Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Reintroducing Logic and Reason to the Age of Sentimentalism

Crucifixion

All of the posts under the "Crucifixion" category.

The Liturgy of the Crucifixion

The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines the Mass as:

The memorial of the Lord’s Passion and Resurrection.

The Holy Sacrifice, because it makes present the one sacrifice of Christ the Savior and includes the Church’s offering. The terms holy sacrifice of the Mass, “sacrifice of praise,” spiritual sacrifice, pure and holy sacrifice are also used, since it completes and surpasses all the sacrifices of the Old Covenant.

The Holy and Divine Liturgy, because the Church’s whole liturgy finds its center and most intense expression in the celebration of this sacrament; in the same sense we also call its celebration the Sacred Mysteries. We speak of the Most Blessed Sacrament because it is the Sacrament of sacraments. The Eucharistic species reserved in the tabernacle are designated by this same name. CCC 1330

We also read in the Baltimore Catechism:

The Mass is the Sacrifice of the New Law in which Christ, through the ministry of the priest, offers Himself to God in an unbloody manner under the appearances of bread and wine.

(a) The name “Mass” comes from the Latin word Missa meaning dismissal. In the early days of the Church the catechumens were asked to leave after the gospel and sermon were finished. The faithful, however, remained until they were dismissed after the sacrifice was completed. Then, as now, this was done by saying or singing Ite Missa Est. In the course of time the word Missa, or dismissal, was used to designate the entire sacrifice. BC 357

In short, the Mass is the unbloody sacrifice of Christ on Calvary in which Jesus Christ is fully present in the form of bread and wine. When you go to Mass, this is the image you should be reminded of.

Jesus Crucified

When we see this image of Jesus bloodied and dying on the cross, we are witnessing this at Mass. We enter into this mystery. With the Novus Ordo, and its countless variables at each Mass, we must ask ourselves a serious question. Would this be appropriate if you were at the foot of the cross?

Contemporary Music

Praise and worship music would be inappropriate as it possesses no solemnity, that is, no respect for the dignity of the Holy Sacrifice. Praise and worship music, by its essence and intent, is upbeat, which elicits a response of happiness. Playing a guitar before Christ Crucified and singing “Gather Us In, the Rich and the Haughty” is insulting. If you disagree, imagine yourself dying a wrongful death upon a cross, suffocating in agony and a group of people singing this song. What would you think of them? What would you be tempted to say to them?

Gregorian Chant possesses the somber tone which from antiquity instills reverence and awe. Pope St. Pius X instated in his Motu Proprio Tra le Sollecitudini (Instruction on Sacred Music):

These qualities are to be found, in the highest degree, in Gregorian Chant, which is, consequently the Chant proper to the Roman Church, the only chant she has inherited from the ancient fathers, which she has jealously guarded for centuries in her liturgical codices, which she directly proposes to the faithful as her own, which she prescribes exclusively for some parts of the liturgy, and which the most recent studies have so happily restored to their integrity and purity.

On these grounds Gregorian Chant has always been regarded as the supreme model for sacred music, so that it is fully legitimate to lay down the following rule: the more closely a composition for church approaches in its movement, inspiration and savor the Gregorian form, the more sacred and liturgical it becomes; and the more out of harmony it is with that supreme model, the less worthy it is of the temple.

The ancient traditional Gregorian Chant must, therefore, in a large measure be restored to the functions of public worship, and the fact must be accepted by all that an ecclesiastical function loses none of its solemnity when accompanied by this music alone.

Special efforts are to be made to restore the use of the Gregorian Chant by the people, so that the faithful may again take a more active part in the ecclesiastical offices, as was the case in ancient times.

Gregorian Chant is the only form of music which will draw us into these Heavenly mysteries.

Standing During the Consecration and Receiving Communion

Standing is inappropriate as this is not just some man dying, but our Lord. When a mother loses her child, she does not stand, but rather, she collapses. She collapses over the despair of losing her beloved child. She collapses at the horror of never seeing him again. She collapses in grief and sorrow.

Much like any of us would collapse after tragically losing a loved one, we too should collapse to our knees out of grief and agony for the loss of Jesus, because He is our Lord. With the appearance of bread and wine, Jesus is fully present, Body, Blood, Soul, And Divinity. We should kneel out of respect and humility as He has dominion over us.

