My wife reported she got one out of three spirits at Mass last night. I had two. I thought all three responses were mixed, but as the Mass went on, there was more of you than of spirit in the mix. The pastor said we were going to be gentle and understanding and helpful to one another. After his reminder at the start of 8:30 Mass this morning, I’d say that yous solidly trumped spirits. How to read that? I’d say it’s a sleepy gray morning in central Iowa. One of our three lectors was missing, as was the assigned sacristan.
Ray had a unique observation in the thread below, that some of the Mass texts seem a “weird parody.” I couldn’t disagree. I also couldn’t disagree that the Roman Missal has been in drastic need of revision for at least a generation. After following the politics of liturgy in the universal church, doing parish catechesis, and celebrating one Mass, I still believe this is true today.
The metaphor that comes to mind is that of an open door. If believers have barred the door, God can still work between the cracks. But if the door is wide open, and the people there are welcoming, then obviously there are fewer obstacles to the Gospel. My sense is that we’re somewhere in between a barred door and an open door. An open door would have been really nice. I think the poverty of the modern world means people are ripe to latch onto Christ and to a more spiritual, sacrificial, and fruitful way of life. Violence and materialism have spent themselves to the point where substantial numbers of people are ready to reject them wholesale. Too bad the Church has little enough alternatives to offer in turn.
The full section at the end of Isaiah 63 makes for interesting reading, don’t you think? I’ve bolded the section omitted from the Advent 1 reading:
You, LORD, are our father,
our redeemer you are named from of old.
Why do you make us wander, LORD, from your ways,
and harden our hearts so that we do not fear you?
Return for the sake of your servants,
the tribes of your heritage.
Why have the wicked invaded your holy place,
why have our enemies trampled your sanctuary?
Too long have we been like those you do not rule,
on whom your name is not invoked.
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down,
with the mountains quaking before you …
Why indeed? May the Lord be with our spirits in the season ahead. God surely must know we need it.