Parish and Personal Priorities--are we obsessing with the trivial?


#1

It's obvious that I'm on vacation from work, as I have time to sit and start new threads! :)

A week ago, I attended a meeting at my parish about the HHS mandate and our diocescan and parish response.

It was done by the Catholic Medical Association, and we heard a doctor, a lawyer, and a priest give excellent and informative presentations.

As I sat there, I couldn't help but think about all the threads on CAF about dress code, music, chatting before and after Mass, Latin vs. vernacular, etc.

It kind of reminded me of a movie I saw in which the prisoners in a Nazi death camp, while awaiting their execution, were angrily arguing about whether a recipe included one teaspoon or two teaspoons of a certain ingredient.

The priest at our presentation made a passionate plea for parishioners to wake up and smell the coffee. I was totally convicted by what he said, and felt ashamed of myself for getting involved in all the trivialities.

I realize that little trivialities have a way of growing into big issues. I think it's good to nip little sins in the bud (the "little foxes" spoken of in the Song of Songs).

But honestly, it seems that some people think that a parish that sings Marty Haugen songs is a parish that will eventually include liturgical dancing in the Mass, and then eventually embrace open homosexuality and welcome certain politicians to the ambo to co-celebrate with the priests, and of course, they will all be wearing clown costumes.

So what should the parish priorities be? What should our personal priorities be?

I'm kind of leaning towards forgetting all these little issues and trusting that the Holy Spirit will take care of them. Instead, I'm thinking that maybe we should get busy working to rid the U.S. of greater evils that are threatening our Church and will make "dress codes" and "contemporary music" unimportant in a country where Mass will be illegal and be celebrated only in secret locations "underground."

I'm thinking of maybe getting back to the basics--prayer, fasting, regular confession of sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, study of Scripture and Catechism and good sacred books and articles, Adoration of the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, and of course, the Mass, along with more diligence in doing good works and making holocausts of my personal preferences and comforts.

How about you? Priorities?


#2

What does Fr. Z say?

Save The Liturgy, Save The World.


#3

[quote="Cat, post:1, topic:287824"]
It's obvious that I'm on vacation from work, as I have time to sit and start new threads! :)

A week ago, I attended a meeting at my parish about the HHS mandate and our diocescan and parish response.

It was done by the Catholic Medical Association, and we heard a doctor, a lawyer, and a priest give excellent and informative presentations.

As I sat there, I couldn't help but think about all the threads on CAF about dress code, music, chatting before and after Mass, Latin vs. vernacular, etc.

It kind of reminded me of a movie I saw in which the prisoners in a Nazi death camp, while awaiting their execution, were angrily arguing about whether a recipe included one teaspoon or two teaspoons of a certain ingredient.

The priest at our presentation made a passionate plea for parishioners to wake up and smell the coffee. I was totally convicted by what he said, and felt ashamed of myself for getting involved in all the trivialities.

I realize that little trivialities have a way of growing into big issues. I think it's good to nip little sins in the bud (the "little foxes" spoken of in the Song of Songs).

But honestly, it seems that some people think that a parish that sings Marty Haugen songs is a parish that will eventually include liturgical dancing in the Mass, and then eventually embrace open homosexuality and welcome certain politicians to the ambo to co-celebrate with the priests, and of course, they will all be wearing clown costumes.

So what should the parish priorities be? What should our personal priorities be?

I'm kind of leaning towards forgetting all these little issues and trusting that the Holy Spirit will take care of them. Instead, I'm thinking that maybe we should get busy working to rid the U.S. of greater evils that are threatening our Church and will make "dress codes" and "contemporary music" unimportant in a country where Mass will be illegal and be celebrated only in secret locations "underground."

I'm thinking of maybe getting back to the basics--prayer, fasting, regular confession of sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, study of Scripture and Catechism and good sacred books and articles, Adoration of the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, and of course, the Mass, along with more diligence in doing good works and making holocausts of my personal preferences and comforts.

How about you? Priorities?

[/quote]

That was on my mind all of last night. We have forgotten the true issues, I've also noticed a lot more attacks on the Church recently. We need to make reparation to The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and The Most Holy Heart of Mary.


#4

I echo the same sentiments. I actually was considering deleting CAF from my favorites and just going away because of all the trivialness that more often than not leads to sniping on this site.

Fasting, praying, attending mass, reading the scripture...those are the important things.

But, I'll still hang here, because sometimes its like watching a train wreck, and you just can't seem to look away!


#5

I no longer pay attention to this way of thinking, because you can juxtapose any two issues for the sake of justifying ignoring the one in favor of attending to the other. Remember the many ways Humanae Vitae was dismissed? "Children are being burned alive in Vietnam while the Pope sits in his lavish palace scrupling over a little white pill! Talk about priorities!"

A wiser way of thinking is to rank things on a scale of cause and effect, instead of to gauge something's importance based on how much energy is spent on the subject by people blinded to the bigger picture by their own hysterical addiction to popular media on the outrage-du-jour.

So you think liturgical abuse is trivial compared to the HHS mandate. Well I think the HHS mandate is just as trivial. Because I see that both of those issues are merely symptoms of a much bigger problem. Don't you?


