Chapter Four Part Eleven|
THE "NEW MASS"
Validity and Liceity - second part
An act of transubstantiation alone is not sufficient, therefore. It is necessary that the Sacrifice be a worthy act of worship to God the Father. It should be obvious to anyone that a person cannot evaluate the "Novus Ordo" on the basis of validity only. Because of the acceptance of the "New Mass" as legitimate the "Post-Conciliar Church" is too deaf and blind to consider seriously whether it is valid. Whereas, many so-called "conservative" Catholics, the "loyal opposition," would identify validity with legitimacy and therefore with worthiness. For our part, without knowing whether the "New Mass" is "valid," we say this, it is undeniably illicit, and hence most abominable and displeasing in the eyes of God. The children of the "New Religion" do not care what pleases God; the norm of their "liturgy" is what pleases themselves-"The people is Baal." Partaking somewhat of this very spirit, those who make too much of the validity question would be satisfied to know whether, "by hook or by crook," a sacrifice were being offered, and they were receiving the Body of Christ. The attitude of either group is that the Divinity must be satisfied with whatever He is given.
Due in no small degree to this spirit of legalistic compromise so common among the vast majority of Catholics, the Revolutionary movement in the Church has achieved unimpeded and astounding headway. And no real unity among true Catholics will ever be possible until the principle I am here belaboring is accepted - that the "New Mass" is totally irredeemable. If enough good Catholics took their stand on this matter tomorrow, the tide would be turned the day after. Moreover, until this principle is adopted, "concerned Catholics" can have their indignant meetings, sign their petitions, wrangle for "concessions," agitate for catechetical reforms, start their own schools, stylize their "Latin 'masses'," multiply their rosaries, and campaign for any one of a hundred other worthy Catholic causes. At best they will achieve a holding or delaying action-an optimistic hope, but not a realistic one. More likely, they will continue disunited, ignored, pushed aside, and trampled underfoot.
Validity of Consecration is required by the Church's law. And it is the obedience to this law which makes the offering acceptable to God. Such obedience, so unpalatable to the "modern" spirit, now all-pervasive in the Church, is in exact accord with the true spirit of the Roman Rite. According to the "modern" spirit, that which is voluntary, free, and enthusiastic is better than that which is done in obedience. The dichotomy of the Church's law on the one hand and this false spirit on the other is most deceptive and unreal. The true spirit of Catholicism teaches that obedience is part of justice and that justice is at the heart of charity. Those who truly love God most obey Him best. The essence of supernatural love is the renunciation of self for God's sake: "He that shall lose his life for Me, shall find it." (Mt. 10:39). And further, "If you love Me, keep My commandments." (Jn. 14:15). The joy of loving is not the cause of love. The joy of loving comes not from the act of loving, but from pleasing him who is loved: "If you keep My commandments, you shall abide in My love; as I also have kept My Father's commandments, and do abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and our joy may be filled." (Jn. 15: 10-11).
Validity of Consecration, if I may say it again, is required by the Church's law. And it is the obedience to this law which makes the offering acceptable to God. You know well that the Sacrifice of Calvary of Christ, the most innocent Son of Mary, was a truly worthy Oblation, sufficient for the salvation of all men efficacious for the redemption of the Elect. It was so, not because of the certainty of the Son of Man's death, but because perfect obedience to the commands of God, His Father; it was the minutest fulfillment of all the prophecies concerning it, to which Jesus felt bound as to a law. "These are the words which I spoke to you, while I was yet with you, that all things must needs e fulfilled, which are written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning Me." (Lk. 24:44).
In the True Mass the fact of the validity of the consecration is taken for granted. The dominant concern and oft-repeated prayer is that the Act and those who are celebrating it may be found worthy by Him to Whom it is offered. If you page through the Ordinary of the Mass in your old missal, you will see many petitions to this effect. Let me cite a few:
As he ascends to the altar, the priest prays: (Aufer a Nobis) "Take away from us our iniquities, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that with pure minds we may worthily enter into the holy of holies." During the Offertory, the celebrant asks that the chalice "ascend in the sight of Thy divine majesty with a sweet savorů" Then he bows low and begs: "In the spirit of humility and with a contrite heart receive us, O Lord, and grant that the sacrifice which we offer this day in Thy sight, may be pleasing unto Thee, O Lord God." (As noted before, all these prayers have been suppressed in the "Novus Ordo.")
The Orate Fratres invites the people: "Brethren, pray that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God the Father almighty."
