The Holy Father’s Vigil Sermon – theological starting points for liturgy, ad orientem worship

We can approach the Holy Father’s magnificent Easter Vigil sermon on many levels.  Since WDTPRS is mainly interested in our Catholic life of prayer, let’s look at it from the stand point of what Benedict XVI is offering for our own reflection on our present liturgical practices.

First, some remarks:

I have been maintaining that the Holy Father has a program, a vision for the Church.  He is trying to revitalize our Catholic identity.  I often refer to his "Marshall Plan", as I call it, for the Church.  Just as Europe was devastated after the war and needed rebuilding, the Church and our identity as Catholics has been devastated over the last 40 or so years.  We need rebuilding.  For Benedict, liturgy is the key.  It is the "tip of the spear" so to speak.  Change our approach to liturgy and you change everything. 

One of the most devastating changes after the Council was the widespread abandonment of ad orientem worship.  Authors like Klaus Gamber, for whom Papa Ratzinger has such great respect, thought that changing our altars around was perhaps the most damaging change in the post-Conciliar reform.  Sadly, the destruction of ad orientem worship was based on misuse of scholarship, surely, but most on ideological choices rooted in a hermeneutic of rupture and a ecclesiology which was little in harmony with our Catholic faith.  The results for Catholic worship were viciously corrosive.

Pope Benedict has long written of the meaning and need for ad orientem worship.  In practical terms he knows that we cannot force abrupt changes.  We must be gentle in reintroducing it. 

However, as we have been watching him during the last year or so reintroducing many traditional elements our Roman Rite into the full view of the world, including ad orientem worship in the Sistine Chapel, I think we can say that he thinks the time has come for more decisive moves.

Let’s turn to the Holy Father’s sermon for the Vigil of Easter.

Again, the are many levels on which we can read this sermon and I urge you to read it once, perhaps, with an eye on baptism, on illumination, etc.  But let’s take some time for what his words could provide for some liturgical starting points, helpful to a reform of our contemporary liturgical practices.

Here is the Holy Father’s Vigil sermon, with my emphases and comments.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In his farewell discourse, Jesus announced his imminent death and resurrection to his disciples with these mysterious words: "I go away, and I will come to you"[A Second Coming, a return.] he said (Jn 14:28). Dying is a "going away". Even if the body of the deceased remains behind, he himself has gone away into the unknown, and we cannot follow him (cf. Jn 13:36). Yet in Jesus’s case, there is something utterly new, which changes the world. In the case of our own death, the "going away" is definitive, there is no return. Jesus, on the other hand, says of his death: "I go away, and I will come to you." It is by going away that he comes. [Again, a return.] His going ushers in a completely new and greater way of being present. By dying he enters into the love of the Father. His dying is an act of love. Love, however, is immortal. Therefore, his going away is transformed into a new coming, [Again, the return.] into a form of presence which reaches deeper and does not come to an end. During his earthly life, Jesus, like all of us, was tied to the external conditions of bodily existence: to a determined place and a determined time. Bodiliness places limits on our existence. We [because of human limitations.] cannot be simultaneously in two different places. Our time is destined to come to an end. And between the "I" and the "you" there is a wall of otherness. To be sure, through love we can somehow enter the other’s existence. Nevertheless, the insurmountable barrier of being different remains in place. Yet Jesus, who is now totally transformed through the act of love, is free from such barriers and limits. [The Lord can be simultaneously on every altar in the world.] He is able not only to pass through closed doors in the outside world, as the Gospels recount (cf. Jn 20:19). He can pass through the interior door separating the "I" from the "you", the closed door between yesterday and today, between the past and the future. [Christ is not bound by the limits of space (He can be on all the altars of the world at once), but neither is He limited in time.  Consider that when we follow carefully the liturgical books, the baptized at Mass are in unity with everyone else doing the same thing everywhere.  At the same time, when we worship in a way that is continuous with the past, we the baptized are also, because Christ is the true actor in Holy Mass, transcending the barriers of time.  We are in unity with all the generations that went before us and we are opened outward to those who will follow.] On the day of his solemn entry into Jerusalem, when some Greeks asked to see him, Jesus replied with the parable of the grain of wheat which has to pass through death in order to bear much fruit. [This makes me think of the cleft in the rock through which God commanded Moses to glimpse Him, as He passed.  In a sense, the Crucifix is the same.  Therefore the position of the Crucifix for Mass is of great importance.] In this way he foretold his own destiny: these words were not addressed simply to one or two Greeks in the space of a few minutes. Through his Cross, through his going away, through his dying like the grain of wheat, he would truly arrive among the Greeks, in such a way that they could see him and touch him through faith. His going away is transformed into a coming, in the Risen Lord’s universal manner of presence, in which he is there yesterday, today and for ever, in which he embraces all times and all places. Now he can even surmount the wall of otherness that separates the "I" from the "you". This happened with Paul, who describes the process of his conversion and his Baptism in these words: "it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me" (Gal 2:20). Through the coming of the Risen One, Paul obtained a new identity. His closed "I" was opened. Now he lives in communion with Jesus Christ, in the great "I" of believers who have become – as he puts it – "one in Christ" (Gal 3:28).

[At this point the Holy Father has give you some hooks to hang ideas on in an organized way, a "hermeneutic" or lens through which you can hear what follows.  He has talked about the Lord's Coming, and how He establishes a continuity for the baptized that is not limited in space or in time.]

So, dear friends, it is clear that, through Baptism, the mysterious words spoken by Jesus at the Last Supper become present for you once more. [So, the starting point for "active participation" is our baptismal character.  This "active participation" starts with an interior dimension of the human person.  In his sermon for the Chrism Mass he spoke to the "active participation" of priests in liturgy, starting from "correct celebration" brought to completion by "interior participation".  More on this below.] In Baptism, the Lord enters your life through the door of your heart. We no longer stand alongside or in opposition to one another. He passes through all these doors. This is the reality of Baptism: he, the Risen One, comes; he comes to you and joins his life with yours, drawing you into the open fire of his love. You become one, one with him, and thus one among yourselves. [Think of the liturgical unity we have.] At first this can sound rather abstract and unrealistic. But the more you live the life of the baptized, the more you can experience the truth of these words. Believers – the baptized – are never truly cut off from one another. Continents, cultures, social structures or even historical distances may separate us. But when we meet, we know one another on the basis of the same Lord, the same faith, the same hope, the same love, which form us. Then we experience that the foundation of our lives is the same. We experience that in our inmost depths we are anchored in the same identity, on the basis of which all our outward differences, however great they may be, become secondary.  [Think of this in terms of the "continuity" the Holy Father is seeking to reestablish.]  Believers are never totally cut off from one another. We are in communion because of our deepest identity: Christ within us. Thus faith is a force for peace and reconciliation in the world: distances between people are overcome, in the Lord we have become close (cf. Eph 2:13).

The Church expresses the inner reality of Baptism as the gift of a new identity through the tangible elements used in the administration of the sacrament. The fundamental element in Baptism is water; next, in second place, is light, which is used to great effect in the Liturgy of the Easter Vigil. Let us take a brief look at these two elements. In the final chapter of the Letter to the Hebrews, there is a statement about Christ which does not speak directly of water, but the Old Testament allusions nevertheless point clearly to the mystery of water and its symbolic meaning. Here we read: "The God of peace … brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant" (13:20). In this sentence, there is an echo of the prophecy of Isaiah, in which Moses is described as the shepherd whom the Lord brought up from the water, from the sea (cf. 63:11). Jesus appears as the new, definitive Shepherd who brings to fulfilment what Moses had done: he leads us out of the deadly waters of the sea, out of the waters of death. In this context we may recall that Moses’ mother placed him in a basket in the Nile. Then, through God’s providence, he was taken out of the water, carried from death to life, and thus – having himself been saved from the waters of death – he was able to lead others through the sea of death. Jesus descended for us into the dark waters of death. But through his blood, so the Letter to the Hebrews tells us, he was brought back from death: his love united itself to the Father’s love, and thus from the abyss of death he was able to rise to life. Now he raises us from death to true life. This is exactly what happens in Baptism: he draws us towards himself, he draws us into true life. He leads us through the often murky sea of history, where we are frequently in danger of sinking amid all the confusion and perils. In Baptism he takes us, as it were, by the hand, he leads us along the path that passes through the Red Sea of this life and introduces us to everlasting life, the true and upright life. Let us grasp his hand firmly! Whatever may happen, whatever may befall us, let us not lose hold of his hand! Let us walk along the path that leads to life.

In the second place, there is the symbol of light and fire. Gregory of Tours recounts a practice that in some places was preserved for a long time, of lighting the new fire for the celebration of the Easter Vigil directly from the sun, using a crystal. Light and fire, so to speak, were received anew from heaven, so that all the lights and fires of the year could be kindled from them. This is a symbol of what we are celebrating in the Easter Vigil. Through his radical love for us, in which the heart of God and the heart of man touched, Jesus Christ truly took light from heaven and brought it to the earth – the light of truth and the fire of love that transform man’s being. He brought the light, and now we know who God is and what God is like. Thus we also know what our own situation is: what we are, and for what purpose we exist. When we are baptized, the fire of this light is brought down deep within ourselves. Thus, in the early Church, Baptism was also called the Sacrament of Illumination: [I am reminded of the new prayer for Jews on Good Friday.] God’s light enters into us; thus we ourselves become children of light. We must not allow this light of truth, that shows us the path, to be extinguished. We must protect it from all the forces that seek to eliminate it so as to cast us back into darkness regarding God and ourselves. Darkness, at times, can seem comfortable. I can hide, and spend my life asleep. Yet we are not called to darkness, but to light. In our baptismal promises, we rekindle this light, so to speak, year by year. Yes, I believe that the world and my life are not the product of chance, but of eternal Reason and eternal Love, they are created by Almighty God. Yes, I believe that in Jesus Christ, in his incarnation, in his Cross and resurrection, the face of God has been revealed; that in him, God is present in our midst, he unites us and leads us towards our goal, towards eternal Love. Yes, I believe that the Holy Spirit gives us the word of truth and enlightens our hearts; I believe that in the communion of the Church we all become one Body with the Lord, and thus we encounter his resurrection and eternal life. The Lord has granted us the light of truth. This light is also fire, a powerful force coming from God, a force that does not destroy, but seeks to transform our hearts, so that we truly become men of God, and so that his peace can become active in this world.

[Now we get to the meat of what I am talking about.  This is where he reveals more clearly what he is driving at.]