#6

Prayer, fasting and penance, confession and the Eucharist!:thumbsup:

A lot of the rest is ego gratification.


#7

This reminds me of a thread I started two years ago titled…“do we get too caught up in the details”…and a response that said…“the OP asked if we got too caught up in the details…and there are 3 pages here arguing about what the details are…”:smiley:


#8

But honestly, it seems that some people think that a parish that sings Marty Haugen songs is a parish that will eventually include liturgical dancing in the Mass, and then eventually embrace open homosexuality and welcome certain politicians to the ambo to co-celebrate with the priests, and of course, they will all be wearing clown costumes.

Hi Cat,
your overall post at the top is, overall, right on the mark, and kudos !!!!

But I would like to address the comment I bolded above, because I had to chuckle,
because (except for the CLOWN costumes) this is EXACTLY what happened at my
parish under the rule of my former liberal, dissident and very deliberately disobedient
pastor. And, although perhaps coincidentally, the Marty Haugen songs
were plentiful and you would have thought that Haugen was the only person to have EVER
written a hymn. And GATHER US IN was played so many times, so often, so constantly, that to this day, if the music director plays it, my first impulse (though I resist it)
is to bolt out the door of the sanctuary.

Other than that, I *loved* everything you had to say.
Peace,
Jaypeeto4


#9

[quote="Rainaldo, post:5, topic:287824"]
I no longer pay attention to this way of thinking, because you can juxtapose any two issues for the sake of justifying ignoring the one in favor of attending to the other. Remember the many ways Humanae Vitae was dismissed? "Children are being burned alive in Vietnam while the Pope sits in his lavish palace scrupling over a little white pill! Talk about priorities!"

A wiser way of thinking is to rank things on a scale of cause and effect, instead of to gauge something's importance based on how much energy is spent on the subject by people blinded to the bigger picture by their own hysterical addiction to popular media on the outrage-du-jour.

So you think liturgical abuse is trivial compared to the HHS mandate. Well I think the HHS mandate is just as trivial. Because I see that both of those issues are merely symptoms of a much bigger problem. Don't you?

[/quote]

Actually, no. I happen to think that losing First Amendments rights to freedom of religion is somewhat more serious than the possible over-use of EMHC's, hand-holding during the Lord's Prayer, or Marty Haugen songs.


#10

Many parishes have been corrupted in incremental steps. Those seemingly-insignificant details are never as important as a larger problem in question, but quite often, they contributed to the larger problem.


#11

We need to attend to all levels of problems.

If the police only enforced statutes against murder, it would be impossible to drive on our streets.

If we only feed our bodies when we are starving, we would be unhealthy all the time.

I don't just oppose abortion, but also non-aborting contraceptives. Abortion is worse, but both need to be addressed.

I was downtown for the Freedom of Religion mandate.
But I also was able to keep our parish from allowing untrained EMHC's to purify the sacred vessels.


#12

[quote="Evan, post:11, topic:287824"]
We need to attend to all levels of problems.

If the police only enforced statutes against murder, it would be impossible to drive on our streets.

If we only feed our bodies when we are starving, we would be unhealthy all the time.

I don't just oppose abortion, but also non-aborting contraceptives. Abortion is worse, but both need to be addressed.

I was downtown for the Freedom of Religion mandate.
But I also was able to keep our parish from allowing untrained EMHC's to purify the sacred vessels.

[/quote]

This is exactly the right attitude. Just because something isn't gravely wrong does not mean we should simply ignore it. The liturgy is the most important thing we do, and as such, we should treat it with care, and not allow even the smallest blemishes in.

Those who are faithful in small matters will be faithful in large ones.


#13

[quote="Cavaille-Coll, post:10, topic:287824"]
Many parishes have been corrupted in incremental steps. Those seemingly-insignificant details are never as important as a larger problem in question, but quite often, they contributed to the larger problem.

[/quote]

[quote="Evan, post:11, topic:287824"]
We need to attend to all levels of problems.

If the police only enforced statutes against murder, it would be impossible to drive on our streets.

If we only feed our bodies when we are starving, we would be unhealthy all the time.

I don't just oppose abortion, but also non-aborting contraceptives. Abortion is worse, but both need to be addressed.

I was downtown for the Freedom of Religion mandate.
But I also was able to keep our parish from allowing untrained EMHC's to purify the sacred vessels.

[/quote]

This is exactly the right attitude. Just because something isn't gravely wrong does not mean we should simply ignore it. The liturgy is the most important thing we do, and as such, we should treat it with care, and not allow even the smallest blemishes in.

Yes, we also need to work on the big issues, but that doesn't exclude our work in the small areas as well.

And anyways, this sub-forum is more or less dedicated to these small issues. That's why it's called the Liturgy and Sacraments board. While there is some unacceptable things that happen once and a while, overall, I think it's helpful. However, (and I say this with absolutely no spite or attitude:) if it's not what you want or need, then maybe it's best you step back from it?

