Holy Mass

St. John Vianney wrote that if we could get a glimpse – just a glimpse – of what the angels see at Mass, we would die of love. To die of love – that phrase alone is worth a good meditation. I attended Mass this morning at a church approximately 15 minutes from my home – a very traditional church with a somewhat liberal, modernist priest. This priest is trying hard, he is very earnest in the manner that he offers the Mass. But it is painfully obvious what the liberal atmosphere in this country and throughout the world – especially in our seminaries – has done to these young priests. What is frustrating is to attend Mass in a church that seats around 500 people with 10 souls present. Our churches are empty not because of some mysterious cause, not some unsolvable problem – our churches are empty because the Holy Mass which was handed down for many centuries has been protestantized and watered down to the point of being banal and uninspiring. It is a sacrifice and not some community meal or celebration – those things are good in and of themselves but they lack the power to transform our lives and inspire us to seek holiness. The Mass can have – if we are properly disposed – lasting, even eternal effects in our souls – a community meal or a simple celebration of our fraternal feelings towards one another is a temporary fluffing up of emotions, a shot in the arm of our senses. The saints entered the church for Holy Mass keenly aware of what was about to take place – the ultimate sacrifice on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins. It should be a solemn, serious, beautiful thing to witness this miracle which occurs on our altars. But, sadly, over the last 40 years, the attempt has been made to drag the Mass down into the earthly realm in which we all dwell – how can it lift our souls when it has been stripped of the intended beauty it should be permeated with?
There were people in the Church 40 years ago who wanted to modernize the Mass, to bring it into the modern age. Never mind that the modern age was taking a hard turn into laxity, casualness and the subsequent lowering of standards – to the point of millions of souls losing their faith, leaving the Church and thinking they were entering greener pastures. This mass exodus, no pun intended, has caused havoc and confusion in the Church. The folks in the pews are demoralized when the Mass is stripped of its beauty, its “Catholicness” The communion rail, the incense, the traditional vestments, the beautiful latin – all of these precious things served to send a loud reminder that the Mass is divine, that Jesus Christ is truly and really present in the Blessed Sacrament and that we are in His awesome presence.
The Catholic laity should leave Mass KNOWING that they have been touched by God Himself and have witnessed what the angels see in heaven. Pray for our priests and leaders in the Church – ask Mary to bring back the beautiful rites of the Church. God Bless.