Friday, August 08, 2008

Incense, like Guinness, is Good for You

The inimitable Fr Zuhlsdorf reveals to us why our delight in sitting up front for High Mass has always been so great:

“ Wake up and smell the incense!”
This is one of my ripostes to those who downplay Pope Benedict’s plan to revitalize Holy Church, especially through derestricting the Traditional Latin Mass. Incense is one of those marks of solemn liturgy which, we hope, will return to more frequent use in our Latin Rite parishes.

Apparently, that fragrant smoke wafting upward does far more than mark with solemnity our prayers rising on high to God. It also fulfills the goals of homemade progressivist liturgy: It makes you feel good about yourself!

Here’s the science! Please rush to your local library and read a paper in a recent number of the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology entitled, “ Incensole Acetate, an Incense Component, Elicits Psychoactivity by Activating TRPV3 Channels in the Brain.”
Zzzzzzz. . . .

Not so! It seems that frankincense acts on the brain to lower anxiety and diminish depression. Research was done at Johns Hopkins University and Hebrew University. They administered incensole acetate, a component of frankincense, to lab mice. This great- smelling stuff affects the part of the brain controlling emotion, including anxiety and depression.

In other words, incense makes you feel good about yourself. That in itself should help even the progressivist liturgy types get on board with Pope Benedict and his Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum!

This is from Father's WDTPRS column in The Wanderer. In may have been recorded in his WDTPRS blog also, but I didn't notice it there. The Wanderer has a website here and you can sample two or three issues. Alas, the system doesn't allow a direct citation. To find the whole article you will need a subscription. (Which you ought to have anyway, you know.)