Our Lord Jesus Christ, the King

Our Lord Jesus Christ, the King
Thou art the King of Glory, O Lord Jesus Christ; when Thou didst take upon Thee to deliver man, Thou didst not abhor the Virgin's Womb

Friday, February 10, 2012

Is Latin Mass really "better"???

A beautiful thought came to me today while discussing Holy Mass with my best friend.  We assisted together this evening for daily Mass and when we got home, he said he really noticed the difference between the Ordinary Form and the Extraordinary Form.  We celebrated Mass in the cry room of the church as there is construction going on in the nave/sanctuary.

He's not Roman Catholic, but he is struggling to try to believe in something (God bless him), and he said he sees why I prefer "Latin Mass" to "that Mass." 

But I told him that I have made some progress in the past couple years.  Realizing how harmful my disdain for the post-Vatican II Liturgy was to my spiritual well-being, I prayed to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (continually) that He help me love the Holy Sacrifice and have great reverence for it regardless of the Form or Rite as long as it is validly (and legally) offered. 

The essence of the Faith is that Christ, the Son of God and our Redeemer, becomes truly present in the Blessed Sacrament through the invocation of the Holy Ghost by the priest, the minister of God and of His Mysteries.  Period.  THIS is Catholicism in its perfect form and this has been a constant since the days of the Holy Apostles.

The Liturgy has organically developed and the solemnity to draw attention to the reality of our Faith and relationship with God has become greater over time (although has greatly diminished [in terms of solemnity] over the past half-century.  But still, the reality is the same regardless of peoples' attitudes toward it:  Christ becomes truly present, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar and He always deserves my utmost devotion and adoration (latria).

Regardless of what is going on around me, when I am assisting at Holy Mass worshipping God, I try to keep my mind focused primarily on

  • Adoring the Blessed Trinity as my sovereign God and realizing the Jesus Christ is soon to offer Himself yet again to the Father and that praise is always becoming Him.
  • Thanksgiving for any and all blessings and the right we have to stand before Him in worship because of His infinite goodness.
  • Reparation for my many sins and offenses and for being the reason that He had to die, and to satisfy for my shortcomings.
  • Begging His Grace to assist me in all things (Domine, exaudi orationem mean) and even if He only grants me one or two Graces, that's fine, although I would rather get as many as possible, but I may not always be properly disposed to receive them.
  • Besides those four main things, any other intentions I have for offering Mass.
This I strive to do regardless of anything that may displease me that is circumstantial:  irreverent music, indifferent priest, irreverent atmosphere, adding things to the rubrics, applause, mean judgmental people, etc.  I am at Holy Mass to worship GOD and to be with Him and although I would love to assist at the Extraordinary Form exclusively, that is not currently possible, but I am grateful that I live close to two Catholic churches and Holy Mass is offered basically everyday.  Sure, there are some things that could be done to add to the solemnity, but any and every valid, legal Mass is infinitely pleasing to God.

Latin Mass (Extraodinary Form) is not better than Mass in the vernacular (Ordinary Fom), Sunday Mass is not more Grace-giving that weekday Mass (although the former IS obligatory while the latter is recommended), abuses do not necessarily mean the Mass is invalid (but it does depend on the abuse...), God is not more pleased with one than the other (both can be reverent; both can be disastrous), etc.

The words of Consecration MUST be said by a priest for the Mass to be said and the Holy Gospel must be read as well.  There MUST be a validly ordained priest who has use of his priestly faculties.  The Hosts must be wheat and unleavended.  The Wine must be made of grapes. 

Other than that, no other abuses really cause Christ to not be present, Grace can still be gained, although NO ABUSE should ever be encouraged or tolerated and we should always strive for piety and solemnity. 

In the past, I would have been beside myself to have Mass in locations such as the cry room or basement of a church or in hotels, etc.  But where did our forefathers in the Faith worship?  In tombs.  The externals should testify to the internals of the Liturgy, but sometimes factors arise that make that impossible.  Honestly, I was glad to be able to "fulfill my obligation to [God].(Canon of the Mass, Extraordinary Form)" and it didn't matter where.

That Christ becomes truly and physically present in the Blessed Sacrament is the essence of Roman Catholicism.

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