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Friday, March 15, 2013

Pope Francis and Divine Love

Some people are complaining that Pope Francis is not showing the high culture, pomp and ceremony we have come to associate with the office of the Pope. They argue that he should celebrate Mass using Method B instead of Method A, that he doesn't have the right to use B instead of A. A is objectively better, you see, and he is depriving the whole of the Church by using B. It shows his immaturity, his lack of understanding of the gravity of his office, yada, yada, yada.

Now, wait just one freakin' minute.

The purpose of the Mass is to fill us with the sanctifying grace that will lead to our salvation. Through the Mass, and the reception of the Eucharist it swaddles, we are supposed to be so filled with the love of God and the love of God's image in man that this divine love cannot but overflow into the people around us.

Clearly, this man knows how to use the graces of the Ordinary Form of the Mass in *EXACTLY* that way. He has so tuned himself to the outflowing of grace from this liturgical form that it spills out into his life of poverty, his care for the poor, his humility. He is living EXACTLY what Pope Benedict described in his encyclicals. He allows the liturgy and the sacraments to change him, then he lives the change in his life.

What he is doing is THE POINT of the liturgy and the sacraments.

Now, some of us are complaining that the Mass he celebrates isn't sufficiently "sacred" for us. There's no Gregorian chant, not enough incense, he isn't facing the right way, ad nauseum.

But isn't this man limited to teaching what he knows? He clearly knows and makes use of the graces of the Ordinary Form of the Mass to a much greater extent than any of us make use of the graces of ANY Mass, either Ordinary Form or Extraordinary Form.

Yet we're all going to chastise him because his competence at using the grace of the liturgy is clearly better than ours, and he dares to exhibit this extraordinary competence by using a liturgical form at which he is expert, but that we don't happen to like?

That's called "making an idol of the Mass".
We're doing it.
And we damn well better stop.


Dumb Ox said...

Nice touch of sanity. It probably remains a good idea to let Jesus be King and to listen to his Vicar to whom he gives the power to "shut and none shall open".

Lee Gilbert said...

What amazes me is that about three days into his reign, many commenters at Rorate Coeli are full of sound and fury over his liturgical decisions to date and are absolutely clear on what the future will bring. It's amazing. And then there are the incredible fulminations of Ann Barnhardt. One has to think, if these are the spiritual fruits of the traditional liturgy, why would the universal Church ever embrace it?

We just finished a bio of Padre Pio in which he went ballistic over woman having expressed some mild apprehension over Pope John XXIII having welcomed Khrushchev's son-in-law to the Vatican. "How dare you judge the pope!," he yelled, and refused her absolution.

What would he think of this display of disrespect, pessimism and outrage?

I wrote similarly to Rorate Coeli, but while they will permit plenty of scathing remarks about the pope and his policies, they did not want to hear any criticism of their own policy of permitting such an angry forum

Steve Kellmeyer said...

I'm right there with ya', Lee.

I used to like the Extraordinary Form. But after having attended Mass at an FSSP parish for the last four years, I can't say that I do anymore.

MatheusFT said...

Some time ago when I used to comment quite a lot here and repeatedly wrote that turning this blog into a rad-trad echo chamber it was becoming wasn't a smart idea and would leave you shortchanged, you made fun of it.

Remember Steve...?

S said...

"The purpose of the Mass..."

Adoration, Thanksgiving, Petition and reparation. That's it, 4 reasons.

I'v heard it countless times -" I don't get anything out of the Latin Mass"

I always suggest they put one of the four things into it.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Do you make the same suggestion to those who say they don't get anything out of the Ordinary Form of the Mass?

But I guess the traditionalists don't want to hear that it's them who have the problem, not the Mass.

S said...

I'm not really sure what exactly a
'traditionalist' is but the fact remains; "The purpose of the Mass..."
is Adoration, Thanksgiving, Petition and Reparation.

