July 18, 2004
vol 15, no. 160

More of Not So Ordinary Time:
    Sorting the Everlasting Fruits from the Rotten Ones

      A Comparison of the Propers of the Traditional Latin Mass and the Novus Ordo

    by Kevin M. Tierney


      Editor's Note: This series on the Propers of the Mass features the apologetics of Kevin M. Tierney in this special feature simply called "Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi" which, of course, translated means roughly how one prays is how one believes. As you can see the differences between the two are as clear as black and white. One, the Latin Mass is full and reverent, the Novus Ordo sterile and bland. It needs innovation and novelty to spice things up. The Latin Mass merely depends on the Divine. This series compares the Propers of the synthetic Novus Ordo with the absolute Propers of the Traditional Latin Mass to show all that the NOM comes up far, far inferior, if not worse. Many might place the blame on the venom of the vernacular, but we all know what vipers injected this poison. It must be sucked out and spit out forever. Hopefully this series will give readers motivation to expedite that process in the counter-revolution dedicated to taking back the Mystical Body of Christ for Christ! He focuses today on the powerful lesson of the Seventh Sunday After Pentecost versus the milquetoast 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Editor's Note: For the Traditional SUNDAY MASS with the Latin included, see "Omnes gentes"

    Traditional Proper compared to
    the Novus Ordo

    Today's Gospel in the Traditional Mass gives one of the strongest teachings of Jesus, "By your fruits you shall know them." There are those who claimed the Novus Ordo was required for the faithful to better "understand and participate" in the liturgy. (As if all those before the New Mass were ignorant dolts who slept during Mass!) They will go into long defenses of the Novus Ordo to attempt to avoid the painfully obvious, the fruits of the Novus Ordo are not positive. As even Cardinal Ratzinger has had to lament, in many of today's churches, since there is no tabernacle at the altar (I mean table), and because the New Liturgy is obsessed with what man does and not what God does (where Tradition has always focused on both what man does responding to God's grace, and what God does) many end up running the risk of worshipping themselves.

    Could anyone with a straight face say this was a problem in the Rite of Tradition? For those who actually go to Mass and don't worship themselves, there is rank confusion. Basic Catholic morality is optional. Many reasoned that since Paul VI changed something as timeless as the Mass, why can't Catholic morality change? (Indeed Father Ignacio Barreiro who runs the Rome Branch of Human Life International has stated the exact same thing, and he is by no means a "Radical Traditionalist." The Fruits of the Novus Ordo are clear: barren Churches, doctrinally suspect translations and prayers, confused morality amongst the faithful, one could go on. While one would be foolish to attribute this entirely to the Novus Ordo, one is an even bigger fool for saying the Novus Ordo had nothing to do with it. A simple look at the "fruits" of her Propers readily demonstrates this.

    As is the custom in this series, The Traditional Mass will be marked by TM and be in blue type , the Novus Ordo Missae by NOM and in maroon type, as in marooned by synthetic novelty). Let us start with the collects.

    O God, Whose providence in the ordering of all things never fails; we humbly beseech Thee to put away from us all harmful things, and to give us those things which are profitable for us. Through Our Lordů... (TM, Collect)

    Lord, be merciful to your people. Fill us with your gifts and make us always eager to serve you in faith, hope, and love. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (NOM, Collect)

    There is a subtle difference, yet something that I think we need to focus on. The Traditional Mass asks that once again, God actively participate in the lives of the faithful, through His providence, preventing us from falling into harmful things. The Novus Ordo focuses on the positive end of this coin, using His Gifts to serve Him. This is another instance of something that we haven't covered as much of lately, the return to abhorring negative theology in the Novus Ordo. To recap, negative theology is anything that places man in a disadvantageous situation before God. We see this because in the Novus Ordo, man no longer beseeches God in humility, but just asks like you would ask anyone else. There were those in the days of the Old Covenant (and even still some very right-wing Jews today) who will not even say the name of God, because He is so holy. Yet today, the Novus Ordo just casually asks God everything, since us modern men certainly have no need for humility anymore! This negative theology continues in the Epistle of Tradition, showing once again the harmony inherent in the Traditional mass, versus the incoherency of a synthetic rite created by Commission.

