Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Comment by Petar Zrinjski:
Gregorian and Old Roman chant largely share the same liturgy, but Old Roman chant does not reflect some of the Carolingian changes made to the Roman liturgy. Both an Old Roman and a Gregorian version exist for most chants of the liturgy, using the same text in all but forty chants, with corresponding chants often using related melodies. The split between Gregorian and Old Roman appears to have taken place after 800, since the feast of All Saints, a relatively late addition to the liturgical calendar, has markedly different chants in the two traditions. The Old Roman tradition appears to have preserved the texts more faithfully; the Old Roman texts often resemble the earliest Carolingian sources more closely than the later Gregorian sources do.
The modern novus ordo Mass is the culmination of the 20th Century Liturgical Movement’s notions about active participation. The flaws of the Movement’s interpretation are blatantly obvious. Modern novus ordo Masses, even the ones offered reverently, are often little more than sing-along, group therapy sessions with thrown-in rote responses, the meaning of which is seldom dwelt upon by those mumbling them. The responses sound more like mantras than prayers. This is because liturgical prayer has been reduced to vocal response. When prayer is reduced to simple vocal responses, it ceases to be prayer at all. St. Teresa of Avila wrote:
I do not say mental prayer rather than vocal, for, if it is prayer at all, it must be accompanied by meditation. If a person does not think Whom he is addressing, and what he is asking for, and who it is that is asking and of Whom he is asking it, I do not consider that he is praying at all even though he be constantly moving his lips. (Interior Castle, 31-2.)
If the Mass has been reduced to simply the moving of the lips and body, without consideration of the mystery taking place, what benefit do the laity gain from the Mass? How profitable can their Communions be when they have utterly failed to prepare their minds and souls for that august and awesome gift?
Active participation does not consist primarily in exterior, physical acts, but it primarily consists in this consideration of the mystery taking place during the Mass. This is particularly true for the laity, who have the freedom, owing to their station, to assist principally by meditation and contemplation. The fact that the laity do not have to say the prayers and follow the rubrics that the priest is obliged to follow during the course of the Mass provides the laity the freedom for a deeper mediation and contemplation not afforded to the ministers at the altar. This isn’t a mark of inferiority, but a great gift that if used properly renders infinite value for those who “hear” the Mass. (This is why it is a laudable practice for priests to occasionally hear the Mass in addition to their daily offering of the Mass. If only more priests would hear Masses, their appreciation of the mystery would grow, and the better they would offer the Mass!)
Therefore, it is critically important that the laity consider the nature of the Mass. It is not enough to just focus on the actions and words of the priest, but the laity must also, and more importantly, be aware of what is mystically taking place right before them. St. Leonard of Port Maurice wrote:
The principle excellence of the most holy sacrifice of the Mass consists in being essentially, and in the very highest degree, identical with that which was offered on the cross of Calvary: with this sole difference, that the sacrifice on the cross was bloody, and made once for all, and did on that one occasion satisfy fully for all the sins of the world; while the sacrifice of the altar is an unbloody sacrifice, which can be repeated an infinite number of times, and was instituted in order to apply in detail that universal ransom which Jesus paid for us on Calvary… It may be said, with all truth, that in every Mass Our Redeemer returns mystically to die for us, without really dying, at one and the same time really alive and as it were slain--vidi Agnum stantem tamquam occisum, “I saw a Lamb standing as it were slain” (Apoc. v. 6)… Opus, says the Church, opus nostrae redemptionis exercetur (Orat. s. in Mis. Dom. 9, post Pent). Yes; excetur; in Mass there is effected, there is continuously practiced, that same sacrifice which was made upon the cross. Oh, awful, solemn, and stupendous work! (22-3)
Many saints contend, and have even witnessed in visions, that the heavens open during the course of the Mass, and the priest and people are surrounded by the cohort of heaven, the saints in their glory, all giving witness and worship to Christ the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. In such company, what a pity that the Church militant is mindlessly responding in rote without a care to the sacrifice taking place.
In order for the laity to participate in the Mass in such way that said participation becomes authentic and profitable prayer, meditation, i.e. consideration of what is taking place and Who is being sacrificed and Who is making the offering and who is witnessing and why, is indispensable and necessary. With our earthly eyes we see the priest following the rubrics of the ritual, and with our earthly ears we hear him intone the prayers of the ritual and hear the melodious chants and hymns. However, without the spiritual eyes and ears of meditation the laymen fails to witness the Sacrifice mystically taking place. To those who are spiritually blind and deaf, the actions and words and chants are empty and meaningless ritual. If these were the rites of some other religion there would be no harm. However, the rites of our Catholic religion, wherein Christ is truly present, renders the disposition of those who assist without meditation, I dare to venture, a heinous act of blasphemy. It is simply wrong to repeat the prayers of the Mass out of a prayer book in a formal manner with the lips, but not with the heart.
Meditative prayer allows the faithful to unite their supplications with those of the priest offering the Mass, but not necessarily by using the same prayers as he uses. Whatever method facilitates this goal is both legitimate and laudable when properly applied, and this includes using the Rosary. Because the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is “identical with that which was offered on the cross of Calvary”, praying the five sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary is a suitable devotion for Mass. But there are still other methods that employ the Rosary that can be used.
(Part III: Various Methods of Hearing Mass that Employ the Rosary, coming soon.)
"I was taught that it is absolutely NOT okay to pray the Rosary during the mass. Our full attention should be on the mass, the Liturgy of the Word [bleh] and The Eucharist. [Was this person taught the dogmas of the Church with the same vehemence? Probably not.] What a wonderful idea to stay afterward, if you can, to pray it then though!!” [Because prayer and meditation is better after, not during Mass; after all, since everyone is so busy doing various things during Mass, who has time for meditation and prayer?]
