Sunday, November 30, 2014

Patience isn't always a virtue

Forty-five years ago today, the first Sunday of Advent, 1969 also fell on November 30th. That makes today an anniversary, of sorts*, of the Mass of Paul VI. Good riddance! I surely hope it doesn’t take another forty-five years before this gaping, still-hemorrhaging wound on the Body of Christ is closed and healed (i.e., until the Novus Ordo is reformed until it should become the Usus Antiquior again.)

In 1990, then Cardinal Ratzinger commented:
The liturgical reform, in its concrete realization, has distanced itself even more from its origin. The result has not been a reanimation, but devastation. In the place of liturgy as the fruit of development came fabricated liturgy. We abandoned the organic, living process of growth and development over the centuries and replaced it – as in a manufacturing process – with a fabrication, a banal on-the-spot product.
And he’s quoted seven years later:
I am convinced that the crisis in the church that we are experiencing today is to a large extent due to the disintegration of the liturgy.
Even in a good Novus Ordo parish, such as where I worship most weekdays and my husband and sons often go early Sundays, pablum is routinely served up. For example, my son told me today’s opening joke: the elderly woman who had been married to a banker, circus ringmaster, preacher and undertaker explained “One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready and four to go.” Ha ha! Very funny. But how does that help anyone even recognize the sacrifice taking place on the altar, much less join oneself to it?

I’m so thankful that with only two Tridentine Masses offered in the archdiocese, I’m close enough to get to one every Sunday. I just wish it were earlier in the morning so my early-bird family could come with me much more often.

Some who hear me continue to complain about a Mass I no longer attend would admonish me with, “patience, patience”. And yes, patience and prayer would be enough if I were the only one concerned. Unfortunately, there are so many more souls at stake.

Yesterday, I went to a funeral that my sons were asked to serve. I did not know the deceased or any family, but figured the prayers of one more mourner are always a good thing. Having done this before, I shouldn’t have been surprised at all the talking & even a coffee-drinker before Mass; foul language of the deceased quoted in the eulogy given before Mass; and that hardly anyone spoke the responses. But it really struck me how long it had likely been since most family members had been to Holy Mass when NO ONE was holding hands or using the orans posture during the Lord's Prayer! (And I'm quite sure it wasn't because they're all traditional-minded).

Sitting towards the back, I found myself observing that three or maybe even four generations in this typical Catholic family are probably lost: souls at risk of eternal damnation. All on borrowed time.

Patience is NOT what is called for!

* “Of sorts” since the turn-key switch from the Mass of All Ages was meant to happen this weekend, although the Missal wasn’t ready yet and many of the abuses had already crept in.

**We always have to pray in these situations in reparation for the sacrilege that is probably being committed (everyone's receiving Holy Communion despite the priest's instruction, which perhaps should be more explicit, e.g., don’t receive if you didn’t go to Mass last Sunday or any Sunday and haven’t since confessed it to a priest), and for the conversion of the family members as well as for the deceased.