Monday, October 24, 2005

Four random thoughts.

  1. The "Age of Reason"--it denotes the 17th and 18th centuries, characterized by anticlericism and dominance of libertine philosophies, and also the seventh year of a child, the age at which he just barely has the mental faculties to do wrong. Coincidence? I think not.

  2. Genesis 14:18-20--"And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said, 'Blessed be Abram by God Most High, maker of heaven and earth; and blessed be Go Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!'"

    This could be used as a good scriptural apologetic against the notion that the Church has the option to use rice as the matter of the Eucharist. The preeminence of bread and wine in both the New and Old Testament--and in the hands of Melchizedek no less, whose 'order' the Catholic priest is said to join (as distinct from the order of Levi)--demands that continuity--that sign of unity, not only geographically but across eons.

  3. "What are we swimming in?" - the half-sleeping thought that popped into my head before this afternoon's 20 minute nap. The being that underlies all being, the real behind the surface. I conjured an image of all three-dimensional being as two dimensional, and this "sheet" of being as the canvas of God's creation, who gives certain of his paintings more texture, more three-dimensionality than others.

  4. I hate "praise and worship" and other forms of Christian rock--it's bad rock and it's bad Christianity. It's bad rock, smacking of sacharine Disneyland pop-Christian Jesus-Freak "nicety nice" vapid flatulence that ruins the adrenaline rush of good secular classic and metal rock; and it's often bad Christianity, reducing the Gospel to nerve stimulation and flights of middle-class starry-eyed ephemeral sentimental optimism--the perfect target for sin and death to crush into a puddle of bored and narrow-minded despair. When Christian rock is tacked onto the Mass as a "kid grabber," it's worse. Christian rock hijacks the holy sacrifice of the Mass and turns it into the vehicle for a worldly agenda, deifying the lesser good; it reduces beauty to taste, covenant to relevance, charity to infatuation, universal to particular, history to modernity, and ultimately, glorification to Pelagian praise ("we do it"), and salvation to experience.

    A youth group should have two goals with respect to music, which have an analogy to the liturgical purposes of the Glorifying of God and the Sanctification of Man. First, teens should be exposed to, immersed in, and practicing well done, traditional, Catholic music--from multiple ages and cultures (from the most ancient accessible chants, to Byzantine, Gallic, to post Reformation, African, Latino, etc.)--and insodoing, they can see how a distinctive American worshipping music can be a development, and not a break from Catholic music past. Second, teens should be able to listen to all the contemporary stuff with the gift of discernment of spirits, to find where the paschal mystery hides in all of secular culture, in their favorite songs, and in the rest of pop culture; then they will have the freedom that comes from truth, and be able to enjoy secular entertainment in a way their friends couldn't even imagine

    The basic idea is that the Mass, the Source and Summit of Christian life, exports, rather than imports the Gospel that heals and perfects culture.


Br. Thomas said...

yes, you are a big dork

Br. Thomas said...

I've never seen a good youth group, so my view is tainted, but you'll never get teens to listen or sing Byzantine and Gallic chant. However, I'd love to see you try and conduct that choir. Smells like teen Spirit?

Br. Thomas said...

If you are a blob on a canvas, how would you ever know it? Or, like Hegel, can you ascend to the Absolute viewpoint and survey the history of Being? Good analogy, though, for getting people to think beyond their noses. Then we have to tell them that Being is not any thing, or some big being that somehow holds the other beings together. Because, we need to think other than being./shameful plug

Jeff said...

Yeah yeah. I don't think I'd turn the youth group into a schola; there I'd let things stay easy and just encourage the guys to think about the music they already listen to. But _would_ there be a teen schola? You bet your bearenstein bears.

Is true that the #3 thing conflates "being" with "space". That wasn't so much my intent, since I was grasping at the cooling embers of a pre-afternoon-nap mental explosion. I hate how those things slip away so doggon wuickly.

Br. Thomas said...

We're communicating so well it's like we're in mcdonalds in the oude markt. So, you've got to come down here some time; see Aurelius and Denis again. I'm reading Rolheiser's book "The Holy Longing," which, apart from it's easy and loose style, and almost pandering to a wide audience, he has some good things to say about spirituality, albeit in simplified and popular language.