We are not just material beings, but spiritual persons with a need for meaning, purpose, and fulfillment that transcends the visible confines of this world. This longing for transcendence is a longing for truth, goodness, and beauty. Truth, goodness, and beauty are called the transcendentals of being, because they are aspects of being. Everything in existence has these transcendentals to some extent. God, of course, as the source of all truth, goodness, and beauty, has these transcendentals to an infinite degree. Oftentimes, he draws us to himself primarily through one of these transcendentals. St. Augustine, who was drawn to beauty in all its creaturely forms, found the ultimate beauty he was seeking in God, his creator, the beauty “ever ancient, ever new.”―Sister Gabriella Yi, O.P.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Maui: stuck in the 1970s... still.

Kihei, Maui (CS 2016)

The threefold cause of Truth, Goodness and Beauty requires that opportunity be offered to readers to parse the unnecessary complications which certain (c)atholics inject into the Catholisphere.

In the midst of encountering the Lord through the glories of His creation, a recent excursion to the golden shores of Paradise South once again proved to be an eye-opening experience that was at times disconcerting.

The closer one stays to the beach, which is to say the more one takes to swimming and snorkelling, the better one's faith remains intact if you happen to be a Catholic visiting the island of Maui.

The Latin Mass is one notable exception to the wayward ways of Maui mass-dom (or is that mass-dumb?). Tracking the location and timing of the elusive Liturgy, however, can be at times a bit frustrating, given the fact that said details are published (often with seemingly little advance notice) on the Latin community's Facebook page but contradicted by several other parish bulletins and websites that present outdated information. Maui is definitely stuck in the Saint Louis Jesuit mould and glued to a mindset that can only be described as a 'let's attach every possible barnacle to the Mass that we can in order to make it oh-so aloha'. Given the emphasis on particularity and an almost palpable disdain for the Magisterium and rightly ordered liturgy in too many places, the concept of the universality of the Church is practically lost.

Shal-low-hah!

After several visits to the shores of Paradise South, I've learned that aloha is a word tossed around with little or no real intent or appreciation of its rich meaning. Most often I've encountered it used by 'local foreigners' as a shallow gesture accompanied by an avoidance of any real connection between people. Likewise, the word mahalo is tacked on to a conversation merely as an abrupt mechanical dismissal with no real gratitude or appreciation of an encounter.

Aloha
[Alo = presence, front, face] + [ = breath]
"The presence of (Divine) Breath."

Mahalo
[Ma = In] + [ = breath] + [alo = presence, front, face]
"(May you be) in (Divine) Breath."


To those interested in being a traveller embedded and deferential to a culture instead of acting like a tourist leeching off locals, the many malihini (non-native Hawai'ian newcomers, local foreigners) occupying Maui's shores tend to incline a visitor to avoid whenever possible an attempt to converse in a heart to heart manner. Even at Mass, and despite protracted invitations for visitors to stand during the Liturgy to identify themselves so they can receive a lei (garland) as a gesture of welcome in an effusive and somewhat forced pseudo-ritual that distracts from the orientation of the Mass, the veneer of 'welcome' seems tragically subordinate to the quasi-pelagian needs of local foreigners (recent newcomers) who attempt to save face and be seen as hospitable (for the purposes of marketing services or selling things) by offering a token gesture that merely robs the Mass of its true hospitality, a hospitality not excluding the reality signified by aloha. The offering of a garland (of peace, hospitality, affection, mercy) is reduced to a cheap pat on the back, an act of kitsch that lasts as long as spit on a grill.

Truth be told, several conversations with indigenous people in a village at the north end of Maui reveal an understandable disdain for local foreigners who have appropriated a semblance of Hawai'ian culture but none of the Hawai'ian people's sense of obligation to community and relationship with creation. It is easy to understand why, then, those people of indigenous heritage employed in shops of one kind or another avoid the casual use of words such as aloha and mahalo. It is easy to assume that people of Hawai'ian ancestry are, then, angry or disinterested when in fact they are avoiding the acts of shallowness and flippancy in which most of their non-indigenous neighbours and co-workers routinely engage. From the looks on some native Hawai'ian faces, one can practically hear the fraternal correction repeating in the minds of those who understand what it means to be authentically hospitable: Don't just say the words, live them! We all might be mindful of the Christian call to authentic hospitality, the hospitality which requires we live as authentic Christians faithful to God and His Church.

False Hospitality

A certain (c)atholic parish in Kihei remains a bastion of theological and liturgical goofiness in a diocese of, very few exceptions to the contrary, theological and liturgical goofiness. During a recent visit to said parish's office to confirm Mass times and to make the acquaintance of parishioners, this blogger acquired a double-sided resource card which includes many useful services. Unfortunately, the parish has chosen to include the contact information for a notorious organization which, despite its claim that it offers more than abortion services, by all accounts exists largely by profiting from its abortion services. Whether or not said parish's pastor is aware of the inclusion of the information on the card could not be determined at the time of the visit to the parish office.
Resource card obtained from the Parish of Saint Theresa, Kihei, Maui (2016)
Click on image to Enlarge

Celebrity-priest homilies, liturgical abuses and saccharine music aside for a moment, why has the pastor of the parish of Saint Theresa allowed unqualified information to appear on a resource card which gives the appearance that the parish recommends the use of services offered by an organization that has been condemned by all faithful bishops as contrary to the well being of the common good and contrary to the Catholic mission?

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