Laudetur Iesus Christus!
Nunc et in æternum! Amen.
Something nasty is a-brewing somewhere because starting last night after TLM (you will hear about that later on) the hearing in my left ear started to go out. For me, that’s nothing new. I have been dealing with that since I was born. Last night, it went out and came back rather frequently. Today, not so much, we went to go get my nephew and since I had been out a bit late last night and was still tired determined that it probably wasn’t a good idea for me to drive so I stationed myself in the back of the car. I popped my ear buds in and started to listen to Mozart (Masses in C Minor and C). Then, my left side went out. I thought it was with my ear bud so I took it out and put it in my right ear. Nope. No dice, it’s not the ear bud. It’s my ear.
One of the things that the Lord does not deign to take from me is my ability to hear very low sounds and very high sounds (not like dog whistle high but high nonetheless). So I could still get the parts that hit those frequencies. The cool thing is that I could feel my eardrum moving a bit (not sure if that’s a good thing … it didn’t hurt so yay!) with the rhythm of the music. And yet, I was only hearing a bit of it. This too shall pass.
Oh lookie here …
This may be what’s causing it. The Lord knows a storm this major (they are calling it a “Frankenstorm” which is a misnomer because “Frankenstein” was the mad doctor not the creature) is going to affect much of the eastern part of the country. If I understand things correctly, it’s a hurricane whose predicted course will cause it to run into a winter storm or two and thus create some kind of nastiness that will bring a mess of rain and snow. I might just be savoring the effects of the drastic fluctuations in barometric pressure. I just hope that people stay safe during this thing because it looks like it’s going to be a humdinger.
Moving on …
Why do I have an image of Christ the King at the top of the post? Because at the Juventutem Monthly TLM last night was for a Votive Mass for Christ the King (in the EF, the Feast is coming up this Sunday).
It was glorious. It was ethereal. It was everything sublime that is the TLM.
I think all of that was heightened by the fact that I haven’t been able to assist at Mass since Monday. I value my job and the income it gives me but I realllllllllllly don’t like missing Mass. Really don’t. But I should count my blessings, there are some who cannot find jobs and I am lucky enough to have one.
What do I do? I am something of an engineering assistant (I know, I have a BA in Theology) at the business where my father is CFO. I am helping one of the engineers set up the layouts for the assembly lines for the automotive manufacturers for whom the business makes machines (machines that make machines). I started off coloring in layouts making sure things were up-to-snuff and now I am actually setting up layouts, tagging electrical, safety and other things. I do it all with a really nice image editing program that I am playing with daily to learn more cool things it can do.
I do miss going to Mass every morning. It’s kinda like Romeo and Juliet but without the illicit relations and the (spoiler alert) double suicide at the end . I don’t like being away from His Presence like this. When I was at TLM last night, it was like “Wham! Bam! Thank you, ma’am!” with grace and just plain joy (which is a gift of the Holy Spirit).
And then, after Holy Mass, we went to a nearby Mexican restaurant for some dinner. Since we had celebrated Christ the King, we did shots of Crown Royal (I did two because I had to wake up early the next morning). I always look forward to these events because they are always so much fun. There are not many young adults who spend their Friday evenings at TLM and then sharing a meal together with wonderful conversation.
Though it can be a bit of a downer for me. Not the TLM itself mind you, no words can aptly describe its sublimity.
I know! How is that possible?
Well, there are a few reasons:
1. The TLM (in my traddy opinion) has a much more overt transcendence (and yes, I think Latin plays an integral role in that … along with the ad orientem/Deum orientation) than in the Novus Ordo when it is offered in the way that it is typically found in the everyday American parish (no, I am not dissing the liturgical life of the common parish, I am just sharing my opinion) which is entirely in English (or w/e the vernacular is) sans a skerrick of Latin and versus populum.
2. When I go to TLM, it typically takes place in one of the historic churches of Detroit. Translation: it still has its high altar and an altar rail. I am always astounded by the generosity of the poor immigrants that founded and built these parishes. Take a drive through Detroit (use your street sense) and look at all the Catholic churches (some are gone or closed sadly). What do you see? Not some awful modernist edifice whose inside is as sterile as the exterior. No! You see the traditional architecture types: Gothic, Romanesque, Baroque, etc., etc. along with a beautifully appointed interior.
The parish at which last night’s TLM was held was Most Holy Redeemer Parish in southwest Detroit. You can just feel the sanctity and the history. Whenever I am in these churches for TLM and I hear the Latin prayers, the chant, and the organ music I think, “THIS is the Mass for which this church was built. THIS edifice befits the Mass that is offered herein.”
