Laudetur Iesus Christus!
Nunc et in æternum! Amen.
I had a post written out on Thursday but I put it in my drafts because I didn’t like it. I decided to scrap it since it was truly “meh” … like that’s anything different from what I usually write … lolz.
I went to the monthly Mass held by Juventutem Michigan Friday evening at Holy Family Church in Detroit. Holy Family is an Italian parish, Sicilian to be specific (if you talk to some Sicilians, they will be insulted if you call them “Italian” … lol). I am fifty percent Italian (Eye-Tie) and twenty-five percent of that Italian is Sicilian (the other quarter is Calabrese … apparently those two parts of Italy hate each other … that explains a lot).
That church was so cool. What writing in the church that wasn’t in Latin or English was in Italian. Lots of Mary statues (not complaining … at all).
And an Infant of Prague statue in a rather nice set of purple vestments (He’s following me … again, not complaining).
The Mass was sublime as usual. Before Holy Mass, we prayed the Rosary in Spanish, English, and Latin (I know the prayers in those languages, Deo gratias) and then we prayed the Stations of the Cross with meditations written by Saint Alphonsus Ligouri (some of my favorite meditations evah).
All during Holy Mass I was trying not to be distracted by this thought (He has a way of getting me to re-focus): This is so Catholic. I mean, if the Mass was a sponge, it would ooze Papism. It is just so imbued with Catholicity. And it is clear that what is happening during this whole “going on” is not just anything.
I think it’s the whole aura of the sanctity. The sound of the chant and the sacred music (not Haugen-Daaz). The smell and sight of the incense (that has left my black veil lightly scented!). The whole “thing” that is the TLM just exudes sublime transcendence. The attention to detail alone indicates that this is something sacred, something that is not mundane. The priest and other ministers did not schlep through the Mass, everything was done with precision.
Whenever I am at TLM, I always think: a.) this is so blatantly Catholic (I love it!) b.) This is the Mass that the vast majority of our ancestors in the Faith (aka the saints) experienced and from which they derived their strength to live lives of heroic virtue, and c.) how and why do some vilify this beautiful and oh-so-very-Catholic way of worshiping God?
I have found in my experiences with the TLM, that there are some times when I like to follow with my Missal (this time I used my 1962 Missal app on my phone … one less thing to carry) and other times, I just like to observe what is going on and just let it soak into my very soul.
I kinda mixed it up on Friday but did a large chunk of the latter.
The TLM also reminds me of what “active participation” really means and what it really does not mean.
What does it mean?
“Active participation” is when we unite our very selves with the actions and prayers of the priest who is acting in persona Christi. I felt like I was truly participating in the Holy Mass Friday night just by observing and following the Mass in my heart. It is something that I have difficulty conveying in words because if I were to try to do so with such a profoundly personal and yet “public” thing, it would be greatly lacking.
Let’s just say this: so long as you assist at the Holy Mass with an open heart (and you are properly disposed), the Good Lord will fill it with countless graces. Yes, that will suffice.
What does it not mean?
“Active participation” does not mean having to do something. I really think that whole definition has arisen from the shortened attention spans that many have developed. I also think it has arisen from a rather myopic interpretation of what it means to “participate” as if in order for one to be participating truly in the Mass, one needs to be doing a physical action as if prayerfully following the Mass was somehow not enough. *facepalm*
I used to think that before I learned and experienced better. I used to think that the more people who could do something (as in a concrete physical action), the better.
All that does it detract from the liturgy (when it is done in excess, that is; there is a place for some measure of laity doing something) and it crowds the sanctuary and distracts people from what ought to be and is the center of the Mass: the re-presentation of Christ’s Sacrifice on the Cross.
Whenever I assist at a TLM, I always leave feeling like I have had a glimpse of Heaven. Like the veil between Heaven and Earth was lifted or thinned a bit to allow us unworthy people to cast a brief glance on a foretaste of things to come.
It also gives me the most profound spiritual “high.” I can’t even describe it. It’s like my very soul has been lifted, has been given an abundance of grace … I don’t even know how to explain it or describe it.
One part toward which I never look forward: the TLM ending.
It is like a spiritual cold shower. Like walking out of a warm house and into the frigid outside in the snow with bare feet. You find yourself leaving this experience, this very sublime and pretty much heavenly (or as close to Heaven as we’re going to get before death) experience, and then enter back into the profane/temporal world. It’s like the TLM is a taste of eternity. To what we have to look forward.
