There was a good comment in another entry (it doesn’t matter which).
A seminarian, who will remain anonymous, made some very good points which many might take to heart. I have in mind especially some of his fellow seminarians. But this also might apply to some lay people in parishes.
My emphases and comments.
Comment by Anonymous Seminarian — 15 October 2007 @ 9:23 pm
Personally I have a very deep love for and attachment to the Extraordinary Form. The beauty of the Mass, even a simple Low Mass, is breath-taking and the meaning behind all the words and actions is amazing. As a diocesan seminarian, and (God-willing) future priest, nothing would make me happier than to see a greater overall appreciation for this Mass.
It’s no secret to anyone that in most seminaries it’s taboo to speak openly about your attachment to the Extraordinary Form. Is it because the faculty members are a bunch of raging heretics who would love to snuff out every last bit of Catholicism present in a young seminarian’s heart? Absolutely not.
Unfortunately, at least from my experience, the seminarians who speak openly about their love for the Traditional Latin Mass don’t stop there…it goes deeper. They put on a facade of sorts…they “play” the formation game but secretly distrust it. They avoid going to the community Mass and Divine Office whenever possible. They’re not interested in helping out at community events or fostering a house-hold sense of community period. Rather they are interested solely in developing their “underground traddy cliques” which usually consists of a bunch of guys who do nothing but complain about the terrible situation the Church is in. Is it any wonder to anyone then why talking about the Traditional Mass behind the walls of the seminary has become taboo? More often than not it’s accompanied by an agenda…a prideful agenda that is very contrary to the mind of the Church. As much as I personally absolutely love the Traditional Mass, I too would be concerned with seminarians who demonstrate such tendencies.
In saying this, those of us who love the Traditional Latin Mass have to remember not to make it look as if we have some sort of agenda. … Sure, we can encourage people to attend and help in any way necessary, but we need to be very careful not to isolate ourselves from the rest of the Church. Our Catholic Church is a very big church with many different people in it…as hard as it may be to live with, not everyone moves to the beat of the same drum. Let’s be firm but gentle in defending our Faith, but when it comes to the Extraordinary vs. Ordinary Rite, let’s be even more gentle. Some people just are not there yet…and they may not be for a long time.
If seminary formation has taught me anything thus far it’s this: we all, especially priests and seminarians, must think with the mind of the Church. We must breathe as She breathes and believe what She believes. To do this requires a tremendous amount of humility…something I think we all can stand a little more of.
I think this was a very good set of observations. His experience of some seminarians, and the faculty who responds to them and who are charged with forming them, present some food for thought.
At the same time, I think seminarians also have the right to seek the necessary tools they will need in their ministry. That will include what it take to say the older form of Mass. That doesn’t give seminarians the right simply to blow off the formation program. However, since they are in that position, under others who have a great deal of power over their lives, those who are in charge of the program need to be all that much more open and sensitive to the more traditional seminarians who are setting up the the plate in numbers that will only be increasing.
However, I think the thing to take away from this is the need to integrate well in the whole life of a parish (or seminary) and thus the rest of the Church.
Don’t create a ghetto mentality, or any elitism – even if you are absolutely convinced and can argue confidently that the older form of Mass is superior to the newer. Don’t be snobs. Don’t be jerks. Be careful and exercise thoughtful charity.