It’s all over the news. Pope Francis has begun the journey of attempting to destroy and remove the Traditional Latin Mass. If this had come out one year ago, I may have applauded the move like I have seen many Novus Ordo participants do recently but I would have done that out of ignorance and fear. I can hear some of my friends saying, “no, you wouldn’t have been applauding it, but you might not have fought against it.”
I know better now and I call myself a Zealot for the Latin Mass. How could the Mass of the Saints be abrogated? How could the Pope, with the brush of a pen or the push of a button, make the Traditional Latin Mass stop?
But he’s trying!
The purpose stated in the pope’s letter is to stop the division in the Catholic Church but anyone who has eyes can see that the pope isn’t bringing unity with this motu proprio. After all, as the meme above suggests, the Catholic church is divided and it’s getting worse. With the pope allowing priests like Father James Martin to continue causing scandal and confusion; while bishops silence priests like Father James Altman who speak the Truth; the Catholic Church is sinking. His letters also contradict each other. He doesn’t want the Latin Mass celebrated BUT the Bishops can decide, BUT, if you don’t attend Novus Ordo now, you’ve lost salvation. WHAT?
I won’t go into a theological debate on Vatican II. I’m not a theologian and I have barely scratched the surface on the knowledge needed to debate much of Catholicism; however, I do know that Vatican II Protestantized the Catholic Mass and the numbers of Catholics and Priests are dwindling. Why?
Well, I believe that much of our deposit of faith has been taken from us. I had no idea what I was missing in my faith by attending the Novus Ordo. Not all Novus Ordo Masses though are missing these elements but the parish I attended for over 15 years did dramatically change, erasing nearly every portion of reverence.
No Latin. No Greek. Less bowing. Hands being held up. Parishioners participating in nearly all aspects of the Mass. Adding Altar Girls. Music filling every moment of silence. No Organ. The addition of guitars and drums. The changing of the words at the Consecration. Lay people handling the Consecrated Eucharist! Adding whatever a priest feels called to in that moment. And if it couldn’t get any worse, preaching from the pulpit that God is merciful and that hell is empty.
If hell is empty, why confess? If God is merciful, why confess? God “knows what’s in my heart!” Salvation for everyone! It doesn’t work that way and never has. We have a wrathful God. Merciful yes…but one must ask. Which means one must recognize that they have sinned against Him and that they are not worthy of His mercy but God will give it if they ask. It’s not a birthright.
When lay people handle the Eucharist, it changes the way people think about the Eucharist. If THAT person can handle the Eucharist, it must not be the actual body, blood, soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, because I know what he does on the weekends. I know how sinful he/she is.
From the beginning of the Church, lay people did not touch the Eucharist (see the Apologies of Justin Martyr or CCC 1345). Why is it okay now? The Novus Ordo (New Order of the Ages), is only 56 years old. How old is the Mass of the Ages? Centuries!
People demand and expect to receive the Eucharist. If a priest preaches from the pulpit that you must be worthy when presenting yourself to receive our Lord, they get offended. This isn’t a right! You must be worthy. If you believe that the Eucharist is what Catholic’s believe it is, how on earth can you present yourself unworthily? Would you really walk up to Jesus himself and demand he give himself to you or would you fall to your knees because you are in the presence of God and that alone makes you feel unworthy?
When you attend the Traditional Latin Mass, you will immediately notice that the people there believe they are in the presence of God. They are on their knees the moment they walk through the doors, they are in the confession line that fills every wall of the church, they have their missals open in prayer, they are quite and focused towards Christ, they bow or kneel when Christ on the Crucifix processes in and bow or kneel when the priest (in persona Christi) processes behind the Crucifix, they are dressed modestly, and if Christ himself entered (which he does), they would fall to their knees (which they do).
There is no muttering or complaining when the priest preaches the virtues they should be seeking. They do not say, “how dare he!” when the priest tells them the gates to heaven are narrow. Instead, they understand that their priest (Father), loves them so much, they are willing to tell them such hard things in order to save them from the fire.
Hell is hot! Don’t go there!Father Ed Buelt
There is much silence in the Latin Mass. There is no need to fill it. The Latin Mass has built in reverence. Without the reverence needed for the Eucharist inside the Mass, why would anyone believe in the Real Presence of the Lord within the Eucharist anyway?
I’m not saying that all Novus Ordo Masses are irreverent, although the one I attended for the last six years or so became progressively irreverent. I am pointing out there is a big difference in some Novus Ordo Masses but all Traditional Latin Masses are the same.
I can go to a Novus Ordo Mass down the street and the Mass will be completely different than the Novus Ordo Mass 20 miles away, and both of those Masses will be different than the next Mass 15 miles from the second. For instance, we went to a Novus Ordo Mass when we recently traveled to Florida. People clapped during that Mass (a no-no because Mass isn’t entertainment). At another parish down the street, there are kneelers for those who want to receive the Eucharist on their knees (how one should present themselves to the Sovereign Good).
With this much latitude (given at Vatican II), no wonder there is so much confusion in the laity. But what I don’t understand is why the pope doesn’t have an understanding of the Mass, especially the Latin Mass and the meaning of it. He himself stated that “the faithful would not assist as strangers and silent spectators in the mystery of faith, but, with a full understanding of the rites and prayers, would participate in the sacred action consciously, piously, and actively,” about the Latin Mass; as if those with their heads in the Missal, praying fervently, are just “strangers and silenced spectators.”
Father preached today that we should not be focused on what we can see with our own eyes. These are the “things of this world.” It sounds like the pope is focused on being able to see the people “active” in the Mass but that is not the way. A person does not need to read the readings in order to participate actively.
A final note as there is much more to be said about the pope’s letter but my vocation is calling me (dinner for my family needs to be made). There are traditional priests in the Novus Ordo. We had several as parochial vicars at my last parish. When we had a traditional priest, who preached truth and not fluff, the parishioners flocked to his Mass. They would literally change their Sunday routine in order to hear this priest. The pews emptied at the Masses where it was preached we all go to Heaven. This is the same reason people are flooding the Latin Mass Churches. If you think the Latin Mass is dying, you’re mistaken.
Do not fall into despair brothers and sisters, for that is what the Devil wants. The Devil wants to destroy all that is good and he is running rampant these days. He is clever and makes people feel good about what they are doing but it’s part of his evil plan. Evil is good and good is evil. The Devil has distorted everything and it’s why we feel like we are living in the Twilight Zone. Do not succumb to it. The Church WILL prevail.
Tradition will restore the Church!
Lex Orandi Lex Credendi!!