"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

50 Years Ago Today ...



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.
Here’s an insider account I provide in the book that makes the point.
“Over Christmas 2013, a veteran Latin American cardinal who has known Bergoglio for decades made an appointment to see his old friend in the Santa Marta, the hotel on Vatican grounds where the pope has chosen to reside. (He lives in Room 201, a slightly larger room than the one he stayed in during the conclave that elected him, giving the pontiff enough space to receive guests comfortably).
“The cardinal, who didn’t wish to be named, said he looked at Francis and, referring to the exuberance and spontaneity that are now hallmarks of his public image, said to him point-blank: ‘You are not the same man I knew in Buenos Aires. What’s happened to you’?
“According to the cardinal, this was Francis’ answer:
“ ‘On the night of my election, I had an experience of the closeness of God that gave me a great sense of interior freedom and peace,’ the cardinal quoted the pope as saying, ‘and that sense has never left me.’ ” - Crux

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.[137] 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[138] 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,[139] 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.[140] - 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.


What?

3 comments:

  1. "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."

    This attitude towards Papa Francis,
    It does get old.
    It stiffens the joy and love and freedom of the Holy Spirit.
    It does not build up but tears down.
    When I reflect on such attitudes, who can live it?
    Who can share Jesus with others if one is bitter or always angry with our Holy Father?
    I do not what drives these folks but they are hurting the Church, the bride of Christ.
    Same goes for the Left (labels are so old news).
    I reflected on my own attitude and pray to be open and welcoming.
    I hope for and pray for the faith of both Papa Francis and Papa Emerito.
    I admired and pray to love and trust and follow Jesus and Mary like St. JPII did.

    Let's keep praying for those who cannot see the light of our current Holy Father...it radiates joy.

    Thank you for this, Terry.

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  2. It is interesting how so many "traditionalists" interpret everything the Pope says and does as a slam against them, when in truth, he is not even thinking of them. The headline, "Francis commemorates Paul VI Mass, slams 'inauthentic' ancient rite - compares event to driving out the money changers in the temple." was completely misleading and inaccurate. But that is what I expect of that website.

    I quote Sister Lucia from Fatima: "He that is not with the Pope is not with God, and he that wants to be with God, has to be with the Pope."

    Where does that leave those who are constantly condemning the Pope's words and actions?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like the quote from Sr. Lucia and totally agree with it. For me the greatest sign of going off track is rejecting the Holy Father.

      Delete


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