Friday, September 4, 2009

"I want to be with those who know secret things, or else alone."
Rainer Maria Rilke

Our dinners this week have all been along a blue theme - the plates, bowls, cups, and table are blue, while the food is bright - reds and yellows to compliment the blues. Its refreshing, like eating the ocean in Spain, or picking sunflowering in the rain. I love seeing the table laid out in loveliness, with the Icon, the flowers, candles and tea. I love eating beauty.

I've been thinking more about Catholic culture, and how it has lost its way, at least here and now. The problem is that too many Catholics are trying to build a culture that is little more than going to Mass on Sunday and volunteering in the parish. But the culture of Catholicism is so much more than that; it is more than just regular participation in the sacraments, daily prayers, rosaries, and natural family planning.
Catholic culture is more than just theological orthodoxy, in fact, theological orthodoxy, while necessary to Catholic faith, is not necessary to Catholic culture. Catholic culture comes from an imagination formed by the mysteries of the sacraments. It comes from the realization that in a world where God becomes man to dwell among us, all things are possible.

So many American Catholics are trying to build Catholic culture based on the Protestant culture they are surrounded by, making a hybrid culture – which combines varying degrees of Catholic orthodoxy with a Protestant sense of organization and lack of mystery, destroying the Catholicity of the culture altogether. To be truely Catholic we must relearn Catholic culture, and we can’t learn it from our separated brethren. We must learn from our artists, poets, Saints, and philosophers; also from our heritage and our mythology. And we must learn by living. …not talking about the saints in our homes, but talking to the saints; not learning about the artists but by learning to see as our artists saw the world.

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