Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Thoughts on the Mass

Well, we shall see....

Four more days and the much awaited motu proprio regarding the celebration of mass according to the old rite should come out. I have awaited this for a long time, and now that it is, apparently imminent, I find myself wondering where we go from here. I also wonder how we got here in the first place, and why is this such a controversy?

Regarding the where we go from here, Carolina Cannonball has an interesting post on some possible happenings in Charlotte regarding the Mass. They are only rumors at this point, but a rumor of "yes" are better than factual "hell no", which is what we had previously. It is my sincerest hope and prayer that the old mass sweeps in and becomes more and more wanted, demanded, and celebrated. I am planning on, this Sunday, asking for the mass to be celebrated here in Greensboro, either at my home parish, or the other one I frequent. I have been wanting to for months now, but without the papal blessing to back it up, I would expect yet another "no". On the other hand, our pastor speaks english with a strong Vietnamese accent, so I wonder what his latin will be like. On the other hand, he also speaks Russian and French, so he'd probably get along just fine.

There is a well-written post over at The Cornell Society that goes over the astonishing comments of the Archbishop of Boston regarding the recent meeting at the Vatican with the Pope regarding the impending motu proprio. And, more importantly, regarding the handling of it once it is in force. Unfortunately, this first hint of feedback makes it appear as if the rection by some will be one of brushing it all off, since "everyone knows" there is "no demand" for that kind of thing any more. Brian Kopp at Universal Indult Blog has a wonderful post comparing the Tridentine Mass to Chocolate Ice Cream. It just serves to remind that all of us who want the Mass to be celebrated need to make our voices, our "legitimate desires" heard. Politely, but clearly. I believe, no, I KNOW that, given a fair chance, the initiative to bring back the Mass of John XXIII will be successful. I have feared all along that it won't be given that fair chance, but I refuse to accept that option. I will do everything I can to make it happen. Pray, call, write, talk, beg, educate, volunteer, anything. One thing for sure, the "we already have on of those masses" attitude will not fly with me.

But this leads to the next question, how did we get here?? And why are so many people so hatefully opposed to anything that has a hint of tradition about it?? I have some kind of off the wall theories regarding the first, which I will go into in another post, but I am at a complete loss as to the second question. I remember some years ago, Msgr. Showfety, our old, now retired pastor, held forth at length in a Homily over why he would never celebrate the old mass. I never did approach him about it, but I am so tempted to call him now and ask. But, Msgr. notwithstanding (a good man, BTW, and the reason I am a devout Catholic today), I just don't get it. I guess I am with the Pope when I think "what could be wrong with it?". Like so many similar things, I suppose the only reason for most people is that it is a way of pointing out their insecurity, and that makes them defensive.

Well, one way or the other, I think we are about to find out which way is going to prevail. If nothing else, the sheep are going to be separated from the goats real soon. I pray that all of our leaders have the serene attitude the Pope is hoping for. And if not, I pray that those of us who will be slighted will rise up and demand what is right. But, lest we all come off like a bunch of kooks, we should all re-read Father Z's 5 "Rules of Engagement". I know I need to.

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