I have had an eventful weekend. There were three events that sort of worked together to challenge me to “do better.”
Back on Friday I had a near-death experience (If you want to see the gory details, look here: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=184185 ). No, I didn’t go thru the tunnel toward a white light, or see Jesus walking toward me, but if Someone hadn’t put a cork in that artery that was leaking, I might have bled out in the ambulance.
Once the docs decided that the bleeding had stopped and wasn’t likely to restart, I was sent home, just in time to watch that awesome Mass on EWTN. What a wonderful experience!
Now the bad news: this mornng the 11:00 Mass at our parish was a guitar mass. The guitarist/song leader was a newcomer to the parish. The hymns were all a Haugen/Schutte/Haas hootenanny, and what was sung in at the Gloria, the responsorial psalm (which was taken from Psalm 51), and the Gospel Proclamation verse bore only a passing resemblance to the printed text in the missalette. They (the husband and wife) announced that they are trying to start a youth choir that will be singing alternate Sundays at the 11:00 Mass (I can’t imagine that they will be singing chant and Gabrieli).
Don’t get me wrong–I like guitars and folk music. I was a wanna-be folk-singer in the late '60s and early '70s, and I still sometimes get my nylon six out and do some Buffy, Dylan, Joan, or Judy.
But even when I had exposure to the folk masses that Miss Bonnie would take me to (when she was a practicing Catholic, and I was a lower-case pagan), I thought that the “folk music” at those masses was extremely shallow, both lyrically and musically. It has not improved over the years. On one of today’s songs (I don’t remember which one), it sounded like the composer had used a random chord generator to choose where he was going to go next, and then a random note generator to determine where the melody was going to go. What an unsingable piece of junk!
I had hoped that seeing the Mass Friday on EWTN would prompt the parish to at least emulate the reverence demonstrated during that Mass. Obviously I was mistaken.
This confluence of events has made me realize that my life is too short, and I simply don’t have time any more to mess with what might distract me from worshiping God as His Church has been instructed to worship Him. Consequently:
I seriously need to work on my detachment from sin. With me it’s a some-time thing–some days I have a real hate-relationship with the besetting sins in my life, but other days there’s more at-tachment than de-tachment. However, at my age, I don’t have time for sin any more. (And whatever your age, neither do you.)
I am going to keep track of who is leading the music on the weekend Masses at our parish. If our usual 11:00 Mass is going to be a folk concert, we will either go to the vigil Mass the previous evening (provided it is not going to be a guitar Mass), or we will go to the Shrine or St. Bernard’s Abbey.
I am going to make it part of my permanent intentions for my daily Rosary that the Ordinary will quickly come to be celebrated with the same reverence and attention to detail as the Extraordinary. Barring that, I am going to pray that what is now the Ordinary will quickly become the Extraordinary, and that what is now the Extraordinary will quickly become the Ordinary.