When Vatican II was being shoved down our throats right after the conclusion of the Council, and yes it was shoved, the way it was done was to denigrate everything Catholics did at Mass and in their pious devotional life.
Out was anything that was “me and Jesus” during Mass or in any kind of traditional popular devotion. If you prayed the Rosary during Mass, you were living in the dark ages and a complete ignoramus as it concerns what the Eucharist is. It is about what we do together, collectively, not anything we do privately. Private relationships with God are out, communal are in and anything that distracts from the communal celebrations must be excoriated.
Thus churches has to be stripped of anything that would lead to any kind of private devotion during Mass, like statues, the tabernacle, candles and the like. Only the people, the altar, the ambo and most certainly the priest must be seen and the focus had to be on all four, especially the priest’s chair.
However, God has pulled off a miracle. He canceled all public and communal celebrations of the Mass and other sacraments with the Covid-19 pandemic. This has occurred worldwide from the Vatican to the smallest mission.
In effect, God has vetoed the communal and forced us into the private aspects of Catholicism that priests and laity my age and older were told was so bad and so pre-Vatican II. Of course, back in 1965, being labeled pre-Vatican II was like the “n” word. It was not a compliment.
Today, in 2021, pre-Vatican II has been redeemed by God. It is not like the “n” word at all, but a complement to orthodox Catholics. How good it that?
But back to pandemic private devotions. What would orthodox Catholics do without their private devotions? They would be like progressive Catholics with nothing to fall back upon. How sad is that?
The pillar of the liturgical movement was active participation of faithful in the liturgy. It did not take long for them to realise that such active participation meant communal active participation, especially since most in that gang were monks who already were exposed to the paradigm of living in community in the first place. We still see this by those "progressives" and their blog sites which are progressing into irrelevance. Indeed, was it not Martin Luther who tried to bring this paradigm into society in general? It may be a noble idea but essentially ignores that it is not the community that is saved, but the individual.
I have always had difficulty in trying to see how an honest personal silent conversation with God during the liturgy is inferior to listening to the endless babble of the priest at the altar supposedly addressed to God in the first place. The latter is a distraction of the former. On this alone, the Novus Ordo as the product of this monstrous liturgical movement cannot sanctify the faithful better than the traditional Latin liturgy.
Sadly I recall, that in the wake of Vatican II, our parish priest mocked Benediction. After that, I stopped listening to what he had to say
I recall a sentence in an article on church architecture that stated that the primary reason for the church was the celebration of Mass. The article stressed that there was no room for private devotions in the church because they have been replaced by other venues. They described the beautiful church as one for the illiterate. The stained glass and statuary was to educate the unedited. To the author that has been replaced by education, the church now was a meeting hall. I don’t agree. I thought COVID would have been a good time for priests to emphasize private devotion, both in and out of the church building. Votive candles should have returned, holy water should have been distributed, and bulletins should have described some of the devotional practices of the past. Those devotions are part of Catholic culture.
There was an assumption in the 1960s that popular devotions were no longer relevant since the vernacular liturgy had become in itself a popular devotion. In other words, people had turned to popular devotions because they could not relate to the Latin liturgy.
However, those who practised such devotions were first and foremost Mass-goers who saw them as an adjunct rather than an alternative to liturgy. Few parishes could put on Vespers, so such things as 'Rosary, Sermon and Benediction' substituted for the liturgy faute de mieux.
For my part, from a very young age I found extra-liturgical practices something of a bore (except for Benediction which had incense and Latin) and the traditional May procession with a girl crowning the statue of the BVM was unbearably soppy. After all, I was a nine or ten year old boy who regularly served at the altar and dialogued with the priest in Latin - something really serious.
Ex ore infantium ...
The result of liberals demoting Christ the King to Jesus the social worker.
I was reading an article today which stated: “....we all know of boys who are squirmy urchins until, donning cassock and surplice, they enter the serried ranks of altar servers and behave like soldiers.....”
From Psalm 8: “.....Out of the mouths of infants you have perfected praise to foil the enemy and the rebel....”
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