Sunday, February 21, 2010

Think it, Think it!

That’s what my husband and I say to each other whenever we come across an example of somebody trying to reduce a spiritual reality to a concept –a tendency we think has pervaded all of Western culture for several centuries.

We derived, “Think it, think it!” from this excerpt from a book I bought many years ago at a used book sale. It’s a collection of essays by notable Catholics, most of whom explain why they no longer practice that religion. This passage in particular struck us hard.

A beautiful Mass is very important, and the Russians and the Greeks have that. I can intellectualize, but I’m more intuitive and I like that whole multisensory approach where you can see and smell and feel instead of just having to think over and over again, This in holy, this is holy, this is holy.

I deeply resent Vatican II. Mother Church doesn’t embrace you anymore. You go there and she says, “I love you — think about it.” But she’s not going to hold you and make you feel warm. She wants us to be tough — tough grown-ups who just think. Now it’s all conceptual. It’s as if at the Last Supper Jesus said, “Take and eat, this is My concept.” That’s what the Mass has become…conceptualism replacing Incarnation. But man does not live by concepts alone.

--Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt,  artist, in Once a Catholic by Peter Occhiogross (Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston 1987), p. 34.


Steve Robinson said...

WOW! What an awesome quote. I'm saving that one.

GretchenJoanna said...

This is so striking, capturing a crucial truth about our Reality. Thank you so much for sharing it.

DebD said...

interesting. I always thought one of the purposes for Vatican II was to bring the Mass to the people. This quote makes it seem that just the opposite happened.