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Monday, December 5, 2011

Mentality Change....It Makes Me Sad....

I often times tell a story which was told to me by Mons. Schuler.  He told the story in his article on Participatio Actuosa.  But I heard the story around the dining room is the story:

Let us say that a pious Hindu attends Mass, takes part in the singing and even walks in a procession with great piety. In the same church is also a Catholic who is blind and deaf and who is unable to leave his chair; he can neither sing nor hear the readings nor walk in the procession. Which one has truly participated, the one who is very active, or the one who has confined himself solely to his thoughts of adoration? Obviously, it is the baptized Catholic who has exercised participatio actuosa despite his lack of external, physical movement. The Hindu even with his many actions has not been capable of it, since he lacks the baptismal character.
 I share that tome with you because I just had a conversation with someone which literally made me sad.  And this person is a "post-Vatican II" Catholic.  So, he is to be more compassionate, more open, more is what was said:

There is an elderly lady at my parish who puts her head down and ignores anyone's offered hand.  Those of us who have encountered her refusal normally respectfully do not bother her.

There have been a number of times when individuals did not want to shake hands due to having a cold.  

There are all kinds of reasons why a person might not want to shake hands.  They should not be compelled against their will.

You do not bother....

Isn't that a sad commentary on our brethren.  How about joining her in prayer, worshipping, which is what we are called to do through our participatio actuosa.

Perhaps it isn't so much that she would be bothered, but rather it is that she is engaged in the inward prayer which is proper to each of the faithful when worshipping at Holy Mass.

You're right, you do not bother....and that sums up the attitude of most Catholics today.  Rather than look to her as an example, you see her as a hindrance.  A hindrance to what?  Community?  Participation?  Well, that understanding of participation is wrong headed.  That is participatio activa.  While it does have a place, it is NEVER to be imposed and it is meant more as a way of external service, such as a schola, or altar boys, or a choir...not bemoaning the fact that the lady next you is a bother, because she doesn't shake hands and hug and kiss and have a 3 minute conversation on how the grandkids are, cued back into the Mass with Haugan's rendition of Lamb of God...which is liturgically incorrect.

What a slap in the faith (heh, I'm not going to change that, even though I meant to say face) to that lady and to all Catholics...change in mentality.  I should say so.  It speaks to that change in Ecclesiology.  This has nothing to do with her will; this has to do with your changed view of the liturgical action.  Sad that people think that way of other Catholics ....what if my generation just doesn't bother all the "post-Vatican II Catholics"...where will that leave them?

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