Subversive Catholicism: Papacy, Liturgy, Church
The Incarnation of the Word of God is the ultimate “scandal of the particular”: the Son of the Father, made flesh in the womb of the Virgin, in a province, obscure and downtrodden, of imperial Rome. Echoing the paradox of the Infinite localized and the Eternal timebound, this provocation remains ever-present in the world in the intertwoven mysteries of the visible Catholic Church, the Most Blessed Sacrament at her heart, and the papacy as her earthly head.
In this stirring and often surprising collection of essays, award-winning German novelist Martin Mosebach confronts the reader with Catholicism’s correctives to regionalism and the tyranny of fashion. He shows us how the great wonder and beauty of the traditional form of the Mass leads us to appreciate and recover our childlike faith in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. He explains why popular devotion to Our Lady, in spite of the kitsch that often surrounds it, is more vital, permanent, and world-changing than mountains of learned discourse or political messianism. Resting on the rock of dogmatic confession rather than the shifting sands of journalistic opinion, Mosebach exalts the Christ-given office of the papacy and diminishes its recent man-made agendas.
These records of pilgrimage and reflection bear witness to the perennially “subversive” nature of full-blooded Catholicism, which challenges the assumptions not only of those outside the fold, but perhaps even more, of those within it who exchange their birthright of holy and heavenly mysteries for a mess of modern pottage. Despite the sins and escapades of her members, the Church still makes present in our midst an “incessant repetition of the Incarnation.” This book opens our eyes and ears to this ongoing miracle.
“Martin Mosebach is a writer with profound Catholic sensibilities. These reflections on the 21st-century Church are expertly cut gems. A must read.”—R. R. RENO, Editor, First Things
“Martin Mosebach employs his brilliance to defend what is of eternal value. His deep appreciation of the Catholic faith is manifest in these essays that draw upon his love of history, art, philosophy, and popular religious culture.”—FR. GERALD MURRAY, Pastor, Church of the Holy Family, NYC
“In this collection of essays Martin Mosebach has once more demonstrated his ability to provide provocative insights into the condition of modern Catholicism. They are a tonic to our deep-rutted discourse on liturgy, spirituality, and religious sociology. Refreshing and challenging, they set us on new paths of thought.”—JOSEPH SHAW, Chairman, Latin Mass Society of England & Wales
“Subversive Catholicism offers a treasure trove of insights on liturgy, theology, art, ecclesiastical government, and contemporary spiritual issues. All is short and sweet, reflecting the concise yet amazingly versatile style of a true master of prose.”—STUART CHESSMAN, President, Society of St. Hugh of Cluny
“Germany’s most distinguished living Catholic writer is a novelist who seems almost to have wandered into our time from the 19th century. But it is precisely because his mind is so out of keeping with our time that he is able to understand it so well, as these delightful and penetrating essays show.”—PATER EDMUND WALDSTEIN, O.Cist., Vice-Rector, Leopoldinum, Heiligenkreuz