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Musings 2009/243

P A virulent hostility toward religion (in schools) is threatening the very fabric of American liberty and prosperity: That's the alarm former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and his wife, Callista, are sounding in their thought-provoking new documentary, "Rediscovering God in America II: Our Heritage". P
Clapping in Holy Mass
I have long deplored this theatrical parody in Holy Mass.
Many years ago I sent a written suggestion to the local Parish promoting a short prayer - e.g. the Hail Mary - to replace clapping.
I have to admit that this was actually tried once but that was the end of that - we are back to clapping.
In my imagination, I visualised a prominent post-modernist parishioner (perhaps two or three) complaining left, right and centre about that Hail Mary, when everyone, he/they suggested, felt that a more enthusiastic response was definitely needed!
(What a deception! How anti-Catholic is that?! For the Hail Mary is a response that we know for certain The Almighty listens to, while I have to think He perceives disrespect for His Son

when His Own people exhibit
more enthusiasm in a Mass add-in
with clapping,
then wonderment
at the Holy Sacrifice of Golgotha itself!)

The clapping at Holy Mass is encouraged at times when a child is baptised or at some specific ceremony or action incorporated into Holy Mass. Perhaps an invited guest makes an announcement; perhaps someone reports on his/her 'success' in his/her efforts for society or The Church etc.
I get the impression that, unless there is at least one outbreak of clapping at Holy Mass, then the hour has been wasted.
I get the impression that the successful performance of Holy Mass has failed where enthusiastic clapping has not occurred. And not just one bout of clapping, but the more the merrier!
There seems to be an aura of satisfaction - once a bout of enthusiastic clapping has occurred - that all is well in the 'faith community'; that the sacred Ceremony is no longer 'boring'.
I get the impression that the post-modernists that still exist in our Parish feel a certain self-satisfaction; a gloating even, when some 'performance' receives suitable acclamation!
Clapping in church is NEVER appropriate and should be kept for the theatre.
A descriptive word for clapping at Holy Mass, that comes to my mind, is
contemptible.
Sacred Spaces
My distaste for clapping at Holy Mass has been made less abhorrent in the realisation that our 'church' has been reduced to a series of 'spaces' (as I have often recalled).
Having removed The Real-presence from the 'faith community' and arranged the 'gathering space', the 'assembly space',  the 'leadership space', the 'Tabernacle space', etc. etc., I feel less disenchanted. After all, it is no longer a true Catholic church building. So, why worry about clapping?
However, the fact of the matter is that Holy Mass remains the true Holy Mass, even in a conglomeration of 'sacred spaces'.
A view of the future.
While this theatrical 'parody' (and others) continues in our Parish, I nevertheless feel sure that the modernist influence is quietly deteriorating in every way.
And not only in this Parish but in this Archdiocese and indeed, in the whole state of Queensland, Australia.
I feel strongly that Parishioners are ready to reconsider what Catholicism is all about; to draw much closer to His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI; to return to a wholesome devotion to The Mother of God; to reinforce and multiply their adoration of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist; to return to a reverence for the Priesthood and the Sacraments; and generally,

to enter deeper into
true Membership
of The Universal Church.

Yes, enthusiastic clapping still occurs during Holy Mass. But I feel that there is a growing feeling of disdain at this parody and I think Parishioners are looking more and more towards the Tabernacle space--a place behind closed doors--and longing to enter. I feel that the modernist comradeship that is supposed to exist in faith communities is being seen for what it is--a charade--when what Catholics really long for, and what The Church is all about, is the real Love and Truth and Goodness of Christ shared amongst His disciples.
I believe that Parishioners are more mindful of the continuing decline of Mass-goers and especially from their own family as their children and friends look elsewhere for something they can get their spiritual teeth into, or simply lose interest.
Parishioners are unconsciously asking themselves
Why are people losing interest?  Why do our children find Holy Mass boring?
Is it possible,
they ask, that those 'fanatical' Catholics who hold reverence for Tradition, who believe in Papal infallibility and who are never without their Rosary beads, might be right after all?
It seems to me that even the cafeteria-catholics have reached a point where they feel starved for Truth--Everlasting-truth--not the nonsense of ever-changing truth which has been their spiritual diet for far too long. Their souls have soured on this fickle, evasive truth-theory.

What a fatal poison for the human spirit is
ever-changing truth!
And so, I contend that modernism is now
just another past heresy.

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