In the early Church there was a custom whereby the Bishop or the priest, after the homily, would cry out to the faithful: "Conversi ad Dominum" – turn now towards the Lord. This meant in the first place that they would turn towards the East, towards the rising sun, the sign of Christ returning, whom we go to meet when we celebrate the Eucharist. Where this was not possible, for some reason, they would at least turn towards
[the liturgical East] the image of Christ in the apse, or towards the Cross, so as to orient themselves inwardly towards the Lord. [interior orientation toward the Lord who is coming!] Fundamentally, this involved an interior event; conversion, the turning of our soul towards Jesus Christ and thus towards the living God, towards the true light. Linked with this, then, was the other exclamation that still today, before the Eucharistic Prayer, is addressed to the community of the faithful: "Sursum corda" – "Lift up your hearts", high above the tangled web of our concerns, desires, anxieties and thoughtlessness – "Lift up your hearts, your inner selves!" [Again, this signals an interior orientation.  Now the Holy Father returns more closely to baptism.]  In both exclamations we are summoned, as it were, to a renewal of our Baptism: Conversi ad Dominum – we must distance ourselves ever anew from taking false paths, onto which we stray so often in our thoughts and actions. We must turn ever anew towards him who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. We must be converted ever anew, turning with our whole life towards the Lord. And ever anew we must allow our hearts to be withdrawn from the force of gravity, [this phrase surprises me a little, given Pope Benedict's knowledge of Augustine's amor meus pondus meum... but there it is.] which pulls them down, and inwardly we must raise them high: in truth and love. At this hour, let us thank the Lord, because through the power of his word and of the holy Sacraments, he points us in the right direction and draws our heart upwards. Let us pray to him in these words: Yes, Lord, make us Easter people, men and women of light, filled with the fire of your love. Amen.

What is going on here?  I think the Holy Father has made another contribution to support the benefits of ad orientem worship.  The Holy Father has raised the stakes, so to speak.  It seems to me that he is now pressing the issue.

I believe that it is time for bishops and priests around the world to take the hint and start, first through catechesis, to start turning our worship back toward the Lord in ad orientem worship.

I made a point I wanted to return to about active participation.

I wrote that, the starting point for "active participation" is our baptismal character.  This "active", participation" starts with an interior dimension of the human person.  In his sermon for the Chrism Mass he spoke to the "active participation" of priests in liturgy, starting from "correct celebration" brought to completion by "interior participation".  I often speak of the need for strong active interior participation which then comes to be expressed in outward gestures, movement, singing, etc.  However, here the Holy Father is speaking about how the correct outward celebration of the priest, is brought to completion in interior participation.  I don’t want to put to much on this at this moment, but it has started me thinking.  First, perhaps there is a possible distinction to be made in active participation of laypeople and that of priests.  Also, this expression may also represent the other side of the coin of lex orandi lex credendi.  There is a reciprocal relationship between how we pray and what we believe.  Sometimes the one or the other will have logical priority.

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103 Responses to The Holy Father’s Vigil Sermon – theological starting points for liturgy, ad orientem worship

  1. Geoffrey says:

    Can anyone else imagine hearing the words “Conversi ad Dominum” chanted at the start of the Liturgy of the Eucharist in the Ordinary Form? I can!

    I pray that more priests will read the words of the Holy Father on this subject and give it some very serious thought… and then action!

  2. TNCath says:

    Lex orandi lex credendi, indeed. The old cliche rings true here: actions speak louder than words. The question remains unanswered: Are the bishops listening to the words of the Holy Father, and are they going to act?

  3. John Collorafi says:

    Conversi ad Dominum– in my mind’s eye I see those three words being propelled up and down the blogosphere. The sacred Triduum is a great time to pray for priests, that they may be anointed with the Holy Ghost and illumined with the knowledge and zeal to restore the right liturgical praxis.

  4. madirish says:

    Father,

    Can you tell us anything about the Holy Father’s miter for the Easter Vigil Mass? I assumed it was an image of Jesus with a lamb, but I just saw a close up and the animal looks more like a dog! A German shepherd, perhaps? Watching the events today and on Good Friday from St. Peters, I was amazed at how beautiful the music is now with Benedict. It is so much more appropriate to the setting.

    Happy Easter!

  5. Father M says:

    In addition to offering the older form of the Mass (which is sadly not very well attended), I have been trying gently to suggest we take seriously our history and our pope in the newer form–conversi ad Dominum. We turned the altar around for Holy Thursday and, in its limited role, for Good Friday. On Holy Thursday this included a sermon on “turning towards the Lord” on a night “which is different from every other night.” I now offer one NO Mass a week versus Deum, and some people come to the older Mass during the week as well. There is, perhaps, a grudging acceptance by some, but there is a tremendous amount of resistance as well. I am so glad the Holy Father keeps this gentle note sounding. There is strength in numbers. So, my fellow priests–convertimini ad Dominum.

  6. Geoffrey says:

    The Holy Father is giving Holy Communion under both kinds by intinction! First time I’ve EVER seen that! :-)

  7. techno_aesthete says:

    Geoffrey, yes, this is wonderful! Holy Communion by intinction. Deo gratias!

  8. Will says:

    I was under the impression that intinction was forbidden in the Roman rite. I certainly know that when I was an Unnecessary Eucharistic Minister, I was told that I was to ensure that people did not dip the host into the chalice.

  9. Dave Deavel says:

    Father Z.,

    Re: Gravity. Don’t think of Augustine’s amor meus, but of the weight of sin. Or perhaps Chesterton’s angels who fly because they take themselves, but not God, lightly.

    Father M.: Bravo! Keep up the good work.

    Will: self intinction by laity is forbidden, but not by a priest communicating us on the ongue.

  10. milanta says:

    Hi, I always read your blog Fr. Z. Great blog. Today, you compare the Second Vatican Council with the Second World War. That was nice for some people and terrible for others.

    I just have a question and I hope you answer me: Does anything good or valuable come from the Second Vatican Council?

    Thank you and have a very good Easter!

  11. Douglas Nesmith says:

    It was a wonderful Mass, however I think an even more profound statement has been made by the Pope by baptizing the former muslim. Hopefully this is a great shot in the arm for all the Cantalamessa’s out there teaching false ecumenism. Hopefully this point didnt escape their notice. The Latin Mass, Ad Orientem, and now publically showing the world that the Church does believe in bring in the lost sheep. Maybe the new springtime is finally upon us after so many years in the desert. God bless you Fr. Z

  12. Deo volente says:

    Father Zuhlsdorf,

    I listened to the Homily entranced. When His Holiness mentioned “Conversi ad Dominum,” my jaw dropped. I instantly thought, “How does Fr. Zuhlsdorf get advanced previews of things like this?” I say this truly in jest, but it was as if you had overheard what the Pope was thinking. Excellent analysis!

  13. Will says:

    Dave: That makes sense. I have since found it in the GIRM N. 281-287. I have never seen it before, though.

  14. Dave: Re: Gravity. Don’t think of Augustine’s amor meus, but of the weight of sin.

    I understand what the Holy Father said, Dave.

    However, Augustine spoke of love in terms of weight. In ancient thought weight was inner inclination of the thing that drew it to its best place, its resting place, which is why the human heart is restless until it rests in God. It surprises me, as I said, that he didn’t stick to the Augustinian image.

  15. About intinction: Yes, it is licit in the Roman Rite, but people cannot intinct the Host by themselves. The priest or deacon must intinct and then place it on the tongue of the Communicant. Communion by intinction can never be given in the hand.

  16. Fr. Wade says:

    Fr. M
    Keep up the good work. Yes there can be a lot of resistance but thank you Lord of our good German Shepherd. We have started ad orientem worship here as well after a number of weeks of teaching on the subject. One of my parishoners told me that it was so wonderful to go Mass like this, “I never thought of you once Father”. As our Holy Father has said so many times that the priest is not that important, it is Jesus who is important. I believe that firm teaching following the lead of our Holy Father will eventually yield results. My experience of the EF has enriched my offering of the OF. I love the EF it has been such a blessing for my priesthood. It is true that the attendence is not that great but that also will improve especially with more beautiful Chant. My goal is to make it difficult for people to distinguish between the EF and the OF. I think that we we will come back to one expression of the Latin rite but it may take a while.

  17. Doug says:

    Father, this may not be the place to ask but as a newcomer please forgive my ignorance. Now that we are getting back to basics of faith I just purchased a new St. Andrews missal for Mass, but someone told me it is different than the 1962 missal. Can I use this for the Traditional Mass? What changes will I have to make if any? I just want to do what is right. If I should ask this somewhere else please feel free to correct me. Thank you and God bless

  18. Geoffrey says:

    Regarding intinction, does anyone know anything about the sacred vessel that is both a chalice and ciborium in one? My grandmother has told me about it… There would be a cup at the top with the Precious Blood and a little “dish” attached to the bottom filled with Hosts. The priest would then take the host and dip, rather than have someone else nearby holding a chalice (like the Papal Easter Vigil Mass). Does anyone know what this vessel is called? Pictures?

  19. Fr Arsenius says:

    We experience that in our inmost depths we are anchored in the same identity, on the basis of which all our outward differences, however great they may be, become secondary. Believers are never totally cut off from one another. We are in communion because of our deepest identity: Christ within us. Thus faith is a force for peace and reconciliation in the world: distances between people are overcome, in the Lord we have become close.

    Um . . . does anyone else hear overtones the current situation in China and Tibet (and Sudan and Kenya and…and…) in these words?

  20. Jeff says:

    This is all nice and great to see, I’m overjoyed. However, reality sets in and makes me wonder what will really happen here in the US where we have so few solid bishops. I live in a smaller diocese where I don’t even know of a solid priest in the entire diocese, our only Latin Mass was the most disrespectful Mass I’ve ever seen.

    What can we do, and how do we deal with the frustration over our bishops who refuse to listen to our Holy Father?

  21. Henry Edwards says:

    Geoffrey: Intinction sets are readily available. Here is a picture of one a parish I attend has:

    http://www.artegranda.com/images/catalogo/111.105p.jpg

    It is used only on very special occasions, such as an ad orientem Latin Novus Ordo Mass last Christmas.So far as I know, intinction is not allowed in the TLM, but is mentioned a number times in the GIRM for the Novus Ordo.

  22. Henry Edwards says:

    Doug: Father, this may not be the place to ask but as a newcomer please forgive my ignorance. Now that we are getting back to basics of faith I just purchased a new St. Andrews missal for Mass, but someone told me it is different than the 1962 missal. Can I use this for the Traditional Mass?

