Who will Save the Church?

I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am completing what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church. Colossians 1:24

The recent news of the Vatican Dicastery suppressing Latin Mass is disheartening. As you all know I don’t like to get into Liturgy wars, but I do see the Latin Mass as a better Mass. There are just so many reasons why. I say this as a person who doesn’t attend regular Latin Mass. I had access to it for awhile, but no longer do without much travel.

I have stated in the past we can treat the Eucharist like Mary and Joseph treated the infant Jesus, or we can treat the Eucharist like Christ was treated on the Cross. The abuses I have seen take place in the Novus Ordo Mass in a lot of places seems to fall into the latter category. This is not to say that in the past, there was never abuse, but by in large the formula protected it from abuse.

I have stated before that the Mass is the Center of the World, and the way the Mass goes, so too the world will go. It is all connected. We as individual lay people can be reverent and our hearts can participate with love in any Mass. The attachment to God alone will ensure our perseverance in suffering, so we need not be afraid of the trajectory we are on. But the consequences we are seeing in the world around us, they are all connected to the Mass.

Why do I say this? Well because the Mass is where heaven and earth meet. It is where God’s Kingdom comes on earth as it is in heaven. When the Mass becomes less about God and more about us, we actually can reject heaven. God should come first, and with that comes peace and love of our fellow man. When we miss that point everything gets disordered. Latin was about universal unity, it put the Priest in a position of humility of the offering, a unity of sacrifice was made, not a forced manmade unity that is so active at times you can’t even really pray. That is not to put all new Mass down. I have also stated the Latin Mass won’t save us, God will. But I can observe, as many already have that fifty plus years of the new Mass and attendance at Mass is at an all time low and the belief in the Eucharist as the true presence is too.

As we went with the vernacular language in Mass, the language in the world got worse. When was the last time you went out and didn’t hear the “F” word a million times from the people around you? Or heard people using the Lord’s name to damn one another instead of bless one another? Now language is twisted so bad that we can’t even get pronouns straight. Pretty soon, if not already, we find ourselves speaking with people who speak our language but we can’t understand one another at all. And the “unity” we seem to promote is actually harsh judgment against those who have a different view, especially if that view loves Latin Mass. They are often accused of the very thing that is actually happening to them.

For those of you who feel disheartened, I have a story for you.

I have been caring for my mom with dementia now in my home for over 18 months. It is the hardest thing I have ever done and it is also beautiful.

Mom can’t walk because of two strokes and a previous broken hip. She partakes in what is called confabulation. Confabulation is a statement or action that is incongruent with the patients history. To most of us it feels like a lie, untruths that the dementia patient speaks. Mom has told me she is a baker, and has told others that I am a cruise director. She often tells people I am her sister. If you try to correct her you face the agitated wrath she flings at you, accusing you of being a liar. If you weren’t aware of the disease inside of her, you would think you were being gas lit. Mom often makes no sense. She went from being a power house of a woman who could conquer the world, and did so in her career and as a mom, to a weak, frail, disease ridden woman who is trying desperately to maintain her dignity. It is my job to help her maintain her dignity and love her despite all her weaknesses and despite the disease that has taken over. Mom’s dignity does not depend on her strength because it was given freely to her as a child of God. It can never be removed from her because it is God’s gift to her and God is holy. I must love her and stay true to her, even when it seems impossibly hard. I must know that suffering for love is God’s grace pouring out for redemption.

My mom reminds me of the church. As the church has had her legs, particularly tradition, taken out from under her, as the church has members who babel incoherent non-doctrinal statements, that constantly need clarification and correction, as the church confabulates and is incongruent with her history, and spits wrath at those who point it out; the church, she is still holy because she belongs to God and God is holy. Though the smoke of Satan may have entered and diseased the body, the body belongs to God, and we must trust completely that He has a better plan. He is allowing the purification, the crucifixion, of sin. This always brings Resurrection.

So my friends, now is not the time to despair. It is the time to love more and love harder. You be holy. We cannot control the trajectory of things, but we can allow God to work inside us for the sake of his body, the church. Everything could get taken away, including the Eucharist, which is why we need to be a Eucharistic people; a people of thanksgiving who trust God and his promises, even when we stand at a cross. He doesn’t just want to forgive us, he wants to glorify us, trust in that.

About veilofveronica

I am a mother and wife as well as an RCIA and Adult Faith Formation catechist at a parish in the south. I have 3 children and a great husband.
This entry was posted in Catholic and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Who will Save the Church?

  1. tunaonfriday says:

    It’s so good that you share your cross with some detail, that makes it real for the reader. Especially those who are having a hard time and are alone.

