|Traditional Latin Mass at Mater Dei Catholic Parish in Dallas suburb of Irving. Why would anyone go to Easter Mass at a hotel when they can attend the Mass of the ages nearby?|
Every day it's a new ad, and a new email from Church Militant TV for the Michael Voris Holy Week Show at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Dallas. For only $1250 (double occupancy) + travel expenses, you too can listen to almost a dozen talks by Michael Voris and, as a bonus, a couple of Q & A sessions too. Wow!
Just think! Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday at a hotel.
But hurry, hurry, hurry...they have "limited space" and if you don't immediately slap down your bucks, there may be no room at the inn. (Oops! Wrong feast day.)
Why would anyone in his/her right mind participate in this?
Let me make an alternative suggestion, in the unhappy event that your parish offers the gong show instead of reverent worship. Find the nearest Latin Mass parish or a monastery of orthodox monks or cloistered nuns. There are hundreds of Latin Masses offered in the U.S. Check out the Latin Mass Directory. Most states also have shrines, and many of those offer reverent Masses as well. I suspect everyone in the country could find a faithful, orthodox Mass within a day's drive. When we travel I always check the bulletins of the local churches. Do they have frequent hours of Confession, weekly adoration, a pro-life group and Legion of Mary? You can learn a lot about the orthodoxy of a parish by reading the bulletin, especially the "pastor's corner."
Dallas has an FSSP parish, Mater Dei in the suburb of Irving. Fr. James Buckley is one of the priests there. I've been attending his 5-day silent Ignatian Retreat here in Virginia every summer for about 15 years. What a blessing to the Church he is! Why would anyone go to a hotel for Easter when there's a church nearby where Jesus resides in the Tabernacle 24/7 and waits for worshipers to come? Why would anyone choose to listen to endless babble by Michael Voris, when orthodox priests, consecrated by God to preach and teach and dispense the sacraments, are just a stone's throw away? And, really, wouldn't the most appropriate thing to do during the Triduum be to sit in the silent presence of the Lord meditating on His passion?
If anything illustrates that something is seriously wrong at CM it's this "retreat," a real head-shaker and evidence that CM is a cult of personality. There's something...weird?...sick? about a layman making himself the center of attention during the holiest week of the year!
And why would anyone pay $1250 + travel expenses for the Triduum at a hotel when he/she could spend a fraction of the money to kneel in a real Church with all the reminders of Lent: the stations of the cross, statues covered in purple, candles burning before the shrines to Mary and Joseph, and, above all -- the tabernacle with the sanctuary lamp burning nearby. It amazes me that anyone would choose CM's so-called "retreat" during the holiest days of the liturgical year when the appropriate liturgical attitude is silence and meditation on the passion. What a wealth of wisdom one could find by meditating on the Shroud of Turin and reading surgeon Pierre Barbet's book, A Doctor at Calvary based on his study of the shroud. Barbet's meditation in the appendix has been my Good Friday meditation for years.
May holy week bring you to a closer walk with the Lord by spending abundant silent reflection with Jesus, his Mother Mary, and the gospel descriptions of the passion. The silence of Holy Week is one of the greatest gifts the Church offers. May we never waste it!