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Aug 11

Spiritual Snobbery

The next time I’m tempted to turn my nose up at mass that contradicts Redemptionis
Sacramentum
, I’ll try to think of this quote. (Thanks, Being! Or Nothingness)

I can recommend this as an exercise: make your Communion in circumstances
that affront your taste. Choose a snuffling or gabbling priest or a proud and vulgar
friar; and a church full of the usual bourgeois crowd, ill-behaved children — from
those who yell to those products of Catholic schools who the moment the tabernacle
is opened sit back and yawn — open necked and dirty youths, women in trousers and
often with hair both unkempt and uncovered. Go to Communion with them (and pray
for them). It will be just the same as a Mass said beautifully by a visibly holy
man, and shared by a few devout and decorous people. (It could not be worse than
the mess of the feeding of the Five Thousand — after which our Lord propounded
the feeding that was to come.) – J.R.R. Tolkien in a letter to Michael Tolkien, November 1,
1963

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