Or perhaps that should be “The Importance of DOING Right”?
What I mean is this. I found myself in the last few days asking myself the question “Am I a traditionalist?”
My answer is: No.
Well, am I a legalist? Again the answer is: No.
So why am I such a pedant for doing things and having things done CORRECTLY?
Possibly because I convinced that if we don’t do things right, we won’t arrive at the right result.
To use a secular example: Our car is currently at the service station getting a new head gasket installed. I imagine that there are not multiple ways of doing this task. There is one right way and about a gezillion wrong ways. Unless the head gasket is installed correctly the result will be disaster once again.
The same must go for matters of faith.
For instance: When Jesus established his Church he gave a few things to help us be what he wanted his Church to be (eg. Eucharist, apostolic ministry, way of praying etc.). If we chose instead to follow our own ideas of how the Church should be conducting its business rather than Christ’s ideas, the chances are that what we will end up with will not be the Church that Christ intended.
The same goes for worship. If we do not follow the guidance of Christ and his Spirit (ie. the right way of worship, or “Orthodoxy”) the chances are that we will end up erecting idols to our own vainglory rather than addressing the true God as he has desired us to worship him.
The same goes for vocations. Be a faithful Catholic diocese and watch your scale of vocations to the priesthood go through the roof.
Or here’s another example. Pope Benedict is in South America right now. He goes there facing many challenges (as always), among which is liberation theology and the desparate state of many of the local societies and nations. People ask him what should be done about this. Should he not support “liberation theology” in the spirit of the preferential option for the poor.
Yet the Holy Father seems to reply: Do things right and things will be right. Teach people the essence of the Catholic faith and the likelihood is that you will start to see a change for the better in terms of social justice. Get your Christology right and you will get your theology of liberation right. On the other hand, if you use the wrong methods in either of these two cases, you will compound the problem rather than solve it. For more reading on this, see John L. Allen’s Brazil reports.
So, it isn’t about being traditionalist or legalist. Being RIGHT (or more essentially, DOING right) is essential because, appart from this, it will all turn out wrong.