    Many believe the pre-1962 St. Andrew Daily Missal to be the finest Latin-English hand missal ever published. I use it frequently, as well as the two newly published 1962 missals. Aside from the 1955 simplfications in the liturgy for the Sacred Triduum, the 1962 changes were truly miniscule from a layman’s viewpoint. If you are a newcomer to the TLM, you might use the St. Andrew Daily Missal for a year without noticing any difference with what’s going on at Mass. The ordinary and proper texts and readings will all be the same. The only difference in ceremony you might notice is that in many places the Confiteor is not repeated by the ministers and people just before Holy Communion. It was deleted from the 1962 missal, but is still seen in some places, in which case the St. Andrew missal will agree even in this instance. In short, “Be not afraid” of this fine missal.

  23. Geoffrey says:

    Henry Edwards: Thanks for the photo! I didn’t think it would be used at TLMs, which makes me wonder where my grandmother has seen them!

  24. Joshus says:

    Mr. Edwards,

    It is not true that proper texts and readings are all the same. Besides the upgrading, downgrading, removal and reestablishing of new/old feasts, you also have a few new common Masses, a change in some proper Mass texts for certain feasts, and a shortening of the readings for the Passion (first in 1955, and again in 1960)

    If you only go on Sunday and Holy Days, though, you would only notice a difference on Palm Sunday, with a Passion missing 41 verses. But if you go every day, like myself, it will be far more frustrating.

  25. Chris says:

    Exactly Fr Z. I always find myself agreeing with you.
    I wish you would found a religious society of congregation of priests. I would join.
    May you have a blessed Easter
    Christopher

  26. Speaking of missals, I noted with some amusement that the 1990 Le Barroux monks’ reprint of a French-Latin hand missal, with imprimatur of Cardinal Mayer, then president of Ecclesia Dei, and preface by Cardinal Ratzinger, mentions the “Second Confiteor” in a footnote in the ordinary, where it mentions it is used in “certain places” by custom. A beautiful missal, incidentally, once sold by the FSSP (maybe now out of print?), and to the best of my knowledge the only “Ecclesia Dei”-approved missal ever published.

  27. this would be hilarious if it weren’t so awful.

  28. Tom says:

    I wish more than a few priests and laymen in Dallas would heed the Pope’s “hints.”

    I visited a nearby tonight to assist at Vigil Mass. My parish offered a bilingual Mass…I passed.

    The parish that I visited incorporated Spanish into the Mass.

    The music was awful. The parish is ugly to the core.

    An usher literally grabbed my hand to force me to hold hands during the Our Father.

    EMs all over the place.

    Please pray for me. I struggle just to make my Sunday Obligation each week in Dallas.

    The liturgy here is difficult to face.

    I pray that the Holy Father’s “hints” will be heard in Dallas.

    Everybody…please pray that at least one or two parishes in Dallas come forward to offer the Traditional Latin Mass.

    Please pray for me.

    Please Holy Father, lead the Church from the liturgical insanity that has engulfed us.

  29. Tom says:

    I just returned from another awful Dallas liturgical experience.

    Therefore, my depressed state probably reflects in the following question:

    I appreciate the Holy Father’s words…but didn’t Popes Paul VI and John Paul II offer words regarding Catholic liturgy?

    My world is Dallas, Texas.

    I read the Holy Father’s statements…I read Fr. Z’s commentary regarding the Pope’s “Marshall Plan.”

    But frankly, I feel like I belong to a different religion when I assist at Mass here and there in Dallas.

    The Easter Vigil Mass at which I just assisted was dreadful.

    Seriously, I wonder whether the Catholic religion I knew as a boy even exists in Dallas.

    Everything during tonight’s Mass…from the shocking manner in which a great many people dressed, to the banal liturgical action that I encountered…makes we almost believe that I belong to a different religion than the Catholic religion into which I was baptized.

    Why should I expect the Dallas Diocese to follow the Pope’s “hints” regarding liturgy?

    I won’t name the parish at which I assisted tonight…but it’s a standard Dallas parish.

    Sorry, I’m depressed at this moment…but Fr. Z…anybody…please tell me why I should believe that the Dallas Diocese would embrace Pope Benedict XVI’s “Marshall Plan.”

    Please pray for me.

    Thank you.

  30. Melody says:

    I was deeply touched by the Holy Father’s homily. However, I think it’s wrong to go first to the liturgical aspects of what he is saying. Is the not a first message here a proclamation of hope to the essential loneliness of man? Depression and loneliness are epidemic in modern society, and this is all due to the loss of the sacred and the need for Christ.
    Downplaying this weakens the argument for liturgy when the Holy Father seems to be working to create informed hearts–fostering the inner spirituality which demands the old form and the return of the sacred action of “turning towards the Lord”.

  31. Melody says:

    Tom: Speaking of depression… I’ve been there…

    Check this out: http://web2.airmail.net/carlsch/MaterDei/

    It’s a Latin mass community in Dallas. According to the website they are in full communion with Rome and operate under an indult granted by the Bishop of Dallas. It is also home to a community of Carmelite nuns.

  32. Melody says:

    Sorry for the double post Father Z, but just after I clicked “submit” I found an article saying there is also a Latin mass at St. William parish in Greenville (am I right in thinking that is a suburb?)

    Source: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/opinion/points/stories/DN-dreher_27edi.ART.State.Edition1.4350cb4.html

  33. Mark W says:

    I hear you, Tom.
    The mass I went to was not much better.
    Haas, Haugen, and Hurd, etc. Plenty of tambourines.
    The church was in the middle of a construction project and I don’t remember seeing a crucifix.
    They cut two readings (but made the ones they read extra long — responses in the middle of the readings, turning one reading into more of a dramatic recitation (complete with piano accompaniment). Incidentally, the four readers were all women (the Deacon read the Gospel).
    No Rite of Sprinkling, rather the worshipers walked to the front of the church and placed their finger in the baptismal font and blessed themselves with the sign of the cross.
    Despite all the choir’s preparation, the church forgot to assign sufficiently for the collection and presentation of the gifts, and the priest had to ask for assistance.
    Oddly, only one EMHC, as there was no Blood of Christ.
    Terrible, and exceedingly long, Litany of the Saints.
    Astonishingly, there were no baptisms or confirmations.

    Apparently this is the customary service for the Easter Vigil at this parish. They have a new, fairly conservative pastor, and he has not yet made many significant changes to the liturgy, but I pray they come soon.

    For the Holy Father’s “Marshall Plan” to work, it is going to take brave, young priests willing to go against many of their parishioners’ wishes in order to follow the our Holy Father, the GIRM, etc.

    Pray for our priests!

  34. Kim D'Souza says:

    Fr Zuhlsdorf: I’m not nearly knowledgeable enough on St Augustine’s image of love, but it seems to be that the context provides the reason why the Holy Father went with the image of releasing our hearts from the force of gravity rather than with the Augustinian image of love giving weight to our hearts. The Pope used the imagery of our hearts being free to rise because he is elaborating on the “Sursum corda” which carries it’s own imagery. It seems to me that different sets of imagery – even sometimes apparently contradictory – can sometimes work very well to explain different aspects of a phenomenon, in this case love. Thus, the image of a gravitational pull can express how love attracts us to our true resting place, but the image of freedom from gravity can express how love gives us the wings necessary to soar to union with God. Similarly, the same images can be used in radically different ways: for example, the salt in the waters of the sea is often interpreted as a sign of alienation and death, whereas the “salt of the earth” or salt used to bless water has an altogether different significance. Do you think this make sense?

  35. mj anderson says:

    Fr. Z–excellent insight. Thank you for this post.

    This is what stuck me most:
    “anchored in the same identity…”

    Does it seem that there are too many “types” of Catholics? If more were actually anchored in the same (Catholic) identity, we would have a much greater affect on the world, the policies of nations, much greater evangelization.

    Have a blessed Easter!

  36. jacobus says:

    This is all wonderful and true, and I hope for the sake of the Church that the Holy Father’s plan comes to fruition. Unfortunately, ars longa, vita brevis. We should pray as often as possible for those suffering in the pews who either don’t know any better or don’t have access to reverent liturgy.

  37. pjo says:

    Is the paschal candle used by Holy Father 100% beeswax? What minimal amount of beeswax is licit to sing about it as about the masterpiece of bees work?

  38. Compare the Paschal Vigil at ther Vatican with the assembly at the national Shrine. Where do folks get their liturgical training? Why can’t Lumen Christi. Deo Gratias! And the silence ensue, rather than the choir having to perform?

  39. giovanni says:

    I don’t want to derail the discussion on a very good article, but I’m also curious about the mitre the Holy Father wore. For all the world it looked to me like the Risen Christ patting a big St Bernard on the head! I kept wondering, artistic license? A gift from the Dominicans?

    Happy Easter to all…waiting for the Papal Mass and Urbi et Orbi in 1/2 hour.

  40. Lurker #59 says:

    Tom and like minded individuals~

    The solution is not to say “how long oh Lord”, but it is to rather to put oneself into a position where one can affect change. The fulcrum is the “Marshal Plan” but the lever is people standing up and taking back control of the Church. The only way for the liturgy and Catholic identity to be restored is for men to stand up and go to seminary and become priests or permanent deacons. For people of good faith to get themselves on the committees at these liberal parishes, to become educators of the children, and every other possible thing that each individual could do.

    We may bemoan the fact that we have shepherds that are interested in other things besides the sacraments and preaching Christ crucified, and that the liturgy is often a mess, but if we become involved in the fundamental levels of the parish structure those that come after us will not have to experience what we have. Even if we consider ourselves to be not the best, our paltriness is more than what is, and besides look what God did with weak people like Moses and Peter.

    It is not easy and it wont be quick, but real structural change at the parish level will only come when men and women of orthodox faith, even with great lack of abilities, lay themselves down and become levers by which to move the parish.

    Often we will drive hundreds of miles to a proper Sunday Mass, but we pay little attention to the walls of the parish that is falling down across the street. Pope Benedict’s Marshal Plan will never get implemented in that parish until people who are willing to implement it are in fundamental positions in that parish.

    You want a better parish? What have you done to make it better? No one is teaching the kids the faith? When was the last time you taught them? Bunch of liberal priests and deacons? When are you (men) applying to seminary?

    Pope Benedict can have a great vision and issue all sorts of documents, but it is all useless unless there are people on the ground who are willing to lay down the bricks and mortar.

    Depression is the result of a loss of hope which plunges us into darkness. Hope is not regained by waiting for somebody to turn the lights back on, it is regained by getting up and changing the light bulb. We hope in Christ not by standing still and waiting, but by moving towards Him. So too then for his Mystical Body, we must not simply just stand still but we must move the Body towards Christ by our own actions.

    When we see all these great things being said by Pope Benedict, but we only consider how our own parishes fall short, we will quickly loose all hope.

