Thursday, May 29, 2008

What's Old Is New Again

It is true what Jeffrey Tucker says over at NLM, there has been amazing progress in the liturgy since the Holy Fathers Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. The mansion is surely open and being slowly but surely restored to its former glory. It is not only, as Jeffrey states, in parishes across the nation we are seeing the fruits of Pope Benedict but in individual catholic lives. Jeffrey writes;

"But the real implications here are more significant still. What Summorum has done is re-legitimate the whole of our Catholic heritage--in the broadest way with can think of that term--and free us from the deracination that had become common in the postconciliar years."

I could not agree more and for myself this has been very true. A year or so ago I had never heard of Tridentine Mass. Even if I had, coming from a Protestant tradition where things can, and have, changed based on not much more than the whims of the church’s pastor, I probably would have seen no problem in “changing the Mass” or throwing off old traditions. But also as a convert of only two years now so my exposure even with the Novus Ordo is limited, I never experienced many of the worst abuses of the 70 and 80’s and for the most part my parish priest is orthodox. I suppose in a way I was what some have called a "small t" Catholic.

Not much more than a year ago I began to hear, mostly on Catholic blogs, of this thing call a motu proprio that was coming from Pope Benedict regarding the Latin Mass. Curious, I some research and my eyes were opened to a whole new world. I experienced, via the internet, my first mass using the 1962 missal (a SSPX mass by the way), and I haven’t been able to go back to the old world since. I felt drawn to not only search out a local parish with the Extraordinary Form (amazingly I discovered one only a few blocks and less than a 10 minute walk away.) but it opened a flood gate of desire within me to learn more about the preconciliar Church and to discover its beauty and traditions. A beauty I knew was all too often lacking and a respect for tradition to often lost in our Catholic culture today.

Of course, there was a flip side to finding this new world as many things about the old one don't sit so well anymore. Now when I see an older church that has had its High Altar ripped out I am angered. I feel something is wrong when I hear "Wade in the Water" or "Amazing Grace" every other week while Gregorian Chant is neglected. Pagan inspired liturgical dance before the alter sickens me. But those things just make me want to get more involved in my parish and that is always a good thing. Who would have guessed that a year ago I would be participating in our Corpus Christi procession or walking the Stations of the Cross during Holy Week? Or prayng the Liturgy of the Hours? Or working to begin a "stable group" at my parish to bring the Extraordinary Form back to our glorious High Alter (luckily, it was never touched). And how this has helped me to embrace fully the teachings of the Church and throw off cafeteriaism would take another post to fully explain. Again, none of that is directly related to Benedict’s motu proprio but its discovering the Extraordinary Form that drew me to them.

Now don't get me wrong, I am not one of those who feels the Mass of Paul VI is "invalid". It is the form of the Mass that drew me into the Church and remnants of our 2000 year history are still there. I have used it to persuade others of the truth of the Catholic Church. But the Tridentine, or Extraordinary Form, is much like the Church and its moral teachings, there is something of the Beauty, Truth and right worship in it that grabs hold of those with open hearts. After experiencing it for the first time you are never the same.

So I pledge my gratitude to the Pope Benedict for providing the pastoral leadership that has led me to these green pastures. I would never have guessed that when I saw him standing at the Loggia in three years ago that he would have such a profound effect on my life.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Oculi Omnium

This is one of the most beautiful pieces of music I have ever heard. Its a graduale from the Feast of Corpus Christi chanted at São Paulo's Saint Benedict Monastery.

I didn't wish to merely put up the audio, so I included a few pictures I've grabbed over the months from different sites. Many, of course, came from the wonderful Hallowed Ground.

The words and music can be found here.

Consider it inoculation against this.

Also, go read my wonderful wife's thoughts on our first Corpus Christi procession. I had planned on writing something but it would pale in comparison to her beautiful words.

A Precious Gift

A birthday gift from my beautiful wife made with her own loving hands. I will treasure this for the rest of my life!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Vive Le Revolution

During the Holy Father's homily on the Feast Day of Corpus Christi, after quoting from St. Paul's Letter to the Galatians, he stated the following:

"In these words we feel the truth and the power of the Christian revolution, the most profound revolution in human history, which we may experience in the Eucharist where people of different ages, sexes, social conditions and political ideas come together in the presence of the Lord.”

These words struck me because once I called and hoped for "revolution". The likes of mass murderers like Che Guevara, Black Panthers like Huey Newton and Fred Hampton, and African Nationalists like Kwame Nkrumah, and various others who promised social utopias were my heroes. During college I devoured the books of Left-wing nationalist intellectuals like Franz Fanon and collected the poetry an prose of Black Arts Movement founder Amiri Baraka. I just knew that I would be in the "vanguard" when, as The Last Poets put it, "When the Revolution Comes" (warning graphic lyrics and images).

But somewhere along the way I began to wonder why all of these utopias failed and fell into internecine warfare and bloodshed that, in most instances, left those that were to be freed worse off. At first, I fell for the excuses told by the likes of Walter Rodney and others that it was white imperialist interference. But that too began to ring hollow. Yes, the West supported the likes of Mobuto but so had millions of Africans.

It wasn't' until I a few years after I came into the Church, and really began to understand the message and mission of Christ, that I truly understood that all of these utopias were poor imitations of Him. All were substitutes designed by men who cried non servium and began to impose their wills instead of God's. Their revolutions failed because, like us all, they were fallen.

So now instead of Viva La Revolution, I cry Viva Christus Rex!

Friday, May 16, 2008

B. Obama, Thinks you're Stupid

Patrick at CMR puts it best:

"Not only does Barack Obama think that you cling to religion and guns out of bitterness, he also thinks you are an idiot."

Shutting Down the Cafeteria

While I will occasionally still frequent his blog (if he decides to stick around) I can no longer keep Gerald Augustinus' "The Cafeteria is Closed" in my Catholic Blog links. Someone who apparently thinks its OK to "change" the gender of young children, thinks we should accept homosexuality is normal sexual behavior, doesn't see what's the big deal with gay "marriage" can no longer really call themselves Catholic and I will no longer promote such a person's website on my meager blog.

Of course, I will still keep him in my prayers.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Domine Iesu, dimitte nobis debita nostra

Via Father Z. we see more of the chaos that ensues when groups separate themselves from the Vicar of Christ and the protection of the Holy Spirit. One video you have probably seen many times over the past week, the other is an anti-Pope in Spain.

These folks have truly veered off the road and "fallen into the ditch".

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

How long, O Lord?

Forty years I endured that generation; I said: "They are a people whose hearts go astray and they do not know my ways." -- Psalm 95