Friday, November 25, 2011

Cardinal O'Malley, let's give more than just lip service to the importance of Holy Mass

In a November 20 pastoral letter on the importance of Sunday Mass, Cardinal Sean O'Malley urged people not to take the Mass for granted or to allow it to become a mere routine.  Excellent advice indeed.  But we must give more than lip service to the importance of the Holy Mass and the reverence with which we ought to assist at Holy Mass.  The Council of Trent, in its Decree Concerning the Celebration of Mass (Sess. xxii) had this to say: "If we must needs confess that no other work can be performed by the Faithful so holy and divine as this tremendous is also sufficiently clear that all industry and diligence is to be applied to this end, that it be performed with the greatest possible inward cleanness and purity of heart and outward show of devotion and piety."

But this past summer the Archdiocese of Boston displayed a rather disturbing attitude toward the Holy Mass by allowing it to be used by those who engage in radical homosexual agitprop to advance the "gay agenda."  See here.  For too many Catholics today, the Holy Mass has become merely a "celebration of community" - a celebration of themselves.  Such people forget that it is the "mystery of Christ that the Church proclaims and celebrates in her liturgy so that the faithful may live from it and bear witness to it in the world: For it is in the liturgy, especially in the divine sacrifice of the Eucharist, that 'the work of our redemption is accomplished,' and it is through the liturgy especially that the faithful are enabled to express in their lives and manifest to others the mystery of Christ and the real nature of the true Church." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1068).

In his book Ceremonies of the Modern Roman Rite, Msgr. Peter J. Elliott notes that, "All worship ought to be centered on God.  Therefore, ceremonial must lead people to God, helping them to become those who worship Him 'in spirit and in truth' (John 4: 23, 24).  Ceremonial is a means, not an end in itself.  But, as an outward form, it is normally inseparable from the content of the sacraments.  In movements, gestures, sacred actions and signs, the religious language of the body must 'speak' reverently to God and of God, and thus give glory to Him...

Reverence in every gesture expresses the faith that is within us.  It proceeds from 'wonder and awe.'  Therefore reverence on the part of the celebrant should communicate to worshippers a sense of the sacred.  Through reverence we affirm that here in this place we are in the presence of God; that here we are involved in the supreme human act for which each of us was created - giving glory to our Creator and Redeemer; that here, as living cells in the Body of Christ, we are a 'holy people.'...By reverence we give glory to God and in turn share in His grace and glory." (p. 2).

It is no secret today that the enemies of the Church want to destroy belief in the divinity of Christ. For, as Fr. Vincent Miceli, S.J., explained, "Once the liturgy is humanized, Christ the Center and Object of it becomes the humanist par excellence, the liberator, the revolutionary, the Marxist ushering in the millenium; he ceases to be the Divine Redeemer. We must be alerted to those who plan, by convincing us to abandon our sacred forms, at length to seduce us into denying our Christian faith altogether. The Church is attacked by these Sons of Satan, in and outside her fold, because she is a living form, the sacrament - sign and instrument - of communion with God and of unity among all men; because she is the visible body of Religion. Hence these shrewd masters of sedition know that when her sacred forms go, religion will also go. Violate the lex orandi and you must inevitably destroy the lex credendi. That is why they rail against so many devotions as superstitions, why they propose so many alterations and changes, a tactic cleverly calculated to shake the foundations of faith...."

The Devil hates the Eucharist and never ceases to attack Our Eucharistic Lord. He uses variations on gnosticism, symbolism and modernism to attack the authentic teaching of the Magisterium on the Holy Eucharist. As the spiritual war continues to escalate all around us, Satan's attacks against the Eucharist will multiply. There will even be physical manifestations of this hatred. These attacks will intensify and reach a crescendo with the Man of Sin. St. Alphonsus de Liguori, Doctor of the Church, explains that: "The devil has always managed to get rid of the Mass by means of the heretics, making them precursors of the Antichrist who, above all else, will manage to abolish, and in fact will succeed in abolishing, as a punishment for the sins of men, the Holy Sacrifice of the altar, precisely as Daniel had predicted." ("Le Messa e l'Officio Strapazzati" in Opere Ascetiche).


BostonCatholic2011 said...

The politicization of the Mass at St. Cecilia's Parish in Boston last June was just sad. The Mass is not the place for theatre or for promoting "sexual liberation." I saw the whole unfortunate episode as evidence of the demonic at that parish. That the Archdiocese would stand with Father Unni was equally troubling.

Michael Cole said...

The Cardinal described the Mass as a "family meal." What he didn't say, and what the Holy Spirit DOES say in 1 Corinthians 11:29, is that, "..anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself."

In other words, we must be properly disposed to receive the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus in the Eucharist. Those engaging in homosexual acts or celebrating "pride" in the homosexual lifestyle are not so disposed.

What a tragedy that the Cardinal didn't use his pastoral letter to emphasize this truth.

HolyCrossStudent said...

I think many Boston area Catholics were angered and put off at the funeral Mass for Senator Edward Kennedy. Now the same Cardinal who couldn't have cared less about the outrage expressed by devout Catholics over the scandalous Kennedy funeral is inviting people to return to Masses in the Archdiocese.

Maybe he should repent of the scandalous Kennedy funeral and the "Gay Pride" Mass at St. Cecilia's?

Karen said...

They were HC. The one thing about the status quo here in Boston is that it doesn't like constructive criticism or fraternal correction in any way, shape or form. The bureaucracy lacks the himility to examine itself. Any criticism, no matter how valid or charitably expressed, is swept away and deemed "irrelevant" before it can get a fair hearing. Because of this, growth in holiness is impossible. Which is why we have "gay pride" and a diocese which is disintegrating.

Anonymous said...

Karen said...

Anonymous, your comment has nothing to do with Boston's politicization of the Mass. Okay?

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