A codicil to the whole “black mass” brouhaha at Harvard
I don’t know how many of you are familiar with the story regarding the proposed staging of a black mass by members of the Satanic temple on the Harvard University campus allegedly using a “consecrated” host. The “reenactment” was to be sponsored by a student group affiliated with the Harvard Extension School as an “educational” experience. Even after a strong and vehement plea from Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the archbishop of Boston, the “mass” was going to be allowed to take place since the administration did not to want to limit academic freedom. However, yesterday wiser heads prevailed and the “mass” was thankfully cancelled. Here is the link for more on this story. http://www.boston.com/news
Yet, here is the “kicker,” as a friend of mine shared with me this little historical tidbit. The spokesperson for the Satanic Temple said that the presentation of the Black Mass was to be based upon the description found in the book Lá-bas (“The Damned”) published in 1891 by the French author Joris-Karl Huysmans. Huysmans was notorious for the earlier publication of his book À rebours (“Against Nature”) which was seen by many as decadent, pornographic, and vulgar. Another author of the time, Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly, told Huysmans that after writing À rebours, he would have to choose between “the muzzle of a pistol or the foot of the Cross.” A year after publishing his Black Mass novel, Lá-bas, Huysmans returned to the Catholicism of his childhood. He died as a Benedictine oblate.
And so the truth remains, that even when the people or events seem completely bound up in evil and darkness and far away from God, the light of the Spirit can still break through and shine in the darkness.