Monday, September 23, 2002

Kneeling Again?
Only long enough to recommend this insightful post by Fr. Jim Tucker pointed out by Emily Stimpson HMS Blog.

Jacques Maritain comments on this point in a chapter of his book Liturgy and Contemplation called "The Liberty of souls."

Against the pseudo-liturgical exaggerations it behooves one to defend the liberty of souls. This is what the Pope, Father and pastor of all, did, when he said in moving terms: "Many of the faithful are unable to use the 'Roman Missal' even though it is written in the vernacular; nor are all capable of understanding correctly the liturgical rites and formulas. So varied and diverse are men's talents and characters that it is impossible for all to be moved and attracted to the same extent by community prayers, hymns, and liturgical services. Moreover, the needs and inclinations of all are not the same, nor are they always constant in the same individual. Who then would say, on account of such a prejudice, that all these Christians cannot participate in the Mass nor share its fruits? On the contrary, they can adopt some other method which proves easier for certain people, for instance, they can lovingly meditate on the mysteries of Jesus Christ or perform other exercises of piety or recite prayers which, though they differ from the sacred rites, are still essentially in harmony with them."[17]

". . . It is perfectly clear to all," Pius XII writes again,[18] "that in the Church on earth, no less than in the Church in heaven, there are many mansions (John, XIV, 2).... It is the same Spirit Who breatheth where He will (John III, 8); and Who with differing gifts and in different ways enlightens and guides souls to sanctity. Let their freedom and the supernatural action of the Holy Spirit be so sacrosanct that no one presume to disturb or stifle them for any reason whatsoever."

Rome has always been vigilant in opposing any attempt to regiment souls. She knows that the spirit of the liturgy requires respect for the Gospel liberty proper to the New Law. On the contrary, in holding as valid one single form of piety, that in which each one acts in common with the others, and in demanding of all that by word and gesture they obey the liturgical forms with a military precision; in challenging or putting in question private devotions, nay even the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament outside of Mass, those who confuse liturgy and pseudo-liturgy impose on souls rigid frameworks and burden them with external obligations which are of the same type as the observances of the Old Law.

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