Sunday, June 22, 2008

Liturgy: Timeless and Holy, or just a hill of beans?

I drove down to Maryland for a brief visit at my sister's (soon to be former) house, to give her a hand with moving. She and her husband and two kids are moving, and their house is large and has a lot of stuff. Our father was there helping too. I went down Friday after work and came back late last night. On the way, I listened to a few CDs. One was Thornhill by Moxy Fruvous, a band I came to like during my college years. The last song on that CD is titled "My Poor Generation", and I'd like to reproduce it here in full, and then quickly comment on a couple of lines that I think are relevant to the liturgical situation facing the Catholic Church (at least in the US) today.
My poor generation, we're on for the ride.
An ocean of choices pulled out on the tide.
We're handed a beach ball, and told to pick a side.
Drowned in information: my poor generation.

My poor generation don't know what it means:
The shock of the mountain compared to magazines.
Is it timeless and holy, or just a hill of beans?
Lost in Union Station: my poor generation.

Maybe we're just looking in a fun house mirror
and loving our reflection.
Maybe corporate raiders got too greedy in the 80's
and bought up all the direction.

My poor generation, airborne with nothing to land on,
Baffled by [B.S.], grounded with nothing to stand on.
Poor little fat cats... nothing anyone planned on.
Unique in all creation: my poor generation.
That's the song. The bolded lines speak to me about the crisis facing the "sense of the sacred" that is noticed by some Catholics today. "Is it timeless and holy, or just a hill of beans?" Do we see what happens at Mass (or rather, Mass itself) as something timeless and holy, or is just business as usual? "Airborne with nothing to land on ... grounded with nothing to stand on." This brings to mind images of burning our bridges behind us, bridges that connect us to our tradition. Without a sense of history, we isolate ourselves from those who have come before us, and doom ourselves to be isolated from a future which will seek to ignore us. We become trapped in a "now", a present moment that is far from being an "eternal now" or "eternal moment", but a truly and utterly temporal now. With no links to our past and no hopes to be linked to in the future, we're drifting, alone.

Does this song resonate at all with you?

1 comment:

Weekend Fisher said...

The idea that God would bless this world with his presence, that God would stoop to become human -- is still shocking. And especially in a high-speed world, eternal moments (when not disdained) are often missed.

I think our call is to stand our ground on the sacred space, still ourselves for the sacred time. Our culture is dying of thirst for just this that is in the middle of it all: God with us.

Which is a long way of saying "I know what you mean but hang in there; you aren't alone."

Take care & God bless
Anne / WF