Saturday, August 4, 2018


Blessed Pope Paul said this in 1969 and I know full well why he did as I remember this period of time in the Church quite well. This is why I cut Pope Paul  VI so much slack because he really didn't anticipate what Vatican II's spirit would bring and the smoke of Satan seeping into the edifice of the Church. I am sure he thought all Catholics would receive Vatican II and subsequent reforms as docile and politely as possible and not go beyond what was promulgated. His Holiness had a rude awakening on this account and became what I called then, the pope of laments. He lamented this, that and the other. He became very dour, depressed and conflicted. In his later papacy he was a sad figure of a man.

My comment first on the paragraph below: By this point parish priests following trendy theologians were telling us poor laity that popular devotions inside or outside of Mass should go away. The cult of the saints should go away. The Holy Rosary was archaic and repetitious. The Mass is communal, friendly and other oriented towards each other and not a private experience of God, Jesus and me and so on and so on!)

The liturgy has a primacy and fullness, an effectiveness of itself, that we should recognize and promote. But the liturgy, by its nature public and official in the Church, should not come to replace or impoverish personal spirituality The liturgy is not ritual alone; it is mystery and by that fact calls for all who share in it to be consciously, fervently wrapped up in it. The liturgy demands faith, hope, charity, and so many other virtues and sentiments, acts and conditions – like humility, repentance, pardoning offenses, intention, attention, inward and vocal expression – disposing the believer for immersion into the divine reality that liturgical celebration makes present and active. Personal religion, because it is within the reach of everyone, is the indispensable condition for a genuine and aware liturgical participation. But that is not all: personal religion is also the result, the consequence of such participation, which is meant precisely to sanctify souls and to strengthen in them the sense of union with God, with Christ, with the Church, with all humanity.
(Address to a general audience at Castelgandolfo, August 13, 1969.)


TJM said...

The spirit of Vatican II brought us the cheap and ersatz and hence the emptying of the churches

Victor said...

Maybe the translation is stressed, but I am having a problem understanding what Paul VI is saying, as it seems to be a circular argument:
"Personal the indispensable condition for a genuine and aware liturgical participation... personal religion is also the result, the consequence of such participation." How can personal religion be both condition for and result of genuine liturgical participation, as if it were both the cause and the effect?

In any case, you are correct, Fr McD, in raising the issue of a private experience of God. That is what the Old Mass was about, had been since at least the 9th century. This individual union with God in the liturgy was in a public locus where the Sacrifice was enacted officially. The idea of community has little bearing on this, which is why the Liturgical Movement did its best to eradicate private experience so as to exclusively bring about community experience. No wonder people became alienated with the New Mass.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Victor, I agree with you. And most pre-Vatican II priests appreciated the private Masses they could celebrate without a congregation which made stronger their personal relationship with God.

My own experience prior to the changes and now that I celebrate the EF Mass is that we all develop this strong bond individually with God during the Mass but in a collective way but without making the collective or communal into a sort of false god.

TJM said...

Father McDonald,

Nicely said.

ByzRC said...

Agree with TJM. I wish more priests shared Fr. AJM's mindset on this topic.