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Actions and attitudes

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 Contents - May 2006AD2000 May 2006 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Benedict XVI: love and truth are inseparable
Papacy: Benedict completes his first twelve months as Pope - Fr Ephraem Chifley
News: The Church Around the World
Satellite service: EWTN Australia
Events: Carnivale Christi 2006 scheduled for Melbourne and Sydney in May - AD2000 Report
Benedict's first twelve months: 'We Are Church' delivers its verdict - Michael Gilchrist
Catholicism-lite's Church of convenience - Paul A. Wagner
University: Students should challenge dissenting teachers - Dr Michael Casey
Vocations: Can religious life be rebuilt in Australia? - Sr Mary Augustine OP
Foreign priests - a tale of two Brisbane parishes - Bob Osmak
Letters: Adoption - our experience - Bella and Leon Voesenek
Letters: Bigotry - Maureen Federico
Letters: Religious dissent - Kevin McManus
Letters: Lay led liturgies in Rockhampton diocese - Jessie Roger
Letters: Actions and attitudes - S. Chaston
Letters: Liturgical abuses - Rosanna Sherman
Letters: Inclusive language - John Daly
Letters: Elites - Peter Gilet
Letters: Conscience - Jerome Gonzalez
Letters: Modernism - Don Gaffney
Letters: Intelligent Design - Michael Griffiths
Letters: Creationism? - Fr G.H. Duggan SM
Letters: Phillip Adams - Frank Bellet
Letters: Warning!
Letters: Rosary beads request - Jim Smith
Books: The Victory Of Reason, by Rodney Stark - Michael Gilchrist (reviewer)
Books: On The Way To Jesus Christ, by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) - Jacinta Cummins (reviewer)
Books: Young Faces of Holiness: Modern Saints in Photos and Words, by Ann Ball - Jacinta Cummins (reviewer)
Books: Stimulating reading from AD Books
Reflection: Oneness in Christ: the heart of the priesthood - Fr John W. O'Neill PP

I began to read the article "Archbishop Hickey: how to address the crisis of faith" (March AD2000) with respect and positive expectation, but in the end I felt disappointed.

Most Australian boys would know the laws of cricket by the time they left primary school. However not many of them would ever have seen, heard of, or wanted to read the book on the rules of cricket. They would have learned the rules from the attitudes and actions expressed by mature cricketers.

When, for example, a fielder in a test match takes a catch, he may hold the ball above his head with both hands to express his triumph, and perhaps also to express his respect for the hapless batsman who hit the catch. This is an example of the liturgy of cricket, which teaches every boy the rules of the game and the attitudes that he may adopt towards his opponents.

The Mass may be divided into the following two aspects: (i) the text, and (ii) the actions and attitudes expressed by priest and people.

The text is there to express what the Church teaches. The actions and attitudes in the liturgy, however, teach all of us more about our faith than does the text. Children especially get most of their primary education, including their religious education, not directly from texts, but from the actions and attitudes of their parents and teachers.

There are many important concepts in the text of the Mass, but two for example are expressed in the words "This is my Body" and the word "sacrifice". What does the liturgy of the Mass teach us about these two great concepts? The answer is "almost nothing", because some of the attitudes and actions in the liturgy of the Mass are actually antagonistic to these two teachings.

While the Mass is a success in bringing comfort and consolation to its followers, some of its liturgical elements, albeit subliminally, have weakened our perceptions of Church teachings.

Page, ACT

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 19 No 4 (May 2006), p. 15

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