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Let Angel choirs sound their celestial praises; let powers and principalities quake with awe; let even the sky hail a new champion among the sidereal host; yet “let all mortal flesh keep silence,” for here lies the newborn God asleep. It is just as much about the astounding paradox at the heart of our faith, the way that the Infinite and Omnipotent God deepened the mystery of all things by robing himself in lowly humanity. We love to be unknown so that we might reach a deeper communion with God and with each other, free of pretense or distraction. Philip learn to emulate the humility of the Infant Christ? It is the distinctive mark of the Oratory to discourse daily upon the Word of God in a free and familiar manner.
It doesn’t matter if the Catholic Church had promulgated and supported all kinds of other schools over the years.
The Jesuit’s proper humility thus bears a striking resemblance to that of Our Lord during those three momentous years.
We could find similar likenesses all through the glorious garden of the Church.
Heart truly can speak to heart when both are freed by humility. But perhaps a more important source can be glimpsed in St. The Eucharistic silence of the Host is but an echo of the silence Christ kept that first Christmas night. But the story of the Anglo-Catholic style must begin with the Gothic Revival that Pugin led.
God’s hiddenness upon the altar comes from the obscurity in which He enmantled himself on that first night of His human life. He radically and even polemically departed from the old norms of Anglican liturgical design.
Amidst the lessons and carols, amidst the bells and laughter, amidst the exuberance of family conversations, let us recall the silence of the Holy Infant. That love of being unknown seems utterly foreign to us, proud and vain as we are. Abstract windows cast unseemly splashes of light over softwood pews. My hope is that by examining a few of its exponents, we might come to get a better glimpse of the art that is renewing our own Church today. So he turned instead to the architecture and design of the Middle Ages. He set up altars with gilded angels and smiling saints and all manner of gloriously decorated tiles. He almost single-handedly re-established the rood screen as a typical feature of English churches. He attempted to show, by way of (rather unfair) architectural differences, that the religious and social makeup of the Middle Ages was decidedly better than the squalid life of post-Reformation modernity.