Yes, I have suggested it to those who say they don't get anything out of the Ordinary Form of the Mass. Most of the time the complaints are about the distractions and lack of 'seriousness'. I then suggest the Latin Mass.

Benedict XVI coined the phrase the Extraordinary Form for good reason. I'll follow his wisdom.

S said...

We all have to use our spiritual discernment. In the last year at Mass I witnessed two different Priests drop a consecrated host. Once was at the extra-form and the other was at the regular- form.

One priest dropped to a knee, consumed the host, poured holy water on the spot it had rested upon and covered it with a white linen cloth and after Mass clean the area.

The other fumbled, and reached for the host with a female extraordinary minister, and moved on, he did consume it.

I guess it could be considered scrupulous of me to note the difference but it is the source and summit of our faith we are talking about.

And for Mr. Gilbert,
Is it true Padre Pio never offered what is considered now the ordinary form of the Mass which was in effect prior to his death?

May God Bless our new Pope!

Steve Kellmeyer said...

If it is the person who should be bringing at least one of those four things to the Mass, then why recommend one liturgy over the other?

It's the person who is lacking, not the liturgy.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

As for Padre Pio, you are quite wrong:

S said...

RE; Padre Pio, that is why I asked, thank you.

If for the same price you could hire an extraordinary plumber or an ordinary one which would you hire?

If your friend was looking for a recommendation for a financial planner would you recommend an extraordinary one or a ordinary one?

Steve Kellmeyer said...

If you wanted to receive the Eucharist, would you go to an Ordinary Minister or an Extraordinary Minister?

S said...

Great play on words.
In fact I would never receive from an Extraordinary Minister of the Holy Eucharist. I do attend the N.O. Mass and TLM when I can.

The Lay distribution of communion experiment has failed. 70%+ of church goers now do not believe in the true presence.

When you pass the bread from minister to lay minister to layman, it reinforces the meal.

When the Priest *in persona Christi distributes his Body and Blood it reinforces the Holy Sacrifice of the Alter.

Can't we just think clearly and be honesty about this stuff?

Making believe there is not problems with liturgical abuse allows chowder-heads like the Diamond Brothers to thrive.

Pope Benedict XVI named it the
EXTRAORDINARY form for a reason.
What spiritual director worth his salt would recommend the faithful NOT attend it if possible?

Steve Kellmeyer said...

It isn't a play on words.

My example is more accurate than yours since mine actually involves the liturgy. Your examples do not.

It doesn't matter what you or I think about Extraordinary Ministers. They only go away if the bishops want them to go away. The bishops don't want them to go away. Therefore, they will not go away.

Pope Benedict's reason for naming it the Extraordinary Form doesn't matter anymore. He's no longer there. The only thing standing keeping it from being entirely suppressed is the current Pope's unwillingness to provoke an open schism with the SSPX. If the current Pope decides the SSPX isn't worth the trouble, the Extraordinary Form will be suppressed.

By naming it the "Extraordinary Form", Pope Benedict guaranteed that it would not become common in parishes. He could have named the rites something more equal or with less connotations, calling the respective rites Option 1 and Option 2, for instance. He didn't.

By choosing the names he did, Benedict automatically relegated the TLM to second-class status. That will not be changed under this pontificate, and will almost certainly not be changed even in our children's lifetimes, unless it is changed to being entirely suppressed.

S said...

We do have a fundamental disagreement of the nature of the Church and the prudence of the papacy.

"Benedict automatically relegated the TLM to second-class status"?

He saved it from being lost to history.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Don't count your chickens too soon.

When Celestine V resigned, the next pope rescinded many of Celestine's decrees, suppressed many of Celestine's indults.

It is eminently possible that Pope Francis will do the same thing to Benedictine reforms - suppress them. There is absolutely no reason to think the EF cannot be suppressed. When the Missal of 1570 came out, the Pope suppressed a lot of rites in order to spread the use of the 1570 Missal.

We won't know if Benedict has "saved" the EF for another couple of decades at least.