Monday, December 17, 2012

Is There Beauty This Side of Heaven?

A chap named David writes a number of thoughtful commentaries that I often enjoy ruminating on. Yesterday he ambled into Latin Mass territory.

David was of a mind to attend the Latin Mass yesterday, Gaudete Sunday (the Latin “Gaudete” means "Rejoice;" the day marks the mid-point of Advent -- half-way to Christmas). He offered:

The Mass is the Mass is the Mass: make no mistake here. But on this of all Sundays, the Gaudete — that rejoicing lift in the middle of Advent, with the magnificent passage from Philippians that concludes in "the peace which passeth all understanding," & the Gospel with John Baptist’s exhilarating replies to the earnest questions of "normal people" — we were longing for the usus antiquior.

Advent is all about longing, and I share David's sentiment on that score. Where we differ is on the notion that "The Mass is the Mass is the Mass." I offered my own perspective, which follows.


This convert started attending the Latin Mass in a rented hotel conference room while the congregation built its Church. Months of Catechism, conditional Baptism, first Confession, first Communion, Confirmation -- all took place in this rented space, now referred to by yours truly (who is not in the least afflicted with nostalgia) as the Catholic Hotel.

Point being: the Mass is *not* the Mass is *not* the Mass. Validity assumed, the integrity of the thing suffers for:
* the lack of proper formation of the priests,
* a banal environment to pray,
* the neglect of the Churchmen,
* and banal, pedestrian, and synthetic ceremonies and prayers.

The attendant lack of fervor, carelessness at performing religious duties, neglect of obligations, and loss of Faith predictably (if not infallibly) follow.

The modern Mass militates against the Faith; it does not elevate; it does not honor God in a way He wants to be honored (c.f. Cain’s sacrifice). Have you still kept your Faith in the modernist milieu? Well done; you're an exception; quit settling; give God His due.

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