Support This Website! Shop Here!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Mocking the Mass

This photo was posted by a priest who likes "Catholic traditionalism". Some of the responses from his Catholic friends and followers:
"that's cool"
"Took me a minute but I like the idea now that I got it. You don't want the driver facing you. You want him facing the direction you are all going."
"Hilarious! Well, whether or not one cares for the implications of the cartoon, the end result has proven to be accurate."
"WOW really Fr Jeff???"
"Though to be fair, facing the people isn't necessarily an aspect of the OF. My parish uses both forms, both facing the correct direction."
"the one with the driver looking where he's going"
"That is too funny" 
"Love it!"
Now think for a minute.
When I am sick, do I want the doctor facing away from me or towards me?

The priest is celebrating Mass, not driving a bus. Both facing towards and away from the people are reasonable positions - neither one is "better" than the other. It is just a question of whether or not you want to view the priest as primarily presenting the people to God (as the Jewish priests did) or presenting God to the people (as Jesus did).

The High Priest, standing alone in the Holy of Holies or at the altar of sacrifice, faced towards God on behalf of, and in spiritual union with, the people because he was man, but not God. Jesus, hanging on the Cross, faced towards the people, because He was fully God, and not just fully man. So, the "traditionalist" Catholic priest is acting as the Jewish High Priest acted, while the Novus Ordo Catholic priest is acting as Jesus on the Cross acted.

The Catholic priest is only a man, but while celebrating Mass he is in persona Christi, Who is both High Priest and Victim, thus either stance is fine.

But consider the responses. The cartoon mocks the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The priest who posted it has now mocked the Mass. Most of the Catholics who found it impressive or funny have participated in mocking the Mass. Mocking the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass should really be reserved to dissenters, it should not be the habit of Catholics.

Now, to be fair, there IS a strong tradition of making mockery of the Mass, but this is mostly a tradition popular among non-Catholics. Unfortunately, this non-Catholic tradition appears to be a habit among "Catholic traditionalists". This makes me think "Catholics traditionalists" are definitely into tradition, they just are not into CATHOLIC tradition. 

"Catholic traditionalists" spend a lot of time on little "t" visions and mockery. They don't seem to register the fact that ALL liturgy is holy - an odd lacunae for both Catholics and those who claim to adhere to Tradition.

Now, a deacon responded to all of this by saying:
"What seems to go sadly unnoticed in these threads is that in these two priest-centric cartoons is that, in either 'form', the children aren't paying any attention to him...they are simply looking out of the windows.
What does that tell you?"
It tells me the Mass was created for adults, not for children. And it WAS created for adults, not for children. As I point out in my book, the Catholic school system actually encourages adults to leave the Faith, and this is one of the ways the schools do it: they put the smallest children at the front of a school Mass, the oldest at the back.

Over the course of years, this rotation teaches the oldest children an important lesson - as you get older and more mature, you should move closer to the door. Really mature adults stay as far away from the Mass as possible. 

You want to get the little kids? Don't let them see the Mass. Put them in the back. Tell them they aren't old enough, mature enough to really fully participate. Only adults get to sit near the front. Then watch the kids clamber over each other trying to prove they are big enough to do it.

Unfortunately, Catholic schools subtly teach a meta lesson.
Catholic traditionalists teach a complementary meta lesson.

Both lessons are designed to destroy the Catholic Faith.

Good job, Catholic traditionalists - you are driving home the very point made so subtly by the Catholic schools you so adore. Another home run for you both.


Michael said...

I agree with what you're saying about putting the kids at the back. It's actually been my experience, and not on purpose, but the results are as you said.

I have four children under 8 years old. Ever since they were babies we've always sat near the back, as all "normal" Catholic do. Once our eldest children turned 3, I stopped holding them in my arms during Mass so they couldn't see what was happening anymore. When they say to me, "I can't see, pick me up," I reply to them, "You have to listen whether you can see or not."

The fact that they want to see what's happening on the altar means that they want to be part of the Mass. Every now and then we will sit closer to the front, and the kids always want to move closer. They pay close attention to what is happening when they're there at the front, because it's almost like a privilege for them.

Viva Cristo Rey said...

You say,
"When I am sick, do I want the doctor facing away from me or towards me?"

Jesus is the only "doctor" who can heal us.....we should face Him.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

And the priest is in persona Christi, so the priest should face us, and we should face the priest.

Thanks, Viva Cristo Rey, for agreeing that Mass said towards the people is a great way to do it!

Viva Cristo Rey said...

Sorry Steve, nice try, but we should be worshiping Christ with the Priest not worshiping the Priest.

The spirit of Vatican II is all about the cult of personality of the Priest. Jokes, applause, homilies that never challenge....all so the Priest can be our buddy, buddy.

I've always though our prayers at Mass were directed to the Father not to the Priest...must be my mistake. Guess Fr. Ted will be glad to know he is our new savior!

Michael said...

Viva Cristo Rey, your argument almost sounds like the Protestant argument for not praying to saints, or needing the sacrament of reconciliation, in that we can go directly to God for everything; we don't need to go through any human being.

Tony said...

If I am the focus of the "operation", I want the practitioner facing me.

If I am worshiping God, I want the practitioner pointing toward God and showing me the way.

If the practitioner is facing toward me, I can assume I'm the focus of the "operation.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

So, when Jesus taught the crowds about God, He was facing away from them? Interesting. I didn't know that.