Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Ritual and the Church.

Lucas at Wild Wisconsin is generally pleased with the selection of Pope Benedict XVI, but has one concern:
I appreciate his staunch opposition to the secularists relativism. I feel quite confident that he will hold the line for the Catholic church in that way. My only hope is that his resistance to relativism will not embolden the Catholic church to promote teachings that replace personal faith in Christ with traditional and empty rituals.[emphasis added]

This is not a trivial concern and throughout the Bible we are reminded not to thoughtfully and sincerely participate in rituals.

However, ritual is important. Ritual and tradition serve many purposes one is to bind people together. I celebrate Mass at St. Bernard's Parish in Appleton, the Mass I celebrated at St. Mary's in Al-Ain (United Arab Emirates) was the same. It ties us together, catholic in its most broad sense means universal.

The Catholic Church does believe faith in Christ is needed for salvation but the reason for rituals is they do strengthen the spirit and the soul. I do come out of church more energized, more able to resist temptation.

I just don't see any case to be made that resistance to relativism is going to emphasize "empty rituals", in fact how do we resist relativism? We anchor ourselves to the Rock of Truth aka the Rock of Ages.