There’s an important post at the UK’s Catholic Herald today. It has to do with the
I’m always going on about how, for success, every initiative we undertake in the Church has to start in and go back to our sacred liturgical worship. Of course chronologically we do all sorts of things at the same time. However, logically, worship must always have precedence.
Chad Pecknold, a smart and gifted writer, tells of his visit to a Native American reservation in Arizona, the spiritual care of which has been entrusted by Bp. Olmsted to a new group of Franciscans.
The article speaks to the devastation that socialism has wrecked on those poor people. It quite rightly underscores what Leo XIII taught about the importance of private ownership of property does for human development and thriving. On this reservation, things are owned collectively. Hence, the lack of motivation to improve their lot.
However, these Franciscans are working to renew the spirit of the downtrodden people there through restoration also of the Traditional Roman Rite.
Here’s his peroration. Do read the whole thing over there:
It’s tragic to see the devastation. It’s like the trail of tears has never ended. But with the Franciscan Friars of the Holy Spirit I saw a glimpse of hope for these people. Not material hope mind you, since the tribe is immensely wealthy while the people still live in true material and cultural destruction — a lot like the so-called post-Christian West. What I did glimpse, though, was a greater interior hope. Seeing the Eucharistic sacrifice at the heart of the mission, and faithful friars radiating God’s presence in the midst of their suffering, I suddenly felt joy that the image of God, so beaten down, could find a sanctuary, an oasis, life-giving water, even in the desert of desolation. I had hope that these people could be raised up, not by their tribe, but by the City of God in their midst.
And that is surely what will happen, especially because these friars have their liturgical heads screwed on in the correct direction. Ad orientem and ad maiores.
This is what is needed in parishes, too.
A little while ago, I finished reading Ken Follett’s series about the building of a fictional cathedral in England beginning with Pillars of the Earth. There’s lots of sheer stupidity about the Faith and goofy, tendentious “history” applied, but one thing was well captured: how the town and wealth and well-being and progress and human flourishing grew up around that cathedral and monastic community.
In Pecknold’s article this too:
St. John’s is the parish where the friars live a different kind of common life. It’s an oasis. A sign of contradiction. They wake up chanting the psalms, and go to sleep chanting the psalms. God is their common life, and so truly there is tranquility of order in the midst of devastation. They are now building a beautiful medieval chapel for the friars within their cloister, inspired by the one in Assisi.
You can feel in advance what will happen. Spirits will be lifted, through elbow grease and grace. Liturgical life will power it all. Life in general will improve.
Pray that the Powers That Be leave these Franciscan Friars alone!