traditionalism

How to turn the Epiphany of Our LORD into an Epiphany for you

It is exactly 4 years ago today that I attended my first Tridentine Mass. These 4 years have been a time of immense spiritual growth, the credit for which I cannot take.

I shall not describe so much my first Mass as to what led me to it and what I have got out of it. It is possible I have written about this before but it is a story well-worth repeating.

As fate would have it, I was not raised Catholic. My knowledge of the faith grew ever-more deeply during the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI of fond memory. In the end, since I had come to regard myself a Catholic, the only remaining step was actually going to Church every Sunday, which I started doing in 2010. Even here I owe a lot to Pope Benedict XVI, as it was his trip to the U.K. that same year that proved the final draw.

To be fair, all of the Masses that the pope celebrated were Novus Ordo. Nonetheless, they were good Novus Ordo masses, as good as they come really, and from a  pope who took worshipping God seriously.

When I finally attended my first Mass, everything seemed a bit off. I had read so much about Catholic worship, including many complaining that the priest turned his back towards the people, that the Novus Ordo Mass surprised me for containing very little of that. I did enjoy the Mass, and to be honest, almost all Masses  you will find in Sweden will be decent by NOChurch standards. However, I felt a bit short-changed.

As time passed on and as my studies intensified, I felt I longed for more. I longed for authentic Catholic worship.

The final straw came when I watched an old movie and had to ask whether the service being depicted was a Catholic one or a protestant one. It was protestant, of course. I felt a sense of anger not being able to know the difference. At that time I knew enough to know that the protestant revolters certainly made up their own things, and that if the Masses were identical it was because the Catholics protestanised their liturgy. Also, something about a 2,000-year old Church having a Mass that is newer than a service in some heretical ecclesiastical community rubbed me off the wrong way.

Something had to change! As I am not the Pope, who could order a return to Catholic worship, that something was I. I had to bail the NOChurch Mass and actually attend a proper Catholic Mass.

As soon as the Mass started I felt at home in a way which I had never felt before. I felt as though a veil had finally been lifted over my eyes and intellect and I felt grateful to finally be worshipping in the Mass of all the great saints of the Western Church.

Everything made sense all of a sudden. All these little gestures which seemed out of place in the Novus Ordo were ither missing or in their proper context. It didn't take long for me to finally grasp why Catholics of old made these masterful altars. It is for Our LORD! We offer the best we can to Him, and we can do no better than to have all our gold at the place where the divine meets the terrestrial.

The liturgical calendar was different, but it made sense. I didn't have to scour my missal for liturgy A,B,C, and there were no more "ordinary Sundays" but every Sunday was all of a sudden put into the context of some event in the life of Our Blessed LORD.

No longer did I have to listen to protestant non-catechetical hymns during Mass. No longer would I have to be pretty much the only person singing at Mass. No longer would I have to wait for the change of performers at the NOChurch altar as they pass the baton to all and sundry. There were no prayers of the faithful, almost all of them banal. Rather we prayed the same prayers as the saints, and all of the Catholics in all of the world prayed the exact same prayers on the exact same day with the exact same intention expressed by the exact same words.

It was worship in honour of God, not worship to placate the pewsitters.

That is all a result of me making a vow to attend the Tridentine Mass on the first liturgical service of 2013. I have not looked back since, and I never shall.  It has been a real epiphany, brought to me courtesy of the Epiphany.

This Epiphany can come to you too. If it's too late to start with the epiphany then make a resolution for Lent. If you hate Latin then consider it part of your penance! Just do something!

I promise you that the Mass of the saints will not let you down and you are likely to come to love it as much as I do, and that will bring you all the closer to Almight God, which after all, is the true purpose of the Mass.

 

 

Basilica of St. Benedict: Thank you for the memories!

It is with great sadness I learnt that the Basilica of St. Benedict had been destroyed by an earthquake. It happened earlier today, on the feast of Christ the King.

The basilica itself was majestic. Upon entering one felt that it was a home away from home. One felt the closeness of hundeds of thousands, perhaps millions, of worshippers who had gathered there to celebrate the Holy Catholic faith throughout the centuries.

The Monks of Norcia had managed to revive the town and revive more importantly, the Christian spirit of the town. I have no doubt that they will continue with their good work, and will manage to rebuild the basilica over time, with the aid of the glorius St. Benedict and St. Scholastica.

The people of Norcia are warm and pleasant and very proud of their history, and with good reason. They will come back from this; of this I have no doubt. With the help of the monks, it would nor surprise me of Norcia once again becomes a bastion of orthodoxy in a decaying world.

I would now like to turn attention to the timing of the events.

As we all know by now, a ravenous wolf of a pope is coming to Sweden to celebrate one of the most successful heretics in the Church's history. I have little doubt that the man would rather be dragged half-alive to the site of the heresies' celebration than to cancel them.

If I was a ravenous wolf of a pope though, I would heed the warning of this earthquake. It was only a few days ago that I was watching a segment on Our Lady of La Salette, and the dire warnings she gave. In it she mentioned errant priests and earthquakes and other disasters befalling Italy. I am not normally one to seach for divine significance in natural calamities but this one I could not ignore.

Put it simply: This earthquake could not have been more pointed towards Bergoglio if it had produced in the earth an outline spelling out Bergoglio. Let us remember that the earthquake struck on the Feast of Christ the king, who was so viciously attacked and calumniated by the man Bergoglio is going to celebrate. It brought down the basilica dedicated to the man who is considered the father of Europe, a day before Bergoglio goes to celebrate a man who divided Europe line none before.

If this ravenous wolf in shepherd's clothing goes ahead with the celebration, history will remember that a pope decided to honour a great divider only a day after the basilica in honour of one of the greatest saints in the history of the Church had been destroyed. It will surely be one more nail in the coffin for our good future pope  who will no doubt condemn Bergoglio in the starkest terms.

May we keep the people of Norcia in mind, and with the intercession of St. Benedict and St. Scholastica, pray that out of the town of Nursia may once again arise a great Christian awakening!

Buildings do not talk and have no emotions. We are the ones to feel the emotions when what we have grown to love and appreciate gets destroyed and I was indeed very sad at the news.

Still, in honour of the basilica I cannot help but offer a heartfelt "Thank you for the memories!"

I feel privileged to have been inside the Baslicia of St. Benedict and look forward to setting foot to the one which will be built to replace it.

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