During the Consecration, we should kneel as the Holy Ghost descends upon the bread and wine and transubstantiates the Essence it into the Most Holy Eucharist. We kneel to receive Him because He is our Lord and only hands that have been consecrated to bring forth His transfiguration should touch Him. Those brave men who have been ordained to the priesthood or the diaconate have hands consecrated to touch Him.

Remember the conversion of St. Thomas, in John 20: 24 – 29. Thomas, both doubting and boastful, sees Jesus for the first time since their Last Supper together and the Betrayal in the Garden. Is it too much to imagine that Thomas, upon seeing Jesus, would jump up and run to Him, calling, “My Lord!” in excitement? And then, realizing that the Wounds in His Hands, Feet and Side are neither bloody nor healed, immediately fall to his knees, his face to the floor, exclaiming, “My God!” in breathless ecstasy and adoration? It all happens together, in that Eternal Moment of Sanctification.

If only hands have that have been consecrated to touch Him are allowed, then logically Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion should not be allowed, as their hands have not been consecrated. While I understand the distribution of Holy Communion would take much longer, this should never, ever be a hindrance at the Mass, but a benefit. During this time, we should be offering prayers of Thanksgiving to Our Lord for allowing us to receive Him worthily. We should bring our prayer intentions to the Lord, focusing on His Holy Sacrifice on Calvary, and thanking Him for paying the debt which we cannot pay. In a society where we are constantly bombarded by noise, this provides ample opportunity to pray in silence before our Crucified Lord.

Clapping

Pope Benedict XVI, while still Josef Cardinal Ratzinger wrote:

“Wherever applause breaks out in the liturgy because of some human achievement, it is a sure sign that the essence of the liturgy has totally disappeared and been replaced by a kind of religious entertainment.” Spirit of the Liturgy

applause

Applause is used to signify an accomplishment of an individual or group. It is not meant for the Mass, especially when we remember that the Mass is the Sacrifice of Christ Crucified. We would not applaud someone else while we are standing before Christ dying on the cross. We should not clap while we are at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The focus of the Mass is not us, but on Christ.

This includes all aspects of the Mass, even when the Mass is concluded. We are in the House of God, present before Jesus Christ in the tabernacle. We do not applaud the choir, nor any other individual or group of individuals. We read in Sacrosanctum Concilium:

32. The liturgy makes distinctions between persons according to their liturgical function and sacred Orders, and there are liturgical laws providing for due honors to be given to civil authorities. Apart from these instances, no special honors are to be paid in the liturgy to any private persons or classes of persons, whether in the ceremonies or by external display.

Altar Girls

Only men can be elevated to the calling of the priesthood. Many priests, while not all, were formed and called during their time as altar boys. A direct correlation has been observed between having altar girls and boys no longer being interested in serving at the altar. When boys are not interested, they may not heed their calling to a Vocation of Holy Orders.

When boys and young men miss their vocation to the priesthood, we are left in the vocations crisis that we are currently facing. Parishes are closing because we do not have any priests to minister to them.

These are but a few examples of abuses that we should aim to eliminate from the Mass if we want to restore a sense of the sacred. Prayerfully consider encouraging your pastor to begin removing elements that are not aimed at bringing forth reverence to Our Lord.

Jeff October 12, 2015 3 Comments Permalink

You Can’t Always Be Joyful

This is a follow-up to the Fallacy of Always Being Joyful. If you haven’t read it yet, I invite you to do so.

After spending much time in prayer and contemplation, I realized that there is, unfortunately, far more things to point out in regards to this fallacy of a Catholic always needing “joy” in order to be Catholic. Hopefully, this will be the last post, but, if the hierarchy continues to expound upon this fallacy, I will have to write more.

The idea that sorrow is somehow unholy, non-Catholic, and even bad is unheard of when you look at all of Christendom. There is no guarantee that once you become Catholic and are practicing the faith (though, if you aren’t practicing the faith then you aren’t Catholic) that you will become so full of joy as the world understands it.

