12 May 2022

DIX and the Jesuit

 Today is the obit of our great Anglican Catholic liturgist and mystagogue and wit, Dom Gregory Dix.

Dr Eric Mascall criticised the common Anglican assumption that everyone will "to the end of our earthly days ... perform discursive meditations on the Ignatian model, with all the multiplicity of acts that are peculiar to its many variants", and gives this anecdote about Dix: "Some years before Vatican II he was, rather daringly, invited by Cardinal Gerlier of Lyon to give a lecture on Anglican spirituality. In the discussion he was asked by an unidentified priest whether the Anglican clergy were taught Ignatian spirituality. Dix replied that it was the only kind that most of them were taught, and that this was very unfortunate, as it was a type that was very unsuitable to English people, so that most of them, having tried it without success, abandoned prayer altogether.

"There was a burst of laughter and the questioner, somewhat disconcerted, sat down with the remark, 'Father, that is a truly Benedictine sentiment'. 

"The chairman whispered to Dom Gregory, 'That was the Father Provincial of the Society of Jesus'"

His book The Shape of the Liturgy, amusing and stimulating and immensely influential in the days immediately after the War, gave rise to a set of verses [written by Mascall???] including this stanza:

"Gloom in the Athenaeum,/ Darkness and dirty looks!/ Bishops huddled in corners,/ Reading their Contact Books,/ Flickers the flame of Fisher,/ Waver the words of Woods,/ Faint and vague is he voice of Haigh,/ Garbett's not the goods,/ The glory that was Pollock,/ The grandeur that was Hicks,/ Gone to a monk at Nashdom,/ Gone to Gregory Dix."

Dix would not have been favoured in this dark Age of Bergoglianity and of the poor arthur roches. He liked to be able to say that "This very morning I [said Mass] with a set of texts which has not changed by more than a few syllables since Augustine used those very words at Canterbury on the third Sunday of Easter in the summer after he landed."


1 comment:

Ray Kinsella said...

God bless and good health to you..a lot of people are praying for you..