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RCIA with Cardinal Ratzinger

Went to “RCIA” again today, my third session. I use the scare quotes because the parish doesn’t have a formal program, they just match you up with a priest and you come in once a week to talk. We’re using Ratzinger’s The Spirit of the Liturgy as the basis for discussion—a step up from the usual run of RCIA programs, as I understand the situation.

Using the Exodus and the role of Sinai in constituting the Jewish nation, as Ratzinger does, strikes me as a good way way to present the liturgy. It’s something that constitutes a community by bringing it into relation with the absolute in a way the community does not generate itself. The golden calf was the liturgy the Children of Israel created for themselves.

Certainly that’s one thing I like about the Tridentine mass—it’s visibly something those gathered did not create for themselves and that is not centered on them. As someone coming from an Episcopal parish in an utterly corrupt diocese whose most recent two rectors suffered from radical psychological and spiritual disorders, I can see that there’s something to be said for a liturgy that is not a celebration of those who happen to be present. The worse the problems you’ve seen in church the better the Tridentine mass stands up. It’s built for all seasons.



Wow … I wish I was in your RCIA class when I joined the Church!—I can’t even imagine the reaction of my teachers if someone proposed using Cardinal Ratzinger as an introductory text …

Welcome to the Church!

- Christopher