Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites

Sunday, November 12, 2006

"The Mass was the center of our lives..."

When I see pictures of Masses being held at Worker houses using pottery to hold the precious body and blood or "Catholic" Worker Houses that in no way incorporate the Church into their daily lives, I am reminded of Day and wonder how, in doing what's right, have they managed to get it so wrong. May God guide them back to the roots of the Movement; firmly planted in the one, holy, CATHOLIC and apostolic Church.

"The incident of the man smoking in church leads me to one of the problems but perhaps a most basic one, the lack of the reverence and respect that we should have for holy things, and for all men as creatures of God. God, the Father, created us and all the universe, so all things are holy. One may laugh for joy, but not in derision. The Liturgical movement has meant everything to the Catholic Worker from its very beginning. The Mass was the center of our lives and indeed I was convinced that the Catholic Worker had come about because I was going to daily Mass, daily receiving Holy Communion and happy though I was, kept sighing out, "Lord, what would you have me to do? Lord, here I am." And I kept hearing his call, as Samuel did, but I did not know what he wanted me to do. ...
I suppose I am rambling because I hate to get to the point, and that point is that I am afraid I am a traditionalist, in that I do not like to see Mass offered with a large coffee cup as a chalice. I suppose I am romantic too, since I loved the Arthur legend as a child and reverenced the Holy Grail and the search for it. I feel with Newman that my faith is founded on a creed, as Rev. Louis Bouyer wrote of Newman in that magnificent biography of his. "I believe in God, Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. And of all things visible and invisible, and in His Only Son Jesus Christ, our Lord." I believe too that when the priest offers Mass at the altar, and says the solemn words, "This is my body, this is my blood," that the bread and the wine truly become the body and blood of Christ, Son of God, one of the Three Divine persons. I believe in a personal God. I believe in Jesus Christ, true God and true man. And intimate, oh how most closely intimate we may desire to be, I believe we must render most reverent homage to Him who created us and stilled the sea and told the winds to be calm, and multiplied the loaves and fishes. He is transcendent and He is immanent. He is closer than the air we breathe and just as vital to us. I speak impetuously, from my heart, and if I err theologically in my expression, I beg forgiveness. ...
To me the Mass, high or low, is glorious and I feel that though we know we are but dust, at the same time we know too, and most surely through the Mass that we are little less than the angels, that indeed it is now not I but Christ in me worshiping, and in Him I can do all things, though without Him I am nothing. I would not dare write or speak or try to follow the vocation God has given me to work for the poor and for peace, if I did not have this constant reassurance of the Mass, the confidence the Mass gives. (The very word confidence means "with faith.")"
"On Pilgrimage - March 1966"
By Dorothy Day
The Catholic Worker, March 1966, 1, 2, 6, 8.

"...there is also the attempt made by some young priests to reach the young, to make the Mass meaningful to the young (the bourgeois, educated, middle-class young) where novelty is supposed to attract the attention but which, as far as I can see, has led to drawing these same young ones completely away from the "people of God," "the masses" and worship in the parish church. ...
I do love the guitar Masses, and the Masses where the recorder and the flute are played, and sometimes the glorious and triumphant trumpet. But I do not want them every day, any more than we ever wanted solemn Gregorian Requiem Masses every day. They are for the occasion. The guitar Masses I have heard from one end of the country to the other are all different and have a special beauty of their own. I have been a participant (it is not that I have just heard them) in such Masses with the Franciscan Brothers in Santa Barbara, with the students at St. Louis University, at the McGill Newman Club in Montreal and many other Newman meetings, and in Barrytown, New York, where the Christian Brothers, our neighbors, have a folk Mass every Saturday at eleven-fifteen. They are joyful and happy Masses indeed and supposed to attract the young. But the beginning of faith is something different. The "fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." Fear in the sense of awe."
"On Pilgrimage - May 1967"
By Dorothy Day
The Catholic Worker, May 1967, 2, 10.