Sunday, November 13, 2016

True Love is Not Rigid?

So says Pope Francis, according to an interview posted on the Rorate-Caeli Blog:
[Interviewer:] The simplicity of children makes me also think of adults, with a rite that is direct, participated intensely [translator's note: reference to notion of 'actuosa participatio'], of parish masses experienced with so much piety. What comes to mind are proposals that encourage priests to turn their backs to the faithful, to rethink Vatican II, to use Latin. I ask the Pope what he thinks of this. The Pope answers:
[Pope:] "Pope Benedict accomplished a just and magnanimous gesture [translator's note: the motu proprio 'Summorum Pontificum'] to reach out to a certain mindset of some groups and persons who felt nostalgia and were distancing themselves. But it is an exception. That is why one speaks of an 'extraordinary' rite. The ordinary in the Church is not this. It is necessary to approach with magnanimity those attached to a certain form of prayer. But the ordinary is not this. Vatican II and Sacrosanctum Concilium must go on as they are. To speak of a 'reform of the reform' is an error."
[Scott:] While I understand why the term "extraordinary" is used, I actually like it! The fact is, the Mass celebrated in the traditional form, in Latin and ad orientum (facing liturgical east) is, historically speaking, the ordinary way of celebrating the Mass. The Novus Ordo Missae, (New Order of the Mass) has been with us for less than 50 years in our nearly 2000 year history! Still, I appreciate the label of "extraordinary" - for there is nothing "ordinary" in ANY validly celebrated Mass! In the Mass our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ manifests Himself, physically, in the form of bread and wine. THIS is "the mystery of faith" (mysterium fidei) of which we speak of in the Mass. 

Traditionally the mysterium fidei is part of the consecration of the wine into Christ's blood; in the New Order this was moved to just after the consecration leading most modern Catholics to mistakenly believe "the Mystery of Faith" is "Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again" (or some variation of those words). My friends, "the Mystery of Faith" in this context is the Consecration! The bread and wine BECOME Jesus Christ, in His body, blood, soul and divinity while still having the appearance of bread and wine through this divine mystery! Let us remain "rigid" in that belief!

When the priest faces "ad orientum" (liturgical east) he is not "turning his back on the people!" Quite the contrary! Rather, he is facing the SAME WAY as the people, putting all the focus upon the Sacrament of the Altar. The people should never be focused upon the priest, but upon what is going on at the Mass - and again, the primary focus of the Mass is the Eucharist. What's more, "Vatican II" never stated the priest should face the people - this is something which came out AFTER the council.

As for the use of Latin, this too is strongly supported by Vatican II! In the documents of Vatican II, regarding the celebration of the Mass it CLEARLY states:
36. 1. Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.
2. But since the use of the mother tongue, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or other parts of the liturgy, frequently may be of great advantage to the people, the limits of its employment may be extended. This will apply in the first place to the readings and directives, and to some of the prayers and chants, according to the regulations on this matter to be laid down separately in subsequent chapters.SACROSANCTUM CONCILIUM
[Scott:] So, the use of the Latin language is not only recommended, it is DEMANDED by Vatican II. The complete obliteration of Latin, as was "ordinary" after 1969, is CONTRARY to "the spirit of Vatican II." Thankfully, many parishes are putting Latin BACK into the Mass. It should also be noted at this time that nowhere does Vatican II abrogate the use of the Traditional Latin Mass, nor has the Church since then officially abrogated the Traditional Latin Mass, and this fact recent popes have acknowledged and are allowing for and even encouraging freer exercise of the "Extraordinary Rite." 
[Interviewer:] "Other than those who are sincere and ask for this possibility out of habit or devotion, can this desire express something else? Are there dangers?"
[Pope:] "I ask myself about this. For example, I always try to understand what is behind those individuals who are too young to have lived the pre-Conciliar liturgy, and who want it nonetheless. I have at times found myself in front of people who are too rigid, an attitude of rigidity. And I ask myself: how come so much rigidity? You dig, you dig, this rigidity always hides something: insecurity, at times perhaps something else... [sic] The rigidity is defensive. True love is not rigid."
[Scott:] Rigidity, with all due respect, does not "always hide something!" I would also state that true love IS rigid! It is contrary to true love to allow too much free-play with our traditions. As a parent of six (now grown) children, and the eldest of six siblings as well, the more "rigid" the upbringing, the closer to God these children are. The freer you are with them, the less likely they are to follow our Christian roots and practices. Rigid doesn't equate to being mean or overbearing, it means "holding fast to the traditions we were taught." (2 Thes. 2:15).

Consider the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, what if "true love" were not "rigid" there? "Honey, I love you, but do not feel like you're rigidly bound to me." Does that make any sense? How long do you think such a "free" marriage would last? But wait! There's that "rigid" thing called The Sixth Commandment and "Thou shalt not commit adultery" (Exodus 20:14). Should we be less "rigid" there - or in relation to ANY of the Decalogue (Ten Commandments)? 

I conclude this article in saying, I do not wholly oppose the Novus Ordo Missae, in fact, I participate in it frequently. My primary participation is in the "Extraordinary Rite," as I believe this is the highest form of worship we can offer the Lord. While there are some Novus Ordo parishes I would never go back to due to the "abuses" I've witnessed - there are several which I can, have and do go back to. I also would not put a whole lot of weight upon this "interview" with Pope Francis. The interview is not official Church teaching nor is he officially stating faithful Catholics cannot or should not participate in the Extraordinary Rite.

(Yes, I took a little break from my studies to write this).

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