I recently finished reading Rumer Godden's In This House of Brede. It forms an interesting counterpoint to Bugnini.
Godden's tale is about a nun (a late vocation) in the 1950s and 60s. It is, as usual with Godden, a subtle novel, sensitively plotted, with excellent characterisation and a wonderful sense of place.
In this case the place is a Benedictine monastery (as it is more correctly called, apparently) of nuns; and Godden pulls off the difficult trick of making good characters convincing and engaging.
She is not primarily interested in the changes in the Church in that period, but they form a backdrop to the novel which I, at least, found quite fascinating. Some of the nuns are horrified at the mere idea of Mass being celebrated facing them; others are keen for change and modernisation. Godden doesn't take sides, but presents both views with understanding and sympathy.
One of the things that comes across so powerfully, though, is what was lost with the changes; the monastery she describes as typical in its day is a complete rarity today, though some are striving to recover it. Of course, not everything was perfect, and that too is made quite clear; but overall, it was a place of prayer and growth, where sanctity was the goal and was, I suspect, often quietly achieved.
I highly recommend this to anyone interested in Catholicism then and now...
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