Monday, August 17, 2009

Finding the devil in church

One thing I have always been disappointed with about going to Latin Masses isn’t the Mass itself, it’s the discussions that follow afterwards. Like I’ve said, meeting dedicated people can be difficult sometimes. I want to talk about the Mass, how beautiful it was, what the priest was doing and why, the homily, the history of the church building, and maybe a number of similar topics. But normally, and I’m not quite sure how, it quickly turns to talking about the battles of the Latin Mass, or more appropriately, the battles with other people who disagree about some aspect of the “traditional mindset”. Frankly, it sounds like a hundred nails scratching against a fresh chalkboard compared to what had just went on inside the church. It is ugly and harsh, and they make themselves, who want everyone to love tradition as much as they do, sound like the arrogant bashers they are complaining about. If I could change one thing about the Latin Mass community, it would be this. (and of course, this certainly doesn’t apply to all lovers of the Latin Mass, it’s just a general observation).

The devil takes good and beautiful things and twists them so they can divide and cause sin. To me, it’s obvious he has snuck his way into the church and is using the Mass (the most Holy Mass!) and sacred liturgy to tear people apart and harden hearts. Pride and semi-hatred is easy to find within the Latin Mass community and, honestly, it saddens me. What a great treasure they are trying to show the world! But instead they throw insults at those who probably weren’t properly exposed to the Latin Mass in the first place. It’s a bit frightening to hear glimmers of this trap coming from a priest. This must be combated. On a subject such as this, that is very close to the heart and is firmly in place, it’s hard to see where the other person is coming from, especially if they dismiss all that you hold dear. However, it is the Christian’s duty, and more so, the Catholic’s duty, to be patient and understanding and love the person first. The Holy Father’s example in this matter has been most excellent. We are so fortunate to have such a holy and wise pope as the one we have now. His letters ooze with Truth.

Also, we can’t forget that the Holy Spirit led the Church here, and is using the situation to bring good things. One such example that I have recognized is how the Traditional Latin Mass is awakening a sense of awe and reverence for the Eucharist. In both the Novus Ordo, and the Latin Mass (of course) it seems as though there is a revolution to worship the Lord more perfectly through the Mass, and have more reverence in his presence. Would this be the case if the transition to the Novus Ordo never occurred? Maybe decades from now, we will see how the two forms influenced each other to bring about greater faith and love for God. Overall, isn’t that the goal?

Peace and love!


  1. "A change in the congregation will do more than any number of changes in the liturgy."
    F.J. Sheed

  2. Ruth, there are two kinds of people who go to Latin Masses: those who stay around after Mass and argue, and those who leave right after Mass because they don't want to be around the first group. Traditionalists are, in many ways, the worst enemies of the Latin Mass (and they don't even realize it). I try to stay away from them as much as possible, and when I'm around people like that I either try to change the subject or avoid doing anything to fuel it further.

    When I go to the Latin Mass, I don't think about the people who cause divisions and make uncharitable comments. I think about the saints who attended it with devotion and love over the past centuries. With time I believe things will get better. People who are attracted to the Latin Mass, especially the older ones, are people who were deeply hurt by the changes after Vatican II - changes which were done too fast and with too little warning. People who have been deeply hurt are often bitter and angry. They need our prayers.

  3. Although I rarely know how to respond to bitterness and anger, I don’t want to completely avoid them. They have a lot to share with others, even though they don’t present it very well.

    Isn’t it neat that the saints went to the Mass we can attend? What a cool thing to think about! I really do love the Latin Mass, and I know these issues won’t be so troublesome with time. I do pray that the Latin Mass finds a great home in the hearts of all Catholics, and that all bitterness be put to rest.