A classic instance of the shameless meretriciousness of the so-called "reform" of the liturgy is its claim to be a restoration of primitive forms of the old Roman Church. Yet the "reform" makes optional the recitation of the ancient Canon, whose unvariable and unchangeable nature was completely characteristic of the Romanesque tradition. A more specific instance of the same thing is the leaving to the mood of the celebrant whether he will say the fifth prayer of the Canon, the Quam Oblationem, which perfectly expresses the relationship between liceity and validity of which we are speaking. The Quam Oblationem expresses this relationship by drawing its spirit and even its vocabulary from the days of the ancient Republic of Rome, where the dominant theme and necessity of life, both individual and civil, were reverence for and conformity to law as the source and staff of order, peace, and stability. This prayer has a repetitive, legal style about its formation. And to add further emphasis to its thought, the priest makes no less that five signs of the cross over the sacred species, soon to be transubstantiated.
Quam Oblationem, tu, Deus, in omnibus quaesumus, benedictam, adscriptam, ratam, rationabilem, acceptablienque facere digneris: ut nobis Corpus et Sanguis fiat dilectissimi Filii tui Domini nostri Jesu Christi. (Which oblation do Thou, O God, vouchsafe in all things to bless, approve, ratify, make worthy and acceptable: that it may become for us the Body and Blood of Thy most beloved Son our Lord Jesus Christ.)
No other language can do full justice to the thought, but here is something of the idea: The priest asks that the Oblation be given a blessing which will render it perfect in every respect, ("oblationem in omnibus benedictam"). That this might be so, the offerings must bear a certificate ("adscriptam"); the blessing being requested must impart this. The "ratam" means that it must have about it all those qualities which the law requires, in order that the law might be most rigidly, precisely and fully obeyed. In this word there is a resonance of the "Consummatum est" of the Crucifixion. The "rationabilem" means that it must be a living, enspirited, vibrant, even willing offering, a ready victim:
For it is impossible that with the blood of oxen and goats sin should be taken away. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith: Sacrifice and oblation thou wouldest not: but a body thou hast fitted to me: Holocausts for sin did not please thee. Then said I: Behold I come: in the head of the book it is written of me: that I should do thy will, O God.
Hebrews 10: 4-7
Thus, while he repeatedly gestures toward the humble elements of bread and wine with signs of the cross, the celebrant beseeches God to make them into what His own law requires, so that He Himself might find them acceptable. He only can render them so. And the only Things which will perfectly satisfy these requirements are the Body and Blood of His very own Son, Corpus et Sanguis dilectissimi Filii tui Domini nostri Jesu Christi.
You see, therefore, that the law of God for His worship must be most carefully obeyed if he is to find this Rite worthy and acceptable. Liceity predominates over, includes, and necessitates the validity of Consecration. The Sacrifice will be worthy if the law is carefully followed, and it can only be licit if that which is sacrificed is the Lamb of God.
This same theme is to be found in another prayer, which "progress" decreed was unfit for the Mass, the Placeat, which in the True Mass the priest recites just before the final blessing. There is not a more perfect, nor a more appropriate prayer in the entire Missal, even if it is a mere thousand years old or so.
May the homage of my bounded duty be pleasing to Thee, O Holy Trinity; and grant that the sacrifice which I, though unworthy, have offered in the sight of Thy Majesty may be acceptable to Thee, and through Thy mercy be a propitiation for me and for all those for whom I have offered it. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
The priest has offered the Sacrifice in fulfillment of a divinely-imposed duty. And the manner of its offering has not been according to his own devising, but according to the long-hallowed law of the Church. It was for him to "make the Sign" of the Sacrifice, as the law required. He was assured that thereby the Divine Majesty would be suitably worshipped and the fruits and graces would be bestowed in return. It was by this obedience that the Act of the Mass was accomplished. We watched his meticulous observance and knew that our Oblation was being properly made and that the Divine King was sacramentally present. We read from his actions his intentions to do what the Church intends by this Rite.
The "New Mass" is a violation of one of the strictest laws of the Church. There is no way to justify it. Those priests who attempt to salvage mere validity of consecration from it by certain kinds of "improvisations" do us no service at all. What law are they keeping? They are only slightly less blameworthy than their more honest brother-priests, who unhesitatingly "say" the "New Mass." Nor do the efforts of the former assure us of anything except perhaps their cowardice, insecurity, and the like. They are breaking the same law as their blindly confident confreres. What reward therefore shall they have? They, like the knowing pawns, are serving the cause of the Revolution satisfactorily enough because lawlessness and deviousness never fail to further its end. They are tacitly collaborating with the conspirators while breaking both the true laws and the invalid ones. They are creating their own liturgy! If they may do such a thing, how can they find fault with those who simply follow the rite of the "Novus Ordo?" What is more, they are doing no good by their circuities. The people are in no way benefited; they are being involved in the same rancid sacrilege, made no less grievous by their ignorance of the fact. God is not being honored by the imaginative inventions of these clerical expedientists.
Next Issue: Chapter Four - part twelve
F. The Dishonoring of Mary
For installments to date, see Archives of The Great Sacrilege
See INTRODUCTION for an explanation of this work.
THE GREAT SACRILEGE
by Fr. James F. Wathen, O.S.J.