Friday, 25 January 2013

Without the enemy within

Father Simon Henry has an excellent post on Offerimus Tibi Domine that encapsulates beautifully, the main issue facing the Catholic Church today, that of the enemy within.

Those who in OTD's words: hate the Church as it has manifested itself for hundreds of years, certainly hate the Pope, hate Rome and hate the Tradition which has been the vehicle of transmitting the Faith and the Scriptures down the generations.

And Father Ray Blake makes the same approach from a different aspect HERE.

It set me thinking as to what our Catholic lives would be like if we did not have that element of the demonic. 

What difference would it make to our Faith, our spirituality, to be free of Bishops who persecuted any of their priests who showed a desire to celebrate the old rite of Mass, or priests who advocated abortion and same sex "marriage" or laity who were not spiteful in their attitude towards anything that smacked of reverence?

I think that I can give a fairly accurate assessment as to what life would be like without the enemy within, here is a broad brush picture:-

1. Mass Ad Orientum - in every church

2. The Tridentine Latin Mass available in every parish on Sundays and Holydays of Obligation

3. Benediction, Plainchant, May Processions and more in every parish

4. Reception of Holy Communion only by kneeling and mouth

5. Catholic Education with integrity and rigour

6. Head on conflict with the State over Adoption, Abortion, Same Sex "Marriage" and more

7. Seminary intakes up dramatically

8. A return of those who have "left" the Faith

9. An increase in Baptisms and Church weddings

10. Full churches


  1. Linked, tweeted, facebooked, and with you all the way. God bless!

  2. I was talking with some very conservative friends yesterday. Conservative, not traditional.

    They seemed to think that changes to the liturgy were necessary, especially vernacular Masses. They also seemed averse to Mass in Latin / the Latin Mass - as people couldn't understand what was going on if it wasn't in their own language!

    I pointed out these facts:-

    a) No-one can fully understand what happens at Mass. If we knew, most would never want to leave our churches, others would be too scared to enter them in the first place!

    b) Before the 1960s, more Catholics knew more about what was happening at Mass than they do now -- despite the fact that the majority of Masses are now in the vernacular, and that, before the 1960s, all Masses were in Latin. So having Mass in the vernacular does not seem to help people understand what's going on -- it often distracts from the real mystery.

    c) Masses in the vernacular only aid in making the liturgy community-centred, as opposed to something that leads to God and is therefore above our normal, day-to-day, existence.

    d) Masses in the vernacular have de-catholicised the Church in that they have made us more like Anglicans or Lutherans. In central London there are English Masses, Portuguese Masses, Chinese Masses, Spanish Masses, Masses 'for Filipinos', Masses 'for the French', etc, etc, yet hardly any Masses in the universal (Catholic) language of the Church: Latin. Masses in different languages lead to nationalism, to a 'Catholicism' that's no longer Catholic, but which is divided between peoples and nations -- like the Lutheran Church of Denmark or the Church of England. It's very hard for a non-Chinese person, for example, to go to a Chinese Mass, yet all are / would be welcome and at home in a Mass which isn't about nation or language, but about true worship: i.e. the Latin Mass (in the Roman Rite).

    e) If Catholics say that all our liturgical tradition prior to 1962 / 1970 was deficient and that Mass in Latin is not (as) conducive to the sanctification of believers as that which we now have (basically, vernacular communion services, as the Protestants have), then they are rupture-like Protestants, as they deny and reject 1900 years of Catholicism and all that has gone before. They are Protestant, and even worse than Protestant. Even Luther and Cranmer didn't go as far as some of the liturgical reformers of the 1960s and 70s. They really are the enemy within.

    Sadly, it seemed to me that these people had not fully realised the huge importance of the liturgy in the life of the Church -- for them it appears to be an added extra to the intellectual life of Christians, as opposed to the the great and Holy Sacrifice of the Son the the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Not so much Heaven on earth as earthly worship of things we are able to understand. Therefore, they were surprised to know that even Paul VI (had effectively) said that the smoke of Satan had entered the Church through the liturgy. How we pray determines what we believe... And if we pray in a fashion that makes us think that the new Mass is superior to the old, then we have become Protestants.

    (Sorry about the length of this comment -- it's just that it was all fresh in my mind this morning!)

