As always William Luse’s posts are excellent and the post Letter to a Priest had some ideas that I also reflect on.
I do not like the feeling of having to enter a Catholic church with my error radar raised high, probing the air for evidence of an enemy incursion.
That line quite resonated with me since in addition to the error radar I also have installed Sacramental Sonar, Dogma Detectors, and the latest rubric-buster (banned in some states). I listened daily to Catholic Answers radio show for at least a year prior to coming into the Catholic Church so I had no exaggerated ideas of a perfect church where the Liturgy is always reverent. Overall I am quite happy with the Diocese in which I live. A year ago we received a new Bishop who replaced the previous Bishop who had served the diocese well for 19 years. There have been no major priestly scandals here and no cover-ups. The only cases I am aware of that could have caused scandal were handled quickly and correctly by the previous and current Bishop – who did not play musical chairs with those priests. The multiple Catholic Churches I have attended there have been liturgical abuses, but for the most part they are of the minor variety and the homilies even when not enlightening are not heretical. Since I have read books on the liturgy and the documents themselves even these minor abuses would upset me. I suppress the desire to run up and hand cuff the priest when they occur or to call in an air strike. I can identify with the Apostles James and John, the sons of thunder, who wanted to call down destruction on a town that ignored Jesus.
Recently I heard Jimmy Akin on Catholic Answers answer a caller about what to do when you know that the liturgy is not properly celebrated. He described his own in-depth research in the liturgy and then his heightened awareness of liturgical abuses and talked about how these interfered with him in praying the Mass. He said that he came to the conclusion that God does not want the Mass which is a source of grace to be something that is scandalous to him and to be unable to pray. So for the most part he ignores the minor abuses and only speaks up if he prudently thinks that the abuse is bad enough and that he can do something about it.
So I am trying to put this all in perspective while trying to pray the Mass. Liturgical music is a whole other matter and I don’t know if I can ever ignore drippy it’s all about me music. Luckily where I mainly attend Mass this is not too much of a problem. The only pet peeve that I have is the responsorial psalms, when it is our part to respond the cantor raises her arms to indicate this. I always feel like I am supposed to levitate at that time, maybe that’s just me. Mainly I should just be appreciative that I live in a diocese where I can only find small things to gripe about.