This has led to what can only be described as 'Fad Masses'. If we read polls, we see a dramatic drop in attendance at Mass by 'faithful' Catholics. (One poll says that 90% of America perceives themselves as religious though only approx. 40% attend Sunday Mass.) So, in order to bring the people back, they run off after innovations to make the Mass more 'enjoyable', more 'pertinent'. (Though how the worship of God isn't pertinent is beyond me)
Where once we sung hymns giving glory to God (even modern ones) we hear more hymn's giving glory to the community. "We are the chosen people, we are the church of God, united with each othersÖetc." I call them the 'How great We art' hymn's.
Once, the Consecration was the center of the Mass, the Eucharist the 'life' blood of the Church. Now, according to polls, it's the 'Hand shake of peace' and/or the 'Great Amen'. The Eucharist, being the Real Presence of Christ, unites us to Him when we receive Him, and to each other as each of us receives It worthily. However, we can see by just watching the people go to receive Him, that this reverence is, if not gone, seriously lacking. Not only those who receive It without any outward sign of reverence, but the 'assembly line' way in which we receive it, lends itself to a lack of reverence. (the priest and/or eucharistic ministers can hardly watch someone consume the host, as they're supposed to, while they do so as they walk away and the next person moves up. Reminds me of an old 'I Love Lucy' episode!)
Now we even have parishes which remove their kneelers since it's beneath them to kneel before their Lord God during the Consecration.
In many parishes, the priest no longer has anything to do with the Liturgy, leaving that to a 'trained' Liturgist and/or a Liturgy Council. Hence, parishes run 'polls' to find new ways of innovation.
When I hear someone remark, "I come to Mass here because Fr. Joe is so cool!" Or, "The Ba Hai church up the road recommended this Mass." Or, "Fr. Joe makes the Mass so alive, so joyful." If it takes Fr. Joe for you to find joy in the Mass, then you don't understand what the Mass is. "Ö.the sacred liturgy is above all things the worship of the divine MajestyÖ." In the earthly liturgy we take part in a foretaste of that heavenly liturgy which is celebrated in the holy city of Jerusalem toward which we journey as pilgrims, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God, a minister of the holies and of the true tabernacle; we sing a hymn to the Lord's glory with all the warriors of the heavenly army; venerating the memory of the saints, we hope for some part and fellowship with them; we eagerly await the Saviour, Our Lord Jesus Christ, until He, our life, shall appear and we too will appear with Him in glory." (SACROSANCTUM CONCILIUM)
Fr. Robert A. Skeris points out six factors which has led to confusion and the 'remaking' of the New Mass.
2) "we must recall that today, when the infinitely holy and adorable majesty of God has receded so far into the background, and gradually faded away in favor of a "nice," friendly God, it has little by little become fashionable to deny that the essence of the Sacrifice of the Cross is satisfactio vicaria, vicarious satisfaction.
So, when you go to Mass, what do you go for? What do you go to see? To be entertained? To be given a group hug? Or to join with others in the worship of God?
If the Mass is the worship OF the community, then there is no need to attend if one doesn't 'feel up to it'. Just as one need not attend a social function. "The faithful have a right to a true Liturgy, which means the Liturgy desired and laid down by the Church, which has in fact indicated where adaptations may be made as called for by pastoral requirements in different places or by different groups of people. Undue experimentation, changes and creativity bewilder the faithful. The use of unauthorized texts means a loss of the necessary connection between the lex orandi and the lex credendi. The Second Vatican Council's admonition in this regard must be remembered: "No person, even if he be a priest, may add, remove or change anything in the Liturgy on his own authority." And Paul VI of venerable memory stated that: "Anyone who takes advantage of the reform to indulge in arbitrary experiments is wasting energy and offending the ecclesial sense." (INAESTIMABILE DONUM Instruction Concerning Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery Approved and Confirmed by Pope John Paul II)
Hopefully these two installments have helped clarify somewhat the muddled mess we have found ourselves in with the Novus Ordo which was never intended to be an innovative experiment but rather a continuation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the vernacular with greater participation by the faithful.
Pax Christi, Pat
SACRIFICE part two
Sacrifice is not so much giving up something like chocolate, television, etc. Oh, it is for the child who is learning and being conditioned to accept greater sacrifices. That's part of our conditioning and inheritance as Jesus says in Mark 18:17, "Amen I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God as a little child will not enter into it." So we need to become like a little child in heart and soul but also take responsibility for our own actions as Saint Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:11, "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child. Now that I have become a man, I have put away the things of a child." We need to put away the "little sacrifices" we offered meticulously as a child, and move up to the level He expects of us as responsible children of God for the real root of sacrifice must begin in our heart and soul. Yes, it is a total willingness to die to self, to literally, by God's grace, cross out the "I" and put on Christ. Isn't that what the Cross of Our Dear Lord is? Isn't it "I" crossed out, the ego denied, the spirit uplifted into celestial realms?
Sacrifice is our interior disposition of heart and soul to become holy and pleasing to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit - the Most Blessed Trinity. That is why Our Lady says consistently, "Pray from the Heart." Because if we don't have our heart and soul into it, we're just going through the motions and when the time comes to really sacrifice, we'll most probably fall miserably because we're not conditioned to die to self physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Therefore, as we experience this Lenten season, first let us all concentrate through a thorough examination of conscience on how open we are to God, how much do we really want to be t transformed through a total conversion of heart by the grace of the Holy Spirit? Just how much are we willing to give back to God who has given All to us?
