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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1 Response to “We must offer an alternative”


  1. 1 Bekah S. April 25, 2006 at 12:13 pm

    Boy are you asking for a lot! Our evangelical roots would offer that it’s time for a revival. But, we need it in a Catholic framework, not the typical evangelical framework. I think that the new papacy of Benedict xvi is a wonderful opportunity to infuse new spirit into the Church…but, this is after all a work of the Holy Spirit. Those of us trying to be faithful to the Church need to listen and follow to make sure that we are aiding and not hindering His work.

    Perhaps tangible possibilities to our involvement might be along the lines of joining the altar society, or whatever group is in charge of decorating the Church, making oneself available to the music coordinator, in as least an offensive capacity as possible. Go ahead and invite away, and leave the conviction of Truth to the Holy Spirit. After all, you made it through to the core, others can too. We do not live in an ideal world. Sometimes we have to make do with what is, and perhaps what is indeed needed is the rejuvenation of masses of converts, to convert mass back to its original purpose and glory. 😉


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