Saturday, March 21, 2009

Why I Love the Traditional Latin Mass

My love for this precious Mass continues to grow. On the heels of my last post, I would like to address more specifically why this Mass means so much to me, especially in light of one of the comments on this post on Clerical Whispers, which reported that the Extraordinary Form Mass would soon be available in County Mayo, Ireland. One anonymous poster quipped:
Has the Church rejected the teaching and spirit of Vatican II to such an extent that the Latin Mass has to be said?

Most people under 50 would regard the Latin mumblings as alien and incomprehensible. Are the Latin Mass supporters afraid of worshipping in a language they and othr [sic] can understand?

Oh, how wrong you are, dear one.

First, I'm not sure how it is in Ireland, but in the United States, we are seeing a large percentage of younger people (meaning those under 30 years old) turning toward tradition. This includes attending the Gregorian Rite (as Pope Benedict XVI calls the traditional Latin Mass), complete with mantillas and the 1962 Roman Missal. They love it. It's easy to see why they love it and I share their joy.

Second, you have obviously underestimated the erosion of Catholic identity which has occurred through the many liturgical abuses committed under the guise of "in the spirit of Vatican II." There are some Catholic parishes that celebrate the Mass in such a way that they are almost indistinguishable from a Protestant service. I'm not sure how it is in Ireland, and to be honest, I can't imagine such indignities being foisted upon the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass from such a gentle but fiercely devout Catholic country. But in the United States, we have had to deal with these types of atrocities:

Is it any wonder why the sacred silence of the traditional Latin Mass, with the reverence of receiving the Eucharist while kneeling and on the tongue, has appealed to Catholics who are weary of such weirdness?

When it comes to remembering what Jesus Christ has done for us at Calvary, no human "creativity" is needed. The stark truth of what God did for mankind is awesome and demands our fullest attention. It is not a time to be entertained. It is a time to be convicted.

During the TLM, heads are bowed as the priest re-presents the Sacrifice of All Sacrifices. It is a holy moment. To sully it with someone's desire to be the center of attention while wearing a clown outfit is not only profane but in my opinion, borders on heresy. It has absolutely no place whatsoever in the Mass, no matter how "diverse" or "tolerant" a parish may think themselves to be.

The TLM has become a refuge. It is a place for me to reconnect with what it means to be a Catholic, a believer in Christ and understand what He has done for us. A place to recognize the sacred role of the priest as he acts as a bridge between the people and God. You better believe that the enemy of our souls would love nothing more than to destroy it, relegating the Mass to nothing more than a diversion, bringing shallow pride in one's heart for fulfilling an "obligation."

Well, I have news for those who are of such an opinion. God doesn't need our reluctant spirits, acting as though we're doing Him a favor by showing up at Sunday Mass. He desires our obedience and submission to His will, knowing it is the perfect way for us. His way is always better than our ways, whether we understand them or not.

I love the TLM because it demands so much of me, like God requires so much of us. The path to holiness is not an easy one nor does it shape itself to our "microwave" culture. It requires discipline, perseverance, dedication, faithfulness. These are the traits that the TLM are shaping in me. I am finding my devotions deeper and more rich as a result.

That is why I love the traditional Latin Mass. Quite simply, I believe it is making me a better Catholic. Not better than anyone else, just better than what I would have been if I had attended a clown Mass. Deo Gratias.


Shirley said...

"The TLM has become a refuge" You hit the nail on the head with that one! It's where we can be sure that the sacredness of our Mass has not been tampered with, no personal agendas interfering, no parish politics to be catered to, no words twisted, no meaning lost.It is still, and always be, the most sacred and reverent Mass.

Anonymous said...

I'm in Ireland. We have our abuses here too. I'm tired of it. Slowly the EF Mass will gain ground. I can vouch for the fact that this Mass is drawing young people. But I think it takes a certain spiritual maturity to reach this stage where one is drawn to the EF Mass. My thoughts only of course.

Mary Rose said...

Thanks for the comments. Shirley, yes. No personal agendas! I think that is also one of the things that annoys me regarding Mass. It isn't supposed to be a time when we focus on ourselves, but on God. The TLM clarifies that.

Dermot, thank you for visiting and your response. I agree with you. The TLM requires some effort and discipline to appreciate it. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea. Still, I'd like to see the TLM readjust the "Liturgy Gone Wild" Mass so that it returns to what it is meant to be - the Holy Sacrifice of Mass.

Adrienne said...

Notice the commenter you quoted used the term "spirit of Vat II"? Code for: I'll do whatever I want.

We have few options around here. We do have an FSSP chapel but for various reasons it is not on the radar. We don't have clowns (thank goodness) but Mass is pretty depressing.

I long for some decent music....