zach, for having the courage to speak out for your own generation.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with you Zach. I have seen much nonsense in the church over the past 30+ years. I have just recently returned and many of the things that repelled me is still there. There is hope with our Pope who has been slowly righting the ship. The damage of the past 40 years will take some time to fix. This is truly not a matter of traditional vs liberal. It is about the lack of reverence and disregard to the church's religious history. And the things you point out are what is exactly keeps many others away. I pray that things will revert back to sanity and have seen some rays of hope.

Andrew Haines said...

Not surprisingly, the focus of discussion has shifted away from my main point (i.e. Zach's blog 'seipsum' [for the Latin inclined]) and toward the 'goofy Catholicism' of our era...

While I appreciate honest criticism, if you read my original comment, nowhere do I posit any semblance of support for the silly garbage that you all are bantering against; I wrote carefully, identifying precisely what I meant, and the tendency was simply to disregard it in favor of expressing preconceived opinions and--ultimately--slipping into polemics as opposed to educated and constructive dialogue. I understand this as a tendency of human nature, so I'm not upset (and I hope you give me the same benefit in your read). However, in an effort to take the discussion one step deeper (and perhaps provoke a full-fledged post on the part of our host), I propose simply this: a 'speculative' discussion of what can be done to rectify the 'current trends' which inundate our beloved Church. This alone proves helpful and worthwhile. I'm open to suggestions, especially considering that someday I'll be helping to implement a more solid system on the parish level, God willing.

[Zach, I will send you some of the articles I'm working on when I finish; directly or indirectly, they support your goal of rediscovering the beauty of the liturgy, both in philosophic (i.e. aesthetic) and theological terms. Unfortunately, these things take time, and classes at the Greg have been consuming me...]

Zach said...

Andrew,

I look forward to your articles. I think your idea about starting a post dealing with such issues is a good idea as well. I will post something on it later today. Good luck with your classes at the Greg and I hope you're enjoying Rome.

Alexander said...

Zach:

http://unamsanctamcatholicam.blogspot.com/2007/11/im-back-from-columbus.html

Alexander said...

Stupid links.. try this.

Zach said...

I know I said I'd make a post about this the other day. I'm still pretty busy and it may not be until the week after Thanksgiving, but keep your eyes peeled for it.

Brian Zeiszler said...

I'm surprised that your blogging is so narrow-minded when it comes to your Catholic faith. Didn't one of our greatest popes and saints embrace "youth rallies"? Didn't this man also draw 1,000's of young men to the priesthood because of his example of faith?

Zach said...

One of our greatest popes and "saints"? You're kind of jumping to conclusions aren't you? I don't think he's been canonised yet. As for him being great, I think that's a matter of opinion too. Don't get me wrong, I think JPII did a lot of great things, but he did a lot of things that caused scandel as well.

I'd also like to know where these 1000's of young men are that joined the priesthood too. The last I checked almost every major diocese in the world is in a major priest shortage, including my own.