Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Five Rules of Engagement

In my Preaching I class we are beginning to practice giving homilies on readings from the Lectionary. This has been a very rewarding experience. Today I gave a practice homily on this Sunday's readings. I may post it here... Anyway, next Sunday is recognized as Laetare Sunday in the old liturgical calendar and so I mentioned in the beginning of my homily what that meant. I said Laetare is a Latin word for "Rejoice!" taken from the first word of the Entrance Antiphon. I mentioned that in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass one could hear this antiphon chanted toward the beginning of the Mass. This got me thinking about the Extraordinary Form and I remembered a wise post by Fr. Z in regards to the run-up to the motu proprio back in June. He called it Five Rules of Engagement or, rather, how to best approach the document. I wholeheartedly agree with these so to make sure I don't lose it I'll post them here:

Fr. Z’s 5 Rules of Engagement for after the Motu Proprio is released:

1) Rejoice because our liturgical life has been enriched, not because "we win". Everyone wins when the Church’s life is enriched. This is not a "zero sum game".

2) Do not strut. Let us be gracious to those who have in the past not been gracious in regard to our "legitimate aspirations".

3) Show genuine Christian joy. If you want to attract people to what gives you so much consolation and happiness, be inviting and be joyful. Avoid the sourness some of the more traditional stamp have sadly worn for so long.

4) Be engaged in the whole life of your parishes, especially in works of mercy organized by the same. If you want the whole Church to benefit from the use of the older liturgy, then you who are shaped by the older form of Mass should be of benefit to the whole Church in concrete terms.

5) If the document doesn’t say everything we might hope for, don’t bitch about it like a whiner. Speak less of our rights and what we deserve, or what it ought to have been, as if we were our own little popes, and more about our gratitude, gratitude, gratitude for what God gives us.