Friday, May 11, 2012
IT IS A MATTER OF INNER HEALING IN THE HEART OF THE CHURCH!
The Letter of Pope Benedict XVI (with two paragraphs presented below) was issued 7 July 2007 together with his Apostolic Letter "Summorum Pontificum" on the celebration of the Roman Rite according to the Missal of 1962.
"We all know that, in the movement led by Archbishop Lefebvre, fidelity to the old Missal became an external mark of identity; the reasons for the break which arose over this, however, were at a deeper level. Many people who clearly accepted the binding character of the Second Vatican Council, and were faithful to the Pope and the Bishops, nonetheless also desired to recover the form of the sacred liturgy that was dear to them. This occurred above all because in many places celebrations were not faithful to the prescriptions of the new Missal, but the latter actually was understood as authorizing or even requiring creativity, which frequently led to deformations of the liturgy which were hard to bear. I am speaking from experience, since I too lived through that period with all its hopes and its confusion. And I have seen how arbitrary deformations of the liturgy caused deep pain to individuals totally rooted in the faith of the Church...
I now come to the positive reason which motivated my decision to issue this Motu Proprio updating that of 1988. It is a matter of coming to an interior reconciliation in the heart of the Church. Looking back over the past, to the divisions which in the course of the centuries have rent the Body of Christ, one continually has the impression that, at critical moments when divisions were coming about, not enough was done by the Church’s leaders to maintain or regain reconciliation and unity. One has the impression that omissions on the part of the Church have had their share of blame for the fact that these divisions were able to harden. This glance at the past imposes an obligation on us today: to make every effort to unable for all those who truly desire unity to remain in that unity or to attain it anew. I think of a sentence in the Second Letter to the Corinthians, where Paul writes: "Our mouth is open to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections. In return … widen your hearts also!" (2 Cor 6:11-13). Paul was certainly speaking in another context, but his exhortation can and must touch us too, precisely on this subject. Let us generously open our hearts and make room for everything that the faith itself allows."
My Comments: My experience of taking a tour of the SSPX community of believers in Roswell, Georgia on Wednesday,at St. Michael Roman Catholic Church, I realized that I was entering a parish Church that was celebrating the Mass and the Church as she was when I was a child and up until the Second Vatican Council affected my parish's liturgy around 1966. This parish in Roswell, with parishioners who live in the modern world, have chosen a form of worship and an ecclesiology of Church that sustained generations of Catholics since the Church came out of the catacombs with the edict of Constantine.
This is the first time I've been in either a SSPX parish or an FSSP parish ever. It was haunting for me! It was a part of me! There is no denying that to be politically or religiously correct any longer. There is continuity there in that church and in my psyche!
Some of the best Catholics I knew in my childhood were formed in the pre-Vatican II liturgy, catechesis and ecclesiology.
But we were told in the 1960's after Vatican II that all that stuff of our ancestors was rubbish and we had a new and improved way of doing things. We didn't know at the time, nor did we believe at the time, that what we were being told in the 1960's was rubbish. We trusted those teachers as we trusted our teachers prior to the Council to tell us the truth. We didn't realize they had fallen victim to the signs of the times, trendiness and modernism.
50 years later, a parish Church in Roswell, Georgia hangs onto pre-Vatican II traditions of liturgy, ecclesiology and catechesis. They are a tiny mustard seed. Along with the picture of Archbishop Marcel Lefevre, they also have pictures of the Archbishop of Atlanta and Pope Benedict XVI.
I think I'd enjoy pastoring a community like this in my old age and I wouldn't feel like I was ministering to those caught in a time warp of the time when the church was nasty and irrelevant, but rather in a parish desiring to know, love and serve Jesus Christ in this life in order to be happy with Him in heaven at the end of this life, which comes sooner or later for everyone (the end of life, that is, heaven we hope).
SINCE CELEBRATING THE EF MASS SINCE SEPTEMBER 14,2007, I THINK I HAVE COME TO AN "INNER RECONCILIATION IN THE HEART OF THE CHURCH."