    I speak a human thing, because of the infirmity of your flesh. For as you have yielded your members to serve uncleanness and iniquity, unto iniquity; so now yield your members to serve justice, unto sanctification. For when you were the servants of sin, you were free men to justice. What fruit therefore had you then in those things, of which you are now ashamed? For the end of them is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, you have your fruit unto sanctification, and the end life everlasting. For the wages of sin is death. But the grace of God, life everlasting, in Christ Jesus our Lord. (TM, Epistle, Romans 6:19-23)

    The LORD appeared to Abraham by the terebinth of Mamre, as he sat in the entrance of his tent, while the day was growing hot. Looking up, Abraham saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to greet them; and bowing to the ground, he said: "Sir, if I may ask you this favor, please do not go on past your servant. Let some water be brought, that you may bathe your feet, and then rest yourselves under the tree. Now that you have come this close to your servant, let me bring you a little food, that you may refresh yourselves; and afterward you may go on your way." The men replied, "Very well, do as you have said." Abraham hastened into the tent and told Sarah, "Quick, three measures of fine flour! Knead it and make rolls." He ran to the herd, picked out a tender, choice steer, and gave it to a servant, who quickly prepared it. Then Abraham got some curds and milk, as well as the steer that had been prepared, and set these before the three men; and he waited on them under the tree while they ate. They asked Abraham, "Where is your wife Sarah?" He replied, "There in the tent." One of them said, "I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah will then have a son." (Genesis 18:1-10a)

    Brothers and sisters: Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church, of which I am a minister in accordance with God's stewardship given to me to bring to completion for you the word of God, the mystery hidden from ages and from generations past. But now it has been manifested to his holy ones, to whom God chose to make known the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; it is Christ in you, the hope for glory. It is he whom we proclaim, admonishing everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. (Colossians 1:24-28, NOM Readings)

    We must first start by wondering why part of Genesis is left out; the last part of verse 10 which mentions Sarah overheard all this conversation. While one cannot readily figure out why and perhaps it was an "omission without a purpose" at what liberties do we crop off God's word like this? What's the point? Furthermore, where is the real connection between the first reading and the opening prayer? While there is a loose connection between the Second Reading and the Opening Prayer, can we say the same about the connection between the First and Second Reading? There is none. As Msgr. Klaus Gamber pointed out, some of these readings were fine in themselves, but the Rite of Tradition had specific verses of Scripture placed at certain days for Mass, because of the significance they had. Notice how also in the Traditional Rite, St. Paul not only focuses on the bad (how we served iniquity beforehand) but also on the good (how we are now to serve God unto sanctification, trusting in God's grace for life everlasting.) This is yet another example one can bring to rebut the absurd idea that the Traditional Mass treated baptized Christians as unregenerate it focused on sin so much, but rather, it demonstrated the plain reality of sin in the Christian's life, to avoid it, and to serve God.

    While we are at this point, I'd like to make a comparison of the Gradual for the Traditional Mass, and the "Gospel Verse" of the Novus Ordo. The Rite of Tradition again connects in with the entire liturgy, whereas the Novus Ordo is quite incoherent at this point.

    Come Children, hearken to me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Come ye to Him and be enlightened; and your faces shall not be confounded. Alleluia, alleluia. O clap your hands, all ye nations; shout unto God with the voice of joy. Alleluia. (TM, Gradual Psalm 33:12, 6)

    Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart and yield a harvest through perseverance. (NOM Gospel Verse, Luke 8:15)

    The first time I ever read Sacred Scripture(at least the first time I remember, as I had read it earlier as a child, but the first instance from memory I can clearly recall) was in the book of Proverbs, where the stage is set by stating "the Fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom." If there is one thing today's Church no longer has, it is Fear of the Lord. Not a terror of Him, as God does not want to be viewed as something to be terrified of, but a fear that produces a reverence before God, an acknowledgment of His supreme dominion over all. Fear of the Lord understands that since we are sinners, we are not in a position to be proud of ourselves. Even with Christ's death at Calvary, the ultimate sacrifice which appeases God's wrath, our journey is not over, and we must still be humble. Yet since we no longer beseech God, we no longer in the Preface join our voices with lowly praise(since we are distinct from the angels in their praise of God, though we do join them) it is almost as if that since Man is God's greatest creation, we sometimes forget that indeed it is He Who created us. The Psalmist calls upon us to remember that fact, and tells us we will not be disappointed in doing so. This is the message modern man needs to hear the most. While speaking of the positive is nice, we need to bring a balanced meal ticket to the world, that the life of the Christian will not be some smooth journey, but if we remember Fear of the Lord, we shall not be confounded. While the Novus Ordo tells us to keep God's word, it mentions nothing of fearing God, which is essential to keeping and obeying His word.

    Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit; neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them. Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven. (TM, Gospel Matthew 7:15-21)

    Jesus entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. She had a sister named Mary who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me." The Lord said to her in reply, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her." (NOM, Gospel Luke 10:38-42)

    The Novus Ordo accounts the incident of Mary receiving instruction from God, while Martha complained that she was not helping her sister. Christ teaches us that there are different roles for each of us. Certain people do one thing, others do another. Also Mary chose the nobler task of listening to God's word, recognizing that above all else, the Word of God comes first. This is certainly a good thing, but one wonders if it has absolutely anything to do with the rest of the liturgy. The Rite of Tradition is something entirely different. It expounds on the Collect that we avoid those things which are negative. God explains to us how to avoid that which is negative, and that is discerning the fruits.