I really don’t like it. I always come home wishing it didn’t have to end.
Every time I assist at a TLM, I am reminded why I love the TLM and why it is my preference (though I do love a reverently-offered Novus Ordo) but really, to me, while the NO is a valid Mass (so some of you can fight back the urge to call me a rad trad), I really believe that the TLM is so much more Catholic (and I am not saying that the NO is not Catholic … it’s just not as overtly Catholic).
It really is. It’s almost like when the NO was promulgated to replace the TLM (though the latter was never abrogated as some would have you believe), they decided to strip all of the symbolism and signs of the transcendent/sublime from it.
I can just hear the nasty comments being muttered under some person’s breath right now.
No, I do not think that the Novus Ordo is an invalid Mass or an innovation of those blasted Modernists.
No, I do not think that the TLM should be resurrected as the OF (Ordinary Form) instead of its current position as the EF (Extraordinary Form). The Novus Ordo is here to stay. I have no problem with that so long as the sense of the sacred is not disposed of and so long as it is not hijacked by those who wish to bend and mold it according to their whims, feelings, or the cultural mentalities that prevail at the moment (ugh … I have experienced it … it makes my soul cry).
Yes, I think that the TLM is much more overtly Catholic. It’s obvious. It smacks you in the face with its Catholicity. You cannot help but think, “This is sooooo Catholic!” You couldn’t call the TLM worldly or overly immanent in any way, shape, or form.
Yes, I think that the Novus Ordo was stripped of much of its symbolism and sense of the transcendent in favor of the immanent (“this worldiness” as opposed to “other worldliness”) to the point that when done to the extreme, it becomes a giant belly button gazing fest where we all talk about how we are the Church (which is true but … *shudders at memories*) and how the Mass is about the community *facepalm*. I blame part of this on the crappy catechesis over the past few decades that has centered on feelings rather than Truth and reality.
Yes, I believe that a Novus Ordo can be offered reverently and beautifully. It’s just sad that it’s been banalized in so many places that when some people think of the Novus Ordo, they think of guitar-strumming geriatric hippies and liturgical abuse up the wazoo. I have been to many reverently offered NOs. Some in Latin. Some in English. Some with a happy mix of both. Vatican II did give pride of place to Latin and did remind the Church that Latin was to still play a vital role in the public worship of the Church.
It’s just sad that that got ignored by many. Heck, they deny it’s even there and then when you show it to them, they get all indignant. *facepalm* Read the actual documents before you start spewing the “Spirit of Vatican II” malarcky. Whenever I hear someone use that to justify something totally against the Council, I am all, “I don’t think you know what you are talking about. I don’t think you know what that really means.”
Like I always say, “You can have all the letters after your name but if you are a progressive or a liberal, it don’t mean a thing.” Even more so if you are a theologian of that bent. You can have all these degrees and awards but if your roots are in heresy and the like, then what good is it since your roots are not in Truth and you do not derive the corpus of your knowledge (which is a gift from God) from the fullness of Truth?
I have to get ready for Mass.
But before that, I have something to share about which I am oh so very excited!
Coming this August …
Something that I really thought had an ice cube in a microwave on high’s chance at happening is going to take place …
Something that probably means that I owe at least a couple friends money (this is the kind of stuff we bet on) ….
On 30 August 2013, at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Detroit, there will happen something that is truly historic and that caused me to be beaten down with traddy gids.
A Traditional Latin Mass will be offered at the mother church of the Archdiocese of the Detroit facilitated by Juventutem Michigan with the blessing of our dear Archbishop Vigneron and the rector of the Cathedral, Msgr. LeFevre.
I. Kid. You. Not.
Truly a historic happening and I am so excited about it! So very very very excited! And so very very very grateful to the Archbishop and Msgr. LeFevre for allowing this!
If you are able, you should come. Save the date and tell your friends. Wouldn’t it be kewl if one of the bishops of the AOD would offer it? Wouldn’t it be even kewl-er if His Excellency, the Archbishop offered it? I mean, it isn’t like he hasn’t offered Mass in the EF before.
So yes, be excited. Be very excited.
All right. ‘Tis time to get ready for Holy Mass for the Second Sunday of Lent!
Have a blessed Sunday!
I have another post forming in my mind (they do that sometimes). Perhaps post-Missam I will put it down. It’s been forming for a couple days but I think it’s ready to be written down. Let us see what happens.