It also makes me lament. These churches were built with the pittance incomes of immigrants along with their skilled trades that they brought with them from their homelands and they remain a testament of faith; their styling and aesthetics are timeless, not dated. Now, we have much more disposable income which we can contribute to the building of our churches and what do we get? Dated, modernist/postmodernist travesties (in some cases) that are bankrupt of imagery and aesthetics. There is no objective sense of the sacred or beauty in these churches, it’s all in the eye of the beholder which is altogether dangerous because then beauty becomes relative (sorry, that was the rad trad again).
Poor immigrants + many small donations = objectively beautiful churches with equally aesthetically-pleasing accouterments.
Rich native born citizens + some small donations + large gifts (along with a “renowned ecclesiastical architect”) = relatively kinda sorta decent church with minimally licit vessels and sparse of decoration (sorry, the rad trad has been on a war path lately).
Disclaimer: I know of some legit church architects and interior furnish-ers (totes made up that word) (I can’t use “interior design” when talking about churches … I keep getting images of curtain fabric swatches and carpet samples). They exist. I am talking about people who do this to a formerly beautiful cathedral. Can you say “wreckovation?”
And then I become sad because these are the churches that are on the chopping block. These gorgeous churches with sooooo much history are going away by the year. Some of us were hypothesizing about how wonderful it would be if the FSSP or the ICKSP could come in and take over some of these churches. They have a history (at least from what I have heard) of taking over floundering parishes, bringing in their beautiful liturgical and parochial life, and reviving the parish.
Wouldn’t that be lovely? Oh yes it would.
But “Church rant” aside, I really do think that when I do not assist at Mass regularly, something is truly missing from my very being. I am that love-struck girl who needs to see her Beloved. I am that girl who will find any excuse to go and see Him (when I worked at the parish, I always found an excuse to make an even five second visit). I mean, while I have been at work, I have put the live stream from Savior.org on and I have watched Mass via EWTN stream but nothing compares with actually being there when the Lord comes down and becomes substantially present at the words of the priest. Nothing.
I also miss my daily Rosary walk.
What can I say? I am a creature of habit. I love routine. I thrive on routine. It’s how my highly systematic mind works. It’s a blessing and a curse at times. Though can something be truly a “curse” if it comes from God in one way or another? I don’t think so since God is all good so some good must come of even the most dire or dark time that He does permit (there is a difference between God’s permissive will and his active/positive will).
I am really hoping that soon I will be able to resume doing my work from home (I just need to learn a few more things) because it’s really affecting me. My daily Mass attendance rooted and oriented my day. It was the time during the day that was exclusively just for me and Him. Church could be full of people but it will always just be Him and me when I am there to see Him and spend time with Him.
I soooo look forward to the day when I will be able to go to TLM more regularly (soon, God willing) because it has really become my preference for sooo many reasons. I really feel a deep connection with the Lord when I attend TLM. There are times when I don’t even bother following in my Missal (with every TLM I attend, I get better and following!) and just let the Lord take over (should do that more often and not just at Holy Mass). There is something about the TLM that just captivates every part of me: my body, my mind, and my very soul. When I assist at TLM, I really do feel like I am outside of time and at the foot of the Cross with Our Lady and Saint John. What a privilege.
One minor perk: It’s always nice to be able to wear one’s veil without getting unnecessary flak and back talk. Though last night it was acting up on me. Perhaps because I entered church a bit flustered and the Lord was trying, in His own awesome way, “Simmer down now.”
Oh, and for those two people who, for some reason known only to God have persevered to the end of this, I have decided what I am going to do for the Year of Faith: I am going to read as much of the documents of Vatican II (I am using this text) as I can and I am going to read Introduction To Christianity. I am always looking for an excuse to read me some Ratzinger (I know he’s Pope Benedict now but I still call him Ratzinger when referring to his pre-election work).
All right, my eyes are getting heavy. I need to hit the sack. Have a nice night, everyone!
BTW, tomorrow (28 October) is Priesthood Sunday. Pray for our dear priests. Pray for the priests in your life: your parish priest/s, the priest who baptized you, the priests who have heard your confession, the priests at whose Masses you have assisted, the priests who have been your spiritual directors or confidantes. But also remember to pray for those priests who are in danger of losing their vocation. Pray for those priests who are not faithful to the Church and/or their vocation. Pray for seminarians because one day, God willing, they will be our priests and they need support now as much as when they are ordained.