Of Beauty

Father Neuhaus says form June/July 2007 issue about Sacramentum Caritatis:

“Benedict calls for a renewed understanding of “the rich theological and liturgical category of beauty.” “Like the rest of Christian revelation, the liturgy is inherently linked to beauty—it is veritatis splendor. The liturgy is a radiant expression of the paschal mystery in which Christ draws us to himself and calls us to communion. . . . This is no mere aestheticism but the concrete way in which the truth of God’s love in Christ encounters us, attracts us, and delights us, enabling us to emerge from ourselves and drawing us toward our true vocation, which is love. . . . The beauty of the liturgy is part of this mystery; it is a sublime expression of God’s glory and, in a certain sense, a glimpse of heaven on earth.” More than is usually the case in Catholic, as distinct from Orthodox, reflections on the Eucharist is the accent of Sacramentum Caritatis on the eschatological dimensions of the liturgy in anticipating the Wedding Feast of the Lamb.”


I so much want to see what the Holy Father speaks of regarding the liturgy! I haven’t been able to go to a TLM yet-right now our diocese only has one in a downtown nursing home chapel of the major city here, in a diocese that’s more than a 9-10 hour drive north to south and 4-5 hour drive east to west (in no traffic-times, that is). I finally found a good, reverent NO to go to near by and it’s almost beautiful - I even look forward to going, besides receiving the Eucharist of 'course. :wink: This particular church is run by a religious order. I wonder if “out here” that is the only way to get a beautiful, reverent mass? Why is Traditionalism something to be feared and not something that might have some beauty associated with it? :confused: The ‘old ways’ of many countries certainly have things that are good and beautiful in them (e.g. costumes, dancing, etc). Has this youth culture that we’ve been in since the '60s done away with anything old (hence, the most likely to have beauty associated with it). :shrug:

WHOOT, Brigid, thanks for contributing!

That’s what struck me about what I read in 1st Things, all about beauty.

My provisional opinion about the lack of beauty and the youth thing is it’s devilish. Gobbled up better than a generation.

I’ve seen some heritic friends faces as they peer inside a beautiful Cathedral. They are overcome. They don’t know what to make of it. The place just exudes the power and presence of God. And my friends are dumbfounded.

When one subsits on hardtack and water, the real deal is just aweing. Like a hart we pant after God.

Richard, what does WHOOT mean? :confused: (Excuse my ignorance, please.)

The things of Fr. Neuhaus that I’ve read I really liked/agreed with. He’s a convert, like me so that’s why I first heard of him. I wonder if our Holy Father is aware of (and even agrees with) ‘Neuhaus’s Law’? Maybe a lot of liberal bishops and priests are, which would explain the poor reception of the MP in some quarters.:smiley:

I am puzzeled by those who insist that Traditionalism is feared. I have yet to meet anyone who fears it.

I have, however, met those who have a problem with people who style themselves as Traditionalists, when those Traditionalists attack any and all things that have happened since the start of Vatican 2. Thwe disdain, the triumphalism, the judgementalism, and the elitism that is exhibited by some who style themselves as Traditionalists, and the disdain which they hold for the OF does get a bit thick at times.

I am not naive; I know that the OF has had abuses and has in particular not had the expression of reverence due the Mass and Our Lord. I also have been to beautiful OF Masses. I don’t know where you are from (although I am guessing Washington), and so I cannot speak to the general tenor of the OF there; but in this Archdiocese, I would say that things have been improving for quite some time. And I am old enough to know and remember Masses in the EF when I was young that were not spectacularly reverent, either. Reverence is first and foremost exhibited by and brought about by the priest.

It is hard to see beauty when the one who purports to have the beautiful way exhibits an attitude that is less than beauty enhancing.

The fear of Traditionalism is apparently (I’ve seen and experienced it with some clerics) mostly to do with those who purport to be Traditionalists who are as you described. :tsktsk: Also, my guess is that there is the fear among those who are not orthodox that a number who want the TLM may indicate a reversal of the other “changes” of VII (or the “Spirit of VII”).

Personally, as a post-VII convert I never experienced the Tridentine liturgy prior to VII. I was attending the Episcopal church (or ecclesial…?) then and we had altar rails, beautiful churches, reverent services, etc. and the 1928 Book of Common Prayer, so our services were very like a reverent NO (without a valid Eucharist, of course). (The liturgy was easy for me on first assisting since I had most of it memorized anyway.):wink: It’s interesting to hear of the lack of reverence you sometimes experienced in the TLM pre-VII. Yes, when I lived in Portland and Beaverton a few years ago there were some nice Masses said.

I most certainly agree with your last statement!!!:thumbsup:

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