26 Letters

posted May 9, 2018, 10:00 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated May 9, 2018, 10:01 AM ]

Cult of the banal

Sir, The deplorable trend of liturgical music continues unabated in our Archdiocese.

The renditions of a well-known hymn 'How Great Thou Art' and the unfamiliar 'Gone are the Shadows, Now Instead, it's you Lord' sung by choirs in church are but a tiny reflection of a more widespread and deeply saddening trend of liturgical abuse. The 'lively' melodies set to choral music, with the accompaniment of the guitar and drums, may on one hand, sound pleasing to the ears, albeit in a non-liturgical or secular setting. The rousing tunes however, do very little to enrich the liturgy itself and to help create an atmosphere conducive to contemplative prayer. On the contrary, the novel interpretations sadly banalize the Sacred Liturgy, and relegate it to a worldly and humanistic level. This causes untold damage to the faithful in the process.

Those incessantly defending the usage of such music say it helps draw in the youth. Little do they realise that it is done at the expense of the sanctity of the Sacred Liturgy itself.

The rules governing the use of liturgical music can be found in various Church documents such as Sacrosanctum Concilium, Musicam Sacram, and Tra Le Sollecitudini.

The following are some of the rules:

1. It must be holy, and must, therefore, exclude all profanity, not only in itself, but in the manner in which it is presented by those who execute it.


Errant spiritual gurus

Sir, India has had a great tradition of spiritual thinkers such as Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Swami Vivekananda, Shirdi Sai Baba, Swami Chinmayananda and Ramana Maharshi, to name a few who led simple and honest lives and never sought any power or wealth. They served humanity till the time of their death. But the present-day gurus (godmen and godwomen) are business savvy and have huge spiritual empires. They are surrounded by doting devotees who have implicit faith in their gurus and are not fazed by their weird behaviour. Some of them even exploit women sexually.


Endangered Coral Reefs

Sir, Coral reefs are diverse underwater ecosystems held together by calcium carbonate structures secreted by corals. Tropical coral reefs are very productive ecosystems. Not only do they support enormous biodiversity, they are also of immense value to humankind. Latest estimates suggest coral reefs provide close to US$30 billion each year in goods and services. The threat to the ocean's coral reefs is apparent. As coastal construction increases and global temperatures rise, an estimated 33 per cent of corals are in danger of extinction. Coral reef destruction is no longer something we can continue to downplay or overlook.


Michelle heads to IIM-A

Sir, It is always a blessing to see our youth rise above expectations, seize opportunities and reach new milestones.

Michelle Dias, from our Parish of Holy Family, Chakala obtained admission into the prestigious IIM Ahmedabad for their Post-Graduate Programme in Management.

Michelle studied in Divine Child High School and her Junior College was St Andrew's. After her Std 12 Board Examination, where she was placed among the top 1% in the State Board, she chose to graduate in Engineering. With a healthy CET score, she was selected by VJTI, Mumbai, where she opted for Production Engineering. After an exciting six-month internship, she decided to gather two years of industrial experience before pursuing higher studies. With her excellent academics and profile, she was picked by Godrej, and confirmed a year later in the managerial cadre.

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"Proxy Voting"!

Sir, A two-day forum was hosted on the weekend of April 28-29, 2018, by the Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Nearly 100 financial advisors, fund managers and Catholic Chief Financial Officers gathered at the Second Annual Faith Consistent Investing Forum in Midtown, Manhattan, USA.

This was especially driven by Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI's reflection in Caritas In Veritate: "Every economic decision has a moral consequence, and the Catholic's responsibility to adhere/invest according to Catholic Social Teaching Principles."

James Ryan, managing director of Merrill Lynch and host of the forum, consulted the Socially Responsible Investment Guidelines, a set of principles to aid Catholics on investment portfolios, released by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in 2003.