Satan has been dealt a serious setback by Card. Sarah, and the Enemies minions are on the move. Spiritual attacks will now multiply on the priests and bishops who undertake what Card. Sarah has suggested.
I saw this, from Msgr. C. Eugene Morris is a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, at the National Catholic Register. He argues that worship ad orientem could have a knock-on effect on – I think – morals… even societal mores – not just on general conduct of individuals.
Think about that.
Our liturgical choices make a difference in our Catholic identity. Therefore, our liturgical choices have an impact on our state of grace now, our future hope and salvation, and on how we interact with our neighbor and the world around us in this vale of tears.
We are our Rites!
The Eucharist (Itself and Its celebration which is Mass) is famously called the “source and summit” of our lives as Catholics.
Change our worship, and you change our identity. It takes a while, but it is inevitable. Let’s jump into the middle. Read the whole thing there. He is writing, of course, about Card. Sarah’s appeal to priests to say Mass ad orientem. Why? Because of a personal preference or taste? No. He made that appeal for what he sees is the good of the Church. Take it away, Msgr. Morris….
‘Ad Orientem’: Right Worship Leads to Right Conduct
Every celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass should reflect its paramount importance in the life of the Church. The prefect’s exhortation is meant to assist priests and bishops in keeping God at the center of every liturgical celebration and, as a consequence, keeping God at the center of our lives.
Cardinal Sarah’s comments continue the liturgical vision of Pope Benedict XVI, who understood rightly that right worship leads to right conduct. It is only when we celebrate all the sacraments, especially holy Mass, according to the mind of God that we are then able to do the things of God.
It might be rightly concluded that the current cultural climate and its many excesses can only be corrected when everyone returns to a faithful, proper adoration of God. It follows how significant it is that the priest and the faithful face the Lord when addressing the Lord, as the most concrete expression of our desire to configure ourselves to the God that we worship.
It is this complete configuration to Christ that makes it possible for us to live the life of Christ, who draws us into deep, abiding union with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Without a vibrant and properly oriented liturgical life, the Church will continuously struggle to convince the faithful to lead a correct moral life. [As I write again and again, for years, no undertaking of renewal in the Church or anything else can succeed without a revitalization of our sacred liturgical worship. Ad orientem worship will be a power element of such a revitalization.]
There is an inexplicable connection between proper adoration given to God and the ability of men to lead sanctified lives. Cardinal Sarah is offering the Church an opportunity to recapture an ancient and still legitimate practice that will greatly assist the whole Church in combating the moral decline of this current age.
Some will argue that this exhortation lacking the approval of the Pope does not have the force of law and therefore will be difficult, if not impossible, to implement. Furthermore, this lack of papal approbation will create problems for those priests who attempt to do this in their parishes, possibly bringing them into conflict with their bishops.
While this is true and possible, it obscures the true significance of Cardinal Sarah’s exhortation. He has made public what has long been discussed in private and provided a legitimate and powerful voice to a necessary conversation in the Church. Cardinal Sarah has correctly pointed out that there is no conflict in the current missal with celebrating Mass ad orientem, this despite the debates that exist regarding the missal. Immediately after Cardinal Sarah’s address, Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster, England, openly discouraged his priests from celebrating ad orientem, citing the possibility of creating disunity and a misinterpretation of the current missal (299). The confusion created by Cardinal Nichols’ unfortunate response should not deter my brother priests from courageously responding to Cardinal Sarah’s exhortation.
Those of us who would choose to celebrate Mass ad orientem and joyfully welcome this opportunity in the life of the Church have waited a long time — not for legislation, but for clear, vocal support; and with Cardinal Sarah’s clarion call, we have received such support.
It is hoped by this author that priests and bishops alike will pay attention to the thought and words of the prefect and offer to the faithful the most fitting means to praise and worship the God who saves us.
Fr. Z kudos to Msgr. Morris. Let us now pray for him, that the world doesn’t come down on his head.