    BUT, when we see all these great things being said by Pope Benedict and we first say what must I do personally to implement this in my parish, then we gain hope for it is then when we work in concert with the Pope, and not simply stand still and considering what is lacking, that we truly move towards Christ.

  41. Richard says:

    The whole communion by instinction scene made me recall my experience assisting at the recent Palm Sunday Mass in a Tokyo suburb. The Mass was in Japanese, and while the congregation was well dressed and there was none of that irritating hand-holding during the Pater Noster and hand gestures in response to “the Lord be with you,” to my absolute shock and horror the communicants, after receiving the Sacred Host in the hand, proceeded to where the extraordinary minister of Holy Communion was standing holding a chalice, and dipped the Sacred Host into the chalice and self-communicated, every single one of them, including the religious sisters in habit. This, plus the fact that the congregation stood for the entore eucharistic prayer despite the presence of kneelers made me so sick I decided to abstain from receving Holy Communion. At the end of the Mass, while the congregation was still singing the closing song, I stood up and left. On the way out, I bumped into a woman, apparently one who works or volunteers at that parish, who saw the pained look on my face. When I asked her about the self-communicating and standing throughout the consecration thing, she said she sympathized with my disappointment, but she explained that the Church authorities in Tokyo decided to forego kneeling because they wanted to avoid the “commotion” that accompanied standing-kneeling-standing. She had no explanation for the self-communication. This is a shocking reminder to all faithful Catholics at the rot that has infiltrated the Church. The Holy Father’s attempt at reform will have no effect whatsoever on disobedient bishops unless strong action is taken to bring them into line.

  42. Richard DeSpirito says:

    This is for Lurker #59

    Thank you for your comments. It was as if God spoke to me through you.

    Richard DeSpirito

  43. Volpius says:

    Did H.H. celebrate ad orientem? That would make more impact and if H.H. thinks it is the right way how can H.H. justify not doing so? Also in my opinion the clergy in my neck of the woods (Hexham and Newcastle, England) have no intention of going back to ad orientem, there is a good chance they would ignore it, or at least do their best to find some loophole to avoid it even if they were commanded directly so merely hinting at it in a sermon is going to have zero effect. By the way since the Motu Proprio nothing has changed in my diocese, I wouldn’t even know about it if not for the internet.

  44. Volpius says:

    To Lurker, I don’t have the authority to command my Parish Priest to celebrate the liturgy in the Latin Rite of 1962, I am not called to be a Priest, many times I have considered it, seeing it as the only way I would be able to get to a Mass I could happily worship on a regular basis, but if it is not my vocation as I believe it is not then I would do more harm than good.

    The Church is hierarchical, if the Bishops do not want it there is nothing you or I can do, we do not have the authority to overrule them, nor to seize control of the Church from them whom God has appointed.

    Change at the Parish level cannot happen when it is opposed at the Diocesan level.

    The reason I ignore the parish across the street is because I am not part of it, I am a Latin rite Catholic not a English rite Catholic, (no doubt some of you will say there is no English rite rather it is the Latin rite in English, while this may make sense theologically it denies common sense, and denies what I witness with my eyes and ears). And even then it does not adhere to the guidelines for saying the English rite issued by Rome. The fundamental position in a small parish such as the one I happen to live in is the Priest, we don’t have committees or councils to my knowledge. If the Priest doesn’t want it and the Bishop doesn’t want it doesn’t happen period.

    We have a Catholic school to teach the kids the faith, and then it is up to the parents of the child, I am not a teacher at the school, to be one I would have to go through six years of study and be certified by the government to teach. If those appointed to teach the kids the faith, the parents and teachers and the clergy, are neglecting to teach it properly again I can do nothing the schools are controlled jointly by the government, the Priest and the Bishop. I cannot kidnap people’s children and ram the faith down their throat.

    The office of Priest is not for everyone, simply saying all you men need to become priests and solve this mess isn’t realistic, I know several traditional young men who have explored the possibility most of them could not bear to be in the seminary for more than a year, you see the seminary is ran by, you guessed it, the Bishop and his staff.

    Just recently Polish, Nigerian and Indian Priests who are working in the UK because we have a shortage of priests were forced by the Bishop to attend re-education classes at the seminary because in the words of Rev. Terry Drainey the president of the college “Some foreign priests working in Britain tend to be too dogmatic about the church’s moral rightness on just about everything. That’s not how we do things here. This course shows how we deal with a whole range of issues affecting Catholics, including the role of women, divorce, the lay ministry and homosexuality.” With comments like this I am left wondering if the English Church is part of the Universal Catholic Church at all.

    But that is the point, H.H. is not issuing all sorts of documents, if H.H did and the Bishops refused to obey then I could refuse to obey them, but H.H isn’t instead all we are getting is hints, hints are not binding on the Bishops and they will simply ignore them.

    I have hope though it has recently been sapped by been forced to observe Easter in the English rite rather than the Latin Rite of my forefathers, but I am also realistic, in my Parish and my diocese there is nothing I am able to do other than pray.

  45. Maynardus says:

    “Communion by intinction can never be given in the hand.”

    Hmm…all of this recent talk about the damage done by practice of Communion-in-the-hand and the desirability of doing away with it…then the Holy Father shows everyone how to do it!

    Bravo, Papa! And a Happy Resurrection to all!

  46. Henry Edwards says:

    Joshus: For Doug’s benefit–despite the potential thread drift–I feel obliged to reiterate my advice to keep and use his fine St. Andrew daily missal. If and when he wants a newer missal, that’ll be fine (of course), but in the meantime the one he as will serve him well, and he ought never discard it entirely.

    Almost every day of the year, I compare the propers and readings in a 1962 missal (either my Angelus or my Baronius) with those in both my St. Andrew missal and my Father Lasance missal of similar vintage. This gives me three complementary English translations of the same Latin Collect, Secret, and Postcommunion, and the three often provide enlightening and complementary nuances of meaning in these rich but dense old prayers, most of which date back unchanged well over millenium. For me, this is invariably fulfilling, never frustrating.

  47. magdalen says:

    To Tom and others,
    I also must endure what is our local liturgies. There is no TLM at all in my
    diocese. We are busy \’empowering the laity\’ which is to say, the aging women.
    There are always lots of women all over the place and on both Holy Thursday
    and Good Friday a woman in jeans shoved the Sacred Host in my mouth perhaps
    to let me know that in the hand is preferred.

    HOWEVER–THERE IS AN EXCELLENT TLM IN DALLAS! I DO HAVE A FRIEND WHO ASSISTS
    THERE AND FINDS IT A SLICE OF HEAVEN. THIS FRIEND ENDURED FOR YEARS AND YEARS
    and would drive great distances to find a properly celebrated Mass. Twice the
    priests in her parish left because of sodomy. This friend claims there are
    many of such persuations but then that would be hearsay, wouldn\’t it. But
    it does explain the awful liturgies that can be found and the total lack
    of Church teaching.

    My pastor last night rambled on and on and on and on about immigrations and
    young soldiers and so on before my ears went numb. I do not think he mentioned
    Our Lord, but then he generally speaks of himself. Father said at the end:
    “I CAN TELL IF IT IS A GOOD LITURGY IF I HAVE HAD FUN AND I HAD FUN TONIGHT”.
    Yep, all about father having fun. He nearly blew the consecration as he
    was wrapped up in his singing; luckily he caught himself and redid it.

    One day, I will be somewhere with properly celebrated and totally licit
    Masses.

  48. Abe says:

    Dallas has surely had more than its share of crosses to bear in the last several years, but the Fraternity of St. Peter has had an apostolate there for well-nigh two decades and they are also in Fort Worth these days.

  49. RichR says:

    I think great things are happening in the Church today.

    Pope Benedict is going to find that, among the young adults, there will be a huge uprising of support for his Marshall Plan. This group is primarily composed of those who responded to the late JPII’s call to a “New Evangelization” and apologetics. They are primed with the doctrinal traditions of the Church, and they will be open to the liturgical traditions of the Church. Both are a part of the sensus catholicus that has permeated the Church throughout the ages.

    I also believe that in America, the “melting pot,” people are losing their ethnic and cultural heritage. As a result, the Church has a golden opportunity to offer a REAL heritage that goes back 2,000 years. The best way to reconnect with that Catholic Identity is through the liturgy – and not simply saying, “St. Francis went to Mass, and so can you.” No, people need to pray the same prayers and go through the same rituals that St. Francis went through if they really want to step into the same liturgical universe St. Francis was in. Then they will feel like they have “come home” and “discovered who they are” in a traditional Catholic way.

    Only after this connection is re-forged will any “reform of the reform” make any sense.

    In the meantime, I am excited to follow the HF’s lead and “Save the Liturgy, Save the World”. Our schola in College Station, TX is doing just that. God is preparing the Church for a BIG return to sacred worship.

    Viva il Papa!

  50. Cal-Brian says:

    Thank you to the priests that have begun re-introducing ad orientem worship. I attended an Ordinary Form mass in the San Diego area recently, and was pleasantly shocked to see the priest conduct the Liturgy of the Eucharist ad orietem and in Latin! I feel that this, along with the traditional music played, great increased the atmosphere of reverence. I’m in my 30s, and grew up with the OF, and found this particular mass to be incredibly moving.
    Thank you to all…

  51. David Andrew says:

    Volpius,

    It is my understanding that there is a long-standing tradition at the Patriarchal Vatican Basilica of St. Peter the Apostle in which the celebrant stands at the altar in a manner we would consider “versus populum”, but he is actually facing cardinal east.

    You’ll notice that there were candles (7!) and a crucifix on the altar between His Holiness and the congregation.

    In many churches still celebrating “versus populum” there has arisen what’s becoming known as the “Benedictine” arrangement of the altar, that is, the priest still stands on the side of the altar “facing the people” (sorry, Fr. Z), but with the introduction of six large candles and a crucifix arranged in such a way that the candles and crucifix stand on the side of the altar closest to the congregation. The focus becomes the crucifix (and the action on the altar) rather than the priest. This is where St. Mary, Greenville SC started, and now Fr. Newman has catechised the faithful in the tradition of the ad orientem position, and they’ll make that change in the next several weeks.

    Brick by brick!

  52. Emilio III says:

    I am also an inmate of the Diocese of Dallas, but wish we could find a better place to discuss this without hijacking “The Holy Father’s Vigil Sermon”. There were no EF Triduum services in the Diocese this year, though there was a Good Friday service in Fort Worth. There is (or at least used to be — it is no longer mentioned on the Diocesan website) an OF Latin mass in Greenville (67.8 miles from here).

  53. Volpius says:

    They don’t even have a crucifix in the sanctuary at my local Parish Church, nor the Church in the closest neighbouring parish.

