Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Looking Back, Going Forward

Traditional Cottage Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show
I watched a programme last night about the history of gardening coverage on TV. It charted gardening fashions from the 1950s to the present day. 

We get a lot of these kind of programmes.  It's cheap programming for the BBC at a time of cuts. Let's look back at yesteryear, kind of thing. There is a perception that audiences like looking back at before - a sense that we enjoy looking at our roots.

The programme charted the traddie cottage garden of the 1940s and 50s, the rise of modern gardens and eccentric garden design of the 1980s, 90s and this decade. Apparently, people are getting naffed off with all the innovations and the traditional cottage garden is making a big comeback.  The picture above is from the Chelsea Flower Show. Perhaps, there is a sense of disillusionment with the modern World - a yearning for what people believe were simpler days even with the furious pace at which technology is making impacts on our lives in various ways.

The 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s is a time of tumultuous change and 'progression' in all aspects of human life. Morality, politics, society and the Church Herself, undergoes radical change - radical experimentation - which appears to create a new vision of the World - severing society from its roots. For the Church and the World, the 1960s becomes a rupture which all that has gone before. Fifty years later, the Church liberates the Latin Mass from perceived abrogation and the traditional cottage garden makes an appearance at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Co-incidence? There is a thirst for beauty that is objectively beautiful. There is a desire for us to embrace our roots, nationally and in the Church.

I'm having a bit of a discussion with an anonymous commenter in a previous post. I don't usually publish anonymous comments but I was keen to see where he is coming from. Pope Benedict XVI said in his apostolic letter accompanying Summorum Pontificum, 'what was held sacred for previous generations, let us hold as sacred too' though I'm not sure if that was His Holiness's exact phrase. There is a sense in which the era of experimentation within liturgy has been tried and seen to have failed, in what it was designed to do. It has not yielded a bloom of flowers and in many areas has led to a wholesale decimation of areas of the Church, such as catechesis, even of the most basic Christian doctrines. Interestingly, it is the young who appear to be particularly drawn to the Latin Mass.

Much of our Faith is actually rememberance. We remember the Lord's Passion on Fridays by abstaining from meat. We remember the lives of the Saints and Martyrs who died for Christ and His Church, in the liturgy and in our daily prayers. We remember that the Lord Jesus Christ is truly present in the Tabernacle and so we genuflect and recall His Presence. We remember the saving birth, life, death and resurrection of Our Saviour and we remember the saving role of His Blessed Mother, when we meditate on the mysteries of the Rosary. We remember on Ascension Day and at Pentecost the Lord's Ascension into Heaven and the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Church after He has been taken upto Heaven from the sight of the Apostles and Our Lady.

It is important for us to remember, in order for us to move forward, for in remembering we see our roots because only plants with well watered roots, blossom into life.


Terry said...

Faith without works?

May I suggest you encourage readers to honour and care for Christ in the elderly and disabled.
The Chelsea Flower Show is glorious but the plight of those victims of cruelty shown last night demand our attention as Catholics.
Those who are able please consider a career in caring in these establishments. There are always vacancies and serving Our Lord in this way is a high calling worthy of those who kneel before the Blessed Sacrament.

Alan said...

While I agree in general I think your chronology is skewed horribly by personal vendetta (i.e. you make the 60s the period of 'dramatic change' because you want to paint that as the decade everything went to sh*t). I'm not sure in what sense the break between 1900 and 1960 is any different from the break between 1840 and 1900 or from the 1700s to the mid-1800s with industrialisation, urbanisation etc. The 50s witnessed quite radical change too Laurence, what with the reconstruction following a crippling worldwar, the development of the Cold War frontiers, the atomic age coming to maturity, the widespread social and sexual changes brought by the casualties of war.

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