September 23, 2002

Interesting post from Dappled Things on the liturgical obedience of Americans versus Europeans.
That is the liturgical ideal (and maybe I'll blog on that some other day). In a perfect situation, that's what would happen. I think my problem (one shared by plenty of American Catholics of whatever stripe) was to absolutize that ideal and to forget that the Liturgy exists in the midst of a living People who have lived the Mass for centuries.

There is a funny book (bestseller in Italy) by an Italian who is quite familiar with the U.S. and writes about the "culture shock". He says that what amazed him was how seriously and innocently Americans treat traffic signs and laws. He says that in Italy, every law, stop sign, traffic light is to be individually interpreted. The Italian (and perhaps this is a European trait) considers if this red stop light is meant for him personally and for this situation. If there is no traffic, he rides on thru. The author is amazed that Americans wait at red lights even though there is no traffic.

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