  2. Father Ed says:

    Go to a Byzantine Mass

  3. Finnian-John says:

    I really like the way that this article is written, although I could not possibly agree with the idea of a “better” mass. A mass is a mass, each one of which I am eternally grateful. I like, in particular, how your last paragraph reads. While it is true that not all priests exhibit “holiness” the way they say the mass, it does not diminish the True Presence at all. Sometime after St Francis of Assisi had lost his sight he was informed about a priest that was actively living the life of adultery, and he asked his brothers to bring him to that priest’s residence. As the priest came to the door, St Francis reached out and took hold of his hands and kissed them, saying: “these are the hands that bring me Jesus”, leaving behind for all an example of how we should all view our priests. It’s not about the priest, nor about the liturgy. It’s about the Eucharist! It’s up to US to be holy, as you said. It’s up to US to prepare ourselves properly to receive the Eucharist (including frequent confession if necessary). Personally, I try to arrive at mass at least 45 minutes to an hour before it even begins to prepare my heart for what is about to take place. While I would agree that it is somewhat easier to concentrate at a traditional mass, having less distractions with which to deal, I have found that it is NOT impossible to have a “rich” experience at a Novus Ordo mass…but only if I am willing to do MY part! Like anything else, we can view the changes as negative or positive. Perhaps God “doesn’t just want to forgive us, he wants to glorify us, trust in that” as you said so eloquently!
    God bless!
    John

    • While I agree that you can have a rich experience at a Novus Ordo, and I have had plenty – and it’s the Mass that I have known – the reason I call the Latin Mass “better” is because of the fruit I have seen, it actually teaches reverence so you know something holy is there. I think Shia Lebouf recently said he didn’t feel like the Latin Mass was trying to sell him something. Additionally, the prayers – when you read the prayers from the Latin Mass – I actually weep that they were removed. There’s a stark difference.
      If the Eucharist is the diamond- the diamond can certainly be placed in a better setting, one that shows it’s worth, or one that does nothing to accentuate it. And the issue comes in where we now have a generation that doesn’t even recognize the real presence, that is the fruit of irreverence. When you can’t recognize what’s holy (again, not every NO is like this) then you dismiss the real presence.
      Here’s a good article that captures what I am trying to say;

      https://fatherofthefamily.blogspot.com/2022/08/not-clown-masses-nor-golden-unicorns.html?m=1

      In addition, Latin Mass parishes are usually thriving. Not sure why we would want to stop that. I do understand the “rigidity” that is sometimes spoken of, but by enlarge that has not at all been my experience.

      • Finnian-John says:

        Luke 23:13-14 comes to mind. Reality is that not many will “strive” to enter by the narrow gate. It’s not easy by any means. We all need a “light” to illumine the path that leads to the narrow gate. Allowing Jesus to live brightly within us provides that light for others, but it is not easy, as I said. It hurts deeply to see so many who are seemingly lost and to be so powerless over their destiny, but we must remind ourselves that we are not their savior. Our God is a God of attraction, not promotion. When (if) people “see” God in us and want what we have, they will then go to any length to attain Him. No matter how we attain that relationship with Him, we must remind ourselves that we cannot keep it unless we give it away!
        https://catholicexchange.com/pray-hope-and-just-do-it/?mc_cid=3187098501&mc_eid=f6ff5a0e4b

  4. Tom Kuipers says:

    Excellent reflection, Susan. It’s profound how you tied the watering down of the language at Mass to how our language has digressed along with it. As the Church goes, so goes the world. Of course we know who is behind all of this, Paul Harvey called it out 57 years ago: https://www.youtube.com/embed/S9NoQHgjM_0

  5. Greg says:

    Great article! I like the Latin Mass except for the Latin. LOL It’s all about the reverence for me. You feel like you’re participating is something supernatural, (which you are) not just a gathering of people. The best Mass I ever attended was a “Latin Mass” in English. It was the best of both worlds! They did everything “ad orientem”, like in a “Latin Mass”, but the prayers were in English, with lots of incense, a communion rail that was used for communion, beautiful, traditional music, etc. The Church should go after parishes that do not follow the rubics, to the point of being heretical, instead of harassing devout, loyal Catholics who prefer a different style of worship. I was once asked by a priest-friend, “Have you ever seen any vocations come from a “liberal” parish?” Hmmm… “You can judge a tree by its fruit.”

    • Lol about the Latin. I find it something to immerse in. I think a Novus Ordo done reverently (like what you described) and like what’s done at the Shrine in Hanceville, Alabama are beautiful. It’s still missing a chunk of the prayers the Latin Mass has when you put them side by side. I don’t know why that would have been stripped out.
      I do like being able to understand the language. But I also love Latin. It’s anointed because it hung on the cross of Christ.
      Incidentally I have seen vocations come out of some Novus Ordo parishes – most notably St James in Medjugorje. Though I would abide by whatever the church rules on the place, the Priests who attribute their call to the Priesthood from there are plenty. They celebrate the new Mass and vocation calls have come out of that place in the hundreds. Perhaps that’s just because of the honor of the Mother of God.

  6. Derk Burrus says:

    So well said. So perfectly said. Thank you

  7. mkg2428 says:

    For more on the distinctions between the Novus Ordo and the Traditional Latin Mass, as well as the history behind the changes, watch videos here: https://latinmass.com/watch.

