Letter to Mary K. Lastima, the grand finale.
It must seem a little far fetched to you, that somehow the banality with which the liturgy is celebrated by many officiants, the prevalence of abortion and the worship of demonic spirits are somehow all tied together. Perhaps I should throw in space aliens and Bigfoot while I am at it.
I say the Mass of St. Pius V (more commonly called the Tridentine Mass) regularly. I more often say the Mass of the Venerable Paul VI (commonly called the Ordinary form of the Novus Ordo. I am not opposed to the Mass of Paul VI. I actually love it. It is the Mass that I have mostly said all of my priesthood. My problems are not with the Novus Ordo, so called, but with the outrageous manipulation of the liturgy for personal or political motives. I think of liturgies with giant paper mache heads, old women dancing in flowing skirts and fat men dancing about in tight white pants, or I think of para-liturgies that feature angels roller skating to circus music. I’m not making this up. You can look this stuff up at the following sites.
And in the next one, the men are not as fat, but they are still wearing white. Why do large liturgical men favor white when black is so slimming?
I love the Mass of Paul VI. I remember once reading that the liturgy of the Latin rite is characterized by its simplicity and dignity. One is reminded of that old song, “Look What They’ve Done to My Song, Ma.” Paper Mache dancing heads and fat guys in white pants? Dignity? Simplicity?
Still, I maintain that the simplified Mass of Paul VI offered the way intended is very beautiful. The way we priests have mangled it has lowered our standard of the sacred, with horrifying consequences. The Mass as said in many parishes is a venue for rebellion, not for worship. “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as idolatry.” (1Sam. 15:23) I am regularly asked why a priest changes the Mass, or uses his own words or leaves part out while he puts in things that aren’t supposed to be there. It is simple. He is a rebel and “rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as idolatry.” Three thousand years ago the prophet Samuel saw a connection between the abuse of liturgy and the demonic. Look it up: First Book of Samuel the 15th chapter. Saul offered sacrifice which was forbidden to him and for this he lost the crown and his life, as well as the life of his son, Jonathan.
Have you ever read the Book of Wisdom, also called the Wisdom of Solomon? It’s one of those extra Catholic books. You would have read, “…through the envy of the devil came death into the world.” For what, you may ask, is the devil envious of us? He is immortal; he is immeasurably smarter and more powerful than we. This, too, is simple: Angels don’t reproduce, and the devils, who are fallen angels, can only steal our children. God shared something with us that He didn’t share with the angels. We can create something immortal.
God creates the soul, but a man and a woman in their coming together create the body, which is immortal, if Christ’s promise of resurrection is true. Humanity in its art and in its children shares the creativity of God in a way that angels cannot. Therefore, the devil hates art and beauty, for which the Catholic Mass and Catholic churches were the principle venue for a thousand years. The devil has convinced us to swap the amazing music and architecture of Catholicism for ugly buildings and banal music. The simplicity dignity and beauty of the Latin rite, both in the new mass and the old, gives way to the spectacle of the circus. But more than art, the devil hates children. They remind him that “God so loved the world.” In his diabolical envy, he has contrived to create sterile art and sterile marriages. Abortion, artificial birth control, rampant divorce, same sex marriage, on-line and off line pornography. They are the utensils with which the devil devours children and we feed them to him as surely as our forbears threw their children into the fires of the demon-god Moloch, all for the sake of our well being and prosperity.
Why do I lump divorce in with all those other more clearly anti-reproductive activities? Simple: Children need stable homes in which to flourish. Even faithful marriages between men and women who cannot themselves have children strengthen the dignity and reverence in which marriage and the home are held. If the sacredness of the bond between a man and a woman can be cheapened, then children may be born, but in their hearts they usually can’t flourish.
The Latin word sacrament means an oath to the death. We have reduced it to a show, a kind of entertainment, and shamefully this is not just done at the new Mass, but I have seen Tridentine Masses where it is all about the show. The degradation of one sacrament, the breaking of one solemn oath hardens our hearts. We receive the Body and Blood or the Lord without reverence, without “discerning the body” as St. Paul says, and we likewise have no trouble breaking the oath that gives life in the flesh after we have cheapened the oath which gives us life in the spirit. I cannot fathom how a person can think that the pleasures of what is most certainly an aberrant, use of our bodies, even if it is pleasurable to some, can be compared to the sacred, life-giving secret shared by a husband and wife.
I said earlier, the devil hates good art and the devil hates children, He has tried to teach us that sexual desirability is the ultimate beauty. We go to the gym, the diet clinic and the plastic surgeon to keep ourselves physically desirable. All the while we remain morally and spiritually weak and deformed. We are cheap paintings in expensive frames. We are fifty dollar haircuts on seventy five cent heads. When we mistake the paint, the hair dye and the varnish for beauty, we are fools. True beauty lifts us to God. False beauty fixes our eyes only on our desires. True beauty makes us better. False beauty makes us less. False beauty ties us up in our own needs and fantasies. It fixes our gaze on the filth beneath our feet, not on the stars over our heads.
How can what the modern world calls love ever be compared with that love that brings new life? The disordered desires of the modern marriage movement bring nothing but passing pleasures that are soon devoured by boredom and regret. I know three things that are beautiful: a simple Mass, an old couple and a newborn baby.
A simple Mass simply said, lifts the heart and mind to God. A simple Mass doesn’t entertain. It brings heaven down to earth and earth to heaven in the flesh and blood of the Savior made present on the altar.
The charm of a young couple in love cannot be compared to the beauty of an old man and woman, who after a life of faithfulness walk hand in hand with each other and call each other by names like “sweetheart,” or “Mama” and “Papa”.
And more beautiful still is that ultimate work of art, fashioned by the Maker of all things in a woman’s sacred womb: a child. Is there anything more wonderful than that little bundle of hope that reminds us of God’s great love? We have trashed the churches and murdered the children, all in the name of progress, freedom and tolerance.
We have lost our minds.
The Rev. Know-it-all