Priestly Feedback: “entirely familiar realm in an entirely hostile world”

Some feedback from a priest, reacting to my post: ASK FATHER: Mass without proper gear? Pusillanimous stingy ignorant pride.

I am writing simply to share with you my reaction to the four videos you posted showing Masses offered in difficult (to say the least) circumstances among American soldiers. Although you posted them to show how it is both possible and good to offer Mass even in less than I deal circumstances, doing the very best we can and not being hampered by the practically impossible, what struck me deeply about those videos was something else. It was the piety of those men who were praying, praying a form of the Mass that was supposed to be too haaaard for most people, as you like to say. And yet, these men, from so many different parishes throughout the country seemed to be in an entirely familiar realm in the midst of that entirely hostile world. They were at the one Mass that was (practically) the same anywhere and everywhere.

Like you, I too am a convert. I have been a priest for less than ten years, but I have been a priest long enough to no long be a “new” priest. Perhaps that is why I find it remarkable that, while in parishes too many (where I am) complain about kneeling or other haaaard things in the new Mass, these men seemed to be truly devout. Whatever complaints about “formalism” in the praying of the usus antiquior, these men seemed nonetheless *interiorly* enter into the mystery. And I thought (again), oh how stupid we have been to have (nearly) thrown it all way!

Yes, Father.  You get it.

Many young priests and many lay people are getting it too.   This is why the libs have a spittle-flecked nutty every time Card. Sarah – a man who understands adversity and danger – makes a suggestion about our liturgical worship of God.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. maternalView says:

    I appreciate reading this observation. I’ve wondered the same.

    So much effort has been made to make it easy for people to come to Mass that I think they see no reason to come at all. There is no expectations that people will rise to the occasion.

    I remember attending some parishes during the changes in the liturgical language a few years back that seemed almost obcessed with promoting the understanding that these (relatively minor for the laity) changes were hard!

    The approach many take actually allows people to avoid growing in their faith. It does not challenge them. It’s like serving a child puréed foods long after they are ready for real food. If you keep serving a child what they have outgrown they eventually seek something else somewhere else (sometimes out of the dog’s bowl !). And just like dog kibble for a child what replaces the Mass and the Church in people’s lives isn’t good for them.

  2. LeeGilbert says:

    This priest writes,
    “And yet, these men, from so many different parishes throughout the country seemed to be in an entirely familiar realm in the midst of that entirely hostile world. ”

    Not to be forgotten in this discussion is the catechetical and imaginative formation these soldiers likely received in their boyhood, all brought to the front of their minds by the very real possibility of their own impending deaths. That they were at Mass is surely an indication that they knew how to die- having confessed their sins and having received the Eucharist.

  3. RosaryRose says:

    Save the Liturgy, save the World!

    Restore our highest prayer, the Mass, to be Christ-centered and our hearts, minds and souls will naturally follow. We will be more focused on Christ. What a powerful force. With our little example and effort our families and communities will become more aligned with Christ. A ripple effect will spread true devotion to Christ across our countries and the world. Show the world Catholicism is about Jesus, our focus is Jesus, and when the world attacks us, our eyes will be trained to stay on Him.

    Maybe I cannot change the world, but I can change myself. I can pray, fast sacrifice and help restore the Mass where I am.

    Mary Queen of Heaven, pray for us! Help us be humble like you. Holy Spirit, make us poor in spirit that we may have Your gifts to assist us to be Christ’s light to this world.

    God bless Fr. Z. Praying for you Fr. Z!

  4. tamranthor says:

    Some years ago, a huge display of amazing artifacts from the Vatican toured the US, and I saw them in Milwaukee. There was plenty of gold and jewels, and amazing vestments, and remarkable paintings and other works of art.

    However, the one thing that struck me to my soul was an old tin can lid, and rusty sawed-off can that made a rudimentary cup. These were the chalice and paten used in a concentration camp during WWII by priests who had been sent there to die. I remember the gold and finery, but I can still see in great detail the two items that were worth both the least and the absolute most in that entire display.

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