Waiting for the Barbarians

12 02 2009


On the Iconoclasm of Louis Bouyer and the 20th Century Reform Movements in the Catholic Church

This post is not intended to be an extended essay on Bouyer or anything of that nature. I wish merely to post some quotes from his rather problematic work, Liturgical Piety, a pre-Vatican II work out of which one can discern much of the modernism in religion that we see now in Christianity. Here is the first passage:

For there was a time, – not so far from our own, and not yet entirely past,- when it was taken for granted by many Catholics that the liturgy was something to be performed, but that to understand it was, at best, optional, never necessary or highly desireable, and occasionally, considered even objectionable.

I wouldn’t want to emphasize the point too much, but for me this smacks a bit of rationalism. True enough, as I have written before, my family hated the all-Latin liturgy. But the opposite seems to have won the day. We are too comfortable with the Christian mystery, the workings of the Divine, and the hidden forces at the center of the cosmos. That is because we think we see or understand too much, which I would say is an erroneous impression. Often, the only way you can understand a mystery is to perform it.  At least that was the ancient understanding.
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