When visiting Mother Angelica’s Shrine of the Most Holy Sacrament, I had a discussion with a priest from the SOLT order. He helps out there on a regular basis. When I told him about my love for the Tridentine Mass and all that is traditional, he said that most people who are traditionalist are not very kind. He was not very sympathetic to our cause. But we did have a great discussion. He said that many times we traditionalist only complain about how bad the masses are and how badly we are treated. We need to be careful not to be negative people. We are so blessed to know the truth. We need to let people in on the great news of tradition. We need to be loving and joyful.
I explained to him that we have been so abused and shunned that we do tend to be complainers. I explained to him that that is not a good quality and we would work on it. But what he did understand was that we really know who God is and for that reason alone we care about how God is treated in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. There are many good priest who also care about the Holy Mass and the Blessed Sacrament. They care about the loss of orthodox truth in the preachings at masses. But they do not see the connection between watered down liturgy to the loss of orthodoxy.
I began with that God is So So Great and beyond any imaginable human concept. It is like what St. Thomas Aquinas says. God is both Apophatic and Catophatic. Catophatic in the sense of what we do know about God and His attributes. Apophatic in that He is beyond all understanding to the human mind.
So when we go to the Novus Ordo Mass and things are very anthropomorphic or man centered, we experience God but in a human way. It is hard to experience the greatness of God. When you enter a Tridentine mass and it is facing to God or Ad Orientam, you start to enter into the mystery of God’s Greatness. When there are three steps leading up to the Altar, Sanctus Sanctus Sanctus, you know God is above you. Many new churches, like in Capitola California, have the pews like a theatre where you look down on the Altar. You do not look up to Jesus on the cross, you look down on Him.
I was at the famous Monastery of Monte Casino in Italy. There the Sanctuary and Altar are more than a whole floor level above the congregation. I wanted so badly to offer the Sacred Sacrifice of the Mass there because it was so heavenly. I wasn’t even a traditional priest then. I just was naturally drawn to the heavenly aspect of that church. We are people, God is God. We want to put God in our place and put ourselves as God’s. Where is the humility. All of us, traditional and non traditional need to be humble. We better get it right, right now, before we die.
When you love God and give Him His due honor, great things happen. We go to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and are reminded that God is God. But then we are called up into His greatness. We are lifted up out of our human weaknesses and transported into His world. We are reminded that we are sons and daughters of God Most High. Then we value who we truly are. Then we begin to treat each other as God’s beloved children. We go home remembering our own value and of those around us.
When traveling around, I met a great traditional priest, Fr. Perrone at Assumption Grotto in Detroit Michigan. I was so depressed at seeing so many abandoned houses, burned out houses, prostitutes and drug dealers. He said what we need to do, is not to throw welfare money at these people, but to show them the great value of their souls and God’s love for them and their souls that He made in His image.
Magnificent and beautiful traditional catholic churches and the Tridentine mass help us to realize how Great and Awesome God is. Then we are reminded how great and awesome we are. We are transported out of the mundane existence into the sacred, the holy, the beauty of God. Then we will stop hurting each other. Then we will stop aborting unborn babies. Then we stop using others for our lust like in pornography. We realize our unique value.
A great question is why is the Universe so expansive if we will never even begin to be able to experience it. One of my traditional priest friends said that it was to remind us how great is the God who created it. God is so great that we can not even comprehend His creation. Our souls also are unfathomable. They are uncomprehendable too. Isn’t wonderful to be part of the traditional movement that wants to restore the beauty and sacredness of our holy catholic faith. This way we can restore the dignity and sacredness of all people as they discover the Dignity of God in His Holy Church.
Received an email from a friend and he quoted something that says a lot. “Today sinners think they are saints and saints think they are sinners”. “What was once considered as evil in now considered good and what was once considered good is now considered evil.”
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.