Last night we had our normal weekly Wonderful Wednesday parish supper with our social hall being filled to capacity (more came than we expected in other words) followed by our annual celebration of the Most Holy Rosary with Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament:
Many comments afterwards sounded like this: "Father, you can't get anymore Catholic than this" and "thanks Father for giving us our Catholic identity back and sharing it with our children!"
Implicit in these very powerful statements is that many of us were made to feel uncomfortable and embarrassed about loving these sorts of popular devotions and making them integral to our Catholicism. That is so very sad!
Last night we had an almost full church for our annual celebration of the Most Holy Rosary which also included Exposition, adoration and Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament.
We had six torch bearers, crucifer, thurifer, censor, master of ceremonies (2), two deacons and yours truly. Everyone was well choreographed, solemn and reverent.
Our children in the second and ninth grades preparing for First Penance, Holy Communion and Confirmation respectively were in attendance. Five 9th grade girls read the scriptural meditations between the recitation of the mysteries and our combined choirs sang traditional hymns and anthems after each biblical meditation.
It was all very glorious. Incense wafted through the air and all senses were touched in a most delightful, elevating way.
Afterwards I had young parents and older parishioners come up to me to describe how incredibly beautiful these devotions are and the younger ones saying they had never attended anything like this. They've only been to Mass on Sunday (if that!).
Many said that "you can't get any more Catholic than that, Father!"
Implicit in their comment was that horrible phenomenon that we have inherited with those who see a great breach between the Church prior to the Second Vatican Council and the Church after the Second Vatican Council.
This "breachers" made rank and file Catholics feel embarrassed about their strong pre-Vatican II Catholic identity with all its accoutrements, including Latin, habits, popular devotions such as rosaries, novenas and exposition, adoration and Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament. Almost overnight these were tossed out in the middle 1960's and ridiculed as immature and unworthy of post-Vatican II Catholicism with its emphasis on worldly things, ecumenism and a modern, fresh look devoid of the excesses of a by-gone era that formed only so-called immature Catholics who needed these sorts of crutches.
One wonders if the Church wasn't infiltrated with non-Catholics or former Catholics who lost their Catholic faith who took great delight in the dismantling and deconstruction of the Church and her traditions with both a little "t" and big "T" in order to turn it into something else altogether different that would appeal to a broader coalition of people and make life on earth more enjoyable since for many of these non-believers life on earth is it. Who knows. I shouldn't be too judgmental about these groovy reformers who "knew not what they were doing" or did they?