  54. Volpius says:

    Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor’s Easter Homily has just topped of this Easter for me, there is no hope for the Church in England with this man in charge.

  55. elizabeth mckernan says:

    How sad to read that kneeling during the consecration is no longer done in Tokyo due to the ‘commotion’ caused by the congregation.

    I attended a Polish Mass today for the first time – I am not Polish but owing to the very inclement weather and appalling bus service on a Sunday in my town I had no other option. I managed to get one of the last seats a quarter of an hour before Mass began. And they still kept coming in until all the aisles were full and then the porch filled up.

    The congregation were mainly young people – there was no gossiping just a reverent silence until Mass began and people squeezed in where they could. At the appropriate time ALL knelt almost without a sound including all those standing in the aisles and standing at the back of the church and elsewhere. There was no ‘commotion’ either for kneeling or standing and all these young people stood motionless for the rest of Mass too.

    There are many young Poles now working in Britain and it was a privilege to see the evidence of their faith on this Easter Sunday
    with proof that kneeling and standing does not necessarily cause a commotion even in a packed church.

  56. Martin_B says:

    I didn’t see the whole vigil, as I had to get to bed early for our easter vigil at 05:30 am (in Germany), but what i saw was very beautiful and reverend.

    The only things i didn’t like were the flashlights during the entrance procession (they commented on K-TV quite fitting “The basilica sadly looks like a rock-concert”) and the fact, though right by the missal, that the lights were switched on before the exsulted. In Germany they remain normally out until the gloria, which adds to the “night-watch”-character of the first readings.

  57. milanta: Today, you compare the Second Vatican Council with the Second World War.

    No, I don’t think I did. I will say, however, that the misapplication of the Council, its misreading could be compared in some ways to the effects of WWII.

  58. Melody: I think it’s wrong to go first to the liturgical aspects of what he is saying. Is the not a first message here a proclamation of hope to the essential loneliness of man?

    It is possible, perhaps, that you didn’t read what I wrote in the top entry:

    Again, the are many levels on which we can read this sermon and I urge you to read it once, perhaps, with an eye on baptism, on illumination, etc.

  59. Former Altar Boy says:

    Maybe the Holy Father gave Holy Communion by intinction to set and example and maybe start a trend as a clever way to slowly eliminate Communion in the hand. Also, I attended Mass for years at a Maronite church where Holy Communion was always by intinction, but the priest always used a separate chalice and paten (I was always impressed on the way he held both in one hand without any trouble).

  60. Martin: The only things i didn’t like were the flashlights during the entrance procession

    You know… at night the Basilica is pretty dark and there is an awful long distance from the porch to the altar.

    though right by the missal, that the lights were switched on before the exsulted. In Germany they remain normally out until the gloria, which adds to the night-watch”-character of the first readings.

    They didn’t turn on all the lights until the Alleluia.

    Also, it is really hard to read and perform other aspects of the Vigil Mass is the dark.

  61. Dave Deavel says:

    Fr. Z,

    Sorry; my comment was not meant to imply you didn’t know what he was saying. I was just reminded of his quoting of the Chesterton line before, and wanted to point out a possible source.

    Dave

  62. Martin_B says:

    @ Fr. Z:

    I didn’t mean the blue “guiding-lights” which are nessesary of course, I was referring to the photo-flashes. And there was an explicit annaouncement beforehand to avoid flashes during this stage.

    And to the darkness: when the whole congregation in a church, no matter if it’s St. Peter or a village church, has candles burning, the church is only dark to the TV-cameras. For all the people in the church there is enough light to execute and to see all the actions of the vigil. You may just need a reading light.

  63. PMcGrath says:

    Fr. Z stated: “Pope Benedict has long written of the meaning and need for ad orientem worship. In practical terms he knows that we cannot force abrupt changes. We must be gentle in reintroducing it.”

    Father Z, I have to respectfully disagree here, in light of the many comments above this. There has to be a limited amount of butt-kicking from the Apostolic Palace. And the “model” of butt-kicking I have in mind is the Lord at the Cleansing of the Temple. The Gospels say He used a “whip of cords” — a rather weak weapon, not a sword, not a spear — overturned tables, chased away animals, but (near as I can tell) didn’t touch any of the moneychangers. At the same time, no one could misinterpret His displeasure.

    The Apostolic Palace hasn’t “overturned any tables” yet. I think it needs to, and I think many of the commenters here will agree.

  64. Volpius says:

    If we could gently reintroduce it that would be great, but I don’t believe it is possible, just look at the way many Bishops reacted to the MP. H.H. should do something to flush the rebels into the open.

  65. Andy says:

    Father, don’t you read too much into this out of sincere hope for a turn for the better? I’m afraid to believe a restoration of faith and liturgy – the Marshall plan – is indeed coming so that I’m not disappointed?

  66. Matt Q says:

    Father Z wrote:

    “About intinction: Yes, it is licit in the Roman Rite, but people cannot intinct the Host by themselves. The priest or deacon must intinct and then place it on the tongue of the Communicant. Communion by intinction can never be given in the hand.”

    )(

    Father if you can further clarify doing intinction?

    1. I heard it is only the priest who cannot receive Communion by intinction when saying Mass. As the celebrant, he is to consume both species separately. On the Universal or Local level? Yes? No? Thanks.

    In the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, intinction is not permitted. The idea is that in receiving the Host, we receive the Body and Blood of our Lord fully anyway, so intinction is redundant, a needless exaggeration of the same concept.

    2. What is the need for intinction?

    ====================

    TNCath wrote:

    “Lex orandi lex credendi, indeed. The old cliche rings true here: actions speak louder than words. The question remains unanswered: Are the bishops listening to the words of the Holy Father, and are they going to act?”

    )(

    If we’re just waiting around for the bishops to act, then we’re all wasting our time. Gladly the Holy Father is showing everyone now how to do it, but if it’s just show-and-tell and no mandate, then that’s all it is, show-and-tell.

    To be sure, there are bishops carrying out Summorum Pontificum with diligence, but the rest of the bishops have probably round-filed it long ago. What are the Faithful to do? Just move to the good dioceses, I guess. I dread anyone doing that though. Move to a good diocese, the good bishop retires or dies and then some other one takes over and undoes everything. Another big waste.

    ==============

    Father M wrote:

    “In addition to offering the older form of the Mass (which is sadly not very well attended), I have been trying gently to suggest we take seriously our history and our pope in the newer form—conversi ad Dominum. We turned the altar around for Holy Thursday and, in its limited role, for Good Friday. On Holy Thursday this included a sermon on “turning towards the Lord” on a night “which is different from every other night.”

    I now offer one NO Mass a week versus Deum, and some people come to the older Mass during the week as well. There is, perhaps, a grudging acceptance by some, but there is a tremendous amount of resistance as well. I am so glad the Holy Father keeps this gentle note sounding. There is strength in numbers. So, my fellow priests—convertimini ad Dominum.”

    )(

    Father M, I think it’s great what you are doing. See, that’s all it takes. A priest or a bishop to make the effort TO DO. As Mother Teresa always said when people asked her about her work, she said, “Come and see.” You took the step to do what is right and then let what happens happens. God bless you and all priests and bishops who take the steps to keep Sacred Tradition alive in God’s Holy Church.

    ===============

    PMcGrath wrote:

    “Fr. Z stated: ‘Pope Benedict has long written of the meaning and need for ad orientem worship. In practical terms he knows that we cannot force abrupt changes. We must be gentle in reintroducing it.’

    Father Z, I have to respectfully disagree here, in light of the many comments above this. There has to be a limited amount of butt-kicking from the Apostolic Palace. And the “model” of butt-kicking I have in mind is the Lord at the Cleansing of the Temple. The Gospels say He used a “whip of cords”—a rather weak weapon, not a sword, not a spear—overturned tables, chased away animals, but (near as I can tell) didn’t touch any of the moneychangers. At the same time, no one could misinterpret His displeasure.

    The Apostolic Palace hasn’t “overturned any tables” yet. I think it needs to, and I think many of the commenters here will agree.

    )(

    I agree with Father Z about gently going about introducing things, but I agree with McGrath also in that at what point does the gentility give way to finality? “We mean what we say. You’ve had a year, now get a bloody move on!”

    The 21st Century Church today however is nothing like this. People do, fine. People don’t do, fine. Parishes have honey-nut Jesus (you think I’m being sarcastic?) fine. Let’s just dialogue about errors for another five hundred years…

  67. Tom says:

    Andy wrote: “Father, don’t you read too much into this out of sincere hope for a turn for the better? I’m afraid to believe a restoration of faith and liturgy – the Marshall plan – is indeed coming so that I’m not disappointed?”

    I understand Andy’s point.

    I haven’t encountered a sign…not one sign in the Dallas Diocese that a “Marshall Plan” is in place to restore sanity to the Latin Church.

    Should I even hope that Father Z’s interpretation of the Pope’s actions is valid?

    Does the Pope have a Marshall Plan designed to reform the Church? What is the purpose of the Pope’s plan?

    Are we talking about little more than introducing some beautiful vestments and some Latin into a handful of parishes?

    Is that the “Marshall Plan.”

    Are we talking about Rome finally acknowledging that the Novus Ordo is a disaster?

    Only when Rome returns fully to the Traditional Latin Mass will liturgical and spiritual sanity return to the Latin Church.

    That is the one and only “Marshall Plan” that can possibly succeed within the Latin Church.

  68. Brian2 says:

    Tom, I don’t know where you live in Dallas and it is a big diocese, but if you are suffering so much in the normal Dallas parish (in addition to the TLM mentioned above), you might look a bit east: to Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Catholic Church (in Lewisville) or St. Sophia Ukrainian Catholic Church in Little Elm (??) or St. Basil the Great Byzantine Catholic Church in Irving, or (in the Fort Worth diocese) St. Mary’s in Arlington, of the Anglican Use of the Roman Rite. Too be fair, none of these offer the traditional Latin Mass that you desire, but they are all 100% Catholic and liturgically richer than the average Dallas parish. Also in Irving is a Cistercian monastery, which I believes has a public NO Latin mass monthly.

    But, at the same time, there is much to be said for growing where one is planted; that is what I am trying to do in my parish, warts and all. But if you have hit your head against the wall enough times, I think no one could blame you for looking for refuge in these parishes

  69. Joseph says:

    Tom,

    You are drinking a little too much whine these days. Goodness, at least three people have chimed in to give you some relief, and there is not one “thank you” or even “I thank you..but” from thou. Are you really this dour all the time? – (and I do mean ALL the time).

    It seems to me that if things turned around tomorrow, you would be there with observing some other woe. How are we going to win the lost? Not with this sad expression.

