Monday, 18 March 2013

An offering for the papal installation: 'Don't fly for me, Argentina', with apologies to ALW and TR

I'm a writer and a talker by nature, but music wins hands down when it comes to times of great emotion.

So here is my offering for the papal installation tomorrow, which I look forward to with great joy and maybe just a touch of cheekiness. From what I've seen of Papa Francis, I think he might approve. As the mass is chock full of glorious music, I would have my humble offering relegated to (one of) the offertory hymn(s).

It is, of course, a nod to His Holiness' request that his Argentinian countrymen not fly over to attend the mass, but remain spiritually close and give the money they would have spent flying to the poor.

Por supuesto, we all know the song it is based on. I've stayed very close to the original, since the emotional tenor was nigh on perfect. In addition, I've had two (waiting on a third) friends who are singers scan it. 

With no further ado, may I present Don't fly for me, Argentina:

It won't be easy
You'll think it strange
When I try to explain why I asked -
That I still need your love
Though I said, ‘Don’t be here’
You won't believe me
All you will see
Is a boy you once knew
Although he's dressed up to the nines -
At sixes and sevens with you

I had to let it happen -
I had to change
Couldn't say ‘No’ to those down at heel
Looking down at my ballot
Listening to the Son
Trusting the Spirit
Frightened of this burden coming my way
But there was no question at all
I take up the Cross for you

Don't fly for me Argentina
The truth is the poor, they need us
O Pastor Ecclesiae
Ever feeding God’s sheep
I’ll keep my promise
Don't keep your distance

And as for fortune and as for fame
Don’t ever invite them in
Though it seems to the world
They are to be desired
They are illusions
They are not the solutions
They promise to be
The answer is here all the time:
G-d loves you, entrusts you to me

Don't fly for me, Argentina


Have I said too much?
There's nothing more I can think of to say to you
But all you have to do
Is look at me to know
That every word is true


Friday, 15 March 2013

My response to the Tridentinist reaction to the papal election

The absolute frothing at the mouth at Rorate Caeli (a blog devoted to the preservation of the Tridentine mass) after the papal election essentially constituted a psychotic break, inasmuch as a blog can have one. From 'OMG, he's going to get rid of the 1962 mass and TALK TO NON-CATHOLICS, and PAY ATTENTION TO THE POOR (who are lazy, according to many of the commenters), THE WORLD IS ENDING!!!'  to thinly veiled death wishes for the new pope, it made for some pretty horrific reading. After a bit of kvetching to friends, I thought I'd better put my money where my mouth is and actually comment at the blog. 

I doubt it will be published at RCae, and I'm not that bothered - the author of the blog will read it, perhaps discuss it, perhaps dismiss it, but the seed will be there. However, it's time I said what I want to say to them here, without the rage they provoke in me, and ask the questions I want to ask - so I'm posting it:

Your lack of respect and charity towards the pope, less than 48 hours after his election, proves you are NOT a 'deeply Catholic' blog, but a one trick 'TRAD MASS' blog. A little more self-awareness around what this anger is really all about and a little more focus on what's wrong and sinful with YOU would go a long, long way. You're like addicts - you use the trad mass to mask something else. Go inward and deal with your own issues, rather than projecting them and vomiting your rage on everyone else.That way, you'll come to understand that the only link in all the Catholic communities that you have come into conflict with is you. Perhaps you'll even find yourselves taking responsibility for your role in those conflicts. Maybe if you loved thy neighbour as thyself, rather than treating them as commodities or objects of scorn, you'd get a lot further, feel less isolated and be much happier.

As someone who has been unhappy with previous popes, I have NEVER, EVER spoken with the vitriol, ill will and ill wishes towards ANY of them that you all have spoken - and I have always respected the decision of the Holy Spirit and their authority. And I am one of those 'liberal Catholics' you treat with such contempt.

The implicit death wishes on this blog HORRIFY me. They're inhuman. LISTEN TO YOURSELVES, PEOPLE. How would you feel if any of this was said to you or your family?

Maybe you'd be a lot happier if you actually gave more - of yourselves, not your pocketbook - rather than obsessing about form.

That obsession kicks up a question: are you obsessing about form to avoid real relationship with G-d? As long as you focus on form, He can't come in and change your life. And that's really comfortable, isn't it? You can stay stuck in your rage, never having to change, living in your small, safe world where everyone agrees with you. I get it. We've all been there; it's the most human thing. But it's not the most godly thing, and that's the whole point of this journey and being Catholic, isn't it?

As a friend of mine noted after reading your blog: 

[T]he source of their knee-jerk fear [is that] he's the real thing; his faith is so much deeper and truer than theirs.  He is a challenge; he's going to push for truth and integrity, and they don't want that.  They only really care about the superficial.  And hey, I speak as someone who always loved the superficial.... but you have to have more than that, and they don't.

That's what you're afraid of, isn't it? The discovery that the emperor has no clothes - or in this case, no genuine faith. We all know it's true, your fear screams so loudly it drowns out everything else. Where there is fear, there is no faith, and certainly, no love - since love drives out fear, and perfect love will drive out all fear.

My heart aches for you. Being that angry and afraid sucks boulders. Trust me, I know. Turn away before it leads you so far down the road of spiritual darkness that you can never turn back. Please - we really DO want you walking with us - but right now, it's impossible for you to. Take our hand, talk to us, walk with us, G-d wants us all home. Look at His universe - He created diversity, not conformity, and yet it is one Creation, one Church. Come back. Don't shut yourself out in a self-imposed Hell.

It may be that you're not ready to hear any of this yet, and that's fine - but it has been said, whether or not this is published, and perhaps one day, it will find fertile ground.

G-d bless, now and always.