"I purposefully used the word continuity, a word very dear to our present Holy Father. He has made it the only authoritative criterion whereby one can correctly interpret the life of the Church, and more specifically, the conciliar documents, including all the proposed reforms contained in them. How could it be any different? Can one truly speak of a Church of the past and a Church of the future as if some historical break in the body of the Church had occurred?"
-Msrg. Guido Marini, Pontifical Master of Ceremonies.
I'm hoping for the day when people will stop thinking of the church as if there were two churches. As if, there were a church before 1969 whose faith and practices hold no meaning for us, a church to be ignored or looked at only from a distance. Meanwhile, we have a new church totally different from the former. This is wrong in my opinion. We shouldn't build a wall between our faith and that of those who came before us, discounting what they did is 'primitive', of 'pious', or 'sentamentalist'. We hear so often of those who speak of a 'pre-Vatican II spirituality', who throw the thousands of years of prayer and teaching that nourished the doctors and holy fathers into a chest, not to be touched. They 'renewed' their churches, having thrown out the thelogy of the fathers, they throw out their altars, their images, their music as well. but for what reason?
In the quest for moderninity, they forget that the church transcends time. They forget that she was already present in the Father's heart at the beginning of the world, and that she will continue until her glorious completion at the end of the world. It would only be right and proper that nothing of the church's faith and devotion be consigned to the dustbin. If we really beleive that the church was foreshadowed at the creation of the world, called forth long before before our life and that long after our death, she will continue, (As the Catechism and documents of the Second Vatican Council do say) why set up arbitrary walls?
The church of today really is continuous with the church of yesterday. Rather, there is no church of yesterday. The faith does'nt become outdated because truth is eternal.
And if we believe that, we should be nothing but proud to revel in those practices that remain from the past, because it's a statement of our beleif in the church's catholicity, her unity of faith and continuity with the past. If we beleive that, we should rejoice to hear the chants that our fathers prayerful wrote to accompany and teach in the liturgy.Priests should be honoured to use the same vestments, the same prayers, and even as occassion calls for, the same form of mass and office that nourished those who founded out parishes, dioceses, and religious orders. We who are laity should be glad to take part in those same songs, prayers, and devotions that built the communities that we inherited.
Sadly, it is'nt so. People still want to "Sing a new church into being", and the vast majority of Catholics go around with a historical disconnect with the past, having no knowledge of the spiritual practices that we should have inherited, but were stolen as it were, from us. So children grow up without having prayed the rosay, or seen a scapular, and the lives of the saints go untaught, Eucharistic processions do not take place, confessions are not heard, even the pious traditions of the liturgical year go unpracticed. Pray for the day when the full expression of the church's identity will be allowed! Pray for the day when clergy (especially bishops) will be truly Liberal, in the good sense, and allow even those things which they worked actively to suppress, because the good of the community may call for them.