Wednesday, April 13, 2016
The Bear's Latin Mass
The Bear doesn't want to talk too much about how the traditional Latin Mass in this beautiful setting was better than his hometown liturgy. When the end result in both is consuming the Blessed Body and Blood of Our Lord, it is easy to lose focus by concentrating on the externals.
The Bear declined to use the missal. The last time he had gone to such a Mass, he had spent the whole time with his nose buried in the thing, and wound up missing the Mass. This time he just placed himself in the moment: the sights, the sounds, the smells. He could follow along well enough. What he discovered was that this Mass was itself a prayer, or at least encouraged one, long, continuous prayer as the Bear's eyes never left the priest.
Every detail evoked a correspondence to the Old Testament or the New. The Bear will not list them. He would not know where to begin, and does not really have to.
(Perhaps that is the reason for the need for constant "participation" in the new liturgy: to distract us from the poverty.)
The Mass is the Mass. But there can be no question which one renders proper honor to God, engages the heart, and makes it easy to pray, rather than responding on cue like a performing seal. The Bear is glad there are still magnificent old churches, and Latin Mass parishes, and legitimate fraternities of priests to preserve the jewels of our Catholic heritage.
There is a story that Vladimir the Grand Prince of Kiev sent emissaries to Constantinople to see if Christianity might not be the best religion for his realm. When they came back they told him, "We did not know where we were, in heaven or on earth."
That is the way the Bear felt.
Next Sunday, he'll be back nailing his foot to the floor in front of his favorite pew. It will be enough for him. But a Bear knows when he's been robbed.
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