Friday, May 30, 2014

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is Not Religious Entertainment

I'm betting readers here have the same sentiments I do when out of town and hungry for intimacy with the Body and Blood of Christ.

You do a bit of diligence to be sure you're not walking into something totally scandalous or severed from the Body of Christ, take a look around when you get there and if it passes at least the bare minimum on quality control, you take a chance.

On your knees, trying to enter the mystical places we go to connect with the Sacred moments on the Mount, Gethsemene, the praetorium,Golgotha and the Resurrection, the presence of the angels and Saints, the moment we intimately connect to Christ, the intercessions and prayers and communication happening between us, we try to block out the sounds of commotion happening around us.

We don't want to come out of our deep meditation to the sacred to turn to page 252 to sing a song with sappy theology. I don't want even see the choir which belongs in a loft summoning the angelic for what is about to happen. I don't want to hear a music director trying to pull me out of of mystical prayer to watch her attempt to conduct the religious entertainment she planned for the hour.

I go to a Mass as close to 7am as possible to avoid it all, so I can pray, intercede, connect to Christ and draw from Him.

If the homily is blither and blather I just can't listen to anymore or the priest starts acting like he's the main attraction at a religious entertainment hour, I check out, pick up my missal and pray the prayers written by our great saints. (Years ago, I printed off 1/2 inch thick stack of prayers written by our saints and keep them with me.)

There was a period of time I would walk out if it really got bad, and I still would if it gets heretical or dangerous to the souls sitting in the pews, but things have dramatically improved in the Novus Ordo as the St. John Paul II generation of priests were ordained and orthodox laity have taken to exposing antics publicly.

I've often wondered why seminaries poison the minds of their seminarians against the Latin Rite because if they saw and felt the difference, they would see how lame it is to turn our Sacred Liturgy into religious entertainment. Tasting the intimacy of Christ at a Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, they would experience the "give me more" hankering those of us who know it have every time we enter a Church to draw from Him.

There is some glorious news in Christendom - Fr. Longenecker has tasted it.

I celebrate most masses facing the people, but I have to admit that whenever I do, try as I might, I feel like I am on show–kind of like I am in entertainment mode. When I stand at the other side of the altar and face the Lord with the people I find that my own celebration of Mass is more intimate and mystical. I feel like I am able to focus more on the Lord and what is happening. If I need to weep I can do so without people seeing me. If I need to pause and pray I can do so without worrying what people are thinking.

He goes on to explain that he suddenly felt a connection to the prayers which he never felt before.

Welcome to the club. It's a crying shame they didn't show you that in the seminary eh?

You will spend every moment of the time you set aside for prayer trying to climb back there, most especially during the Sacred Liturgy.

This is the reason why so many of us travel to a place where a priest is willing to deliver Christ in abundance and we stay away from priests who have turned it into a show about them.

This is why so many of us are worried about the state of affairs under Pope Francis. We made so much progress but it seems he is turning our religion back into religious entertainment. He is undermining all of the progress we have made in the last decade.

There has been no pursuit of it. He is the head clown blowing kisses from his choo-choo traveling the world, undermining and silencing Church teaching.

We are seeing reversals happening in our parishes already.

I'm not quire sure what to do about it yet, but pretending it isn't happening is definitely not the course to take.

(n.b. I can't state enough that I am extremely confident that our beloved Pope is a faithful son of Christ's Church. As I am Cardinal O'Malley. They are big boys who can take care of their own salvation. My focus as a mother, grandmother, friend, baptized Catholic is the damage they are doing by appointing apostates to teach and guide, sanctify and govern while they are off showing us how holy they are themselves. It's a tough show to watch given the people we love are being sucked into the vortex of their stupid ideas, God bless them. It isn't the first time the Church has been in this pickle. It is a blip on the screen. Sit tight on the Holy Mountain of God and keep drawing His Body and Blood.)


Michael Davitt said...

TTC: Love to read your take on something.

