Defending the 12th century since the 14th; blogging since the 21st.

Catholicism, Conservatism, the Middle Ages, Opera, and Historical and Literary Objets d'Art blogged by a suburban dad who teaches law and writes stuff.

"Very fun." -- J. Bottum, Editor, FIRST THINGS

"Too modest" -- Elinor Dashwood

"Perhaps the wisest man on the Web" -- Henry Dieterich

"Hat tip: me (but really Cacciaguida)" -- Diana Feygin, Editor, THE YALE FREE PRESS

"You are my sire. You give me confidence to speak. You raise my heart so high that I am no more I." -- Dante

"Fabulous!"-- Warlock D.J. Prod of Didsbury

Who was Cacciaguida? See Dante's PARADISO, Cantos XV, XVI, & XVII.

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Friday, April 11, 2008
A Say-the-Black-Do-the-Red-Letter Day

Today I finally met Fr. Zuhlsdorf, and he met me!

Frankly I've been wondering what to do with this blog, since, what with one thing and another, the web has lately been affording me other venues in which to express myself on matters that would once have gone here.

But after hearing Fr. Z., I see that this blog still has a purpose: no where else do I comment with any regularity on Catholic matters as such; and, while I of course reject the idea that "spiritual" and "secular" either can or should be compartmentalized in a Catholic's life -- that would run contrary to the great ideal of unity of life -- nonetheless there is much that I can and should say in support of the New Evangelization that JPII called for and the New Liturgical Movement that, in Fr. Z's view, Pope Benedict is calling for.

And what is this New Liturgical Movement?

Fr. Z. brings together two facts: One, there are a lot of relatively new lay movements and associations in the Church, much blessed by recent Popes. Two, there was once something called "the liturgical movement," gathering steam throughout the first half of the 2oth century and typified by Romano Guardini (acc. to Fr. Z.; I think Card. de Lubac was a mainstay as well) which had some good ideas, some not so good, and bore some good fruit, much not so good.

Pope Benedict's idea (Fr. Z. says, and obviously I think he's on to something) is that because lex orandi lex credendi, and because liturgy does so much to anchor our Catholic identity (or to loosen it, in the case of bad liturgy), and because the present mood in the Church is demonstrably favorable to new movements, there can and should be a parish-based revival of good liturgy, with the Extraordinary Form/Tridentine Rite/Traditional Latin Mass as the spearpoint.

That's the genius of Summum Pontificum, you see. By cutting bishops out of the process and making the revival of the old liturgy a parish matter, the Pope has swung open the door to parish-based movements for its revival, and, by extension, for revival of other good liturgical pratices. (Fr. Z. reports on his blog cases of priests starting to say the N.O. ad orientem after experiencing the Trid, and similar developments.)

Some people will be called to make this form of renewal their main apostolate. That won't be my case, but I will take (as I have long taken) a strong interest in it, and will devote some of this blog to it. That, plus the military adventures of Jonathan Lee; opera for beginners; politics for Catholic neo-cons (or should I say, Catholic neo-con neo-Rons); and Harry Potter.