Daily Archives: December 6, 2010

The Tridentine Mass And The Sense of The Sacred

Very interesting post from Father Z, who is basically requested how the Tridentine (I am against the use of “TLM” as a matter fo course; if it was the Tridentine for my grandfather it is fine for me, too) can be made interesting again to a person who, as a child, felt it is an imposition.

My answer would be to see the Tridentine Mass as one saw the obligation to learn as a child or the obligation to eat things different from, say, chocolate.

The Mass in itself has not changed, it is our attitude which must rise to the appreciation of the Mass. This requires a bit more work than it is necessary to appreciate, say, chocolate but it is perfectly doable anyway. It is a bit the same process many of us had to undergo with the learning of school subjects which might have seemed dreadful when very young and turned out to be extremely fascinating at a more mature age.

At Mass, we meet Christ. There can be nothing wrong with the Mass in itself. If we get a wrong feeling when thinking about the Mass, we must reflect whence it comes and how this feeling can be overcome. In the case of the Tridentine, the discomfort can only come from reminiscences of past impositions. These are nothing to do with the Mass itself.
If the discomfort should be caused by other factors (say: an unpleasant priest, an irreverent Novus Ordo, disturbances) then we should consider attending elsewhere. Still, we aren’t justified in thinking that the Mass should do something to interest us, as opposed to us becoming interested in the Mass.

Places like Amazon (not places like Waterstone’s) are full of books who can beautifully introduce one to the Tridentine. Know Your Mass is a simple, easy to understand, very orthodox, nicely made one.

Books like it is what, I think, should be suggested to those approaching the Mass again.

On Friday Penance again

Father Z has a post over a sort of debate published in the Catholic Herald and originated by the fact that (even!) the Bishops of E and W are now thinking about reinstating the practice.

I have written about the penance some time ago and will not repeat the argument. What I would like to stress here are the elements emerging from the discussion:

1) It is a very good sign that the Bishops of E and W (people who have a problem even with traditional days of obligation) are now thinking of reinstating Catholic traditions.

2) Personally I think that what they should do first is to a) reinstate the days of obligations and b) start to severely stress the Sunday Mass obligation.

3) I say this because if our hierarchy is not even able to request observance of Catholic rules when it is most important (Mass attendance), the request to reinstate traditional practices might – even if commendable in itself – sound hollow or, worse, fake. Particularly if it is accompanied by the usual self-flagellation meant to make one oh so accepted by the anti-Catholic public, as in “make penance on Friday to save the world from globaluormin“, or the like.

I am also against the argument that such a penance would be a small thing, or that in modern times it would have lost part of his meaning.

Catholicism is made, to a not little extent, of small things. They are what, brick by brick, builds the edifice of our salvation. To cross oneself when passing a church is a small thing, but it has been known to save souls. To say an Hail Mary or three is not a big sacrifice, but it causes joy in Heaven. A small act of contrition in the middle of the cares of our day is not a big thing in itself, but it is part of a habit and, as every Catholic should know, habits are very important in the economy of salvation.

As to the welfare argument, it might be argued that abstinence from meat on a Friday is more relevant today (when many people eat meat every day, so that to abstain from meat on a Friday requires a change of habit and the offering of a small sacrifice) than it was in days past (when the fewest people could afford to eat meat every day and therefore Friday abstinence was more a matter of planning than of sacrificing an otherwise affordable meat meal).

In general, it is very positive to see that old traditional Catholic practices are being, one by one, rediscovered. Personally, I think that the Bishops of E and W are not at the head of the movement, but merely following it.
Still, as long as they start to deliver I’ll not be the one to complain.


Spanish Government Can’t Guarantee Cardinal’s Security

Please read here what Spain has come to.

I wonder what the reactions would have been is a meeting of perverts (you know what I’m talking about, those with the many letters, LGTB or the like) had been treated the same way.

This without considering that the above mentioned perverts are fringe groups and the Cardinal represents the by far biggest religious organisation in Spain.

Spain had such problems in the past. They were solved in the end (and unfortunately, not without a huge amount of suffering) when an intelligent, brave and very Catholic man decided to stand up for Catholicism.

You never know, one day History may repeat itself.


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