Reminder: The Five Rules of Engagement

One year after its going into effect, here is a little reminder about how to engage the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.

Let us keep in mind that the Holy Father is still teaching bishops what this document is all about and we are waiting for a document with clarifications.

In that light, read again….

Fr. Z’s 5 Rules of Engagement for after the Motu Proprio is released:

1) Rejoice because our liturgical life has been enriched, not because "we win".  Everyone wins when the Church’s life is enriched.  This is not a "zero sum game".

2) Do not strut.  Let us be gracious to those who have in the past not been gracious in regard to our "legitimate aspirations".

3) Show genuine Christian joy.  If you want to attract people to what gives you so much consolation and happiness, be inviting and be joyful.  Avoid the sourness some of the more traditional stamp have sadly worn for so long.

4) Be engaged in the whole life of your parishes, especially in works of mercy organized by the same.  If you want the whole Church to benefit from the use of the older liturgy, then you who are shaped by the older form of Mass should be of benefit to the whole Church in concrete terms.

5) If the document doesn’t say everything we might hope for, don’t bitch about it like a whiner.  Speak less of our rights and what we deserve, or what it ought to have been, as if we were our own little popes, and more about our gratitude, gratitude, gratitude for what God gives us.

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10 Responses to Reminder: The Five Rules of Engagement

  1. ekurlowa says:

    Thank you, father.

  2. amdg0816 says:

    Excellent post, Father. Thanks for the reminder – I know I could certainly work on my humility and gratitude!

  3. Matt Q says:

    Thank you for the Five Rules reminder again, Father, however I do have to comment on the real-world goings-on at least here in this part of the world.

    1) Rejoice because our liturgical life has been enriched, not because “we win”. Everyone wins when the Church’s life is enriched. This is not a “zero sum game”.

    >>> Yes, this is true, and we use the opportunity to further catechize the ignorant on the greatness of the Tridentine Mass. At the same time their hostility and intransigence remains. I think in a way there are times when times when the Dresden/Hiroshima thing needs to be applied and rebuild from there. It worked, didn’t it?

    2) Do not strut. Let us be gracious to those who have in the past not been gracious in regard to our “legitimate aspirations.”

    >>> Funny, the opposition continues to do so and there is no curtailment of their behavior or continued perpetuation of their falsehoods. In that, how is “not strutting” a detraction?

    3) Show genuine Christian joy. If you want to attract people to what gives you so much consolation and happiness, be inviting and be joyful. Avoid the sourness some of the more traditional stamp have sadly worn for so long.

    >>> Definitely. The average Catholic is conceited and insular already.

    4) Be engaged in the whole life of your parishes, especially in works of mercy organized by the same. If you want the whole Church to benefit from the use of the older liturgy, then you who are shaped by the older form of Mass should be of benefit to the whole Church in concrete terms.

    >>> We already have been and relentlessly continue but things are still status-quo.

    5) If the document doesn’t say everything we might hope for, don’t bitch about it like a whiner. Speak less of our rights and what we deserve, or what it ought to have been, as if we were our own little popes, and more about our gratitude, gratitude, gratitude for what God gives us.

    >>> The document also doesn’t have any teeth to it anyway and the bishops and clergy carry on as have they with impuntiy. Like North Korea or China, who enforces and guarantees our rights? No one! In the end the rights of the Faithful in this Church are at the caprice of the bishops so in evidence.

    I am about to ban you from this blog for good.

  4. acs says:

    Father,

    I’m not so sure the people at St John the Evangelist, Allerton Bywater, would agree with your so-called “5 Rules” and I am sure the bishops in France laugh at them as well.

  5. Rob says:

    Matt Q.-

    “>>> Yes, this is true, and we use the opportunity to further catechize the ignorant on the greatness of the Tridentine Mass. At the same time their hostility and intransigence remains. I think in a way there are times when times when the Dresden/Hiroshima thing needs to be applied and rebuild from there. It worked, didn’t it?”

    Perhaps if you stopped treating people as ‘ignorant’, you might encounter a little less hostility and intransigence. Also, the Dresden/Hiroshima reference is tasteless, a bad analogy and a bad strategy. I think you were closer to the right path with catechesis.

    “>>> We already have been and relentlessly continue but things are still status-quo.”

    I think Father Z. was referring to being involved in more than just changing the status quo (Shout out if I’m wrong, Father!). I think he was referring to being involved in other (good) parts of the status quo (such as the works of mercy, as Father said). Aren’t people more likely to give credence to your point-of-view if they have experience of you which demonstrates to them that there are subjects in which they share your point-of-view?

  6. Brian Kopp says:

    “we are waiting for a document with clarifications”

    Indeed. (See the link under my screen name.)

  7. magdalen says:

    Fr. Jackson at the wonderful solemn high Mass in Denver’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception would agree with these rules I think.

    HE said that it has been a cross over these past 40 years to lose the Mass of our heritage and tradition, a Mass so many loved with all their hearts. And so many left the church/ Yet we know this was permitted by God to happen.

    He said we cannot be like the Isrealites in the desert whining about the manna and saying we are disgusted with the wretched food God provides. We are not to complain or murmur. He told of a time when a priest came to his campus and had a ‘mass’ wearing jeans and a tee shirt and a multi-colored stole. He changed the words of consecration too so there was no Eucharist. And most walked out; one friend stayed and later told the others that someone had to stay while Christ was crucified. There have been times when I have felt like that and times where my own limit as to what I can tolerate is fast approaching. There have times when I am only conscious of staying for the sake of the Lord and then those times when I got so angry and upset and my heart seemed too indisposed to approach communion. The faithful have a right to a properly offered Mass but that right is not always present.

    We are thankful when pastors do take steps to ‘feed all their flock’ and provide for the TLM now. We must let them know. We do wish to see the Holy Father’s vision come to fruition and the TLM is a regular part of the parishes again.

  8. Alan says:

    I think if people are still disappointed, then they dont have reasonable expectations with regards to the acceptance of the SP. This will be process that will take a generation or more, and
    I dont think we can ever be assured of mainstream acceptance. There are a lot of obstacles standing in the way which are internal and external to the Church. If you love it, you have to participate and help.

  9. Andrew says:

    It is sad to say that in spite of Fr Z’s regular reminder to us all of the 5 Rules of Engagement, a considerable number of users on this blog have little regard for them, and indeed talk as if “we were our own little popes”.

  10. Supertradmom says:

    I have found that in areas where the Latin Mass community is truly humble and patient, rather than militarist, the responses from the clergy and bishops are kinder. So many times I have witnessed groups,not mentioning any names,which claim that because they have waited to long, they have a right to impatience now the motu proprio is in effect.

    I think that part of all of this process of re-establishing the EF is for our personal holiness and growth in virtue…..How many saints suffered from misunderstandings in the hierarchy? Many, many..