Friday, July 02, 2010

Just a reminder...

For the holier than thou...
Not every baby-boomer is or was a flaming liberal.  Not everyone over the age of 50 was always happy with the novelties developed as a result of Vatican II.  (And I'm not just talking about the Wanderer and Remnant trads either.)  Not every ageing-hippie Catholic protested Humanae Vitae and whole heartily endorsed the hetero/homo sexual revolution.  Sure some of us may have committed grave sins and stuff - but like every Catholic penitent throughout the ages, some of us repented, did/do penance, and tried to live devoutly and faithfully - even while the progressive, often times heretical American Catholic Church derailed into banality.
A lot of us suffered through the novelties and abuses, endured criticism for praying the rosary or the stations, or kneeling during the Eucharistic prayer in churches where they no longer displayed any sort of reverence at all.  Some of us even had to convince priests in the confessional that we needed absolution because, "I don't know - call me crazy Father - but I have psychological issues and I need to feel forgiven - I feel guilt-ridden and awful, so will you please give me absolution?"
I returned to the sacraments in 1972.  At that time the only other young people - outside of a few seminarians - who were interested in Catholicism were charismatics, or totally immersed in social activism.  Although I would participate occasionally in charismatic prayer meetings - I was attracted to quiet prayer, adoration and the rosary - and of course Mass.  I spent a lot of my time alone at the Carmelite monastery in their extern chapel.  I was alone. 
I returned to daily Mass at Assumption in downtown St. Paul - the old Monsignor who was pastor had not turned the altar around yet.  I returned to the Mass I grew up with - I thought.  But it was the Novus Ordo and in English, although it was offered in the traditional manner - reverently and devoutly - ad orientum.  I fell in love with the Mass - I actually recognized Christ in the breaking of the bread.  Later I had to endure many decadent novelties and liturgical abuses - but I understood that it was still the Holy Sacrifice.  I along with older folks, and some my age endured all of that crap - usually silently - just grateful to be able to receive and adore the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. 
Speaking for myself I am thrilled and grateful for Pope Benedict XVI liturgical restorations and reform of the clergy and the Church.  I have waited a very long time for this.  I am grateful for the young and the old who finally welcome authentic worship in spirit and truth.
So watch your mouth when you start making fun of ageing Catholics and fling comments around the Internet  about how anxious y'all are for the baby-boomer generation to die off.  
That's all.
Photo: Bishops at Vatican II.


  1. Thanks for sticking around and giving us newbies a helping hand.. :)


  2. +JMJ+

    Terry, these thoughts of yours parallel some thoughts of mine. There is a smug sense that "we can do better" than the generation that has gone before--not because we believe we're actually better, but because we're sure we couldn't possibly do any worse. (Satan to the Millennials: Wanna bet?)

  3. Does not every generation react against the previous generation ?

    Do not all generations speak of a past "Golden Age" to which if they could return to would make the present difficulties go away?

    Do the people who deride the Second Vatican Council imagine that there were not major difficulties in the pre-Conciliar Church ? The Bishops who attended the Council and made the decisions grew up in the time of Pius X, Benedict XV, Pius XI and Pius XII and were "promoted" in the time of PIus XI and Pius XII. I don`t think these people were "flaming radicals"

    But isn`t it time there was a sensible debate as to what went wrong after the Vatican Council and why. Something did go wrong. And shouldn`t there also be a healthy debate as to what went right after the Vatican Council. Because a number of things did change for the better.

    One wonders if behind all the criticism is just simply factionalism which has plagued the Church since its inception

  4. Terry - you know I wasn't talking about you!!


  5. "So watch your mouth when you...fling comments around the Internet about how anxious y'all are for the baby-boomer generation to die off."
    Good one, Terry! God willing, we'll be around for a few years yet; we're not ready to toddle off into the sunset!

  6. Very well said!

  7. I am often guilty of trashing what I call the "60+ crowd." My only defense is that I think of you as being around 45. My apologies.

    Can I ask you something? Did more traditional minded parishioners try to stop the silly inovations? I know in my parish (the round, kneelerless one carpeted in pagan orange...) it was a small group of 30-somethings back in '72 that approved of ridding the church of "the clutter of kneelers" among other things. I was only 8 then so I had no say. The Portuguese community was horrified with the changes but never said a word. Why didn't more people protest the changes? Or did they, like my priests mom, "vote with their feet" by leaving the church? I ask sincerely because I in my mid-40s so all I've ever known is the NO Mass, altar girls, etc. Maybe you could even do a post about this?

    Signed, Angela Exile

  8. Hi Angie - actually I'm only 38 hon - sheesh!

    When the changes first started - especially desecration of the churches - people did protest - but the pastors were very dictatorial and they used the excuse the changes were mandated by the Council. Did they lie or were they duped? Only God knows. I think there are not a lot of priests and bishops from the 20th century in heaven right now - unless they were martyred.

  9. Terry, my life & experiences parallel yours. Despite it all, I hope all of us like-minded pilgrims will meet in the NewJerusalem as Dame Hilda sings
    in this neat YouTube klip:

  10. I "get under the wire" re: baby boomers...I was born the last week in December of 1959...and yet, what I remember and experienced of my earliest life, esp. in regards to Catholicism was the "pre-Vatican II"...I was not raised a Catholic, but had many contacts and remember things (unbelievably!) from the very early '60s (my mother told me I was mesmerized by the coverage on tv of Pope John XXIII's death and funeral; I do remember the J.F.K. funeral etc.) and in early grade school I had friends who were was the traditional kind; the whole "post-VII thingy" wasn't even on my radar screen until I went to a catholic college in Iowa in 1977...and boy, did I have an "eye opener"...yawzah!.
    And yet, through the influence of good mentors, understanding the Catholic Faith, no matter what "era", a devotion to our Lady and her Rosary, Eucharistic Adoration, and esp. what the Holy Mass truly is...the "Sacrifice of Calvary re-presented in an unbloody manner upon the altar"...I somehow survived; God is good.
    I completely understand and agree with you, Terry.
    We're not all bad.
    Those of us over 50:<)!

  11. Anonymous9:54 PM

    This 63-yr-old grey-haired Canadian thanks you from the bottom of her heart for your kind words about those of my age group who are not those of the Chittister-Gumble- Mahony crowd. I'm so sick and tired of reading derogatory comments about us Boomers and how "entitled', "selfish", etc., etc we all are. It isn't very Christian to make generalizations, and wishing for us all to die isn't very charitable either. Remember, that at death we will all have to stand before Jesus Himself -- and that includes our critics. That should help us all keep things in their proper perspective! Thanks again, Terry.

    Patricia Gonzalez

  12. Wow!!! Look at all I have to look forward to when I turn 50!!
    (Which is sooner than I care to admit:)

    Sara (A Gen-X cusper...)

  13. Patricia Gonzalez:
    You touch my heart...I sometimes wonder (when this old heart of mine is palpitating and making all kinds of weird rhythms) whether I'm going to be seein' Jesus in the next seconds or so...really...I mean it;
    and so I really understand your sentiments and appreciate them.
    We all have to love Jesus; absolutely; and His holy Church; and be Faithful; always.
    God bless you.
    Please pray for me, as I will for you...I'm only 5o but sometimes I feel like 80; but God is good!

  14. Anonymous6:26 PM

    Thank you, Father Nazareth -- and prayers going back to you as well. I sometimes feel like 90-- especially after I hear the organist at our parish play "Climb Every Mountain" at Communion ... it sometimes makes me want to cry.

    Right now, it's just a matter of "keep on keepin' on"!

    Thanks again,
    Patricia Gonzalez


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