September 5, 2004
vol 15, no. 169

Is it really out of the Ordinary to be dependent on God?

While being dependent on God is priority in the Traditional Latin Mass, it depends in the Novus Ordo on whether it is helpful to man first.

      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! Today Kevin, taking a cue from the Traditional Gospel "Arise, go thy way for thy Faith has made thee whole", illustrates which proper is in accord with the fullness of Faith and which one is more of a sieve which filters out truths and absolutes in order to be politically correct for modern time. He illustrates this in the comparisons of the Traditional Proper of the Fourteenth Sunday After Pentecost with the Novus Ordo 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time.

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

    Traditional Proper compared to
    the Novus Ordo

    "Give us true freedom, and bring us to the inheritance You promise." So goes todays Proper in the Novus Ordo. As words do mean something, a proper understanding of the liturgy will in turn help bring us to the reward The Father has promised us. Week after week we have seen that the Novus Ordo does not teach the theology of the liturgy and the Holy Sacrifice as clearly as the Rite Tradition has given us. Our Lesson in the painfully obvious continues this week as we examine the 14th Sunday after Pentecost, with the 23rd Sunday of Ordinary time.

    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. We shall begin with the respective Introits of each liturgy.

    Behold, O God, our Protector, and look on the face of Thy Christ for better is one day in Thy courts above thousands. (Ps. 83: 2) How lovely are Thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts! my soul longeth and fainteth for the courts of the Lord. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and forever shall be, world without end. Repeat Behold, O God, our Protector...(TM, Introit, Psalm 83: 10-11)

    Lord, you are just, and the judgments you make are right. Show mercy when you judge me, your servant. (NOM, Introit, Psalm 119:137, 124)

    As has been noted before, the focus of these two Introits in and of themselves are not false, but different nonetheless. The Introit of the Novus Ordo takes a far greater stress upon man, as the focus is decidely man-centered. It is God directing Himself towards man. This in and of itself is not neccessarily bad, it just depends on what emphasis man is given. Man certainly has a role to play in his salvation, but are we Calvinists or Catholics?

    For the Traditional Mass, the emphasis is decidely different, as it is man coming to God, recognizing spending a day in His presence is better than a thousand days we spend in those things of this world. Recognizing this fact is the root and matrix of all Catholic spirituality. I submit this approach is the better approach to go. Let us think of where this prayer is in the liturgy. It is in the beginning. The purpose of any Mass is the worship of the Holy Trinity, giving God the honor that is His due. It does not matter what we "get out of Mass" per se. It is what we give to God, that being the best worship we can give Him. In the context of the Traditional Mass, we see the prayers at the foot of the altar, our confession of sin in the Confiteor, the preparation asking that our sins be cleansed as we enter the Holy of Holies, and the Introit. All of these have the focus of preparing our hearts and our souls to worship God. The focus is rightly so on our dependence on God. Stylistically, the flow is coherent and fluid.

    The Novus Ordo on the other hand, while attempting to follow this rubric, then switches to a prayer that is more centered on man. The coherence is obliterated, and one could say leads to the confusion we presently see.

    Keep, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy Church with Thy perpetual mercy: and because, without Thee the frailty of man is wont to fall, save it ever by Thine aid from all things hurtful, and lead it to all things profitable to salvation. Through our Lord... (TM, Collect)

    God our Father you redeem us and make us your children in Christ. Look upon us, give us true freedom and bring us to the inheritance you promised. 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, Opening Prayer)

    This prayer in the Novus Ordo presents one of the glaring problems today in neo-Catholic thought. What is "true freedom"? The term has never sufficiently been defined. It has been talked about at great length, yet like a bunch of other programs launched in the past 40 years (ecumenism, collegiality) it is never precisely defined. As a result of this, I submit many misunderstand the difference between the freedom to choose one's religion, and the license to choose that religion. We have free will. If we wish to adhere to false religions, well we have Free will. Yet those actions have consequences. We do not have a license to choose a false religion, as if that choice is just as equal as choosing that which is true. One could say the Novus Ordo recognizes some kind of difference, as they mention "true" freedom. Well what is true freedom versus false freedom? What are the differences? Nothing is really explained ever, the open-ended questions remain open-ended. As noted with the Introit, the prayers stay focused on man.

