Monday, September 5, 2011

Mass Destruction

We have at our disposal the means to spread the Gospel worldwide. With a touch of a keyboard
at that. Within seconds our words are accessible to millions across the globe. Perhaps millions
don't read them but the words are there, nonetheless. Often, instead of being used as a tool to
reach out to others in a meaningful Christian manner, the internet is used as a weapon of mass destruction, its effects more far reaching than an atomic bomb because the effect can be spiritual and eternal.  I don't speak here of only the websites which are obvious in their sinfulness but also those sites which in a subtle and insidious manner attack the simple faith of Catholics around the world. Reinforced by  intellectualism and an air of religious superiority masked as "theological knowledge" some sites go so far as to even question the validity of the Novus Ordo Mass. And some do it in under the guise of "helping" God. No doubt, some are even doing this with the best of intentions.

As if God is not capable of helping himself if he so chooses. Yes, he often chooses to work through
people but this is despite us not because of us. Our part is to cooperate with His grace. We are simply human vessels, with fallen natures to boot. Not a one of us truly knows the heart of God and his thoughts are not our thoughts.  That he deigns to use us as vehicles to build the Kingdom of God is almost laughable, wouldn't you say?  That He has given us the Holy Spirit as our Helper is in itself enough to drop us to our knees. The Eucharist? This is a gift so profound that even the greatest saints had difficulty finding words to express this Treasure given to the Church.

Truly, our blogs and websites are insignificant when you think of the power of God. I can only surmise that the love of God walks hand in hand with His divine sense of humor. It's good to keep things in perspective in regard to what we write. Yes, He CAN and DOES work through fragile human beings but we can easily become sidetracked by forgetting that the Holy Spirit does the inspiring and "off we go!" claiming his gift as something innate to ourselves. Even worse, we often mix our own human reasoning with the inspiration of the Spirit and make a fine mess of things.

Back to the Mass. With over 1 billion Catholics in the world, Mass is being celebrated around the clock. CEO's sit in pews beside blue collar workers. Senators rub shoulders with homeless people...you get my drift. We are one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.

Some claim that that Novus Ordo Masses are invalid. One site I stumbled upon called the Holy Eucharist "circus bread". If you want to find the site, Google it. Don't ask me where it is... I got off
that site in a hurry. It is there, trust me. The Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ present in the Eucharist referred to as "circus bread". How many other Catholics come across sites like these? What
harm is caused by thoughtless and untruthful words like these? These sites are stumbling blocks to many
people.

Mass destruction instead of Mass instruction.

What's wrong with this picture? St. Thomas Aquinas would have jumped for joy if he had the opportunities to spread the glories of the Mass that we have at our fingertips.

The Mass. The glorious, ineffable mystery of the Catholic Mass. In an effort to mitigate some of the damage caused by divisions among Catholics concerning the Mass, the liturgy, and the validity of the Blessed Sacrament I share with you these beautiful quotes by souls far holier and far wiser than ourselves:

"Reverence, therefore, reverence this table, of which we are all communicants! Christ, slain for us, the sacrificial victim who is placed thereon!"  St. John Chysostom   (Catholic Answers)

"It would be easier for the world to survive without the sun than to do without the Holy Mass."  St.
  Padre Pio

"It is the whole Community, the Body of Christ united with its Head, that celebrates. Liturgical  services are not private functions but are celebrations of the Church which is the sacrament of unity, namely, the holy people united and organized under the authority of the bishops. Therefore, liturgical services pertain to the whole Body of the Church."    CCC  1140 

"How I hate this folly of not believing in the Eucharist, etc..! If the Gospel be true, if Jesus Christ be God, what difficulty is there?"     Blaise Pascal

The fact and the main point of this post is (feel free to confirm this with the Pope):

Both the New Mass AND the Traditional Latin Mass are valid. One's personal preference does not change this fact. We are free to attend either one. Both are beautiful, not because the participants are perfect.... but because Christ is present.

May we humbly thank Him.






                                                             



26 comments:

  1. Mary, I learn so much from reading your blog. I am not Catholic, so many times I am informed by what you write from a Catholic perspective. Blessings.

