Friday, January 12, 2007

I'm not trying to be quiet

Anyone who knows me well knows that "being quiet" is not one of my strengths! (can anyone guess what I always got in trouble for in high school? Yes, that would be TALKING.)

It's just been a draining week... lots to do, getting back into the "swing of things" with homeschooling, yet another ear infection/sinus infection going through the house, blah blah blah.

You know, the usual.

However, it seems that some OTHER bloggers, at least, have had fascinating things to say!

The Internet Monk had a wonderful post on the liturgy. While I would encourage you to read the whole post here, I'll give you just a sample:

Why do post-evangelicals like myself find such a comfort and a shelter in liturgy? Because liturgy refuses to be part of the various rat races that evangelicals conduct under the guise of church growth and evangelism....

Some will always point out that liturgical churches have often gone liberal, while non liturgical churches have a more orthodox view of the Bible. That’s not cause and effect, however; that’s irony. Liberal leaders have hidden behind the liturgy and the Bible, all the while selling the store. Evangelicals have kept the store, but turned it into a Chuck E. Cheese’s.

Let me state that my personal experience with the particular Evangelical church I attended for 10 years did NOT fall into the "Chuck E. Cheese" category; it was a fantastic church filled with people who love the Lord and are devout in their faith. I consider it the greatest privilege to have been a part of that church for those years.

I truly appreciate, however, what he had to say about the liturgy. It's not "flashy" and it doesn't grab your emotions like other services at non-liturgical churches. [Its lack of "excitement" is what caused me -- at least in part -- to leave the Catholic Church in the first place.]

That is also one of its great strengths.

The Mass will not conform to me and my personal tastes. It is I who must change. I do not go to Mass to get a rush, or get all happy-clappy, or to necessarily hear the world's greatest homily. I am there to worship God, pure and simple. If I get a rush of emotion, great, but that is not its purpose nor its goal.

By participating in the Mass I join my voice with the millions of others around the world who are reading the same readings, praying the same prayers, and celebrating the same liturgy. Regardless of what is going on in the world, or in my life, the chorus of praise continues.

That's pretty amazing.

Also, Julie D. over at Happy Catholic had the most incredible quote from St. Augustine, and I simply had to link to it. Scroll down to her "well said" section.


Beth Pack said...

That is cool that you went to Westfield - I graduated from Carmel High School and have my 10 year reunion this year! Can't believe it. OLMC is the greatest parish - we are so blessed. I actually went to the school too. Now they have the Nashville Dominicans running it - wow they have made it great. Thanks for commenting on my blog!

Tracy said...

I read imonk too. I am interested in lots of his writngs and others in the whole post-evangelical/emerging movement. I get frustrated from time to time though. I shake my head and mutter about reinventing the wheel. You hit the nail on the head about the litugy though. I am a revert after years in the evangelical world and the liturgy is such a gift!

Beth Pack said...

That is great! I'm definitely sending my kids there. We are already on the list and my first kid is not even born yet! I keep telling our pastor that I want to see LOTS of nuns by the time Baby Pack gets there ;-)
Is your friend Renee Jensen by any chance?

Kristen Laurence said...

Well said. I also marvel that by participating in the mass our voices are joined with the angels and saints as well!

Ouiz said...

Tracy--I know what you mean about reinventing the wheel! I've seen several "new ideas" proposed here and there, and I want to say, "um, guys... the Church has been doing this for a MIGHTY long time..." ;-)

I love reading the Internet Monk. I don't necessarily agree with all of his ideas (of course), but I really admire the way he thinks, and the way he appears (since I don't know the man personally!) to be willing to follow the Lord wherever He leads, whether that is a "popular" choice or not.

Kristen and Tracy: The liturgy is beautiful, but it also takes a lot of work (at least it does for me!) I find that I can cruise through a Mass on autopilot and miss the whole thing. It's not an "in-your-face" euphoric high that I can get just by showing up! I have to consciously f-o-c-u-s on what is being said, which is great discipline for me.

I must admit, however, that every now and then it would be nice to be able to see the Mass as Padre Pio did!