Tuesday, February 26, 2013

"Traditional" Catholics And The Transfiguration

I've been ruminating on the readings from this past Sunday a bit. How far off-base am I?

First, let me say that I have really grown to hate the term "traditional" Catholic. I'm using it here because it gives a frame of reference for the mindset that I'm talking about.

Anyways, remember that part of the Transfiguration narrative where Peter wants to build the booths for Jesus, Elijah, and Moses? A lot of the commentaries that I've read about this describe this as Peter wanting Jesus to stay up on Mt. Tabor forever. Some mention Peter's wanting to stay as well. This is because just prior to this glorious event, Jesus had just taken the Apostles aside and laid down the upcoming program, namely, that He was going to suffer and die and that they would eventually wind up dying too. The wonder and awe of the Transfiguration was basically a way for Peter to get away from all this bad stuff and stay in Happyland.

This reminds of the traditional Catholic mindset. Too many find a TLM or Eastern liturgy and then pretty uch bury themselves there. They have little or nothing to do with their brethren outside of that atmosphere. If they find a fellow Catholic who know little about the current crisis, they can be frightfully condescending and downright rude, ignoring the fact that most Catholics don't know anything about the TLM, the SSPX, or any Church scandals beyond the well-publicized child abuse. Many come very close to Donatism in discussing priests who offer the Pauline Mass in a, shall we say, less than ideal manner.

Here's the problem. These folks are the reason so many don't go to the TLM or try to gain a better understanding of the crisis. It's a serious case of being one's own worst enemy. And that's just when they will even talk to other Catholics. Many avoid the Pauline crowd altogether. What good does that do? Spreading the Truth is difficult. I'm pretty sure St. Francis Xavier didn't convert any Indians by staying within the safe confines of Spain and Rome. Maybe getting out and attending a Pauline Mass, teaching CCD at a separate local parish, setting up a joint RCIA program, etc. would be good things. If the parishes I've attended my whole life (which are many and all were Pauline Mass churches) are any indication, the people there are begging for someone to come and help with these tasks.

Not meaning to sound harsh, but there isn't a whole lot to be gained if all you do is sit around and wish that "traditionalism" had a broader appeal or more exposure among Catholics. There are things that can be done; folks just have to be willing to do them.


Anonymous said...

Very good.You are absolutely right.I'll try to pass it on.Try doesn't sound like much of a commitment I know.My circumstance is not ideal.But I will try.

Titus said...

You've been reading the comboxes at Rorate, I see.

Throwback said...

Titus: I'm getting that attitude from a bunch of different sources, but yes, that's one of them.

Anonymous: God speed!