    I submit the Rite of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition helps to answer this question on freedom. It notes that without God's mercy, we are doomed. Why are we doomed? It is due to the frailty of our human nature, original sin. Once again directing our hearts to God, we realize our dependence on Him. That true freedom is now that our nature has been restored through Jesus Christ, we may now choose that which is right and true. Let us now turn to the Epistle. Since the Omission is rather small in today's reading of the Novus Ordo, I shall include it with what the Novus Ordo includes, only indicating in bold that which was left out.

    Brethren, Walk in the spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh: for the flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh for these are contrary one to another: so that you do not the things that you would. But if you are led by the spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest which are fornication, uncleanness, immodesty, luxury, idolatry, witchcrafts, enmities, contentions, emulations, wraths, quarrels, dissensions, sects, envies, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like of which I foretell you, as I have foretold to you, that they who do such things, shall not obtain the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the spirit is charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, longanimity, mildness, faith, modesty, continency, chastity. Against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's, have crucified their flesh with the vices and concupiscences. (TM, Epistle Galatians 5:16-24)

    Who can know God's counsel, or who can conceive what the LORD intends? For the deliberations of mortals are timid, and unsure are our plans. For the corruptible body burdens the soul and the earthen shelter weighs down that has many concerns. And scarce do we guess the things on earth, and what is within our grasp we find with difficulty; but when things are in heaven, who can search them out? Or who ever knew your counsel, except you had given wisdom and sent your holy spirit from on high? And thus were the paths of those on earth made straight, and men learned what was your pleasure, and were saved by Wisdom. (NOM, First Reading, Wisdom 9:13-18b)

    Once again we are faced with Scriptural readings that are rather out of place I submit. They are actually quite lovely passages, though whatever gems are in these readings are normally gutted in the "revised" lectionary. This is one of those. I would submit the inclusion of the entire reading would actually help to answer many of the questions that appear in the Opening Prayer, in regards to exactly what True Freedom is. After lamenting the rather sad state of human affairs before God, where man had great difficulty knowing the ways of Heaven (since it was harder than even those temporal things we obtain with great difficulty), we learn that the Wisdom God sends not only straightens the path of man, but gives him knowledge of what God's desires are, how to choose that which is Heavenly, and we are saved by that Heavenly Wisdom. This would put the Novus Ordo Proper in context. Yet this entire part I have explained, you won't get thanks to the Novus Ordo, and hence the passage remains obscure, and out of place, because it does not help explain that which has already occurred in the liturgy.

    If we remember in the Traditional Collect, it dealt with man's frailty, and how we ask God to rescue us from this, so that we may be saved. The Traditional Epistle continues in this task, and unlike the Novus Ordo, gives the faithful the entire story. After telling us not to walk in the flesh, Paul then explains to us why we shouldn't. We shouldn't walk under the flesh because in the flesh we are under the condemnation of God, since we are under a law that cannot save, a law that demands perfection. That demand man cannot meet, and he falls into all the different kinds of sins Paul mentions here. Yet God's grace takes us out of that law, and gives us His Spirit so we may do that which is pleasing to God, which leads to our salvation. The flow of the liturgy is fluid and exact, using all of the God-breathed Scripture to edify and instruct the faithful. As we see, the Novus Ordo sees it fit to employ God's Holy Word only when God's Holy Word is in line with today's man-centered scenario of religion. Like the religions of the world, in an attempt to "speak to them", the Novus Ordo makes man the center of it's religion. Jesus Christ our Lord, always pointed us upward to the Father. It was through Jesus Christ the Father was made known to us. Indeed, that is where we get the word exegete, as in exegesis, "to make known." Anything God the Father sends, is to make Him known to His creation. Putting man as the apex of religion (and we have seen how the Novus Ordo is very one-sided in this, focusing on man entirely) completely obscures these facts. There is not much I wish to comment on in regards to the Gospels, as both make their points rather succinctly. Therefore, I will only make note of them for reader reference.

