SCENE OF DOMESTIC LIFE IN THE HISTORICAL HOUSE
Seraphic (standing on toes): This is what I would look like if I were 5'4".
B.A.: You're fine at 5'2". Why do you want to be 5'4"?
Seraphic: I don't really. But I would like to decompress my spine. Apparently all you need is five minutes a day on an inversion table.
B.A.: What is an inversion table?
Seraphic: Oh, it's really neat. It's a sort of board and you strap yourself into it and then you flip it over and hang upside down by your ankles.
B.A. (seeing where this is going, i.e. wallet): We don't need an inversion table.
Seraphic: Wah! But I want to decompress my spine!
B.A.: Well, what else can you do to decompress your spine?
Seraphic: Well, I suppose you could hold me upside down by my ankles. Let's try!
B.A.: You're mental. I can't hold you upside down by your ankles.
Seraphic: Why not? I weigh only one-hundred-and-thirty-three pounds.
B.A. Because it is physically impossible.
Seraphic: But you're a MAN. A big, strong MAN.
B.A.: Yes, but I would have to hold my arms up HERE. I could only hold a sack of potatoes from up HERE. And I would hurt my back.
Seraphic (abashed) : Oh! I don't want you to hurt your back. Maybe I could do a headstand or a handstand?
B.A.: But that wouldn't decompress your spine. Gravity would just compress your spine into your neck.
Seraphic: So hanging from my ankles is the only way?
Seraphic (dubiously): I wonder if I can even do a handstand.
(Seraphic turns her back on B.A. and attempts to do a handstand. Without warning, B.A. grabs her flailing ankles and pulls upward.)
(B.A. drops Seraphic. Seraphic giggles uncontrollably.)
B.A.: I really don't understand why you want to be taller.
Seraphic: I don't want to be taller. I want to decompress my SPIIIIIINE!
My column responding to the deacon who wrote a letter saying I put down the "new Mass" and suggesting I want it banned has appeared online for free. (I guess it's my week for the free-view column.) Here it is.
I suppose the only thing to add is that he was responding to my column (behind a firewall, alas) about how the most beautiful Mass in Toronto is Solemn High Mass at Holy Family Church on Sunday mornings. The point of that column was to alert people who long for beauty at Mass to this Mass, so they would know where to go. As in Toronto you can go to German Mass, Polish Mass, Italian Mass, Chinese Mass, Vietnamese Mass--all kinds of Masses catering to your preferred language or ethnic group--and even a Praise and Worship Music Mass, it seemed fair to me to publicize a Mass that is characterized by the highest possible beauty and solemnity.
I made no claims that it was anyone's dearest Mass, using the analogy of a mother. When you are five, you are convinced that your own mother is the best and most beautiful mother in the world, and so I suppose many, many Catholics feel the same about their own parish mass, and that is good. But naturally Zhang Ziyi and Aishwaryi Rai Bachchan beat old Mum hollow when it comes to objective feminine beauty, as you realize when you grow up. Not that you care. You love your mother because she is your mother while cheerfully acknowledging that she's not as stunning as the brightest stars of the silver screen, and feeling no guilt when you revel in their beauty.
To tell the truth about the Extraordinary Form is not to trash the Ordinary Form any more than to say that my Temporary Pretend Polish Daughter is the reigning beauty of the Historical House is to say I'm a wrinkled old hag. (And, indeed, I said the Holy Family EF is more beautiful than the Edinburgh EF, though naturally I am fonder of the Edinburgh EF.) I know that some liturgists have serious theological objections to the Ordinary Form, but I am not yet convinced this means the N.O. must go. (Can you imagine the confusion and dismay if it did?!) Cardinal Stickler wrote about the "Latin language [acting] like a reverent curtain against profanation" and I find that German, Italian and Polish work like that for me. And Cardinal Stickler points out that when the Novus Ordo is said by the book--he cites the Novus Ordo as said by popes--there is nothing amiss.
There are still many copies of Seraphic Singles available for sale, as my Canadian publisher informs me. If you have not read my first book, why not buy a copy and gladden hearts at Novalis? If you want to buy a copy for a Polish friend, the edition you want is the rather more celebrated Anielskie Single.
If you live in Canada (especially Toronto), why not get a copy of Catholic Insight magazine and read my latest interview about Ceremony of Innocence? Apparently there's a review, too, which I am dying to read.