Before we issue next week's Ordo, two questions to the readers:
1. Should the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, as revised and extended by Pope Pius XI, be included in the CTO? Why or why not?
2. If yes to the first question, should it also have an octave or not?
Our commentary: Corpus Christi is one of the first ( if not the first) "idea" feast to be observed by the Western Church. To it was added an octave (of privileged status) which has been in continuous observance for over seven centuries. If Corpus Christi is a way to reflect on the overshadowed joys of Maundy Thursday, could not the Sacred Heart likewise be a way to focus on the glorious aspect of Christ's redemptive love overshadowed by the grief of Good Friday? There is a logic to instituting the feast of the Sacred Heart as the capstone to the Octave (and theme) of Corpus Christi.
One priest once told me that the Sacred Heart is the essence of the entire Catholic Faith. Is it not true that the post-Tridentine era was also a time of a "cold" Catholicism? A coldness toward the Liturgy? A coldness in living a bold, integrated Catholic life? An era of Calvinist style Catholicism - individualistic, pietist, quietist, morally rigid? Cannot the Sacred Heart be the antidote to this, not as another sappy devotion supplanting the Liturgy but as a twin to Corpus Christi as a liturgical and liturgized devotion which can rekindle the Faith and practice of a warmer era?
As for an octave - this is perhaps too far an encroachment on the Liturgy. But then why allow an octave for Corpus Christi? On the other hand, the month of June is already loaded with octaves such that it will not be a question of the omitting the ferial psalms (these go back into hibernation again after today), but only of which festal offices will be celebrated in the coming weeks.