The docs have stopped my medication. The reason seems to be so that I can be really ill for my next hospital appointment! This means the old brain isn’t functioning quite as lucidly as it ought to. However, I do feel, even in this state, I’d like to add something to the Liturgy & Tradition debate; especially in light of the petition that has been got up regarding impending “clarifications” to the Sumorum Pontificum. I don’t like gossip, I don’t like anything that smacks of fear or the spreading of distrust and some of the blog world does seem to be full of just that. Yes. I appreciate most of those who are grateful for the more widespread return of the older form of the Mass are like wounded hounds with long memories; they’ve been kicked once too often. I remain sympathetic to their cause and I am a first hand witness to the pain and suffering they have had.
My worry is that those who would call themselves Traditionalists with a capital T, are fast becoming Traditionalistas and are in danger of seeing themselves with a separate (and special) identity within the Body of Christ (a non-Catholic, revolutionary, disruptive thing and therefore not a good thing).
I have three propositions regarding Liturgy and Tradition, I list them below with the conclusions I draw from them. I challenge anyone to pick holes in my reasoning.
1. Paragraphs 80-83 of the Catechism suggests that the Liturgy is seen through the lens of the Living Tradition of the Church. Living Tradition sounds like a paradox but being Christological is able to hold this apparent contradiction together; being both eternal and temporal. My first proposition is that if the sacred liturgy exists to “make present and fruitful in the Church the Mystery of Christ”, changes to the liturgy will take place, have always taken place and will continue to take place, BUT essentially the sacred liturgy does not change. It is up to us to pray it and engage fully with it.
2. It is impossible to improve the Liturgy. No change to the liturgy has ever been an improvement. You cannot improve on something whose function and origin is Divine. Changes are simply changes.
3. Whilst I have more sympathy for the pontiffs who leave liturgy well alone; Benedict XIV springs to mind and my personal favourite Pius XI didn’t tinker extensively, I will argue that all liturgical changes instigated in Rome are essentially pastoral and exist for no other function than to increase the number of souls getting to heaven. Misinterpretations notwithstanding, we have to live with them and make sure their aim is kept in mind and heart.
Conclusions: don’t worry, keep praying and Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind.