Alice von Hildebrand # 3 Silence and Contemplation

Continuation of the article by Alice von Hildebrand from the Latin Mass Magazine Spring 2010.  This is on the importance of quiet contemplation that Catholics no longer are exposed to.  The contemplative life (life of silent prayer) is higher than the active life (helping the poor, teaching, working).

Birnau 3“We no longer understand the key value of Silence – so crucial in any religious, and even human life.  Malls, department stores, food stores are constantly blasting what is called music, but which is nothing but Noise.  Our ears are used to dehumanize us.  It actually threatens our mental sanity.

The blessed silence of the Traditional Mass not only emanates sacredness, but also is a balm healing our battered senses, allowing us to “listen” to the divine message.  What a world of difference between the racket and clatter forced upon us where ever we go (some times, alas, at Mass) and the sublime notes of the Gregorian chant which, I trust, will be also heard in Heaven.  Hell is a place of pandemonium.  Silence is prohibited by satanic laws.

DelacroxiMoreover, the Traditional Mass is a most perfect expression of our Faith: built up through centuries of prayer and contemplation.  To know the Mass is to know one’s Faith.  This is why when a Priest tells me to my face that he is opposed to the Traditional Mass “because he is opposed to it’s theology,” I have reason for concern.

One thing which has preoccupied me from 1969 on is that those (whether Bishops, Priests, or lay people) who are fiercely antagonistic to the “old” (in the negative sense) Mass are often the very same people who dissent from Church teaching starting with their opposition to Humanae Vitae – the first link in a chain of disastrous attacks on the natural law the Church’s holy teachings (let us recall the tempest triggered by Humanae Vitae) – and who favor (in the name of justice and democracy) the ordination of some while denigrating the awesome privilege of women to give life.  This is an observation that I submitted to then Cardinal Ratzinger whom I had the privilege of seeing several times before he became pope (and once afterward in a private audience).  I have reasons to assume that he saw the point I was trying to make.

tumblr_mavi7yEy8N1rwzzkbo1_1280How grateful we should be that His Holiness has such a deep sense for the value of Tradition and has given us the Motu Proprio allowing all Priests to say the Mass that means so much in their spiritual life and that was unjustly prohibited by some Bishops who lost their footing in the wake of Vatican II which triggered a sort of tsunami.  We were constantly told that changes were required by the Council; in fact there was not a word of truth in this.  Vatican II never said the altars should be destroyed, that only the vernacular should be used.  It was permitted for some parts of the Mass….and all of a sudden Latin disappeared altogether.  Clearly the Devil is no linguist.  Pope Benedict’s pontificate will go down in history as the great “rebuilder” – for he is giving us back our inheritance.  We should express our thanks to his Holiness.

Traditional Mass by Alice von Hildebrand # 2 “We are Not Superior Today”

A continuation from Alice von Hildebrand’s article in “The Latin Mass Magazine”.  And I want to add that I admire her so much as a truly cultured, educated, Catholic woman.  She has holy class in how she speaks, writes, thinks, and dresses.  If only there were more women like her.  And thank you to you other women that aspire to holiness and culture.DvH Fordham 1956

SolemnCommunionbyJulesTriquet“Plato’s wisdon reminds us how devastating it is to sever “the golden cord of tradition.”  How arrogant of us to assume the past has nothing to offer and that because of our baffling scientific accomplishments, we can look down on our ancestors as if they had been intellectual and artistic paupers.  We simply assume that we are superior.  Yet to quote Charles Peguy; “Homer is fresh and new this morning, while there is nothing, perhaps, as old and tired as today’s newspaper.”  Can the Twenty-first century pride itself of having produced a Homer?

evolution-is-suicide-facebook-cover1Scientific knowledge is most valuable, but cut off from wisdom, it can easily lead to the destruction of the world.  It is most unwise to reject the lessons of the past; it is also unwise to reject the lessons of the past; it is also unwise to reject any development, that is to refuse to water a bud because “it is only a bud.”  But today some “progressives” have an iconoclastic passion to destroy any past accomplishment because it is past.  How wise Cardinal Newman was when he wrote his great book On The Development of Doctrine.  Our debt to the past is incalculable, and ingratitude for it is often a subtle form of stupidity.  How right John of Salisbury was when he wrote that “we are but dwarfs sitting on the shoulders of giants….”

IMG_3266Today some fashionable intellectuals favor words such as “revolution” and “time bomb” promising radical and marvelous changes.  A modest knowledge of history teaches us that revolutions are usually disastrous in their consequences.  The French Revolution was the mother of the terrible moral decadence that followed it.  Possibly it was the beginning of the end of Europe.  The Russian Revolution triggered the most efficient and abominable reign of mass murder in history.  The “revolution” of the 1960s has certainly been responsible for many of the moral woes plaguing contemporary society.

Scan 24Scan 22Many are foolish enough to greet “Change” as a magic word that guarantees Progress.  In fact, words such as “change” (a word we have recently heard ad nauseam) are meaningless and even dangerous unless we are guaranteed that it will be change “for the better.”  Plato warned us that “any change, except to eliminate evil, is evil.”  The same applies to the word “progress.”  When a doctor says of his patient: “His cancer is progressing,” it is bad news indeed.  These are magic words, that throw sand in people‘s eyes and make them forget that to “progress” (i.e. to go forward) can lead us straight into an abyss.  Regress is then urgently called for.  Such words are mostly political slogans and tools to win the votes of those who respond more to propaganda than to reason, or plain common sense (mercilessly trampled upon in our advanced society).  We should also beware of words such as “protest” or “dissent,” unless there is a legitimate reason for protesting or dissenting.  To protest as a matter of principle is indicative of a very low IQ.  

IMG_9116Our recent mind-boggling scientific achievements have mentally “drugged” us and blinded us to such an extent that many of us are automata, repeating like parrots what we have heard on television.