The liturgy should always be one of the highest priorities, but that doesn't exclude other things, as you seem to imply. One of the most liturgically sound parishes in the area, the one that's getting an altar rail, uses chant ordinaries, polyphonic motets, and the benedictine arrangement, is also one of the most vibrant parishes in the diocese, with many other external parish activities. They care deeply about the liturgy, but that doesn't preclude everything else.

Those who are faithful in small matters will be faithful in large ones. That's the way I handle liturgical questions.


#14

[quote="Rainaldo, post:5, topic:287824"]
I no longer pay attention to this way of thinking, because you can juxtapose any two issues for the sake of justifying ignoring the one in favor of attending to the other. Remember the many ways Humanae Vitae was dismissed? "Children are being burned alive in Vietnam while the Pope sits in his lavish palace scrupling over a little white pill! Talk about priorities!"

A wiser way of thinking is to rank things on a scale of cause and effect, instead of to gauge something's importance based on how much energy is spent on the subject by people blinded to the bigger picture by their own hysterical addiction to popular media on the outrage-du-jour.

So you think liturgical abuse is trivial compared to the HHS mandate. Well I think the HHS mandate is just as trivial. Because I see that both of those issues are merely symptoms of a much bigger problem. Don't you?

[/quote]

I didn't mention liturgical abuse. I mentioned the following examples: dress code, Marty Haugen songs, chatting before and after Mass, Latin vs. vernacular.

None of these issues have anything to do liturgical abuse. They can definitely be annoying or frustrating. But I don't believe the GIRM actually makes any definitive statements defining certain outfits of the laypeople, or Marty Haugen hymns, or talking before or after Mass, as "liturgical abuses." And we all know that Mass in Latin or the vernacular is liturgically-correct.


#15

[quote="wasserfall, post:2, topic:287824"]
What does Fr. Z say?

Save The Liturgy, Save The World.

[/quote]

I kind of thought that was funny the first time I saw it.

But really upon further critical examination, it's overly-simplistic and naive. People were out killing each other for even more trivial reasons before the latest incarnation of the Mass (WW2, WW1, the Boar War, Wars of Religion in Europe, the English Civil War, Napoleonic Wars, 1812, I could go on ad nauseum).

I think he was just trying to play off of the "Save the Cheerleader, Save the World" that went with Heros.


#16

[quote="triumphguy, post:6, topic:287824"]
Prayer, fasting and penance, confession and the Eucharist!:thumbsup:

A lot of the rest is ego gratification.

[/quote]

The Eucharist has to be the center of a parish's life and the center of the lives of individual parishoners. Without that, we can do nothing.

Only when the parish is united around the Eucharist can we be effective at anything. We have to be Eucharistic communities. That is the prerequisite for everything else and needs to be always and ever our top priority.

From there we go out to fight the HHS mandate, feed the hungry and comfort the dying. But only if the Eucharist is first. If the Eucharist is first, we can do anything.

-Tim-


#17

[quote="wasserfall, post:2, topic:287824"]
What does Fr. Z say?

Save The Liturgy, Save The World.

[/quote]

He is saying...

Lex orandi, Lex credendi

How we worship, will become what we believe.


#18

[quote="Evan, post:17, topic:287824"]
He is saying...

Lex orandi, Lex credendi

How we worship, will become what we believe.

[/quote]

Maybe...but I think the question is...how does you worrying about someone wearing jeans to Mass help people believe in the real presence, protect life, or help fight religious liberty?

Are we wasting time and effort on things that are up to interpretation? Such as the debate on COTT vs CITH when both are allowed?

Would not our time and effort be better put forth on those things that the Church has defiantly spoken on..,such as religious liberty or protecting life?


#19

[quote="Annabelle_Marie, post:18, topic:287824"]
Maybe...but I think the question is...

1_ how does you worrying about someone wearing jeans to Mass help people believe in the real presence, protect life, or help fight religious liberty?

2_ Are we wasting time and effort on things that are up to interpretation? Such as the debate on COTT vs CITH when both are allowed?

3_ Would not our time and effort be better put forth on those things that the Church has defiantly spoken on..,such as religious liberty or protecting life?

[/quote]

1_ believe in the real presence: If you dress for mass like you dress for a barbeque, maybe what goes on there is just as un-important (Lex orandi lex credenti)

2_ If you already have everything else in your life situated (not perfected, but you know what you WANT to do, even if you can't do it) then you can add to that the question "Do I find COTT more or less expressive of my faith than CITH?"

3_ I cannot work on religious liberty or protecting life while I'm at work on my lunch break so I can look at other things that may help me, or others, grow closer to God.


#20

Where is wearing jeans equated dressing like I would for a BBQ? That is your interpretation. That is the whole point…it is people’s subjective opinion…(leaving modesty out of it-thats differentit) I wear jeans occasionally to Mass…especially daily Mass…I do not find what goes on there to be unimportant…which is why I make time everyday for it… But I would not equate someone wearing jeans with the horror of Abortion…

I am just fine with CITH (and yes I have asked myself those questions)…so people spending time worrying about me receiving CITH yes are in my opinion wasting time…especially since the Church has spoken. OR do you not trust the Church?


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