Hello all! I need help responding to a post my friend made on his blog. He is actually referring to something I
left as a comment on a Protestant blog. He is basically trying to make the point that traditionalism is a "spirituality" and that we should not force our spirituality as if it is the only one, but also recognize that there are "orthodox charismatics" as well as other "spiritualities" that are valid. Of course, I could start with making the point that prior to about 1970, "traditionalism" was not one of several "spiritualities", but was known by another name--Roman Catholicism! Novus Ordo Catholics just don't seem to get that there is more to being a traditionalist than having an appreciation for Latin, chant, smells & bells...it's about doctrine
. Anyway, I don't even know where to BEGIN in addressing this post because it has so many fallacies and the entire argument is built on a false premise (that "traditionalism"--known to US as Roman Catholicism--is a "spirituality"). Also, please help me respond in a way that sounds really logical and calm. Here's the quote from his post below. Please give me some ideas!
Here's the rub: traditionalism is a spirituality. There are aspects of it, as with any legitimate spirituality, which are universally important; for example, the traditionalist adherence to the Council's call for Latin and chant to retain prominence in the Mass. This is not a traditionalist value, but rather something valued and emphasized by traditionalists as it should be by all Catholics. In other words, acceptance of this teaching does not make you a traditionalist any more than a radical openness to the Holy Spirit makes you a charismatic.
The problem that arises from a tendency to see, in a given spirituality, universally necessary principles (e.g., dedication to and reverence for the history and traditions of the Church), and to then conclude that said spirituality is what is universally necessary, in the sense that, for instance, everyone should be a traditionalist. This misunderstanding of the role of one's spirituality is a stepping stone to a spirit of factions, a heresy decried by St Paul.
One might easily read the aforementioned comment and think its author is saying that this (traditionalism) is Catholicism in its truest form. But part of the beauty of Catholicism is of course its catholicity. The Church embraces the good every culture, community, and person, for all good is of God. In our individual created forms we are better able to relate to our Creator in different ways. that's why we have dozens of rites, hundreds of religious orders, and over a billion individuals, each his or her own person.
When a person considers the Church, he or she ought to be presented with the smorgasbord of spiritualities thriving and flourishing within her gates. To paraphrase Fr Neuhaus, who paraphrased H.H. John Paul II, the Church does not impose the truth, but proposes it; she does so winsomely and persuasively, as a lover to the beloved. The same is true when a new brother is welcomed. He ought not to be sent through a gauntlet of vendors' booths full of persons frantically hocking their wares, trying to convince him that their spirituality is the appropriate one. "Christ...fully reveals man to himself" (GS 22). In other words, on a very personal and individual level, if you "seek first the kingdom of God," "you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." The cyclical nature of the spiritual life is that man must know God to know himself; he must know himself to know his spirituality; his spirituality better enables him to know God. If you begin by convincing someone of a spirituality as wholly representative of true religion, you'll most likely stunt his or her spiritual growth.
Thus my frustration when I read comments to the effect of, "Catholicism is great! Well, *traditional* Catholicism is great!" As St Paul wrote, "the works of the flesh are obvious." Factionism is so viscerally repulsive that it doesn't matter how positive the person is trying to be; people know they're being sold a bill of goods. In short, differences in spirituality are not differences in doctrine. You can be an orthodox traditionalist, an orthodox charismatic, an orthodox whatever-is-in-between-or-beyond. We are not like Protestants squabbling over whose is the proper sect. Be Catholic, be true.