Wouldn’t it be great if the whole world could understand the great power of catholic tradition. But the reality is that most people have absolutely NO knowledge of its existence. What do most catholics know? Only what they are exposed to Sunday after Sunday. That is precisely why I feel we need to go out all over the world and educated them about these great treasures God has given to our Holy Church 1980 years ago.
Today I was at a small conference about health care directives for catholics at the time of dying. We all gathered in an adoration chapel to pray the rosary. Out in the main church sanctuary, I could see people preparing for a wedding. People were walking all over the sanctuary with out any idea that it is the HOLY OF HOLIES. They were not even aware that Jesus is in the Holy Tabernacle. The world sanctuary means “that which is Holy” and comes from the Jewish temple of the Holy of Holies. Once a year only the High Priest was allowed to enter that sacred place. There was a rope tied around his ankle so that in case he had a sin on his soul he would die and they could drag him out without having to enter where they were forbidden to enter and would also be struck down. What do you see happen in all the sanctuaries of your parishes????? Everyone walking around as if it were their living room? If so this is because we have replaced ourselves as the center of everything instead of the SANCTUS SANCTUS SANCTUS DEUS.
Most churches used to be cruciform. That was because of the body of Christ on the cross. The head or sanctuary represented Jesus, the head of the body of Christ, and the nave represented us His body or all catholic people.
This lack of knowledge and reverence, in general, is not the peoples fault. It is us priests’ and bishops’ fault. We have fail to explained to them what the sanctuary is. And at times we don’t even treat it as if it were the HOLY of HOLIES. I have seen many religious and priest fail to genuflect in front of a Tabernacle. But then again I have seen others who show great reverence.
But the point I am trying to make is that we need to be patient with the average catholic who has never been educated about tradition or sacredness. This whole traditional treasure was a gradual discovery for me over years. Yet at times I get irritated that people do not see what I now see. But my own conversion and education has been very slow. I am sure many of you feel scandalized by the sacrilegious actions that go on everyday in your parishes. The total lack of reverence. But then when do you even become aware of what was proper catholic tradition. Some places we find parishes that try very hard to keep things very reverent. Thank You for your hard effort.
So we need to be patient, remembering our own gradual enlightenment by the Holy Spirit as to what is Holy and pleasing to God. We don’t just sit around and despair at the condition of our catholic faith through out the world. No. We first pray, pray and pray. Then in kindness and love we share information about catholic truth and what is sacred liturgy. We share facts on catholic tradition, history and doctrine.
I think it would be a good exercise to recall you own time line in your discovery of the Holy Tridentine Mass. Reflect on who it was or how you came across it. What was helpful for you to open you heart and mind to this true treasure of our Holy Mother The Church? Then with that in mind make a plan on how you can help others along.
As I say, we are so fortunate to be traditional catholics. But don’t forget it didn’t happen over night. And I can happily say, I still have a lot to learn. Let us keep on learning and sharing. It is what God is calling us to do. What a wonderful mission God has entrusted to us.
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.