Why I Don't Consider Myself "Traddie" or "Charismatic"
"Are you going to the FOP [Festival of Praise (charismatic praise and worship night)] tonight?"
"It's that Tuesday! I'm going to the Extraordinary Form Mass; wanna come?"
While everyone wonders, I believe that lots of people are actually afraid of asking or answering. It can tend to be a heated topic.
Franciscan has a reputation for being very Charismatic. (Whether that's a good or bad thing is up to you...) That reputation attracts some people and chases others far, far away. Yes, I think that many people here have a tendency to be more inclined to a Charismatic kind of prayer, but to say that we're is only Charismatic is way wrong.
There are groups of people here who are annoyed with everything Charismatic.
There are groups of people here who are annoyed with everything Traditional.
And then there are people like me, who float somewhere in the middle, unable to identify with either of the above-mentioned groups.
I kneel to receive communion.
I love old, large, gothic Churches.
I wore a veil all of last semester.
I go to every Festival of Praise.
I am much more comfortable singing praise and worship than chant.
I believe that women should be able to participate in liturgies as readers, EMHCs, and sacristans.
I find this somewhat ironic, because I think that I am the most charismatic-leaning person on the Liturgy Committee. (I say "I think" because I haven't been very vocal about my worship preferences, and perhaps this is the case with others on Committee as well!!)
It's true that some praise and worship can be overly emotional, drawing people intensely in for a short period of time and then, once the "spiritual high" is gone, they're back to an old lifestyle, a former way of living. But it's all in how you approach it and what you do with your own spirituality when you're on your own.
There is so much beauty to be found in both "sides" of the discussion. Gregorian chant, bells, and incense are incredibly beautiful, and there is a definite place for all of those within the Church and the Mass. But there is also much to be learned from the Charismatic camp.
I believe it's possible to take the spirituality and emotional depth of praise and worship and carry it through daily life; to use chant to build the personal holiness that's attained through praise and worship to develop an intense prayer life.
This past weekend was the Charismatic Conference. I didn't know quite what to expect, and I had been told some things to "be aware of", but I thought it went very well. They were so on fire for the Lord, and it was beautiful to see people of all ages praying and worshiping together.
The minute the Church comes out stating that my preference for a more-Charismatic-somewhat-Traditional Liturgy is no longer legitimate, I'll immediately stop praying that way. But as long as it's allowed, let's be understanding of each others' preferences!
I am tired of the stereotypes. Of hearing about all the 'wacky people' waving their hands around or those 'bizzaros' who only go to Latin Mass. If it's not immoral, illicit, invalid, or discouraged, why can't we allow people to worship in the manner that they choose? If it is legitimately Catholic, then why would we mock it? There's nothing wrong with choosing to attend Mass and sing a Chris Tomlin song instead of the song with a 5-part harmony. I may not hold the same preferences as you do, but guess what? they're preferences, not rules.
Let's just accept that my first choice isn't going to always be your first choice.
And that's totally OK.