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  4. Thanks for this Richard, and agree with you all the way.

  5. I have to keep reminding myself that the Church shall endure. The gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church but sometimes in the battle the forces of evil will seem to have the upper hand.

  6. I think simply bringing back ad orientem and reception of Holy Communion kneeling and on the tongue would make a world of difference; after all, lex orandi, lex credendi

  7. Yes, I think all ten phenomena go together, two-way feed between many pairs of them. Reluctant Sinner, many Catholics who have been subjected to irreverent and worse liturgy all their lives do not realise the importance of the liturgy. When I was in my teens, twenties and even into my thirties I knew it was important at an academic, theoretical level only. It was only when I developed the spiritual as well as the intellectual, mainly through the grace flowing from the sacraments, prayer, that I began to more deeply understand the crucial role of the liturgy and the Eucharist to our Faith. I was born in 1969 so never knew the Traditional Mass growing up; however everything in me told me the Mass I was experiencing did not reflect the theology. So that made me downgrade Mass as it were to something more needed by those who had less of an appreciation of the intellectual and rational aspects of Carholicism. It was only when I made Mass, confession and prayer etc. more important in my life that I realised, without ever having attended one, that the Traditional Mass was the way Mass ought to be offered and heard. I have only attended the Traditional Mass twice - both in the past 6 months or so, but I have longed to have it in my parish for many many years, even before SP, which got my hopes up. But still I and many others wait, and still countless others wait though they may not yet be aware of what it is they wait for.

  8. Richard to your comment "What difference would it make to our Faith, our spirituality, to be free of Bishops who "cover up child abuse and hide offenders from the law. However what is missing form your list and should be at the top- and emphasis upon private prayer calling upon the indwelling of the Holy Ghost into everyone of us who commit to follow these,otherwise renewal will be cold and legalistic-bit like a OF Mass i attended at the Blessed sacrament Fathers church here in Melbourne.
    Relucatant Sinner whilst agreeing with you ,you would have to admit that without the Weslyean Revival Britian would have suffered a Revolution like the French. Without the Salvation Army there would be one less agency bringing help to the poor and the distressed. If you read Luther's 95 theses it struck me that he was protesting about the practice of indulgences,and those who sold them in the name of the Pope,rather than aginst the Pope. However the Wesleyan church in all of its many forms has largely apostasised,as has the Anglican and the Lutheran -except here in Australia. What did Oscar wild say in favour of OUr Church "the Catholic Church is for saints and sinners.The Anglican is only for respectable people" My choice is with the "irrespectable".
    I came to the Catholic Church via the Latin Mass. It is Scripturally based all the way through,and I wonder why many of my former fellow Proddies could not see that. Perhaps like some sections of the SSPX and their views on the Jews ,they are blinded by their own prejudices


  9. Dylan, thank you for your comment, it is worthy of a post in its own right. And thank you Chris and Brian (I'm beginning to sound like Rabbi Lionel Blue). Patrick, you are blessed inasmuch that I am sure you will live to see much of the Church's glory restored. Nick D, thanks for the comment but it just will not do. The TLM must be restored to its rightful place; what you suggest would be a good start. Lynda, it's frustrating waiting for a Latin Mass to come along but, before you know it you will find several springing up I am sure. Gervase, I deliberately omitted prayer on the grounds that, for the masses to become more reverent, the "mechanics" of the liturgy and reverence need to be .


  10. Continued.......need to be......restored.

  11. Yes you are right in that Richard. Christmas Day 2011 ,two months after i was received into the Church,after helping serve Breakfast to homeless people in a Anglican Church hall opposite St Pat's cathedral here in Melbourne-the said Anglican Church is the centrepiece for Melburnians of Anglo Catholic persuasion,with a sacrosant and one of the clergy being of a certain other persuasion-,i attended 8am mass at the Cathedral. it was Low Mass started at 8am and finished at 8.30am. i was kneeling in prayer after the final Blessing- ,and on looking up i saw about ? 200 people walking very quickly down the aisles to the exits. No reference,just a "better get in the car love and head to Onkarparinga or struth the Turkey needs to go on ,or put the Fosters in the fridge" ( thought i would colour colonial lingo for you lot in the Old Dart)