Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Evangelizing Through Beauty - Follow-Ups on Some Recent Articles

Last Thursday, we published the last of our four Corpus Christi photoposts for this year, which all together included over 220 photos! (This is after the painful process of going through each submission and making a selection of the better photos.) The first set within that post came from the recent celebrations for the reopening of the church of Corpus Christi in Maiden Lane, London, which His Eminence Card. Vincent Nichols officially established as a diocesan shrine dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament, after a major restoration. At the Catholic Herald, columnist Tim Stanley writes about the event as follows:

“...the English church has been through two iconoclastic periods: the 16th-century Protestant one and the liberal revolution of the Seventies, which did just as much to strip our altars and degrade our churches. The latter reforms were sadder because the Catholics inflicted them on themselves. There was no glorious martyrdom this time around. Just self-harm.

Today, however, a new spirit is stirring. Popular devotions are back; confessions are on the up; and a new generation of priests is reviving beauty and the Old Rite. It’s a restoration. In 10 years’ time, the Corpus Christi procession will be a feature of many local churches – and the English unbelievers will watch and think, ‘Ooo, that looks interesting. How do I join in?’ That’s the way you convert. With magnificence.

We also had a special post for the particularly outstanding celebration of Corpus Christi in Rome by the FSSP parish, Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini. Pursuant to that, and to our recent post of a video by Brian Holdsworth on why good music is essential to Catholic worship, here is a brief but very powerful reflection from a blog called The Classical Contrarians on one young man’s experience of the beauty of the traditional Mass, which he first encountered there. (Our thanks to the author, Mr Nicholas Bonds.)

“On a study abroad trip, a professor took us to a Latin Mass ... It was, I feel no shame in saying, magnificent. I cried as the smoky incense rose in the domed pilgrim church in downtown Rome, just blocks away from the Vatican and Piazza Navona. Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini would forever become my spiritual parish church. It was a surreal moment for me. The faith I feigned for so long had become solidified and real. I felt the pangs of regret I am sure my uncle must have felt, finally understanding the time spent away from such beauty. I felt love and devotion that I had never known. The frustration and sorrow I carried since my uncle’s passing began, although I did not know it, to heal. The Latin prayers offered to God gave a glimpse of the eternal. The parishioners, offering their gratitude in prayer, sang in a homogenous union. As I wept on my knees, I, too, was grateful.”

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