In praise of Fr Hunwicke

David Warren writes in praise of Fr. Hunwicke at The Catholic Thing:

Hunwicke is an unreconstructed mediaeval man, as we all should aspire to be. Truth matters to him; the reputations of persons, not so much. Yet still he doffs his hat to the authorities, in the time-honoured mediaeval manner; doffs, as it were, what is lawfully owing to the office or chair, regardless of the clown who may be sitting in it; doing obedience, when necessary, with humour. (My hero Saint Thomas More was like that: going to the block with a little joke to the axeman.)

The true Christian must preserve his humour. Or rather, preserve his sanity, which is the same thing.

What Hunwicke conveys goes to the heart of the Catholic faith. It is the liturgy, the sacraments, the Real Presence, communicated throughout our world in “live time.” The doctrine and discipline are embodied in this way, put into words of divine music, and acted through, in this very Presence. To understand our own dogmas — which differ from the pestilent unstated dogmas of our world — one must pray them. One must understand them in relation to Christ; not in relation to any other master. The function ofhomily — from the Greek for “discourse” or “prattle” — is to direct attention back into the Mass, to expound the meaning of the Mass, to explain what it is saying, what Christ is saying, through His Mass. That is the centre of Catholic life. Everything else in Catholic life returns to that centre.

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2 Responses to In praise of Fr Hunwicke

  1. Rev22:17 says:

    Deborah,

    From your quotation: The function ofhomily — from the Greek for “discourse” or “prattle” — is to direct attention back into the Mass, to expound the meaning of the Mass, to explain what it is saying, what Christ is saying, through His Mass. (emphasis in original)

    This statement, unfortunately, is not accurate. Compare it with the following paragraph from the General Instructions of the Roman Missal (boldface added).

    65. The homily is part of the Liturgy and is strongly recommended, for it is necessary for the nurturing of the Christian life. It should be an exposition of some aspect of the readings from Sacred Scripture or of another text from the Ordinary or from the Proper of the Mass of the day and should take into account both the mystery being celebrated and the particular needs of the listeners.

    The homily is a central element of the Liturgy of the Word precisely because its principal purpose is to break open the Word of God so that we who are God’s people may partake of it more fully in our daily lives.

    Norm.

  2. Macy says:

    From Father H today:
    “To think that I spent seven decades in the Church of England without ever really having the faintest idea of what it was all about …”

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