Father Longenecker gets it in one:

The divide between the God lovers and the people lovers exists not because one is right and the other is wrong. The divide exists because we have not prioritized properly.

The lovers of people may not like to hear this, but the love of God is the first priority. Love of neighbor comes after the love of God and is dependent on the love of God. We cannot love our neighbor if we do not love God first. Why? Because we have no motive, no power and no grace to love our neighbor if we have not loved God first.

Therefore, the love of God is the Catholic priority. Loving our neighbor is mandatory and cannot be overlooked, but it comes after the love of God. If this is true, then we must ask ourselves where we properly love God and where we properly love our neighbor. The answer is that we love God primarily within the life of prayer and worship: within and through the liturgy.

If we love God in church, then we love our neighbor outside of church. Most of the problems with modernist liturgy and worship are that progressive Catholics have brought into the Church what rightly belongs outside of the Church. In other words, the fellowship, the peace and justice, the social activism, the missionary enterprise, the education and health care and family concern — all of this is the proper activity of the people of God outside of the liturgy, and we have brought it into the liturgy.

As a result, the liturgy has become all about loving people instead of loving God. Why is this? Because too many Catholics have actually replaced the love of God with the love of people. Clever theologians thought that the supernatural, otherworldly aspect of worship seemed too much of a stretch for ordinary, modern, scientific people, and they made the liturgy folksy and people-centered in order to adapt the faith for modern man.

The result has been a disaster. Catholics, therefore, love people, but many have lost the language for loving God; and the greatest sadness is that once you no longer love God, it is not very long before you are no longer able to love people either, for what do you find to love in people if you have not loved God first? For the only thing I truly love in my neighbor is the image of God in him, and the only way I can discern this is by first learning to love God.

The final result of all this is that we have been left with the only remaining remnant: the love of ourselves. Thus, in too much of Catholic worship what was once the glorious worship of Almighty God has become a jumble of comfort hymns and self-help therapy.

The only remedy is to return to Christ’s priorities: to learn once more how to put the love of God first in our lives so that we may eventually learn again how to love our neighbor.

The Padre is talking about division within HMC, but as a matter of fact, this is as good a summation of why I left the Palies as anything else I’ve read.

Regular port-swillers will know that I usually hit the Tridintine Mass on Sundays.  This week we will be driving up to Pennsylvania to drop the gels off at camp, so I’ll have to go to the Saturday evening Vigil instead.  It’s certainly not awful at my Church – no liturgical dances, no modern musick – but it’s still in the modern form, and even a casual comparison suggests that a lot of the worshippers aren’t nearly as focused as they tend to be in my normal haunt.

Plus, there are a lot of kids.

I confess I’m not much looking forward to it.