“as [sic] the eucharist [sic] is the most important part of our faith, i [sic] would think that putting the rosary before our lord [sic] is a mistake , maybe out of ignorance [sic]” [Yes, and using absolutely no capitalization, not even when referring to Our Blessed Lord, and using absolutely no punctuation indicates the epitome of being informed!]
“If a person is able to participate in the mass, ie. meaning that he/she is able to pray along with others or responding to the priest with others, then this person should do. Praying the rosary and not focusing on what is going on during the mass is not something one should do [Because doing stuff is the only method of full and active participation! Focusing on the Mass apparently doesn‘t translate into focusing on what the Mass represents.]… I could imagine that if someone is deaf and is not able to hear anything, then maybe during the homily, he/she can pray the rosary. He/she should participate the rest of the mass.” [You see? Deaf, dumb and blind people just can’t participate fully and actively, so they need a consolation prize, even if it’s just during the homily!]
“The Mass is our highest form of prayer. Why would you say another prayer over,during or on top of the Mass?” [Since meditation is a higher form of prayer than vocal prayers such as saying the Hail Mary, Our Father, Glory Be, then according to this poor chap’s logic, praying the Rosary is a no-no at any time!]
If one were to break down the basic points of opposition contained in these above responses, it would all boil down to the same old erroneous interpretation of active participation as merely external acts and vocal prayers; in short, acting like ministers at the altar. It is apparent from these comments that there is a predominate attitude among the majority of mainstream Catholics that sees absolutely no liturgical value in meditative prayer. But what is the reason for this attitude?
The 20th Century Liturgical Movement ingrained the notion into the average modern Catholic that active participation is a plethora of external and physical human acts such as intoning vocal responses, singing, changing postures, etc., not to mention traipsing about in the sanctuary in the role of one of many “extraordinary ministers”. Acting like the ministers at the altar (i.e. priest, deacon, altar boy) has become for this generation, not just the primary means of liturgical participation, but the only means. Any other understanding would cut the legs out from under the new and hard fought post-Vatican II notion that there is no ontological difference between the ordained priesthood and the priesthood of the laity.
As a result, the use of rosary beads as an aid to meditating on the mystery of the Mass has become anathema. This attitude doesn’t so much consist in a distaste for the rosary, but a distaste for those who refuse to act like anything other than laymen meditating on the sacred mysteries unfolding before them during the Mass. It is a distaste for any practice that posits an ontological difference between the priest and layman. Indeed, very few things infuriate a progressive or neo-con Catholic more than a young lady in a chapel veil, mediating on the Passion of Christ while using her rosary beads during Mass.
(Part II: Active Participation and Meditative Prayer, coming soon.)
Friday, August 27, 2010
*Institute of Christ the King Soveriegn Priest withdraws from French Diocese of Agen due to hostility of Bishop Herbreteau.
*New traditional community of men founded in Brazil.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Catholicism is the primary religion in the ancestral countries of U.S. Latinos. Spanish missionaries brought the faith to what now is Florida and the American Southwest more than 400 years ago. But in the United States these days, religious sentiment seems to be keener among Latino Protestants than their Catholic counterparts.
Protestants are twice as likely to attend weekly services, according to the poll, also sponsored by The Nielsen Co. and Stanford University. Many worship in evangelical or Pentecostal churches.
They tend to be more conservative than Catholics on matters of religious doctrine and social morality.
Seventy percent of Latino Protestants said the Bible is the actual word of God, to be taken literally, compared with 46 percent of Latino Catholics. Just 26 percent of Protestants said abortion should be mostly legal, compared with 41 percent of Catholics. And 59 percent of Protestants said same-sex couples should not be allowed to marry, compared with 29 percent of Catholics.
It's time for the liberals to step aside, and for traditional Catholics to step up to the plate before it is too late for Latin American communities in the United States.
What passes for American conservativism is really nothing more than 19th century European liberalism, a liberalism born out of the bloodshed of the 18th century, and a liberalism that hurdled the civilized world into the long and uncivilized brutality of the 20th century. From the Franco-Prussian War to the killing fields of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Middle East, under the oppressive shadow of atomic weapons, this liberalism threatens not just Western civilization, but the salvation of souls.
It is easy to point out the insanity of progressivists and "liberals" like Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, or Harry Reid. It is simple to scoff at the ridiculously infantile ideologies of leftist pundits, and to excuse their supporters as ignorant and immature. After all, pundits on the right can do so without having to use much logical or rhetorical skill. Anyone who has read a book by Glenn Beck knows it doesn't take much brain power to refute progressivists. However, it seems difficult for traditional Catholics to level much needed criticism at pundits and politicians who espouse equally corrosive ideologies and public policies under the flag of "conservativism." See, for example, the dangerous moral liberterianism of so-called conservative pundits who support gay marriage and gay civil unions.
Mr. Michael Voris, however, explains the simple fact that the whole edifice is fundamentally flawed, and only a Catholic government, endowed with Catholic principles, is, even though flawed in this world, the closest thing to a fair, equatable and just system of government. It is this system of government that was laid waste by the forefathers of modern American conservativism, namely, the liberals of the 19th century. However, Catholic prelates need to share the lion's portion of the blame. They nailed the coffin of true conservativism shut during and after the Second Vatican Council, and the Western World is far from recovering from that blow.
Friday, August 13, 2010
*Cardinal Canizares suggests lowering the age for First Holy Communion.
*Pope to discuss interpretation of Vatican II with his former students.
*Gay judge claims Catholicism harms homosexuals.
*Plaintiffs in Kentucky decide to drop abuse suit against the Holy See.
*L'Osservatore Romano praises the liturgical depravity of girl altar servers.