At NLM, Peter Kwasniewski has a good piece. Here’s how it begins (with my emphases and comments):
Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI frequently acknowledged that the Church is in a state of serious crisis. [Is there any other kind?] Not all is well, nor should we pretend that it is — even if this means abandoning the “new Pentecost” narrative of Vatican II that supplied meaning to the lives of countless gullible people. (A claim that could never have been made without hubris deserves to be retired without regret.) The main cause of the crisis, said Ratzinger, is the vain attempt to accommodate Christianity to the modern world and its distorted values. A major casualty of this process has been the liturgy, which has suffered desacralization. [This is not only a casualty, it is a causality. The desacralization of our liturgical worship accelerated the “serious crisis” by orders of magnitude.]
Lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi: how we pray shows what we believe, and what we believe informs how we live. Orthodoxy in fact originally means right worship as well as right doctrine. [Hence, also right praxis.] Being an orthodox Catholic is far more than just adhering to the most recent Catechism promulgated by Petrine authority. It means turning one’s life into a liturgical offering of praise. To doxologize in the company of the saints, allowing time-honored forms of prayer to shape one’s mind and heart, is to be orthodox. To throw one’s hat in with a committee document, [He means, inter alia, the Novus Ordo, doesn’t he.] the fruit of countless compromises between progressives and conservatives, is not necessarily to be orthodox.
To a Church suffering from rampant anthropocentrism, horizontalism, liberalism, banality, and boredom, [A.H.L.B.A.B… “ahlbab”!] traditional Catholics can and must bring the witness of a life shot through with the primacy of God, the primacy of divine worship, the primacy of dogmatic truth. [You might ask, “How can you have three simultaneous primacies. Isn’t a “primacy” something that occupies the top spot? There can be only one, right? This trinity is possible because Cult, Code, and Creed, that is, worship, reflection on the fides quae and fides qua, and how we express outwardly in word and deed who we are interiorly, cannot be separated.] The more unpopular this triple commitment, the more we shall throw ourselves behind it, ready to suffer and die for it. We embrace whatever is authentic, noble, and profound, and fight mediocrity wherever it rears its ugly head. [Do I hear an “Amen!”?]
Peter goes on to talk about the role of the “transcendentals” of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful in education in the Catholic Faith, along with the triptych I call Cult, Code, and Creed, and then the choices that young Catholics need to make, thus putting his own gloss on the oft-mentioned “Benedict Option”.
In regard to his last point, about mediocrity, I am minded of a quote often attributed to C.S. Lewis, though I haven’t found the exact page: “Something deep in the human heart breaks at the thought of a life of mediocrity.” If he didn’t write those words in that exact order, he did express the same concept in Surprised By Joy, where he penned:
When we force a boy to be a mediocrity in a dozen subjects we destroy his standards, perhaps for life.
Think about that.