Really, we are all dying, we are all sinners and are all deserving of eternal damnation. That isn’t a very joyous outlook on life is it? But, alas, it is true. It isn’t grim, it isn’t negative, but it is truth. Jesus warns us numerous times throughout the Gospel that the path to Heaven is narrow and few will enter, yet, the attitude of the day is that, if you are a Catholic, you will get an automatic pass, and this is from Church officials (though, if you aren’t Catholic that’s fine too!)

The sense of joy that we Catholics do receive, is that we recognize that we are at least on the right path and are following God as best as we are discerning. This isn’t a guarantee of salvation, but we at least recognize that in following God and His Church, we are at least on the right path, even if we are failing along the way. Ultimately though, when we have properly discerned what God is asking of us, we will experience the true sense of joy, that we as creations of God, are following what the Creator has Willed for us.

What interests me, is that the church (small c) has bought into the lie that the culture has been peddling that we have to be happy, in fact, we can’t be sad at all. If we are sad, then there is something wrong. We must be depressed, and there is a pill to cure that. No longer are we required to do penance, because its painful, inconvenient, and annoying. After all, if it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it, right?

There used to be for the first 1900 years of Catholicism, a sense that sorrow was good, especially when that sorrow was for atonement for our past sins. We should be sorrowful for the times that we have spat in the face of God, turned our back on Him, and gone about seeking our own pleasures. We do it quite often, more than we even consciously realize.

After all, the Church used to be so praiseworthy of sorrow, that even Our Mother Mary has a title of Our Lady of Sorrows!

Don't Cry Mary, You Should Be Joyful!

Don’t Cry Mary, You Should Be Joyful!

Every single Saint was sorrowful at some point in his or her life. To assume otherwise is naive. Look at St. Augustine in his Confessions. Many times he mentions that the thought of some of the sins of his life bring tears to his eyes. It would be wrong to assume that these are tears of joy, as to be joyful for ones sins would warrant unholiness as the sinner would be proud of his sin. This doesn’t work as we must be repentant of our sin from the time we have committed it, until the time that we are no longer on this Earth. This is why the argument “even though I’m sad that I did x, I’m glad I did it because otherwise I wouldn’t be where I’m at today” is a argument rooted in error. Be sorrowful for the action, and be sorrowful that you didn’t follow the Will of God to get to the point you are at today. God never Wills sin, but allows it in his permissive will.

Even Jesus Christ Himself was sorrowful. Let us not forget the 2nd set of mysteries of the Holy Rosary, the Sorrowful mysteries. This includes the mysteries of Jesus Christ’s agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, His flogging at the Pillar, the crowning of thorns, the carrying of the cross and alas, the moment of His Crucifixion and Death. If you forgot what this looked like, let alone what it might have felt like, here is a helpful reminder.

Jesus Crucified

This is not a joyful moment. This is a sorrowful moment. There is a time for joy, and a time for sorrow. Accept that joy and sorrow go hand in hand. After all, how can you appreciate the joyful moments if you have no sorrowful ones? How can you appreciate happiness, if you’ve never once gone through sadness?

 

Jeff March 26, 2014 2 Comments Permalink

Good Friday

Happy Good Friday! First and foremost, today is a day of fasting and abstinence.

Fasting- Eating only 2 small meals and 1 average size meal. This means no snacking in between meals.

Abstinence- This is the practice of abstaining from flesh meat. This includes beef, pork, chicken, goose, etc. You can abstain by having seafood (fish, shrimp, lobster, etc) or not having any meat, fruits and veggies.

Today, we remember the death of Our Lord Jesus. Why is Good Friday so good anyways? I mean, Jesus died, that doesn’t sound too good to me. Well, that’s a good question. When Jesus was put to death, for a crime that He didn’t commit, He took upon the sin of the world in order that we may be able to have eternal life in Heaven. Jesus freely chose this and understood this. Being the Son of God, He is in perfect union with His Heavenly Father.

When Jesus died on the cross, He made Himself an offering, a sacrifice, so that we can partake in the eternal glory of Heaven. Now, this is not forced upon us. If we do not want this sacrifice, we are free to reject it. In this sacrifice though, we are without Our Lord. He mentioned that He would rise again, but what if He doesn’t? I’m certain that this was going through the disciples’ heads. On top of that, what could Jesus mean by rising again? No one has ever done this before!

Spend some time in silence today and reflect on Our Lord’s death.

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