Yesterday I was forced to endure an amazingly insipid Ordinary Form funeral Mass for a family member. The one thought that kept recurring to me in the midst of what could best be described as an instant-canonization-trapped-inside-a-bad-lounge-act was, "How can they stand it!?" The aesthetics of the ceremony, and the theology of the homily (well, actually, there were several homilies throughout the proceedings) were garden-variety Protestant.
Today I read a post at Saint Louis Crusade about a Gallup poll showing that most Americans rank public schools as the worst place for a child to get an education. One commenter at the second link lamented that the US used to have the best system of public education in the world until the 1970s, when the "liberals" began to take over and destroyed it, etc.
Suddenly, I thought of the two things together. The Mass, reengineered at the end of the '60s. Public education, reengineered at the same time.
Both could be classified as colossal failures-- except for one thing:
They didn't fail. They succeeded.
That is to say, they succeeded in accomplishing the goals of their engineers. And just as our educational system will not be fixed by tinkering with making the current system slightly less bad, so neither will our liturgy be fixed by tinkering with making it slightly less dreadful.
The party of professional educators and their backers in politics will continue to claim that educational renewal only requires time and a commitment to more of the same.
The party of professional liturgists and their backers in chanceries and rectories will continue to claim that liturgical renewal only requires more time and a commitment to more of the same.
In both areas all and any opinions are allowed, tolerated and encouraged, except adhering to what actually worked in the past, works now when tried, and which shows every promise of working in the future.
A system of education that is designed to form the whole child in harmony with his status as a creature of God-- burdened by sin though he is --with free will and intellect, will produce healthier and holier children.
A Liturgy that is Catholic through-and-through, and which informs and reflects the Catholic Faith, will produce holier Catholics, and those in increasing numbers.
The problem is not identified by asking the question, "When will the powers-that-be realize this?"
The problem is that they do realize this.
Like I said in the title, this may be a "duh" moment to you. But it hit me today like a ton of bricks.