“Mother of Sorrows”, Benedictines of Mary Queen of Apostles, from the album “Lent At Ephesus”, (2014)
Writing this on a cool grey Wednesday morning … My mood and perception of reality in this moment are a reflection of the cold grey all around me this morning.
Mass in another hour, Mass is always good, wish I could go every day but that desire will not be gratified any time soon.
Wish there was another traditional rite available to us here but that also is an unrealized desire or dream.
The Catholic Church of Rome now uses the term “extraordinary form” of the Roman Rite Mass among other terms.
The most widespread term for this form of the rite, other than “Tridentine Mass“, is “Latin Mass“. And the practice of the “Latin Mass” has indeed become “extraordinary”. Pity …
What have politics, social pressure and human pride to do with a Mass which has existed for around 2000 years now, and quite frankly has been debated very little until quite recently.
Paul had things to say about this sort of thing. In Galatians 2, Paul got right in Peter’s face and told him off about his mistakes and his hypocrisy. Peter was pretty much The Boss, he was the first pope, he couldn’t have been wrong, right?
This confrontation is perhaps THE most surprising thing in Paul’s letters. Some of the other apostles, and some of the church fathers found this difficult to accept, being that they were in the Jewish circumcision faction and so they made excuses for Peter.
They made excuses in pretty much the same way that Cardinal Ouellet is making excuses for Pope Francis. But Peter was wrong – in a way that we often go wrong, too, … peer pressure – everywhere and at all ages and states in life …
And I wonder about the peer pressure within our current crop of clerics, our current leadership, our current cadre of theological “betters”.
I wonder about the pressure to go along with certain points of view and certain agendas, certain life-style choices, which have been apparent to me since the 60’s. All this peer pressure aided and abetted by demonic stoking of the fires of normal human concupiscence.
The pressure to “not rock the boat” and voice one’s reservations even when those reservations are in the area of millennia long traditions and canonical doctrine.
Reservations about changing things just to be fashionable, to be more in step with the world, to be more “welcoming”, more “inclusive”.
Thinking about my own life … of sin … of self indulgence, the places and times when self sacrifice was not in the ascendance.
Lots of food for thought there, lots of decades of self-love and attachment to esteem, worldly praise, and rewards for “not rocking the boat”. Lots of reasons for contrition and amendment.
When and why did my soul and my self start to diverge from the spirit of our times? How did I get so out of step with my own “welcoming”, “inclusive” church?
In what measurable way, what distinctive way, is the church of Rome different from any other popular protestant church? When did my church stop being a rock, a scandal to the Jews, and a stumbling block to the Gentiles and start being a “Me Too” “We have to be more open”, kind of church?
The Roman Catholic Church used to be all about the narrow path and holding true to the Word of God as handed down for two thousand years. Now we get smoke and mirrors and silence or obfuscation and confusion. Pity …
No matter what the cost, even of life itself, the Truth must be upheld even in the face of a world that rejects it all. “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.” ― G.K. Chesterton, What’s Wrong with the World.
Where did the narrow path get washed out and impassable?
Or, this time I can say, with passion, “But it is not This Day! This day we fight.” This is all just one more place where we are commanded to stand and deliver, to soldier on no matter what, hold to the last man when all seems lost, keep advancing towards the light even when all the officers have run away and all hope of victory seems dashed beyond recovery.
This feeling of almost despair is merely one more round of Satan’s lies. I have become a recent fanboy of Robert Cardinal Sarah. I rather suspect that the good Cardinal and others like him, and even Saint Theresa of Calcutta would be unhappy with the current state of the liturgy in our Canadian dioceses, on the other hand we are not yet in the news for abuse scandals, so perhaps things are not as bad as I feel today.
In any case, we will continue to fight the long defeat, and if and when the victory is hard won in Rome, we will still have to return to the Shire and undertake the bitter task of scouring our home to return it to the state of cleanliness suitable for the wedding feast. Lets not be the one spoken of thus: “Then the king said to the waiters: Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth”. (Matt 22:13)
A much needed Scouring of the Shire …