The battle for the Liturgy (Holy Mass) in many respects resembles the battle for culture and civilization. Contemporary man, inheritor of a culture unhinged by a century of conflict on a global scale, has largely forgotten how to risk himself in true relationships with God, neighbour and nature. In a vain attempt to assert control over his life, man has once again inverted his approach to reality: man first; God last. Many in the Church suffer the same insecurities as those held hostage in the world. The insecurities veil a loss of Christian identity. Insecure Christians push away the True, the Good and the Beautiful as a threat to their well constructed but nearly impotent efforts to preserve peace in their lives, a peace that is more a vain effort to control something beyond control. Unless placed in the hands of Jesus Christ, human life is prone to being dismantled by suffering.
Man against God and himself.
We see the degree to which man's life is disabled by anxiety, suffering and starved of beauty, truth and goodness played out in his rejection of the sacredness of life, the destruction of the natural world, the abandonment of reason, the rejection of authority and ignorance of looming threats to inalienable rights. All this is somewhat understandable given the disabling scar left on man's heart and soul by the evil of world wars, cold wars, sex wars and economic wars, wars instigated and exploited by the devil to further alienate man from God. The devil is given room in this world by men who desire power above all else. Why would anyone willing to be dominated in order to dominate? The promise of an accumulation of power, that's why. Of course, that demon-fuelled power is an illusion. That is not to say real damage has not been done. There is real harm caused to the innocent during the reign of a despot. The demon driven soul may think himself in control. After massive damage is done, however, there is a high risk that the devil will claim his prize of souls who have allied themselves with the agenda of evil.
Bereft of God, what has man achieved?
Modern man has allowed his heart to be petrified by fear of re-engaging reality, a fear of being rejected and unable to cope with the demands of authentic intimacy. That is, selfless love. So, he has turned to false gods to cope with his fear: drugs; false religions (including atheism, liberal religion); and shallow relationships that provide an illusory relief to the soreness festering in his hollow chest. Illusory, because the relief comes at a price: sin. The relief from loneliness, for example, bought through a sinful act is no relief. It is another act of enslavement.
Man turns against the source and summit of the Christian life.
Fear of Tradition.Fear of beauty and art.Fear of holiness.Fear of obedience to truth.
The new English translation of the Missal did much to restore something of a dangerous poetry to the Liturgy, a poetry that seizes the imagination and suspends self reservation. In other words, a dangerous liturgy is dangerous to those who attempt to substitute a safe and human-centred rite for an awe inspiring God-oriented rite. Unfortunately, many still contracept their hearts and senses by depriving the Mass of its sublime character resulting in arid worship and an equally arid spiritual life. Instead of being ravished by the Holy Spirit, modern man hesitates and settles for an experience of a polite social club.