The following comes from a July 28 OC Catholic article by James Day:
A growing Catholic metropolis of 34 acres, the Diocese of Orange’s Christ Cathedral campus in Garden Grove, California is a bastion of evangelization at the crossroads of secularism and transcendence. It is also a couple of blocks from Disneyland—so if planning a family vacation to Anaheim, a visit to Christ Cathedral would be a convenient and worthwhile stop.
Carving out time to merge a vacation with a pilgrimage sends a subtle message to both family and community: we are not limited to this realm alone, and even vacation should include renewal time for the spiritual. While on the one hand, the world’s holiest places are often subsumed with tourists and photographers, selfie sticks threatening to transform holy grounds into disposable Instagram backgrounds, visiting such sites with the approach of contemplation and appreciation invites pilgrims to enter a mystery being contemplated around the world.
This hub of Catholic activity offers a glimpse of possibility: as secular culture drifts further from the pillars that originally formed it—the very same pillars that continue to guide Holy Mother Church—into new territories of tenuous foundations with questionable motives and principles, a place like Christ Cathedral is both a refuge for the wayfarer and a stronghold of spiritual sustenance.
How do faithful communities following Christ reconcile this stake of belief with living in the world today? One cannot expect the millions of Catholics of the Pacific Rim, for instance, to retreat to forested monasteries. On the other hand, perhaps the sway of contemporary modern culture should be reduced in its overblown import. Is a happy medium possible? While a remaking of the Middle Ages is less a possibility than mass exodus away from society, the attitude of that time is nonetheless worthwhile today.
Romano Guardini, writing in The End of the Modern World, suggests a spirit that believers today can recapture: “There is only one standard by which any epoch can be fairly judged: in view of its own peculiar circumstances, to what extend did it allow for the development of human dignity?” In the same way that a cathedral uplifts the soul from the everyday to the heavenly, Guardini saw the Middle Ages as a period that strove to fuse the transcendence into the everyday, the will of God into the human spirit; the strive for perfect union of ora et labora. This is the Benedict Option for our own time: once the will of the individual becomes aligned with a care for the greater context—family, community, church, the transcendent—a cultural revolution will not be far behind.
In this way, Christ Cathedral symbolizes exactly what a cathedral should be, especially today: a holy place of solidarity amid cultural chaos and upheaval, so that the pilgrim—and even the tourist—who upon leaving the grounds may marvel at what the mystery of divine providence can accomplish through human hands, and in turn become a human agent of a cathedral’s fundamental mission, the mission of us all: to bridge the divine with the human.