    Be part of the solution, as someone well suggested, (not only to you, but to me and everyone here – and I second that, a good attitude to follow). Let’s have that as a running theme. This thing is not fixed with a wave of a papal hand, no way. There is work to do. Remember, you’re if not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem, to borrow a phrase. And let’s never forget, if you read your Bible, in the end, WE WIN!

    Now that’s GOOD NEWS!

    I go to the Eastern rite church here for the reasons you speak about, and sometimes a TLM, though it is farther away and 6:30 AM. This is a little foreign but beautiful, which is exactly what the TLM is to the uninitiated.

    Sorry to be so brisk, but cold water is called for, I’d say.

  70. Melody says:

    There were 49 priests where I went to mass today. (Priest shortage? What priest shortage? They are just all in one place… ^_^) Seriously, I wonder if the Bishops will catch on if they see jam-packed, expansion building fund drived traditional parishes in one place and emptying liberal ones across town. Sooner or later they have to figure out that most of the faithful from all over town are ending up there for a reason…
    I dream of course, but hey, our Lord does more at every mass.

  71. Jennifer E says:

    For those who cannot see the bright lining – I hope that the cross of Good Friday has brought you the light of Easter!
    otherwise find and read the whole of Fr Cantalamessa’s homily – I think it applies well.

    from Fr Cantalamessa – - – Good friday homily

    “We cannot be hasty in regard to doctrine because differences exist and must be resolved with patience in the appropriate contexts. We can instead “be hasty” in charity and already be united in that sense now. The true, certain sign of the coming of the Spirit, St. Augustine writes, is not speaking in tongues, but it is the love of unity: “Know that you have the Holy Spirit when you allow your heart to adhere to unity through sincere charity.”[4]”

    — I am by no means educated in all the reading done but I had a specific reason to go back and stay at my “dancing parish and the education has been exactly what Fr C preached on Good Friday. It is an exegises on Fr Z rules of engagement with the TLM -the why there must be patience. :)

    Perhaps this was meant for differences of denominations but if you read his whole homily you can understand why it seems so slow – the execution of this marshall plan. The last thing one wants is to execute this plan and the ones calling for doctrinal unity have not found the “spirit which cannot be broken” Find this first and your work in your area will be better for you – but always the results of which belong to Christ – he is the lover of all souls. I have come to love the marshall plan of the Pope and also the Spirit which acts in the parish I am at. But you have to dare build a relationship there. If the parishioners only knew how much we love this Pope they may not have asked my husband to be a sponsor. But what they knew of him was not the “doctrine” to which we hold fast in joyous anticipation – - (he couldn’t sponsor because he deployed – God’s will be done)

    But anyway, FWIW, I encourage anyone struggling with feelings of being torn in two to ask why before running to fill yourself on an idea. If you need to go to TLM to deepen your relationship – GO, but if it is out of anguish at the parish you are at and you doubt the work of the spirit – GO again but beware that there is work to be done on you – you need ad orientum innards (I say this strongly because I am that way but I mean all in love – I speak mainly as a reflection of my state of searching for meaning of all this so if I misspoke for you I apologize – just that I hear the same things I suffered here in Dayton OH)

    I only speak of my experience and I wish to have gone to TLM more but that is way too early for me to get all the little ones up and drive. THIS WEEK they will start to have noon mass every day in Dayton! only they had to get a FSSP priest because you can imagine the hardness of heart here. And I only gothtis info because I occasionally keep up with a homeschool site. never would I hear this at my parish (I may get a bulletin insert done though!)

    But I will still belong to my “dancing” parish – as I affectionately call it. – I was spared this Easter from the dancing! Praise be Jesus for small favors!

    He does give good gifts – you have to know what you are looking at. My gift out of this – prepared to go to California without desparing of the state of affairs there!

    Much love and Happy Easter!

    And always pray for your priests! They belong to His Holiness.

    Jennifer
    (home mom of three little ones)

  72. Maureen says:

    Does anybody know where St. Gregory of Tours says this thing about a crystal?

    It comes in very useful to better explain the transition between images in “Inventor Rutili”, if the “petram” used to create sparks was rock crystal instead of flint and steel. But it occurred to me that the English version of the Pope’s homily could also be some kind of mistranslation, as “crystal” is sometimes used to mean glass. So I’d like to know if we’re talking magnifying glasses or magnifying crystals. :)

  73. Volpius says:

    Fr Cantalamessa’s homily was the usual ecumenical drivel I have come to expect and despair at, I read it as a call to sacrifice the truth for the sake of unity, we have to give up our Catholic identity so that we are acceptable to the Protestants especially Charismatic ones whom Fr Cantalamessa actually seems to think really are filled with the Holy Spirit because they role on the floor and speak in gibberish, the Church has been trying to do that for the past forty years and look at the state of us now.

    That this happened right under the nose of H.H. is even more depressing especially in light of the recent condemnation by H.H. of just such Charismatic movements for dividing the unity of the Church.

  74. Maureen says:

    Btw, I don’t think Dayton’s priests have such hard hearts. I think they believe what they were taught by the last two archbishops. The young priests mostly don’t know Latin and think of the Extraordinary Rite as something hard, far beyond their capabilities or parish possessions. The older priests mostly are the same vintage or a little younger than our current archbishop. Furthermore, since Dayton usually runs about ten years behind the wider trends, in some sense it’s still the nineties in our parishes. So it’s not surprising that people are so scared to get into Latin.

    I can’t help you with the liturgical dancers, other than to say you shouldn’t go to big UD Masses. :)

    It will get better everywhere, but some places more slowly than others.

  75. If the church needs “rebuilding” who then were the demolition experts?

    What will this “new building” be?

  76. Tom says:

    “Tom, I don’t know where you live in Dallas and it is a big diocese, but if you are suffering so much in the normal Dallas parish (in addition to the TLM mentioned above), you might look a bit east: to Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Catholic Church (in Lewisville) or St. Sophia Ukrainian Catholic Church in Little Elm (??) or St. Basil the Great Byzantine Catholic Church in Irving, or (in the Fort Worth diocese) St. Mary’s in Arlington, of the Anglican Use of the Roman Rite. Too be fair, none of these offer the traditional Latin Mass that you desire, but they are all 100% Catholic and liturgically richer than the average Dallas parish.”

    I am very familiar with Eastern Catholicism. But I am a Latin Rite Catholic and wish to remain within the Latin Rite.

    The priests at my parish have refused to offer the TLM.

    One of the priests in question informed me that Pope Benedict XVI issued Summorum Pontificum simply to appease a few Catholics who long for nostalgia…and that the TLM can only be offered at a parish that had maintained the TLM.

    In other words, it is (supposedly) forbidden to establish the TLM at my parish as the TLM has not been offered here in decades.

    That is what we’re up against in Dallas. Incredible.

  77. Flambeaux says:

    Tom,

    Your response still doesn’t explain why you won’t come over to St. Mary the Virgin in Arlington. Anglican Usage of the Roman Rite is still the Roman Rite.

    You also have the option, outside of Holy Week, of taking advantage of the Mater Dei Latin Mass community if you’re insistent on staying with in the territorial boundaries of the Diocese of Dallas.

    I got fed up with Dallas, as well. So I left. I left the Diocese for Sunday & Holy Day liturgies long before I physically moved out of the diocese.

    Time will change both diocese (Dallas & Fort Worth), especially under the current ordinaries. But until then, seek refuge where the Faith is taught.

    I hope to see you there soon, especially since it seems that you’re on the verge of despair, which is never an acceptable attitude among the Baptized.

    Flambeaux

  78. Tom says:

    Lurker #59 wrote: “You want a better parish? What have you done to make it better? No one is teaching the kids the faith? When was the last time you taught them? Pope Benedict can have a great vision and issue all sorts of documents, but it is all useless unless there are people on the ground who are willing to lay down the bricks and mortar. BUT, when we see all these great things being said by Pope Benedict and we first say what must I do personally to implement this in my parish, then we gain hope for it is then when we work in concert with the Pope, and not simply stand still and considering what is lacking, that we truly move towards Christ.”

    I appreciate your remarks. That is why some of the suggestions offered to me by various posters, that I drive (miles and miles) to this parish or that Eastern Catholic parish doesn’t necessarily work for me. Certain factors prevent me (at least regularly) from driving to distant parishes.

    I prefer your way…building up one’s parish.

    Unfortunately, when priests and parish “VIPs” refuse to permit Tradition to flourish, how do I (and people in similar situations) implement your plan?

  79. Henry Edwards says:

    Tom in Dallas: The priests at my parish have refused to offer the TLM.

    A number of your posts seem to be based on the premise that there’s something the Pope could personally do to force such priests to celebrate the TLM–or to offer the Novus Ordo with reverence and conviction they don’t possess, or to shape up in some other specific way you might wish. I doubt that such a premise is realistic.

    More generally, I see no way the Pope can order bad priests and bishops to be good ones, nor as a practical matter can he send down thunderbolts to fire them. All he can do is appoint good bishops and establish conditions in that encourage good priests and bishops to follow their good inclinations (both of which Benedict appears to be doing).

    In particular, I don’t think the Pope could make one of your recalcitrant priests celebrate the TLM merely by sending a parchment inscribed with an order to do so. Personally, I’ve had a lot of experience with priests whom I would not want to celebrate the TLM. The last thing we need at the present time is celebration of the TLM by priests who will abuse it the same way they abuse the NO. Whatever one might say in principle about the facility of Latin rite priests provided by their ordination, and the freedom provided them by Summorum Pontificum, there are plenty of priests who I believe ought not celebrate the TLM, and if possible should be prevented from doing so.

    Finally, more experience tham I’d prefer to admit convinces me that nothing is likely to change in parishes like you describe until and when their pastors are changed. And this will take a long time in far too many instances. I have from time to time played a role in constructive parish changes, but I know there are many situations where the prospects for positive change are not encouraging. Over and over I’ve seen the positive effects of supporting good priests, but I’ve never seen much accomplished by badgering bad priests (using “good” and “bad” here to represent the extremes).

    So, like it or not, you may have no alternative but to hit the road in search of worthy liturgy. If so, welcome to the world as we know it.

  80. Flambeaux says:

    Tom,

    If “hitting the road”, as Henry Edwards and others suggest, is not an option then you are left with only one choice: pray, and learn to suffer joyfully.

    The Hebrews spent how many years in bondage under Pharaoh?
    Liberated from Egypt they wandered for how long in the desert?
    Once they reached the Promised Land it took them how long to capture it?
    After they lost it they spent how long weeping by the waters of Babylon?
    Remind me again, how many years passed between the establishment of the Covenant with Abraham and the Incarnation?

    More recently, how long did it take for the Church to conform itself to the more recent Councils such as Trent?