    For more on how the restrictions on the TLM have affected the faithful, go here: https://preservethelatinmass.org/

  8. Rob says:

    We need to look at where the Latin Mass came from. I have read that it came from church leaders wanting to communicate with the roman authorities because it was the lawyer language of the time.
    I was not raised to understand latin therefore when a latin Mass is said I understand nothing, thus this has the same consequence to people like me. If the church wants to evangelize people how will a latin Mass do that if they can’t understand what’s being said?
    I look at this from the Gospel reading of when the Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles in the room and they went out into the town and everyone understood them in their native language, not everyone was made to understand latin or greek or arabic etc. This is the only place that I read in the Bible where the issue of language is addressed.
    Thus I like Mass said in the language that I understand so I can participate more fully. I love the older Mass styles though as they were carried out before Vatican 2, i.e. Communion on the tongue kneeling from a Priest.

    • I appreciate your comments and do understand wanting to understand. I have noticed a progression in people in the Spiritual Life – for those that stick with daily mental prayer and go deep – they progress towards the Latin Mass. This has just been my experience- as I deal mostly with converts. For me personally I love Mass – but Latin Mass years ago wouldn’t have been something I wanted, now I crave it. It’s rest. I don’t need to understand it. I am resting in the Lord when I attend. The activity of the new Mass often makes me feel more like Martha and less like Mary – who chose the better part. But they’re both Saints so Saints can be made by God anywhere.
      As for evangelization- God can and will evangelize through all our meager means. The church evangelized for years prior to 1950 all with the Latin Mass….missionaries went to new lands and that was the Mass they said.
      Evangelization comes through how we love in the world. How we love is strengthened by the Sacraments and the real grace the confer.
      I really do appreciate your comments and I totally get it. God Bless you.

  9. jlynnbyrd says:

    Thank you for sharing the wisdom of your knowledge and experiences in such a heartfelt way, Susan. 💞

  10. Betty Zinke says:

    Excellent, wonderful post, Susan.

    I am happy for those who love and prefer the Novus Ordo Mass as it is readily available. Although I could walk to my neighborhood parish, I prefer to attend Latin Mass which entails taking the freeway in an old, 2004, vehicle and praying that I make it safely to and fro. I am thankful that I can still attend the Traditional Latin Rite of the Mass. My parish, Saint Anne, which is staffed by the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP) has thus far been spared the axe. My heart and prayers go out to those who attended Latin Masses that have been shut down or curtailed.

    I love everything about the Latin Mass, especially the reverence towards the Blessed Sacrament. When I drive to Mass my heart is joyful that I am going to visit and receive my Eucharistic Lord. And if I need to first receive the Sacrament of Confession, it is readily available. Jesus forgiving, Jesus giving. It is always about Jesus, not the preferences or personality of the priest or the participants. Love it!

    We are called to love, to be love. May all of us who are practicing the Faith and attending Mass, whether it be the Novus Ordo Mass or TLM, leave each Mass with the Love and Peace of Christ. And, by our thoughts, words, and actions, may we bring these spiritual blessings to all we encounter or ponder.

    Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum (The peace of the Lord be always with you.)

  11. Sally says:

    My problem is I get the distinct spiritual impression at Mass that God is not pleased with the atmosphere at the “New Mass”. It doesn’t matter if we think it’s good enough, the Church should be concerned with what God desires. It’s become too concerned with pleasing men. It shows. It seems the true purpose of the Holy Sacrifice has been lost and therefore has caused confusion, lukewarmness, doubt, anger, frustration and all manner of division in the Body. I have to agree that it is one hour of non stop noise and busyness and it leaves no room for contemplation. We’re always told now to listen to God’s voice. I would love to at Mass but it’s become nearly impossible. He is still there, yes, thank God for His faithful love! but it’s like trying to beat through a noisy crowd to reach Him.

    • I have had that experience too. Never was it more apparent than just after my dad’s death. I just wanted to pray and sit with God but the talking in the sanctuary and the loud music made it impossible. I cried for not being able to commune with God in my sorrow.
      I don’t begrudge people wanting to talk and socialize I just don’t think it should be in the sanctuary.

      • Sally says:

        Exactly. Same here when my mom was sick and I was returning to the Church. I would cry! Alot! I just think everyone has lost sight of the purpose of the Mass. If they knew, or were reminded of what the Catholic Mass truly is, they would humble themselves and act accordingly. I feel bad for people that truly want to draw close to the Lord, be silent, seek His face, receive guidance, anything and are surrounded by numerous people laughing, and talking in their outside voices about the news and the parish festival or their surgery. It’s really just selfishness. There is a litany we pray that has this invocation:
        “From the selfishness that is theft, deliver us O Lord”
        Alot to ponder in that.
        Hope you, your family, and your mom are all experiencing the love and grace of our Lord.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.