Tuesday, May 14, 2002

IS THIS A "CATHOLIC BLOG"?
I notice I never get listed among the "Catholic" blogs, even though I have written quite a bit about Catholicism (Neither is Tony Adragna, a former seminarian who has been kind enough to send some traffic my way.)

Why is this? I guess it's because I don't spend much time complaining about horrible music, lousy preaching, stewardship appeals, and other things. Yes, I've experienced my share of cringe-worthy liturgical abominations, but I recognize that there are different people in the Church with different tastes. What's distracting to me may be meaningful to the person sitting next to me.

And some of the commentary seems to me to smack of snobbishness. If all these people who don't know what they're talking about would just get out of the way, we could have a nice "pure" liturgy.

A favorite target of the Catholic bloggers is hymns that are about ourselves rather than God. I'm not a fan of the hymn "Anthem" either, but don't we need to remember that we need each other? Isn't one of the Church's challenges convincing people that belonging to the Church and worshipping together is better than some indivudualized "spirituality?" I always hear these hymns as a challenge for what we should be rather than a celebration of what we are. Sometimes I wonder if the critics' real problem with these hymns is that they're not willing to meet that challenge.

Another recent target has been the moving of the Ascension to Sunday in some dioceses. I don't have a problem with this because I've been to many a Holy Day of Obligation Mass and have found them uniformly unispiring. The pews are half full, there's little or no music, little or no homily, and a general "let's get this over with" feel from all involved. Is this the best way to celebrate this great feast? Isn't it better to celebrate it on Sunday with a more robust liturgy, the pews full, and music of praise? Holy Days of Obligations work where the whole day is a celebration. Here in the US, it's a half hour squeezed into a lunch hour, early morning or dinner hour. It's a shame, and far short of what we should be celebrating.

Some of these Catholic bloggers are very quick to criticize the bishops for failing to take responsibility. But I find it a tad hypocritcal to be calling for liturgical purity while at the same time complaining about specific actions not being mentioned in a novena prayer. Hmmm (or Hymn), why would such "taking of responsibilty" be appropriate to include in such a prayer, if stewardship appeals and hymns about the Church community at Sunday Mass are such an abomination?

So, I guess I'm not much of a "Catholic blogger," since I don't mind community-centerd hyms, stewarship appeals, and moving holy days to Sunday. But if that's the measurement, I'm not sure I want to be, either.
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