While reading your comments, I thought of an apposite book that I have read and is available:

"Does Christianity Need A Liturgy? | Martin Mosebach | From The Heresy of Formlessness: The Roman Liturgy and Its Enemy

Some Catholics, who enjoy being provocative, say that the Christian religion could manage without the Bible sooner than without the liturgy. What do they mean by saying this?"

Anonymous said...

I'll say it for you: Francis isn't a bad guy, but he is a misguided heretic and many of his friends are worse.

TTC said...

Augustine Thomas,

I don't know what he is. I don't know anyone who knows what he is. That in itself is the problem.

He could simply be just a fool. Or, he could be so smart, he will outsmart us all and pull it together. Don't rule that out.

We've lived with something similar to the 'Francis' phenomenon here in Boston for close to a decade now. Cardinal O'Malley ushered it in. He talks the talk, but stacks the educational system, school and university, parishes, Chancery, apostolates - with heretics.

He surrounds himself with heretics, promotes heretics, protects heretics and silences, threatens, punishes, removes faithful priests and lay people.

It has puzzled the faithful here in Boston. Why would he do such a thing? He seems so faithful himself?

We spent years trying to reach out to him. I know of literally hundreds of people who met with him personally. Not one has ever walked out with the impression that he will do the right thing or even knows what the right thing is to do.

It got to the point where it doesn't really matter what the reasons are he is doing it, the victims are stacking up and there is no structure in place above him to save us all from it.

In fact, it has proven to be just the opposite. The structure in place promotes people who dismantle catechesis and erect a counterfeit church inside of their see.

In our lifetime, we have always at least had a faithful Pope who was with the program - whatever corruption was around him and underneath him. The corruption sucked the life out of the last pope.

In watching and listening to Pope Francis, I do not get the impression he is a heretic. Look how careful he was to recalibrate the message on divorced and communion.

I do wonder though if he will turn the synod into a big tent where all the heretics stand up and promote crackpot theology and then faithful prelates will express the views of the Church and no conclusion is ever drawn by the Pope.

We all know the damage that does. The conclusion is, the path of heresy is salvific too.

At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter whether he is a heretic himself or he surrounds himself with them and gives them the keys to promote heresy all around us from the Chair of Peter.

If he is going to push this generation over the edge of the cliff and dismantle the Roman Catholic Church, it's teachings and Liturgy for the next generation of children - nobody gives a damn whether he himself is faithful or unfaithful. He will be anathema to those of us who will need to tell everyone around us to pray for him but ignore what he tells you to do and find the path in the Deposit of Faith to which we are bound.

It will not be an easy path. It will get ugly. Our job in that is to keep people tied to the Chair of Peter and Christ's Church come what may. The current papacy will end and we will move beyond it. We always have.

I hope it doesn't happen. I do not yet hold any conviction that it will happen. I am waiting to see what he is orchestrating for the synod, what kind of music it plays. Then we will see where he is going.

TTC said...

What I care about as a mother, grandmother, relative, friend, Catholic, is the judgments the Church teaches my loved ones to make.

Up to this point, the papacy has been directing us all not to make judgments on right and wrong actions to take when faced with temptation - but to go to Confession.

If you do not teach the former, the latter never happens, you see. Especially when you surround them with priests and lay people who teach them acting upon sexual temptation and contraception is not a sin.

This is the flag he is flying from the Holy See and it is impossible for us to salute, tell the people we love to salute.

Even if this is who he turns out to be, it is irrelevant. The Deposit of Faith does not change, we lead people to it and our Sacred Liturgy and teach them how to climb the mountain to taste and draw from the purity of Christ. It will be more challenging but this is our path in the worst case scenario.

TTC said...

Michael, thanks for your kind words.

Looks like an interesting book, thanks for heads up!

I would think that a Catholic who can separate the Bible from the Liturgy doesn't really get what is going on in the Holy Sacrifice?

It's a bit like saying the Rosary could do without the substance of the New Testament. LOL