    I’m not trying to be flippant. But if you can’t, or won’t, go to good liturgy you’ll have to learn to content yourself with praying earnestly for deliverance from bad liturgy — with absolutely no expectation that you will live to see such a blessed reality.

    Me? I’m impatient in the extreme. I left. If you’re not free to do the same, get comfortable on your knees because you are in the position most of us should reflexively assume when confronted with challenges — all you can do is pray and offer it up.

  81. Volpius says:

    Or we would could just leave the whole mess altogether. No more Catholic Faith no more pain and sadness, I do not even want to go to these Masses let alone take someone else with me in the hope of them converting, there are shameful. Souls are been lost it is taking all of God’s grace for me just to persevere this long, Rome must do more than drop hints, what use is a general if he will not or cannot command his troops.

    If the changes in Rome do not effect my parish at all it is very hard for me to share in the joy some of you are expressing, selfish perhaps but I will never be in Rome.

  82. Tom says:

    Henry Edwards wrote: “So, like it or not, you may have no alternative but to hit the road in search of worthy liturgy.”

    Correct. That is my only option should I wish to encounter anything that resembles traditional liturgy.

    Unfortunately, circumstances prevent me from traveling far from my home.

    Therefore, I have two options:

    1. Join the 80 to 85 percent of U.S. Catholics who refuse each week to assist at the Novus Ordo.

    2. Fulfill my Sunday Obligation by simply “gutting it out” as I have done each week for years.

    I don’t plan to join the 80 to 85 percent of Catholics who refuse each weekend to assist at Mass. Therefore, option #2 is my only choice.

    I arrive at my parish just a minute or two prior to Mass. (There is so much pre-Mass talking and noise at my parish that I have ceased to arrive early to pray and mediate.)

    I “gut” my way through the awful piano music…the lectors whose voices I strain to hear…I bow my head so as not to observe the 12 or so EMs who occupy the Sanctuary for several minutes prior to their having taken control of the Communion Rite…and so on.

    Following each Mass, I encounter folks who occupy the same boat.

    That is the reality that I (we) face each week at my parish (and at various parishes I have visited throughout Dallas).

    I don’t expect the situation to change in Dallas as they follow the Pope Paul VI/John Paul II claim that we are living in the midst of a wonderful post-Vatican II liturgical springtime.

    That is the official line in Dallas…that our parishes are liturgical paradises.

    Oh, well.

    I guess that I am wrong. I guess that the Novus Ordo has brought about a new liturgical springtime within the Church.

  83. Tom says:

    Flambeaux wrote: “Your response still doesn’t explain why you won’t come over to St. Mary the Virgin in Arlington. Anglican Usage of the Roman Rite is still the Roman Rite. You also have the option, outside of Holy Week, of taking advantage of the Mater Dei Latin Mass community if you’re insistent on staying with in the territorial boundaries of the Diocese of Dallas. “Time will change both diocese (Dallas & Fort Worth), especially under the current ordinaries.”

    Traveling, at least regularly, to the chapel for the TLM is difficult for me due to factors that compel me to stay close to home.

    Traveling to Arlington isn’t a realistic option for me.

    Yor mentioned the D/FW “ordinaries.”

    Do you have information regarding Bishop Farrell’s attitude toward the TLM?

    Does Bishop Farrell at least plan to introduce Latin, Gregorian Chant and ad orientem worship to the Novus Ordo?

    Based upon his remarks last week, Bishop Farrell believes that the Dallas Diocese is in excellent shape.

    Therefore, I wouldn’t think that he believes that the state of liturgy in Dallas is (generally) of poor quality.

  84. Tom says:

    Joseph wrote: “Tom, You are drinking a little too much whine these days. ”

    Okay.

    I have been influenced by the harsh commentary (what you may classify as “whine’) regarding the awful state of post-Vatican II Latin Church liturgy offered by Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI, the late Monsignor Klaus Gamber and various Churchmen.

    My “whines” are tame compared to things the above Churchmen have uttered.

    By the way, you may recall the incredibly harsh assessment of the Church that Cardinal Ratzinger (our Pope) expressed via his sermon during Pope John Paul’s funeral Mass.

    You may recall that Cardinal Ratzinger spoke of the “filth” that has flooded the Church.

    Yep…I am ashamed that I don’t “whine” more often.

    After all, when it comes to the state of post-Vatican II liturgy and the state of the Church, we need tens of millions of Catholic to stand up and WHINE…and WHINE and WHINE some more.

    Why should we remain silent in the face of the awful problems, liturgical and otherwise, that have led to the collapse of the post-Vatican II Church?

    I hope that you join the chorus of whiners.

    Joseph, I am sorry that you don’t appreciate my “whines.”

    But “whine” I will.

    I refuse to accept the collapsed state of the Latin Church Liturgy.

  85. Tom: But “whine” I will.

    NB: That is not what my blog is for.

  86. Geoffrey says:

    “You may recall that Cardinal Ratzinger spoke of the ‘filth’ that has flooded the Church.”

    Could you please provide a direct quotation, citation, and link? Thanks you.

  87. RBrown says:

    “You may recall that Cardinal Ratzinger spoke of the ‘filth’ that has flooded the Church.”

    Could you please provide a direct quotation, citation, and link? Thanks you.
    Comment by Geoffrey

    It was part of the Stations of the Cross meditations that he composed just before he became pope.

  88. a cubs fan says:

    Tom, I don’t know exactly where you are located within the Metroplex, and it’s been a couple years since I was down there, but you might consider going to the Cistercian Abbey in Irving. It’s just off 114, near Texas Stadium. They say the Novus Ordo–Sundays at 9 am, weekdays around 6:30 am. It’s not ad orientem (at least it wasn’t two years ago), but they do sing Gregorian chant on Sundays and the liturgy is reverent. On some feast days they even bring in the choir from the University of Dallas across the street to sing polyphony. You don’t need to worry about one of the monks dancing up the aisle. And the monks are good men, and they’re not just old men; they have a fair-sized group of novices. It’s just a thought, if you’re starved for a decent Mass in Dallas, you should definitely look into the Cistercians.

  89. Tom says:

    Tom: But “whine” I will.

    NB: That is not what my blog is for.

    Comment by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf”

    Father, I understand the nature of your blog. I did not “whine.”

    I simply employed the other person’s word (“whine”) to make it clear that what he termed a “whine” is nothing more than Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI), Monsignor Klaus Gamber and various Churchmen have stated in regard to post-Vatican II Latin Church Liturgy.

    If I have “whined” regarding the state of the Latin Church, then great and holy men of the Church (men far superior to yours truly) have “whined.”

  90. Tom says:

    “In particular, I don’t think the Pope could make one of your recalcitrant priests celebrate the TLM merely by sending a parchment inscribed with an order to do so.”

    Please let me be clear about the priests in question.

    I believe that while they are part of the problem (the problem being mediocre liturgy), they are (are as far as I know) holy men.

    My TLM-related discussions with each priest proved a waste of time.

    One of the priests in question insisted that any inclusion of Latin in the liturgy is opposed to his spirituality.

    Neither priest accepts the argument that our parish is mediocre…liturgically speaking.

    The priests also rejected my argument that the awful state of post-Vatican II liturgy has driven people from the Church.

    The priests in question are, I believe, similar to a great many Churchmen: Holy men who are in monumental denial regarding the state of the Roman Liturgy.

  91. Tom says:

    Flambeaux wrote: “I hope to see you there soon, especially since it seems that you’re on the verge of despair, which is never an acceptable attitude among the Baptized.”

    I was definitely depressed Saturday night following the Easter Vigil Mass at which I assisted.

    The state of liturgy within the Dallas Diocese frustrates me.

    The TLM in Dallas is confined to ghetto status.

    What I don’t understand is why the diocese will not permit the TLM (High Mass) to advance beyond the tiny chapel to which it is confined.

    I pray for the establishment of a separate TLM parish (located centrally perhaps) within the diocese.

    Despite when the Dallas Chancery has pretended, I know for a fact that I am not alone in the above regard.

  92. trooper says:

    Tom,

    Been there, brother. And my sister is in Dallas. I think the Diocese has been trying to be Baptists. Which is obviously horridly wrong, but more than that, they’re just not good Baptists, so the goal is the same (praise music, huggy-kissy moments, etc)but they don’t know how to really pull if off.

    Go to mass, sit in the very front row and model what’s supposed to be done. Meet with the priest every week, if necessary, and keep asking, “I don’t understand what you’re doing or why” poll the parish and tell the priest what you find. Bad liturgy is usually founded in bad catechesis, so mention that to the priest, too. Don’t know that any of that will work, but I hope it will make you feel better.

    On a side note, if anyone’s still reading. I found in some references that the intiction is only ok on Easter, is that true? regardless, has this been common at Papal masses before. I’m excited anyway, but would like to get some context.

    The Lord is Risen!

  93. Melody says:

    Hmm… it seems that we are all trying to help Tom, but all he wants to do is vent. Tom, kindly look at the list of parishes provided for you. ‘Thanks’ is also a nice word to hear, especially to our host Father Z.

    And offer it up! Incidentally, my lack of sympathy has something to do with the fact that I travel about two hours by bus to get to St. Mary’s by the Sea since I don’t drive.

    And reread the Pope’s homily again. I think it’s great for depression. Then I recommend saying a rosary or a chaplet!

    Now…

    My eviiilllll plan for normalizing Roman vestments:
    Step 1) Buy vestment and sneak into sacristy
    Step 2) On hot, humid Sunday, play with thermostat until it freezes, or get a mechanically minded cohort to “break” it temporarily.
    Step 3) Trust priest to know polyester doesn’t breathe.

    Alternate plan: Convince pastor to hold baby just after car ride/feeding.

  94. Volpius says:

    Tom has already said that travelling is not an option for him, providing him with lists of parishes which he cannot get to is not helping him.

    The Church is failing to provide for his spiritual welfare, he has a right to be upset about that as it effects his eternal destiny, the problem is the Church does not seem to care what happens to Tom and the Priest who is meant to act as his shepherd and has a duty of care to Tom has denied his lawful request as a Latin rite Catholic to be able to worship in the Latin rite.

