Wednesday, August 12, 2015

"Mass Needs to Be Just What I Want"

My Faith isn't shaken by crappy Church architecture
My Faith isn't shaken by music at Mass that is off key and strained
My Faith isn't shaken by bored servers dressed in ratty garb
My Faith isn't shaken by there not being a communion rail
My Faith isn't shaken by priests celebrating Mass facing the people 
My Faith isn't shaken by Mass trending towards a cult of personality around the celebrant
My Faith isn't shaken by 48 people distributing Holy Communion at every Mass


The problem is...I'M NOT THE STANDARD FOR WHAT MASS SHOULD BE!


The Church's requirements for the Mass aren't based on what will or will not affect MY PERSONAL Faith


The Church has set up the Mass in a certain way so as to help strengthen the Faith of people who visit and DON'T know what we believe when they walk in.


St John Vianney, Blessed Mother Teresa, St. Francis and countless others preached and lived RADICAL POVERTY but also wrote extensively and also actually built beautiful Churches, secured beautiful vestments, etc.  


The Mass's rubrics and laws are there not to protect the Faith of life-long Catholics but to protect the Faith of those whose Faith is weak and even still growing in its infancy.


Imagine you aren't Catholic, and you walk into your average suburban US parish today.  What would signify to you that all the people there believe God truly dwells in that place?  The dress of the people?  The music?  The vestments?  The architecture?


We keep talking about wanting to reach out to the whole world, to evangelize non-Catholics, to call home the fallen away Catholics, and the single greatest tool we have in this regard - the Sunday Mass - has been marred and defaced, against the teachings of the Church, to the point where it is typically celebrated in the average parish today in such a way that it is barely recognizable in comparison to what the Church is asking us to do.  


The Church says "here's the most effective hook at fishing for men and women with" and we have bent the hook, misshaped it, and made the hook much less effective than it could be.


"Save the Mass, and we'll save the world!"