Time flies

I've not been able to log onto Blogger for a few days now-- and much has happened in the interim!

Two documents from the CDF were released and 7/7/07 became a day that will live in infamy, the day the greatly anticipated Motu Proprio was finally issued. You'll notice at the top of the document, it is called an "Apostolic Letter...given motu proprio". Going back to an earlier post, you may recall that an M.P. is a directive letter, issued by the Pope to give particular instructions that are to be followed. What's beautiful about Benedict's directive is the explanation he provides along with the imperatives.

Benedict is responding pastorally to a sticky situation. He presents the Paul VI Missal as a product of maturity, an aspect of liturgical development that became apparent to my family when we had occasion to attend an SSPX wedding mass. There were necessary ministrations from the Holy Spirit that brought the Council Fathers to refashion how people in the pews experienced the Sacrament of Salvation. The transition from the Tridentine Mass to the 1962 expression was a vital part of that maturing process because it paved the way for the Novus Ordo.

The first article makes clear that the Holy Father is neither abolishing nor upholding the 1962 Missal. "The Roman Missal promulgated by Paul VI is the ordinary expression of the Lex orandi (Law of prayer) of the Catholic Church of the Latin rite. Nonetheless, the Roman Missal promulgated by St. Pius V and reissued by Blessed John XXIII is to be considered as an extraordinary expression of that same Lex orandi, and must be given due honor for its venerable and ancient usage." There are some people who have not let go, and they should not be forced to abandon such a priceless treasure as the Mass of John XXIII.

I have participated actively in the 1962 Mass and its rich transportation to the beatific vision. It is truly a jewel in the crown of Christ the King and should be given its due honor, as the Pope decrees. One does not toss away the Crown Jewels, after all-- should the Vatican be so foolish? I have also participated actively in the Novus Ordo; when done reverently and well, the 1970 Missal can bring one to communion with the Real Presence, especially if one has grown up in an ecclesial community separated from the Church. Paul VI had a truly evangelical motive in making liturgy more accessible; our beloved Pontiff continues to heed such wisdom in preserving both aspects of the lex orandi intact for generations to come. Perhaps, if we can actively participate in both forms equally well, we will truly fill both lungs of the Church with vigorous and Holy Breath and draw all Christians to the altar of the Lamb!

We are now capable of making two appeals simultaneously: for those for whom Christ was a simple carpenter from Nazareth, they can be drawn to Holy Mass and meet Christ, the meek and humble Shepherd; and for those for whom Christ was a Majestic Prince, they can be drwan to Holy Mass and meet Christ, before whom every knee shall bend. It is one and the same Holy Mass!

This is one of those classic Both/And moments in Catholicism. You know..."both God and Man", "both bread and flesh", "both transcendent and imminent". This is not a moment for choosing sides. It's time to choose Christ.

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