  95. Jennifer E says:

    Thanks Maureen, your are right on Dayton priests and I see how this is just what is taught (I do know of one who is a bit hard hearted – I got it from a friend that it will never happen at his parish and he ws approached by several persons on the issue of MP) — and they dance at UD too :) – I should have known. by the way – I stay where I am because say what you want about showmanship – I think deep down our priest would have things differently and when he uses latin (he does more at daily mass) – he is very comfortable with it. I just wish that I were staying – I would get to the meat of this thing that tells me there is something more than what is at the surface.
    Volpiuos
    I like Fr Cantalamessa – I don’t read it at all in the same way as part -n-parcel for the state of affairs today. I read him more like the same line as Deus Caritas Est. First God, or you make make an idol of the whole of doctrine and Catholic identity that you lose the content of the whole thing. It is not one over the other at all. It is the right priority so to speak. I don’t claim that I really understand much. Just that it is amazing to me how differently we can see the same thing and I am very much one who would love to be at a parish that was fully, noticeably Catholic, but not at the expense of losing the reality of the visible unity. (Right now I just pray my heart out!)

    When he talked of the two types of ecumenism – you still think he was all for emptying our Catholic identity? interesting – I read it as an admonishment to not empty the content at all!

    Maybe I read what I wanted. But luckily I don’t have a lot of learning to show me how bad the state of affairs is in the church. Experiencing it by moving a lot was hard enough! Actually, I felt great after reading the novel on St Catherine of Sienna. – now that was bad.

    I hope it wsn’t too much of a thread loss. But I think it is part of the whole marshall plan not to lose sight why we want a return to the sacredness of things. The desire for this must be purified in our hearts or it won’t do any good.

    The inner garment cannot be divided – but do you really believe this – that is the scandal that can lie in the way of this good work.

    (I hope I did think before posting – with little ones I never know what I am thinking and distractions come often!)

    In Him
    Jenn

    praying for peace in your hearts

  96. Henry Edwards says:

    trooper: I found in some references that the intinction is only ok on Easter, is that true?

    No. Intinction is included as a option in paragraphs 191, 245, 285, and 287 of Chapter 4 of the GIRM:

    http://www.usccb.org/liturgy/current/chapter4.shtml

    The following paragraph of Redemptionis Sacramentum is especially pertinent:

    [103.] The norms of the Roman Missal admit the principle that in cases where Communion is administered under both kinds, “the Blood of the Lord may be received either by drinking from the chalice directly, or by intinction, or by means of a tube or a spoon”. As regards the administering of Communion to lay members of Christ’s faithful, the Bishops may exclude Communion with the tube or the spoon where this is not the local custom, though the option of administering Communion by intinction always remains. If this modality is employed, however, hosts should be used which are neither too thin nor too small, and the communicant should receive the Sacrament from the Priest only on the tongue.

    Taken at face value, this might be taken to imply a bishop cannot exclude intinction, though perhaps as a practical matter a bishop can probably do whatever he wishes.

  97. Geoffrey: Could you please provide a direct quotation, citation, and link?

    As RBrown stated, that is from Joseph Ratzinger’s Meditations for the Way of the Cross. You can listen to them in one of my audio projects.

  98. Volpius says:

    The One True Church is the Catholic Church, it is a visible Church made up of people who have unity of Faith Fr Cantalamessa doesn’t seem to believe this.

    “We men can divide the human and visible element of the Church, but not its deeper unity, which is identified with the Holy Spirit.”

    From this I take it he believes in an invisible church of believers which we cannot ever actually know in this life. Also “we” whoever “we” are cannot divide the visible element of the Church as Fr. Cantalamessa suggests, the Church is one united in faith and cannot be divided, if a branch seperates itself from the vine it goes into the fire.

    “For a century now, we have seen the same thing repeat itself before our eyes on a global scale. God has poured out the Holy Spirit in a new and unusual way upon millions of believers from every Christian denomination and, so that there would be no doubts about his intentions, he poured out the Spirit with the same manifestations. Is this not a sign that the Spirit moves us to recognize each other as disciples of Christ and work toward unity?”

    From this I take it that membership of the Catholic Church is not necessary as God gives the Holy Spirit to people regardless of belief. As they are so blessed by God with the gift of the Spirit while my church is not perhaps I should go and join them instead, clearly if Fr. Cantalamessa is to be believed rolling on the floor and speaking in gibberish equals having God’s favour and so we should join them.

    “The Holy Spirit works, therefore, also through another way, which is that of patient exchange, dialogue and even compromise between the different sides, when the essentials of the faith are not in play.”

    Here we are called on to compromise parts of our faith, sure we can keep the “essentials”, a subjective term if ever I heard one, the use of Latin would obviously not be included, perhaps we might get rid of the Papacy to. For the sake of unity with those who willfully seperate themselves from the Catholic Church we are to give up part of our Catholic identity, this has already been tried with the promulgation of the NO, we don’t have much more to compromise after the last 40 years of surrender, and it doesn’t work all it does is breed contempt and weaken the Church’s claim to be the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church founded by God Himself. Christ never begged anyone to follow Him nor did he instruct His Aposltes to act in this way. He told them to make known the Truth unaplogetically and those who would not accept it were to be treat like the heathen and the publican.

    “Sticking with this criterion, the fundamental distinction among Christians is not between Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants, but between those who believe that Christ is the Son of God and those who do not believe this.”

    How can the distinction between Christians be between those who believe Christ is the Son of God and those who do not? This is not a distinction between Christian it is a distinction between Christian’s and non Christians. What Fr. Cantalamessa really seems to pushing at both here and in other parts of his sermon is that all who call themselves Christians have the same Faith, he is trying to create an artificial unity of belief by simply ignoring the fundamental differences, he is attempting to extend the marks of the Catholic Church which show it is the true Chruch to encompass all who say to Christ “Lord, Lord.”

    “This word of the prophet Haggai is addressed to us today. Is this the time to concern ourselves with that which only regards our religious order, our movement, or our Church? Is this not precisely the reason why we too “sow much but harvest little” (Haggai 1:6)? We preach and we are active in many ways, but we convert few people and the world moves away from Christ instead of drawing near to him.”

    Is it any surprise that we convert few people when the message of the preacher is that it is not necessary to be Catholic.

  99. magdalen says:

    I KNOW where Tom is at and to have no recourse. The reasons and frustrations
    he puts forth are the very reasons thousands upon thousands have left the Church;
    their hearts could no longer sustain the sorrow. I know of some who wear
    earplugs, some who stand outside and pray and come in for Holy Communion and
    do other things. I am in the same boat; our parishes are the same way and
    we do not have a parish priest who is a spiritual father. So many hurting
    souls! We do have a literal and figurative ‘sving grace’ in the form of
    an 84 year old ‘retired’ frail priest who is a priest every day of his life.
    He gives and does not count the cost. He is careful and does not tread on the
    parish priests’ toes and does not criticize (much). He is confessor to many
    of the brokenhearted. It is he who can be called to the bedside of a dying
    soul when the parish priests are unreachable and doing whatever they do that
    is not caring for souls. So we have that. And when he has Mass, it is a licit
    novus ordo.

    But I am going to do as another did–MOVE! Yes, my children have been born
    and raised here and we have deep roots but I need to live the rest of my
    life in a Roman Catholic parish. I have endured and I have ‘offered it up’ and
    I do read my missal and not sing the heretical songs and try not to listen
    to the priest’s political rantings and so on.

    And I am tired, so tired, of my own grumbling. So I must take steps now. I have had
    enough! I also cannot stop going to Mass; that is not an option. There are no
    TLMs within hundreds of miles and the trip is not an option at all.

    The thoughts of being in a holy and vibrant parish with devotions and totally
    licit Masses does indeed fill me with joy at the expectation. I can hardly wait!
    Maybe Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament will even be loved! Maybe Our Lady
    can be honored!

    On another note–I love Communion at a rail with intinction. I have experienced
    this at Our Lady of the Atonement and at some friaries that I vist. It is
    wonderful indeed.

    I like to read this blog and of the holy happenings from place to place. Also
    The New Liturgical Movement highlights things of great beauty and reverence
    and hope. These things are a light in the liturgical darkness that some are
    far too familiar with. And I see there are changes here and there and that
    is wonderful! Over time these changes will extend to other places. It will not
    be in this diocese for a while but one day maybe we, too, can know these
    beautiful Masses. I would be happy with a totally licit Novus Ordo as well–filled
    with reverence and all. One day!

  100. Hoka2_99 says:

    Some people [any non-Catholics reading this thread] may be very confused by our talk of intinction, Communion in the hand etc.
    No, it is never allowed for a communicant to receive the Host in the hand, then walk over to a deacon/extra-ordinary minister, intinct the Host and consume it. It’s undignified and an insult to Jesus Christ, plus there is the danger that the person could drop the Host. The argument is apparently that these people do not want their lips to touch the chalice because of germs. In that case, they should receive only the Host: it’s the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. In many countries – Europe – Communion is only given in one kind anyway.

    I usually receive the Host in my hand – by making a “throne” of the hands – and this is the practice in Saint Peter’s Basilica, no less! At least, it is at the early morning Mass which I attend there. Communion is given in one kind only.

    At large Masses in Saint Peter’s and the Square it’s safer to receive in the hand, though people [including myself] have managed to receive the Host on the tongue.

    My reason for receiving the Host in my hand is that there is never an altar boy with a paten to hold underneath one’s chin these days.

    In England it seems that anything goes. I always plunge into the depths when I return from Rome. Mention of “liturgical abuses” only causes fellow parishioners [and parish priests], to roll their eyes heavenwards and then return to their reading of The Tablet.

    Keep up the good work, Father Zuhlsdorf and let’s hope someone in the Curia looks at your blog every day.

  101. Hettie B. says:

    Tom,

    It may not be exactly what you’re looking for, but I love my parish in Dallas, St. Thomas Aquinas. It’s Novus Ordo, but they have the FSSP priest celebrate the TLM Monday-Saturday mornings. I enjoy the Saturday Vigil Mass, because it includes Gregorian Chant and some Latin prayers. The music and homilies are always excellent. The Triduum Masses/services were glorious. The church itself is a beautiful place, complete with altar rails!

    I write and post photos about my parish pretty often at my blog, in case you’d like to see more.

    God be with you.

  102. “For people of good faith to get themselves on the committees at these liberal parishes”

    That’d work, until you’re thrown out for being “too conservative” and being too much “by the book”

    If it happens to be my call to the priesthood, I will put a stop to all these things. As I say, do not worry about the ecconomics of things, the hearts will change.

  103. Marcin Kukuczka says:

    “CONVERSI AD DOMINUM” …”Yes, Lord, make us Easter people, men and women of light, filled with the fire of your love” (Pope Benedict XVI)

    These profound words have rung in my ears since Easter. As a teacher of kids, I try to put them into practice constantly coming closer to the Lord’s renewing power and bringing his Light to them. Pray for me that God help me do that the best way possible.

    In my opinion, this Pope really touches the gist of Christian faith – the renewal of heart. The words “Receive the power from the Holy Spirit” from WYD in Sydney 2008 also resemble that.