|Want a Traditional Latin Nuptual Mass at your parish church? Sorry! No Mass for you! No diocesan parish is available for young couples who want to be married in the Latin form of the Roman rite. (Photo credit Spiering Photography)
I recently spoke to someone at St. John the Baptist in Front Royal, VA who insisted that the SSPX are not needed here. "We have four Traditional Latin Masses every Sunday; the SSPX should have gone somewhere they are needed. We don't need them here. They should leave!"
Yes, St. John the Baptist does have four Sunday Traditional Latin Masses which are all offered in a small chapel at Chelsea Academy about ten minutes away from the parish church. And there is a daily TLM every morning at 7:00 a.m. in the adoration chapel.
Frankly, I wonder if all those Masses would be offered if it weren't for the SSPX, since the goal is to channel everyone into the Novus Ordo. What's a good way to do that? Make attendance at the TLM as unpleasant and inconvenient as possible. But how can you do that when people have the option of checking out of St. John's and heading over to the SSPX for Sunday Mass?
The presence of the SSPX presented a challenge that may very well have been the catalyst for all those Masses materializing at the diocesan parish to prevent the large TLM congregation at St. John's taking their bodies and their checkbooks somewhere else.
Am I cynic; or am I a realist? If there were only one TLM offered on Sunday at St. John the Baptist in a location that could only accommodate a fraction of the worshipers and none during the week, what then? Many might have given up and returned to the NO in the main church as the only alternative.
But the SSPX made that strategy untenable. And so the TLM remains generously offered at St. John's....for now.
There is something almost obscene about banning traditional Catholics from the beautiful parish church they paid for. It's like having a door guard who blocks the entrance announcing, "Unless you bend the knee, not to Christ, but to the Novus Ordo, you may not enter here!"
What my angry acquaintance doesn't seem to realize is that we are talking about more than the Mass. The Catholic Church has, not one sacrament, but seven. They were all changed after Vatican II along with other rites... and not for the better. Exorcists, for example testify to the fact that the new rite of exorcism has made it much more difficult to expel demons. In fact, some exorcisms that used to involve a brief intervention now take many sessions and often are unsuccessful altogether. Read the testimony of exorcists! Demons laugh at the new rite.
But it's the sacramental changes that impact families the most, from the baptism of the tiniest new baby dressed in a baptismal gown to the Confirmation of adolescents, to the marriage of adult children starting out their new life together with covenantal promises: "for better or for worse...til death do us part." All those sacraments have been dumbed down.
Last Sunday at our Christmas party, I spoke to a lovely young couple preparing for marriage. They want a high traditional Latin Nuptual Mass. I attended one last year to celebrate the marriage of my niece and her fiance. It was at an FSSP parish, St. Mary's in Conshohocken, PA. What a glorious service! What a glorious church! What a precious young couple!
|St. Mary's in Conshohocken, PA
Little did he know. That was then and this was now.
They were refused. No TLM for you!
So... they are attending the chapel, and will likely be married there later this year. What a blessing to our little congregation. We had one wedding in the previous chapel; this would be the first in our newly renovated little church. We've had a number of baptisms and, with the generous service to life of our families, we will likely see many more. We have enough children already for a small school!
Those who believe that Traditionis Custodes affected only the availability of the Traditional Latin Mass are delusional. The document banned all the sacraments in the traditional Latin form except the Mass which is available temporarily. TEMPORARILY... until they wean those backwards, rigid Catholics from their silly attachment to the TLM and force them to accept the NO for the sake of unity. Meanwhile, treat us like second-class Catholics to put us in our place. Unity indeed!
I wonder what the delusional Catholics will say about not needing the SSPX when the other shoe falls and they are being herded into the Novus Ordo because the TLM is banned altogether. That day is coming, perhaps sooner than they expect.
A friend recently told me I was acting like a protestant because I almost always avoid attending the Novus Ordo these days and pray the TLM at home most mornings unless I have the energy to get up and travel the 40 minutes to the 7:00 am Mass at St. John the Baptist or go to First Friday and First Saturday Mass at the chapel.
Why do I avoid the NO? I don't question its validity, but I question how pleasing it is to God. More and more, it seems to me to be the sacrifice of Cain. Even the language of the liturgy supports that view as the priest offers the "fruit of the vine, the work of human hands."
Don't misunderstand me. I'm not talking about the faith and devotion of the people who attend the NO. I'm not talking about the priests who offer it. For most, it's all they've ever experienced. And I know many who put me to shame. But each of us needs to follow our own conscience. So I asked my friend to pray for me that the Lord will give me the desire, or even the compulsion, to go back to the NO if He wills me to be there. I want nothing more than to do God's holy will. I thought of that when I saw this at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception last week.
Traditionis Custodes robbed us of much more than the TLM. It altered everything! I only came to realize how much when I read Dan Graham's book Lex Orandi comparing all the sacraments, TLM and NO, side by side. Every sacrament was gutted! Reading about Baptism made me feel physically ill. And I recalled the NO First Communion of a godchild I attended years ago where people were calling across the church to their friends and glad handing their neighbors. It was more like a gymnasium than a church. So much for respecting the sacrament and teaching the little ones that they were there to receive the Lord of the universe. It was party time! Get out the cameras.
Now, let's all repeat: The SSPX is not in schism. Those of us who attend their chapels love the Church and respect the authority of the papal office. But as St. Peter and St. John said to the religious authorities of their day who commanded them not to preach in Jesus' name. "We must obey God rather than men." (Acts 5:29) It's a good thing to remember on the day after the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. Let us conform our wills to the will of God in all things. If that makes us modern day recusants, so be it.
"O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine."