Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Selling it

Mike Aquilina has a portion of an interview with Carl Sommer, author of We Look for a Kingdom: The Everyday Lives of the Early Christians up here. The book indeed looks rather interesting - a look into the lives of the early Christians, but not just from an ecclesiological or theological or apologetic perspective but rather one which reconstructs their very daily lives without the filter of what is important to us now. The whole interview looks rather interesting, but being a liturgical nit like I am, thi sin particular caught my attention.

The anti-liturgical bias, which manifests itself outside Catholicism in the more charismatic forms of worship, and within Catholicism in the spirit of experimentation that has prevailed in the past thirty years, has had a more subtle, but nonetheless real, effect. The assumption that the words of Scripture that we read in the Liturgy of the Word, and the salvific act of Christ that we memorialize in the Liturgy of the Eucharist need somehow to be packaged and marketed have led to a trivialization of the Gospel message itself. I recently heard Donald Trump assert on TV that “Nothing sells itself.” That may be true of the products of this world, about which Mr. Trump knows more than I. But the Gospel can and does sell itself every day. We need to get out of the way, and let the ancient Liturgy speak for itself.
Indeed, if Christ Himself does not "sell" to someone, how self-important must we feel if we think we can add something to Him out of whole cloth? Certainly we are His hands and feet in this world, as it were, but that only works when what we give comes from our unity with Him, not from outside or solely from within ourselves. Indeed, "get out of the way, and let the ancient Liturgy speak for itself."