This Week’s Catechism: the Liturgy
That last post may have been difficult to read — so personal and so serious! Please excuse any verbal clumsiness. It’s certainly a new experience to openly talk about faith, let alone write about it– bringing me to a thought that occurred regarding this week’s catechism readings on the liturgy:
The US Catechism for Adults describes “the liturgy” as deriving from the Greek for “public work or work done on behalf of the people” (pg. 162). The “public” element of this definition that I am pondering.
There are three socially taboo dinner party conversation topics in the United States: religion, sex, and politics. As a diverse people, these three topics have great divisive potential. Thus naturally, we stick to topics that bring us together: the Super Bowl, high-fructose corn syrup, Brangelina, and re-runs of Friends.
Maybe this is my American “agree-to-disagree” mindset kicking in, but the act of publicly sharing our faith seems profoundly difficult. We can all believe in our hearts in the existence of God and that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our salvation. But on specific topics, however, there is no shortage of views. I say this not to criticize anyone or any group particular, but to emphasis how easily words can divide. Look only to the various discussions on US health care reform.
The beauty of the sacraments and the liturgical celebration is that it something we can do and experience together (sand, sit, kneel, sing, etc) and remember that however we may disagree on material matters, it is the grace granted through the Paschal Mystery that unites us.