19 July 2021

Wise Words from Willis

"To me nothing is so consoling, so piercing, so thrilling, so overcoming, as the Mass, said as it is among us. I could attend Masses for ever, and not be tired." Words of "Willis" ... a character - a sympathetic character - in Newman's semi-autobiographical novel Loss and Gain. My judgement is that Newman used this persona to speak with a personal passion that might have seemed excessive if he had spoken in propria persona. (There is often something very English about the Ordinariate's beloved Patron.)

Newman, of course, was writing about what, until last week, we sometimes called the Extraordinary Form.

Many of you will not have heard of Richard Holloway, Anglican former Bishop of Edinburgh, and later a "Christian agnostic". He was once Vicar of S Mary Mag's Church in Oxford; "Western Rite", as we used to say ... The surroundings were baroque; the altar cluttered with reliquaries; everything of the best. Holloway, post-lapsation, continued to say Mass, despite being an agnostic, and wrote "The Eucharist ... is the way you express your identity and membership of that body. I happen to believe that it is a beautiful art form as well."

Professor Dawkins once expressed his puzzlement that Dr Antony Kenny, a lapsed RC priest who was a fine Master of Balliol, seemed unable to get religion out of his system despite the years that have rolled by since he left the Catholic priesthood. And Terry Eagleton, Catholic Marxist of the 1960s ("the Eucharist is a paradigm of a socialist society"), whose precise credal identity some now find elusive, wrote an angry book attacking the playground bullies of the current atheistic intellectual establishment.

What people find hard to get out of their system, whatever their intellectual doubts, is the haunting, absorbing, unforgettable magic of the Ancient, Authentic Form of the Mass.  

We understand this, don't we?

3 comments:

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Father. Yes, it is good, true, and beautiful and it is a different Rite (pace Father Ratzinger) than the N.O.

You have often noted how Paul VI forced changes in the canon because epiclesis which, as you have also observed forcefully, was never part of the Real Mass.

Alll one has to duo is note the offertory in the Real Mass

Receive, O holy Father, almighty and eternal God, this unspotted host, which I, Thy unworthy servant, offer unto Thee, my living and true God, for my innumerable sins, offenses, and negligences, and for all here present: as also for all faithful Christians, both living and dead, that it may avail both me and them for salvation unto life everlasting,

compared to its replacement in the Lil' Licit Liturgy by a text based on a jewish meal prayer:

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the bread we offer you: fruit of the earth and work of human hands, it will become for us the bread of life,

Those vastly different prayers - and what they mean - can not be said to be of the same Rite.

coradcorloquitur said...

We do understand it, Father, but the great mystery is how people (men and women) like Bergoglio and the polyestered modern nuns who were brought up in such spiritual cornucopia can hate it as much as they continually demonstrate they do. I guess the only explanation is this: it is a mystery of iniquity.

Thomas said...

Father, I hope you have seen the response from Cardinall Mueller in The Catholic Thing. (https://www.thecatholicthing.org/2021/07/19/cardinal-mueller-on-the-new-tlm-restrictions/). It brilliantly and carefully takes PF and his whole sorry pontificate apart with a scalpel, while being fully supportive of what should be the authentic exercise of the papal office. This is fraternal correction at its highest and sharpest. I hope other Cardinals and bishops are listening.