We must offer an alternative

Joseph Bottum has a very good point in today's On the Square.  While outrage is still my prevailing sentiment at what goes on in the culture around me, I have to admit that he's right.  We conservatives can be like broken records: there is so much wrong, so much to bemoan, so much about which to wring our hands that we lose sight of the necessary other side of the "culture war"–that is, putting forth a competing vision, and putting it forth well. 

I'm firmly convinced that the alternative necessary is our Faith, but there's a tiny little problem.  I tremble at inviting many people to Mass with me for fear that they'll not see beyond the surface to the solid foundation.  The vapid hymns, homilies with nary a strong stance beyond arguing against consumerism (all well and good, but there's so much more), and barren modern architecture (though I'll admit ours is better than most) all add up to an alternative that isn't much different from the culture around us, at least not a first glance.  As I've been arguing in posts about traditionalism and liturgical reform, the solution is a return to mystery and sublimity, but not a return in such a way as to drive folks away for lack of understanding.  Now, how do we do this when most of us are stuck in parishes that are complicit in the cultural problems that we're trying to combat?


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