Sunday, 18 February 2007

(Sigh of Delight)

This morning I attended the Inaugural Academic Mass at Holy Trinity Braamfontein, which the Papal Nuncio for Southern Africa, His Excellency the Reverend Archbishop James Green celebrated.

Glory of glories, delight of delights, joy of joys. A reprieve from the perpetual liturgical abuses of my home parish. A chanted Pater! No swarm of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion! No handholding and pseudo-Orans waving! Chanting of all the right sections! Bowing at the et incarnatus est! Breastbeating at the mea culpa! Silences observed! The Roman Canon!

This Wednesday they are celebrating Ash Wednesday with a solemn Mass, completely in Latin according to the Novus Ordo. Oh My Lord & God, thou art too gracious for words. What glorious gifts. Would that all parishes had such respect for the Divine Mysteries!

Imprisoned in Ourselves

A perennial peril for those who are of peculiar temperament or skill lies in the perceptions that grow about them in social circles. A bright young child, for instance, gains a reputation as being intelligent. Or an eclectic visionary gains a reputation as being exotic or eccentric.

This is fine and well, in as much as this reflects truth and leads not to haughtiness. It is, however, often the case that this social perception becomes a role. The person is expected to act in a certain manner and fashion, hence the peril: I must act in such a way, because I must sustain this aura of prowess, of 'specialness', of 'otherness'. Such thoughts are, of course, not conscious, but they eventually come to a dim light as one progresses in prayer, especially silent recollection.

This is hypocrisy, and we must face and slay it in ourselves if we are to become whole.