Fidelity to the Word
Our Lord and His Holy Apostles at the Last Supper


A blog dedicated to Christ Jesus our Lord and His True Presence in the Holy Mystery of the Eucharist


Stir up our hearts, O Lord, to prepare the way of Thine only-begotten Son: that through His coming we may attain to serve Thee with purified minds. Who liveth and reigneth, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, through all the ages of ages.

Monday, January 01, 2007

One Church united from age to age

Over at Καθολικός διάκονος, Deacon Dodge is having none of my "live and let live" philosophy for the traditional Mass alongside the new Mass. He refers back to his citation of objections by the French bishops and to his opposition to "traditionalism and restoration", both of which, for the sake of charity, it seems better to pass over silently. He also cites the need for collegiality between Pope and bishops (but where was collegiality when our traditions were being uprooted? How about some collegiality with the Church from the first 98% of its existence?) He ends with:

I suppose one can pray 5 decades of the rosary in 15 minutes, or recite the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, or any number of other devotions, which is what people would regularly do during Mass, since they were not actually fully, actively, and consciously participating in the Eucharistic liturgy.

I reply:

I regret that our devotions scandalize you. We wish only to unite our prayers with those of the priest, to the glory of our Lord's Holy Name.
Dcn Dodge gives a cordial but unyielding reply, and wanting to end the discussion on a positive note (his splendid prayer life), I leave it at that. Neither of us are likely to change our opinion in the near future.

The notion that two people could be saying two different things simultaneously and still be united in worship seems to be entirely opaque to him. But it is not just old-fashioned lay Roman Catholics that have this sort of idea. This morning I was privileged to attend a Divine Liturgy of the Ruthenian Catholic Church. For part of their version of the Mass, the priest was doing something behind the Iconostasis while the congregation chanted. Were they not "fully, consciously, and actively participating"? I think that the humble folk who prayed the rosary during Mass in years past were doing the same sort of thing then that the Eastern Catholics do now. Even if there wasn't an audible unison of voices, there was still a communion across the continents and over the centuries through a common method of prayer.

I use the past tense for the rosary during Mass, because from what I have observed, it is very unusual to see someone praying the rosary in a modern traditional Mass.

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Meanwhile, Wimsey in the Theological Downpour blog wonders if there is any good reason to continue or resume wearing chapel veils, if their use is not required by canon law. Her mother thinks traditions should not be lightly discarded, but Wimsey wants reasons. My comment:

Your mother is right: the simple fact that something has traditionally been done is a good reason to continue, if there are not good reasons to stop. This tradition dates back to Apostolic times. There has been too much contempt for the "pre-conciliar" Church these last few decades. It is encouraging to see women who do not sneer at the Church that produced Sts. Thérèse and Teresa and Clare, and the other great saints. The Church of Christ our Lord is one Church through all the ages, and this little sign of unity is a bond of charity with the Christians that came before us.

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If the base of a felled tree that has grown old in earth and rock 'will bud at the scent of water ... like a young plant' (Job 14:9), it is also possible for us to be awakened by the power of the Holy Spirit and to flower with the incorruptibility that is ours by nature, bearing fruit like a yong plant, even though we have fallen into sin.

- St. John of Karpathos, Texts for the Monks in India

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