Thursday, August 6, 2009

"Why don't you ever go to the Latin Mass?"

I was asked this question the other day by someone who knows very well my love of the traditional Latin Mass, now referred to as the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. It is true, I rarely travel into New Orleans for the TLM even though I do love it. I explained to the person asking me the question that is was because my family attended the Ordinary Form, the Novus Ordo, as it is called, and it was more important for me to attend mass as a family. It may sound cliche but that old adage, "the family that prays together, stays together" is something I firmly believe in.

Today is the Feast of the Transfiguration and no better place is this revealed to us than in the Mass, Ordinary or Extraordinary. Jesus in all of His glory is shown to us at the consecration, made present by the power of the Holy Spirit. This is made possible through the graces a man receives at his ordination when he becomes a priest. With the bishop laying his hands on the priest and with the anointing of his head and hands, the priest has been 'set aside', consecrated for the Lord. It is this that makes the Mass valid as a great prayer of thanksgiving when offered to God. Can one Mass be made more beautiful or can one Mass seem more spiritual? Yes, but at the moment of consecration when the priest is 'in persona Christi' the Mass is real and Jesus is on the altar made present in the bread and wine as the Body and Blood of Christ. We must never lose sight of this fact. Do I long for and pray for the Mass to return to the more traditional and for the Latin to return to the place it was meant to have in the Liturgy? Yes, I do but not because it is more real but because the reverence of the more traditional focus is given to God. We must always remember it is not about our likes and dislikes when it comes to giving honor and glory to God, the focus must always be on Him.

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