Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Seven Sorrows of Schütz

How was your Easter? Joyful? Oddly, mine wasn't. Why not? Well, I was weighed down with what I am here going to outline as "The Seven Sorrows of Schütz". These are not complaints--they are real sorrows, which bring me often to the verge of tears. They did this last week. To put it in some context, I worshipped at a number of different places--three Catholic parishes (counting Palm Sunday) and a Lutheran one.

1) Disunity among Christians. The deep richness in scripture, song and love of the gospel among our protestant brethren and sistern are lost to us and our ecclesial and sacramental authenticity is lost to them. It should not be so. It is only distrust that keeps it so.

2) Disobedience towards Christ. Would that there would be more "docility" (to use Pope Benedict's words) in obedience to the teaching of the Church of Christ in Faith, Morals and Worship.

3) Lack of passion for the Proclamation of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christ is Risen, He is risen indeed (isn't he?)

4) Lack of passion for the Proclamation of the Forgiveness of Sin. I mean, that's what its all about isn't it? I need Christ and the Church because I need my sin forgiven. If I am not a sinner, why do I need Christ or his Church? If Christ and his Church cannot or do not forgive my sin, what good are they to me? If we do not preach about sin, how can we preach repentance? If we do not preach about repentance, how can we preach about grace and forgiveness?

5) Discord among brothers and sisters in Christ. If we are one body, members one of another in Christ, how can there enmity between members of our congregations and parishes?

6) My own lack of faith. Why can I not simply trust that Christ's Church is in God's hands and his Spirit is guiding and guarding it?

7) My own pride. Why do I think that I have to "fix" what I "see wrong" with the Church? What makes me so sure I am always right? Why can't I just "let it go, and let God"?

3 Comments:

At Tuesday, April 10, 2007 10:24:00 pm , Blogger Dixie said...

I understand your sorrows although I can't say similar sorrows impeded the reading on my Pascha joy meter. I was all fired up with "Christ is risen! Christos Anesti!" beginning with our Pascha Service in the wee hours of Sunday morning. Took that same enthusiasm over to my husband's Lutheran church (although I found the lack of icons in his church to be quite a downer) and brought it with me to Easter dinner with my brother's family...however Monday morning I wanted so badly to walk into work and great everyone with a "Christ is risen!" but that would be against company policy. For the first time in my life I wished I was Greek...I am pretty sure one can still do that over in Greece without getting taken to HR for promulgating religious thought in the workplace.

Anyway...Christ is risen!

 
At Tuesday, April 10, 2007 10:56:00 pm , Blogger Schütz said...

Alithos anesti, Dixie!

Yes, I don't want to give the wrong impression. On Good Friday I said to a brother: "happy Good Friday", and he said "Are you allowed to be happy on Good Friday?" "Of course," I replied, "Christus Victor! Christos Nika!"

So, I guess my sorrows on Easter Sunday were rather related to the contrast between the great Joy that comes with the celebration of the Resurrection and the great sorrow that the fruits of the Resurrection are not yet fully experienced. Or to put it another way, the Reign of Death is over, but Death still seems to pack a punch.

Pax Domini, Dixie!

P.S. At least at my place of work I will not be hauled before HR for greeting folk with "Christ is Risen!"

 
At Wednesday, April 11, 2007 12:05:00 am , Anonymous Josh Martin said...

True, David, that there's such a lack of passion for the forgiveness of sin - but of course, today, out of all the ages, is the time when sin is forgotten, the offence it is against almighty God is forgotten, and the price He, in his love of us, paid to save us, to show us his utmost love of us - the very Blood of his dear Son - is forgotten too. Hence how few bother with Confession (a Sacrament without which I could not live), what derision, even, it attracts. This is so sad; it should be a source of the greatest joy for everyone that there even IS forgiveness, let alone how easy it is to access. I recall that when Chesterton, that kind and good and innocent man, was asked why he had become a Catholic, he answered, it was to obtain the forgiveness of sins. A lesson for us all.

 

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