    At that time Jesus said to His disciples: "No man can serve two masters for he will hate the one and love the other, or he will sustain the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say to you, be not solicitous for your life, what you shall eat, nor for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than the meat, and the body more than the raiment? Behold the birds of the air for they neither sow nor do they reap, nor gather into barns, and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are you not of much more value than they? And which of you, by taking thought, can add to his stature one cubit? And for raiment, why are you solicitous? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they labor not, neither do they spin but I say to you, that not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these. Now if God so clothe the grass of the field, which is today, and tomorrow is cast in the oven, how much more you, O ye of little faith! Be not solicitous therefore saying: What shall we eat, or what shall we drink, or wherewith shall we be clothed? for after all these things do the heathen seek. For your Father knoweth that you have need of all these things. Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and His justice and all these things shall be added unto you." (TM, Gospel Matthew 6:24-33)

    Great crowds were traveling with Jesus, and he turned and addressed them, "If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. Which of you wishing to construct a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if there is enough for its completion? Otherwise, after laying the foundation and finding himself unable to finish the work the onlookers should laugh at him and say, 'This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.' Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down and decide whether with ten thousand troops he can successfully oppose another king advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops? But if not, while he is still far away, he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms. In the same way, anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:25-33)

    Interesting that in the Novus Ordo gospel, it references Christ speaking about one not having the resources to finish what one is building. This rightfully applies to the architects of the Novus Ordo and those who stubbornly carry out such nonsense at the detriment of the faithful so seeking clarity and absolutes. The ambiguity of the NOM cannot provide substance for its foundation, whereas in the Traditional Rite, we see clearly that God will see to our needs if we are totally dependent upon Him. Remember that part about Free Will earlier? Well we have a Free Will and we can choose to follow Him or not follow Him. But we cannot do both for Jesus states with certainty in the Traditional Gospel, "No man can serve two masters."

    The Angel of the Lord shall encamp round about them that fear Him, and shall deliver them: O taste and see that the Lord is sweet!

    Grant unto us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that this saving victim may both be the cleansing of our sins, and the appeasing of Thy might. Through our Lord. (TM, Secret)

    God of peace and love, may our offering bring you true worship and make us one with you. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen (NOM, Prayer Over the Gifts)

    What is the intent of each prayer? The Novus Ordo asks that the offering they give bring God True Worship, and makes us one with Him. What is true worship? How are we made one with Him? If anyone is asking these questions, my dear readers, you are not alone. They are more phrases that are left undefined, and indeed open-ended. As it should really be no surprise, the Rite of Tradition gives us something just a bit different. The intent of the prayer is that the Saving Victim we offer cleanse us of our sins, and appease God of His wrath. Therefore, it pleases God. That is true worship, and we can become one with God in Heaven because He is appeased by the sacrifice of His Son.

    May Thy Sacraments, O God, ever cleanse and defend us; and lead us to the attainment of eternal salvation. Through the same Lord... (TM, Postcommunion)

    Lord, your word and your sacrament give us food and life. May this gift of your Son lead us to share his life for ever. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen. (NOM, Postcommunion)

    One notices the apparent equivocation between "word and sacrament." Yes we are both fed by each, but in a different way. There is a special way of feeding and a special way of spiritual nourishment we receive in the Blessed Sacrament that is substantially different than the proclamation of the Gospel. Yet to the Novus Ordo, both are similar and equal, - hence the "Liturgy of the Word" and the "Liturgy of the Eucharist" being on level planes, which definitely pleases our friends the Protestants. Nowhere does the Novus Ordo prayer ever state exactly what our reception of Holy Communion does. The Traditional Rite tells us the sacraments cleanse and defend us, leading us to eternal salvation. It once again shows the interplay between what God does and what man does, rather than focusing entirely on man.

    In a brief message I sent out to many readers of this column and friends and colleagues, one person responded, angry that I refer to the New Order of mass as indeed the Novus Ordo Missae, indeed a New Order of Mass! Like today's liturgy, he simply repeated several things, but never demonstrated what these things mean. Yet due to the frailty of our human nature, without the Grace of God, we shall never understand these things. As the Novus Ordo recalled, we can barely understand that which is temporal, how shall we understand that which is eternal? It is only by the Wisdom God gives us. Let us continue to pray that the Wisdom contained in the Traditional Mass, day by day, more people come to the knowledge of it. Blessed Mother Mary, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us.

Kevin Tierney

    September 5-7, 2004
    vol 15, no. 169
    Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi