Last week, LC wrote to say that all of this was petty and trivial and there were much more important matters such as using the national language, Malay, in the Mass.
Hi LC. Young people in West Malaysia hate, despise, loath using Bahasa in the Mass. For many of us who feel oppressed and discriminated against, it's tantamount to using the Black Speech to sing to Elbereth Githoniel. It may be misguided but that's how we feel. And using Allah in place of God, as in May Almighty Allah bless you? I think it's a stunt which some priests use to thumb their nose at the government which is trying to prohibit the Church from using Allah for God. I sincerely believe that this is their motive but I'm open to correction. I mean in East Malaysia or among those whose first language is Malay, go ahead, but these priests do it in an English Mass and that's just bullcrap.
Anyway, with that background in mind, here's my letter. It's a bit long, so I don't think it will be published in full, but here it is in it's entirety.
I'm writing in response to LC's letter.
According to Our Lord, the entire Law, the Prophets and all the commandments hang on these two greatest of them. Firstly, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your strength and with all your soul". After that, "You shall love your neighbour as yourself".
All the recent letters in this column which touch on the liturgy and the retention of use of the Latin language in the Roman Rite as was mandated by Vatican II all stem from adherence to the greatest of the commandments, the love of God. The Mass, the re-presentation of Sacrifice of Christ on Calvary is the primary and highest form of worship in the Catholic Church. The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian faith. Shouldn't we be more concerned? All the interest regarding how the liturgy is celebrated stem from a deep love of God. We wish to see the worship of God done properly by the priests who are supposed to be servants of the liturgy of the Church. When they monkey around with the Church's public worship of God, they act as masters of the liturgy rather than it's servants.I am thrilled because people are being concerned and are starting to care about their worship of God. As one priest said recently, "No more you say and we do". The people want a say in their worship because for so long they have been thundered at from on high. Many who wanted more reverent worship or Gregorian chant or Latin were told, in effect, to 'balik China'. You accept what you are given. If you don't like it, leave. This is the way we do it in Malaysia. Don't these people of God have equal rights with those advocating less reverent worship and dancing girls during Mass? Why are no priests, many of whom are so concerned about injustice, advocating the rights of this very marginalized group within the Church? [ANDREW: Click on this link for a fuller description of this by the abusee or the link above for my account.][In all fairness, this slide has been removed some time ago, but at the time the original post I linked was blogged, this was displayed during the reception of Holy Communion and was projected for a long time, for years, if I'm not mistaken. And the conversations recorded are all true. Anyway, some clarification in case anyone gets confused that this slide is still up. It's not.]
LC seems to think that this is trivial. I cannot disagree more. Our worship, stemming from the love of God, should be our greatest concern from which our love of neighbour should properly flow. All the corporal works of mercy which we Christians do should be motivated by our love for our neighbour as God has commanded. If our motivation is misguided and we do not have a care for the salvation of souls, then our Christianity has been reduced to a social Gospel and Christians are merely glorified social workers, striving to save the body but letting the soul perish.Does Pope Benedict XVI only care about the externals of the faith?Those who love the liturgy of the Church are seen as somehow deficient in their love of neighbour, as being unconcerned about the 'bigger things' such as social justice and holding the hands of terminal AIDS and cancer patients, as being out of touch with current issues and squabbling over petty and frivolous things. Can't people who are concerned with the worship of God because they love God also be concerned about all the social issues because of their love of neighbour? Why must the practice of the 2 greatest of the commandments be separated?
Let true authentic Christianity, which professes and practices love of God and of neighbour replace the Socialianity many practice today.