10 March 2023

Is next Sunday a bit extreme??

 The Mass provided by the Authentic Form of the Roman Rite for next Sunday, Lent III, strikes me as extraordinarily interesting. (Needless to say, it has disappeared from the Forma Mutila et Corrupta.)

The theme of Epistle and Gospel recognises the risk of falling from Grace and from our Baptismal Covenant; and appears to emphasise the need to make our language conform with the Law of God. If we talk unchristianly, the malady will spread from our lips to our hearts and thence to our lives.

Here are some samples of the vocabulary; I offer the Prayer Book translation and the Greek original.


fornicationporneia, uncleannessakatharsia, covetousnesspleonexia, reprove them for it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret ... elengkhete; ta gar kruphe ginomena hup' auton aiskhron estin kai legein ...

In the GOSPEL,

observe the rigorism and uncompromising character of He that is not with me is against me; there is no half-way house, no nuance to hide under. And for the lapsed (semi-lapsed??) Former Christian The last state of that man is worse than the first. 

 I suspect that the Roman context here is as follows: on Sunday Lent III, the 'Scrutinies' were announced which, beginning this week, prepared the catechumens for their initiation at Easter. The 'rigorist' emphasis on the dangers of recidivism, of falling back into the clutches of the Zeitgeist, seem particularly relevant to this period.

I habitually view with suspicion any assumption (whether in interpretation of a Gospel or of the Church's lectionary) that a passage is simply a 'unit of material' which somehow finds itself shoved into a hotchpot collection of unrelated materials. The concluding two verses (27-28) of Luke 11 ... about the Woman in the crowd who blessed the womb which had born the Lord and the breasts which he had sucked ... seem to me, even in merely literary terms, an absolutely stunning conclusion to the entire preceding passage: 

Those truly Blessed are those who, having heard the Word of God, keep (phulassontes) it.

And I am not in the least surprised that this entire passage of S Luke was treated so dismissively by the post-Conciliar 'reformers'. Manfully, they resisted any temptation they might have felt to allow Luke 11: 27-28 to retain its Lucan purpose: of concluding, and epigrammatically summarising, the themes of Luke 11: 14-26. 

"Enrichment", indeed!!!  ('Enrochement' ?)

I wonder if those 'reformers' included the luminaries described by Fr Louis Bouyer as Les Trois Maniaques.

I do beg readers to peruse both of these Biblical passages. They urge upon all of us a deeper and more exclusive commitment.


Richard Ashton said...

Enrochment: brilliant. Let us count the ways that our liturgy can be enroched.

Matthew F Kluk said...

Enrochement is vibrant with the spirit of Vatican II, whatever that may mean on any given day. The only constant is the hatred of the Immemorial Mass.

Albertus said...

I am old enough to remember the pre-conciliar Church, which was not humanly perfect, of course, as we earthly members of Christ's Mystical Body are "semper reformandi". However, the pre-conciliar Church was a thousand times better than the post-conciliar counterfit, whose four marks seem to be (1) hatred of the Immemorial Mass (as stated here above) (2) papal personality cult (3) unbridled experimentation of every kind (4) interreligious "dialogue" whose aim seems to be to create a one-world religion with man st its centre.

coradcorloquitur said...

Mr. Kluk and Albertus could not have put it more accurately or succinctly. A true syllabus of the unprecedented agony our Holy Mother Church has been put through in the name of a hubristic "aggiornamento."