After this examination of conscience, a good, holy Confession should follow, which disposes the soul to follow Jesus and ask Him: "What do you want me to do, Lord?" "Speak, Lord, for thy servant is listening" (1 Kings 3:9). In the silence of our being, Jesus will fill us with that supernatural knowledge of what He wishes of each one of us at that moment. Where and how do each one of us make sacrifice for Him? In what spirit of sacrifice to we commence our journey home to God? We know now that it's a life-long process, not just something we "have to do" during a mere 40 days of Lent. Now, when we prepare properly, we understand in our soul that "sacrifice" which incorporates prayer and penance is absolutely necessary every single day of our lives.
The true spirit of sacrifice is to desire with our whole being to subdue the human ego, passions, desires, intellect, and senses. Only then can we permit the Holy Spirit to bring alive the intellect of the soul, which then predominates and keeps under control all the human weaknesses of which we are subject to due to Original Sin.
Over and over in Holy Scripture, in the messages of Our Lord and His Blessed Mother to messengers and visionaries throughout the ages, the repeated phrase from Heaven is: "Pray, Pray, Pray!" Prayer is the link to God which keeps us focused, helps us to willingly submit to God's Perfect Will, to dismiss our will as nothing.
All came to Him in humility, for they recognized Him as their God and Savior. They sought only to remain humble, faithful servants.
Only in eternity will it be revealed how, in the hours before His Passion, my Divine Son received such strength from these holy souls to allow Him, the Man, to suffer as no man has ever suffered, that the Fatherís Will might be accomplished.
Only in eternity shall you know to what heights their faith led them, and how from such faith their courage blossomed against the tide of evil which was already gathering in the hearts of all in Jerusalem.
In these, the end times, my Little Ones, you must imitate these holy souls who recognized their own poverty and came at once to the source of all riches - my Divine Son.
In these last days you, also, must gaze upon Him, your Lord and Savior, and seek only the Divine Will. There can be no place in your heart to doubt. Doubt leads to fear. Fear is the road to despair. My Little Ones, meditate upon this scene which I have shown interiorly to my Littlest One. Let this room become for you the very Tabernacle where my Divine Son is present, and awaits you as He awaited Mary, Martha, His aunt, and His own Blessed Mother.
Do not listen to those who scorn, rebuff, persecute and seek your ruin. They speak the language of the evil one. Rather, sit humbly before my Divine Son and cleanse your heart by tears of holy repentance. In this way, my little children, He takes you into His sacred wounds and hides you there, unseen by the world. There He brings to perfection the Divine Will in you. There you will find all that is necessary to be an apostle of the end times, the faithful remnant unafraid of all that is yet to come.
For you will see only Him, and in Him and through Him your own earthly crucifixion will be united to His Infinite Merits, and you shall be the instruments through which countless souls shall be saved.
And as we did this evening in the room at Lazarusí house, so I ask you to go each day before the Tabernacle and at Holy Mass. With eyes lifted heavenward and heart raised to God, pray from your heart the "Our Father." Then shall you swiftly understand much of the sublime mysteries of my Sonís Passion. Then shall hope abound in you, for that which is to come upon the world after my Immaculate Heart triumphs - the Age of the Divine Will, the Reign of the Sacred heart.
Pray, my Little Ones. Pray as you have never before prayed, for the hour has come to the world and Godís justice shall strike. Pray, and seek unity with my Sonís Passion. There you will not be afraid, but know sublime peace!
NEXT INSTALLMENT: Part One of Lesson 3: WITH THE APOSTLES ON THE EVE OF PASSOVER
Yet my Immaculate Heart remains sorrowful for so few understand that to possess His Peace one must put aside the world and take up their cross, as willingly and obediently as my Divine Son did.
Little children, it is God's Divine Will to bring His True Peace to all men. Yet I solemnly tell you that all mankind, every nation stands upon the brink of the abyss because their hearts are closed, the eyes of their souls do not see. Dear children, I need your prayers for all who, as yet, refuse my Divine Son and do not know His Divine Mercy. Little ones, open your eyes. The events shaping your world, your own government and society are all revealed to you in Sacred Scripture as signs of the end times. These events which appear to man's finite mind as solutions, providing all men the necessities to preserve bodily life are all the scheme of the evil one to bring about the reign of the antichrist.
Dear children, how God loves you and calls you. Be not afraid, but put aside the world.
This Year of Tears shall not come to an end before many events take place which shall pave the way for the antichrist to reign.
Do not lose heart. Be of great faith, for faith shall be severely tested. I solemnly tell you many are the shepherds whose faith has weakened, withered as a dry leaf. But I extend to you the Holy Rosary to lead you back to full bloom. Be of great zeal and go to Mass daily if you can. Receive the Sacrament of Penance no less than twice a month and give all reverence to my Divine Son truly present in the Blessed Sacrament.
Woe to those who deny my Divine Son! Woe to those who through pride heed not the call of God. They shall feel His awesome Justice.
Look at the signs and grow closer to my Son. I will guide you. I love and bless you. Thank you for responding to my Call!
Now is the moment when the evil one masks all his evil deeds beneath the cloak of universal peace through the physical well-being of each person's material wants.
O! Be not deceived. This is the false peace. Even now war looms on the horizon which will embroil every nation. Pray much. Speak little. Trust God above all else and seek to love as He Loves. Then shall the Holy Spirit possess you and guide you that you may persevere.
The Year of Tears continues. I weep as does my Divine Son. Pick up your Rosaries, convert your hearts and dry the Divine Tears of Jesus Christ, God and Savior.
I love and bless you. Thank you for responding to my Call!