After 1960 ...
I just realized that there have been many anniversaries commemorating events which took place 50 years ago.
I posted on the arrival of the Trappistines in Iowa here.
Today I'm reading about Pope Francis commemorating the first 'novus ordo' Mass by Pope Paul VI - for whom the reformed Missal is named. Is that the right way to say that?
So anyway - Pope Francis is in trouble once again because of it. Certain Catholics interpret everything he says in the most negative, anti-traditionalist way possible. What to say? Their mind is made up against him, their 'teeth are on edge' whenever he speaks, their heart is hardened against him. They believe everything he says is some kind of dig against them and the Tradition of the Church.
Many things the Holy Father says echo what all of his predecessors have said - including Benedict. Aside from Benedict XVI - who is still alive - and John Paul I, two of his closest predecessors are saints, one is beatified. Even in that they seem to suspect a conspiracy. I'm not sure it can be said that they're 'thinking with the Church'.
That said, I love what John Allen wrote about the Pope recently:
Francis believes he experienced a miracle.
Who am I to ...
I have the same sense about the Holy Father. In such a short span of time he has stirred up the Church. Sometimes it seems to me it really is a new Pentecost. Whatever I read for lectio and other spiritual reading, I link to so much of what Francis says in his homilies and addresses. When Francis says something, I'm often reminded of this or that which Pope Benedict said or wrote as well.
One recent headline on a news portal stated: "Francis commemorates Paul VI Mass, slams 'inauthentic' ancient rite - compares event to driving out the money changers in the temple." That was so misleading. He didn't 'slam' the ancient rite, nor did he say or do anything comparing traditionalists to money changers in the temple. He spoke about true, authentic worship in spirit and truth - just as Our Lord did to the Samaritan woman at the 'periphery' where they met.
Elsewhere, the Pope was criticized when he said: "the rich man in Jesus' story was likely not an evil man, but "the eyes of his soul were certainly tinted so as not to see. Maybe he was a religious man, in his own way," Francis said. "Maybe he prayed and a couple times a year he surely went up to the temple to offer sacrifices and he gave big donations to the priests, who in their clerical cowardice would thank him and give him a seat of honor."
Traditionalists hear such homilies as another criticism against them - yet 400 years ago, St. John of the Cross wrote very similar things about those who donate and embellish churches, pointing out seven kinds of harm which can result from joy of the will in 'moral goods'. It seems to me the Pope's consistent catechesis is often evocative of what the Saint has counselled. For instance:
The fourth evil follows from this. It is that they will have no reward from God, since they have desired in this life to have joy or consolation or honour or some other kind of interest as a result of their good works: of such the Saviour says that herein they have received their reward. And thus they have had naught but the labour of their work and are confounded, and receive no reward. There is so much misery among the sons of men which has to do with this evil that I myself believe that the greater number of good works which they perform in public are either vicious or will be of no value to them, or are imperfect in the sight of God, because they are not detached from these human intentions and interests. For what other judgment can be formed of some of the actions which certain men perform, and of the memorials which they set up, when they will not perform these actions at all unless they are surrounded by human respect and honour, which are the vanity of life, or unless they can perpetuate in these memorials their name, lineage or authority, even setting up their emblems and escutcheons in the very churches, as if they wished to set themselves, in the stead of images, in places where all bend the knee? In these good works which some men perform, may it not be said that they are worshipping themselves more than God? This is certainly true if they perform them for the reason described and otherwise would not perform them at all. But leaving aside these, which are the worst cases, how many are there who fall into these evils in their good works in many ways? Some wish to be praised, others to be thanked, others enumerate their good works and desire that this person and that shall know of them, and indeed the whole world; and sometimes they wish an intermediary to present their alms, or to perform other of their charitable deeds, so that more may be known of them; and some desire all these things. This is the sounding of the trumpet, which, says the Saviour in the Gospel, vain men do, for which reason they shall have no reward for their works from God. - Ascent, Bk. III, Ch. 28:5
So. Was St. John accusing or insulting his readers? No. He was instructing them on the Gospel, calling them to true worship, in spirit and truth. I have yet to hear the Holy Father holding up one form of Mass against another.
Just a thought. Have a nice day.