Frankenstein Mass – Mt 23:5

Frankenstein2
-a modern Frankenstein

I was born just as Vatican II ended. I have never known anything else. I was a young Catholic in the 1970’s. There was A LOT of felt, and mass (sic) production of banners; orange, and yellow, I can tell you.

When I was younger, I loved to serve Mass.  I even loved when my parish priest, Fr. Michael Orsi, would chant the Sanctus and Agnus Dei in Latin, and served Mass for him, or read.  Granted there was A LOT of yellow and orange felt in the 70’s, but we lived.

I loved knowing the words and responses to Mass; its beauty and simplicity. It drew me. It allowed me to fall in love, with Him.  It was my rock, my foundation, my everything, my constant in a world of dizzying technological change, in which I have made my profession, my calming North Star.  Catholics, if they have not been to Mass on Sunday, “feel weird” during the week.  We do, in addition to knowing we are going straight to Hell, do not pass “GO”, do not collect $200, if we should die before confessing the fact we missed. Comforting. Comforting. Mortal sin.

Now, seemingly, beyond just allowing the extraordinary rite (Tridentine) for those who sway that way, takes ALL kinds, we will ALL be dragged, willing or unwilling into a Frankenstein liturgy, part old, part new, all awkward, faltering, and ugly, a Christian embarrassment.  To worship the God Who was born in obscurity, poverty, behind enemy lines, as it were; Who warned the rich and powerful and pompous and arrogant of the moral dangers of their station and attitude. That they would NOT enter the Kingdom of God, they would not.  Was maliciously betrayed, tortured, crucified, and died, and lived in the flesh, again.  Really?  God is more pleased?  With pomposity?  Really?  Trying to contain and behave myself, but there are times more polite is inappropriate, wrong, and rude, this being one of them.  Are you high?

My reason for this is not that I do not like or value history or Roman Catholic heritage.  My main concern is of the Tridentines I have met, I have just not been impressed with them as Christians, even as I am disaffected with myself, as sinner, but still. I DON’T like them!!!!  But, these are not the people I would ever intentionally attend Mass with.  They tend to lack patience and compassion, in my experience, compared to others, Catholic or not.  Mt 23:5.

I have not been impressed.  I have met finer Jews, Protestants, Muslims, Wiccans, Atheists, Agnostics, you name it.  I have.  I would rather hang, or burn, with the hippies, than anything with the fascists.  I am not a flaming liberal. I am a Catholic & a Christian, a moderate!!! What a rare animal!!! I am not a fan of heresy, maybe you’ve noticed. But, I know I can tolerate it much more easily than fascism. I can. And, I do.

Fear not. I have found my hippies. We talked. And I can’t wait to celebrate Eucharist with them. I will go to them, or they will come to me. A small group, without pomposity; just a simple meal. In an upper room? Now, where have I heard that before??? Nope. Nope. Nothing.

Love,
Matthew

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