Tuesday, April 05, 2011
Fat Ladies Dancing
One of the reasons for using the scourge as a means of penance is that three or four excruciating strokes across the back gives one a tremendous sense of spiritual achievement and a good healthy dose of realism.
Well I don't use it, instead, during Lent, I watch the occasional bit of the Los Angeles Religious Education Conference. I can think of no other better form of excruciating pain, or dose of realism. Here is worship of God turned into a poorly delivered piece of self serving, camp, anthropocentric, cheap, tawdry, banal, meretricious Tinseltown showbiz. Quite fitting as a celebration of Mahoney-Church, something constructed in the image of its creator, not of course that I am suggesting that the Archbishop Emeritus himself is any of those things.
However Cardinal Mahoney no longer sits Archiepiscopal throne, Archbishop Jose Gomes has taken his place and yes, there seems to be a change, just a little more prayerfulness, a touch, just a touch more of silence, there are still the illicit glass jugs to contain the Precious Blood and wicker baskets for his Body but there were actually metal chalices, not the glass ones which Cdl Mahoney had made mandatory in his time.
The list of speakers too seemed just a tad more orthodox too, more mainstream, more Catholic. Gradually, bit by bit, it seems the US's biggest diocese is being Catholicised. Yes there was even a Kyrie and amongst the babel of languages, there was even just a little Latin. I do not know how long it will take for Los Angeles to learn from the Supreme Pontiff's example - see this interview with Mgr Marini.
It is not over until the last fat lady has danced.
Posted by Fr Ray Blake