    When one looks at a liturgy that was supposed to increase the participation of the faithful, and instead people left in droves, and people no longer prayerfully participate, instead of (generally speaking) focusing on emotional responses and hand-clapping, obviously this is not something good. All the clever arguments are shattered by the one principle; there are no arguments against a fact. God gave us our reason, and we are to use it. We are not to put rose-colored glasses on, and engage in the sin of presumption that everything will work out in the end, but recognize something bad for what it is, something bad.

    In today's society where evil is rampant and masqueraded as good (where the slaughter of the unborn is viewed as a good "choice") the Novus Ordo needs to hear these words more and more everyday. Yet since everyone is of good faith, and they just need to be "dialogued with", and any judgment (no matter how factual) is automatically "judging one's soul", the negative fruits of other religions are ignored. The Fact that Islam has been a religion of hatred and intolerance, and has led it's people to spiritual and temporal slavery since it's inception cannot be stated today never mind the fact it is a false religion. Instead we are told we must focus on Muslim's "adoring the One God" and praising their spiritual values, helping them to "become better Muslims", to become better enslaved in darkness. The Novus Ordo no longer judges by fruits, but claims to know one's intentions, but then says we can't judge their intentions either. Wait a minute; didn't they just judge their intention by presuming good faith? One of the most important teachings of Our Lord is not exercised today, and one could easily predict the confusion that resulted.

    O God who, in this one sacrifice, hast perfected the offering of the many victims prescribed under the Old Law: receive this same sacrifice offered by Thy devoted servants and sanctify it with a blessing, like unto that which Thou didst bestow upon the offerings of Abel, that what each one of us has brought here to the glory of Thy name, may profit all unto salvation. Through our lordů (TM, Secret)

    Lord, bring us closer to salvation through these gifts which we bring in your honor. Accept the perfect sacrifice you have given us, bless it as you blessed the gifts of Abel. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen. (NOM, Prayer Over the Gifts)

    For the most part, these two prayers are the same. Indeed, this is one of those prayers the Novus Ordo kept from the Traditional Mass, so many of it's partisans could claim "The Novus Ordo is just the Traditional Mass reorganized" to downplay the massive scope of liturgical reform. Yet there is one small difference. The Traditional Mass, which speaks of the one sacrifice, which perfected the many offerings of the Old way. Those who leave for Judaism will one day realize there is nothing to go back to. Their sacrifice is gone. The Church inherited the blessing of the people of the Old Covenant, as its first members were of the Old Covenant, the remnant saved by Grace. When one reads the prayer which the Novus Ordo had for Good Friday compared to that of Tradition (which anyone who has studied these liturgical manners knows by heart probably) one could understand why the Traditional Secret could not stay in its present form in the Novus Ordo. The Novus Ordo goes to great lengths to avoid dealing with the fact that the New Covenant is the perfection of the Old Covenant; hence there is only one Covenant, one way of salvation, as St. Paul so clearly taught in Hebrews. They will not deny this outright, for they cannot deny it outright. Yet by sublty, and failure to mention all aspects of the doctrine, one loses the focus slowly but surely. Ah, yes: Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi.

    May Thy healing work in our souls mercifully free us from our perverse inclinations O Lord, and lead us ever to do that which is right in Thy sight. Through our Lordů (Postcommunion Prayer, TM)

    Merciful Father, may these mysteries give us new purpose and bring us to a new life in you. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen. (NOM, Post Communion)

    Notice the balance the rite of Tradition has. It is the Sign of Contradiction that can have the prayer fully focused on man, yet fully focused on God at the same time. God's healing work works within us and we are freed from our perverse inclinations. There are no perverse inclinations anymore in the Novus Ordo today, as they cannot even call evil by its name. Rather, the Novus Ordo simply asks that a new purpose come about as a result of these mysteries. What is the new purpose? What does new life in God entail? No answer is given. The Traditional rite answers these questions. The New purpose is free from perverse inclinations and doing what is right in the sight of God. That is also what the new life entails. In order for the new life to occur, it logically follows we must be freed of our perverse inclinations. The Novus Ordo doesn't mention such inclinations, because that smacks of negative theology. They put the chicken before the egg, as the old adage goes. The fruits of this are a confused notion of what entails evil, to the point where those who promote the evil of slaughtering the innocents, are obviously not evil, since they should be allowed to receive the Blessed Sacrament just as those of us that do good.

    The truth and facts are that the fruits of the Novus Ordo are rotten, and they need to be thrown in the fire, and replaced with the liturgy that has bore good fruits, the liturgy of tradition, The Traditional Mass. How do I know? Our Lord affirmed it so clearly in the Gospel of the Traditional liturgy today: "Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them."

Kevin Tierney

    July 18, 2004
    vol 15, no. 160
    Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi