So, what is a foot soldier to do?
CCC 1832 The fruits of the Spirit are perfections that the Holy Spirit forms in us as the first fruits of eternal glory. The tradition of the Church lists twelve of them: "charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity."
It's difficult to imagine the warrior-saint Ignatius Loyola being satisfied with a live-and-let-live approach to the Reformers' attack on the Church in his day. Indeed, saints are warriors; they act. They act now, decisively, when timely intervention is critical to the success of a mission, not sooner or later after they've had their proposed enterprise vetted by a committee ensconced in some ivory tower mentality. They think and act with the Church (Sentire cum ecclesia). They love the Church. They dive in deep, occasionally sinking down to their waste in the midst of a storm that threatens to swallow them. They know, however, to reach out and ask the Lord to take hold of their hand, for they also know they can do nothing apart from their Lord and Saviour.
I'm pretty good at embracing and correcting little messes: a messy desk; a messy car; a messy wallet. I'm not good with bigger messes, public messes. Messy liturgies, for example. Liturgies, that is, that are routinely made messy by well intentioned (and not so well intentioned) musicians and priests. More than frustrating is the readiness or ease with which some priests and laity excuse their part in making Mass a mess. Nor does the "all that matters is that the Mass was valid" argument mitigate the frustration nor excuse laxity. The use of said phrase or some version of it by the offenders is especially annoying. It smacks of the self absolution of the devil. As for the well intended consolers, the phrase might apply once in a blue moon, but not every Sunday. Habitual carelessness and avoidance of the rubrics is simply inexcusable. Having it—excuse making—become a tired leitmotif to which Catholics constantly refer or project on to circumstances that are a collage of dissonance and dissent merely adds insult to injury.
The Nuclear option?
In such circumstances where priests and people discard reverence and the artful celebration of the Liturgy, it would be too easy to flip the apocalypse switch and engage the Sons of Thunder protocol: "Lord, shall we call down fire to consume them (Luke 9:54)? "Them, as in, those people who have zero compunction over their cheapening of the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. After a brief and mostly unsatisfying wander down divine retribution lane where liturgical abusers are imagined to have been cast into a hellish nightmare (of their own making) wherein they are forced to sing Gather Us In for eternity, the imagination which put them there gradually returns to reality, accompanied by a smattering of guilt. Just a smattering, no more.
“Dear Sir: Regarding your article ‘What’s Wrong with the World?’ I am. Yours truly.”