Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I shudder to think

Well, intrepid followers, Professor Mahrt did hearken unto the call of the cabernet last evening and bless our little chat room confreres with good company and good wine courtesy of the late, great Mondavi. We held forth for a good two hours at a subdued yet lively level of conversations that opined about, oh just about ever'thing. It was truly an honor to share in his wisdom, so self-effacing most of the time, because he just seems to exude: "Well, that's just good old common sense, isn't it?"
I think the most impressive aspect about the very nature and character of "CMAA" people is that, though we/they do wax on about very real, global and universal concerns, issues and problems the Church and its worship ideals and practices, virtually every member I know is quite content and humbled to just concentrate upon what they can do in their own places of worship to help "restore the sacred" and with those who have sewn the seeds earlier than others, add to the legacy and treasury of their parish or cathedral worship traditions that have been restored with an integral beauty.
Cardinal George's homily on this celebration of the eve before the birth of St. John Baptist kept the notion of "I must decrease, so that Christ may increase" as the recurring motif for what we do in our vocations. I know that in other places I visit and post concerning liturgy on the world wide interlink there are a majority of folks who refuse to look through the scales over their eyes, passed whatever iconstasis they've been inculcated to regard as heirarchical at best, discriminatory at worst, and see what is so obvious about the Holy Mass that shook my wife to her core and to exclaim, (really, she did!) "I got it- it's not about US!"
And I don't really wish to disparage either the good people who work for the Lit/Industrial Complex corporations or their clientele who will gather (how they like to just say and do that: "gather.")for their love-fests and "free exchange" of both ideas and their necessary offspring, "goods and services." But, for the life of me, of what are many of them so afraid of discovering when they encounter the CMAA, the odd organist or choir master who deigns to strategically infuse a chanted proper or ordinary setting without prior clerical approval? Why, if our talented organists (such as young Gavin who posts at MSForum) are willing to give a respectful treatment and accompaniment to "Glory and Praise to Our God," are the clerics, committees, choirs and cantors who require those songs not willing to even entertain the notion of reading, digesting, and acknowledging not only the expressed policies of how and with what do we worship, but to actually get their toes wet somewhere in the vicinity of Lake Michigan, Loyola or St. John Cantius? I know of some people who are actually in mourning that "their" Mass will be denied them, AGAIN, as they believe they were excluded from the ownership and priesthood of the faithful prior to the revised order of the Mass after the council. They're all angry.
No one at CMAA is angry. Not a soul. Some of us are weird, (guess who?), some of us might rightly be described as fanatics (but not lunatics!), and many of us are highly exciteable people. But what we are not is fearful, or angry, or frustrated or disheartened.
Earlier today I ran into Jeffrey Merton, Chironomo, who is posting, along with Aristotle, and thanked him for those techie things I can't bring to the ether. But I told him I was going to, as the papers would say, break a newsflash. Well, here it is, though it's only an idea that surfaced at the end of our Mahrt night. The professor told us how Cardinal George wanted not only to come to this CMAA event, but to celebrate Mass! So MaryAnn, Singing Mum just kind of "dreamed a dream" out loud: "What about inviting the Holy Father next year?"
Here's my vision: what would it be like if we, CMAA, could take our road show to the Holy Father, say in Munich one year, with Fr. (brother) Georg and the monks of HeiligenKreuz as guests and presenters? As I said to Professor Mahrt, what kind of sign would that be to the whole Church if "the Americans" went to the First World as the vanguard crusade for TROTR. Americans in Europe, without some diva slicing eardrums with the Schubert or the Tenore with the Franck? No, just Turk, Jeffrey, Arlene, Frs. Pasley, Keyes, Phillips et al, and our motley crew singing with tender care and adoration this "other language" that belongs only to God, and as Fr. Ruff observed others deeming it not just music and text, but a whole other form of commuication in praise of Jesus, the Christ, Lord and Savior of us all.
Now that would be pilgrimage.

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