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  2. Amen Mary! I have come across some of these sites myself. It is fine to have a preference for one form over the other, but to go as far as to call one invalid is quite another thing. I don't know the heart of God or His thoughts, but I think it is safe to say He isn't happy about any of this. Jesus present in the Eucharist gets lost in the fighting. If these people remembered Jesus, none of this would be an issue.
    Great post. Thanks and God bless.

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  3. I enjoyed reading your reflection Mary. Its kind of scary that - despite many of us trying to do a little bit to spread God's word on the internet, many many more are using it for evil.

    Can you just imagine if all billion of us did just a little bit each day??

    God Bless you!

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  4. Hi JBR,
    Thanks for commenting. Yes, I know you are not Catholic but you are my sister in Christ and I respect your faith :) As you can probably tell, I love being Catholic but get frustrated sometimes. Lol!
    I'm glad that you will be getting a break from taking care of your mom. Doing this around the clock must be exhausting and I am praying for you both. God bless you, my friend!

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  5. Karin,
    Some of these sites are deeply disturbing. It's hard to not get upset at hearing the words "circus bread" associated with the Eucharist. I know I mentioned this a few weeks ago but it is still bothering me. These are not words you would expect to hear out of the mouth of any Catholic regardless of their preference for one form over another. I can certainly understand that there are Catholics deeply concerned over Liturgical abuses but to call the Eucharist "circus bread" crosses the line and enters into the realm of blasphemy.

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  6. Michael,
    Yes, it's scary. The legacy we are leaving our children is apalling. If a billion people did a little each day the world WOULD change. Prayer would be a good start :)

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  7. Thank you for this excellent post in defense of the Catholic faith Mary. You do so much here to please the Lord!

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  8. You know ... looking at this the way I tend to look at things ... I doubt that God is very much bothered about the websites you speak of. He's faced much worse when He was nailed to the Cross.

    True, some people may well be influenced by these sites. God knows that. And He'll take care of it, in His way, in His time.

    All we should do right now is pray ... and avoid those sites ourselves.

    God bless you, Mary.

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  9. Well said! I get cautious of going "out there" because there are so many Catholics who have forgotten the central teaching of the Gospel which is LOVE. If love is kept at the center of the argument then perhaps it is okay to have a conversation about traditions that are moving and meaningful to us. And even some that perhaps aren't as moving or meaningful to us.

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  10. Thanks Anne! By the way, Thereserita and I have been asking for St. Maximilian Kolbe's intercession in regard to our blogs and also whether we should continue blogging. Why don't you join us? With three of us entreating him we are sure to get the answers we seek :)

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  11. Victor,
    I don't know... sometimes interior pain is greater than exterior pain. Jesus and Our Lady have asked us to make reparation for sins against the Heart of Jesus so I try to do this. The Eucharist IS the Heart of Jesus as many Eucharistic miracles have shown so I think blasphemy must have caused Him terrible suffering during His Agony in the Garden. He foresaw our sins according to many saints and these sins grieved him immensely. Some more than others.
    I know what you mean though - God is God and always has everything well in hand. I do pray for them. I am praying very hard for a number of bloggers. God bless you, Victor :)

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  12. Mary,
    Exactly! Love seems like such a simple thing but we cannot love without God. I believe people can debate issues with grace and without tearing down the faith of others. I wanted to add to my post that I understand that there are issues in our church that must be addressed and surely we can do it in a dignified manner but this seems like common sense so I left it out.

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  13. Maria,
    Well, that settles it then :)

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  14. Mary, please forgive me for returning again on this topic.

    You are right that what some people say about Mass, the Eucharist and other subjects is hurtful and wrong. Especially when it is Catholics saying it.

    You are also right in bringing this to the attention of your readers, to warn them against such sites.

    And of course, you're right that we should pray about it.

    Beyond that, I believe, we should leave matters in the hands of God who is as ever always in control and can take care of Himself.

    For us to engage in debate with such people on their websites would only fuel the argument and give them an opportunity to say more and further proclaim their mistaken beliefs, and probably lead more of their readers astray. Surely it is better not to comment on their blogs at all and deny them the publicity they seek. True, such an action may lean the conversation to one side, their side only ... but so what? An intelligent reader would soon spot that the comments are all one-sided.

    Of course, you hurt when you read such comments on other peoples' websites. It is right that you should do so and the best remedy, in my opinion, is for you to pray to God to forgive them. Hey ... how great is that? You ... praying to God ... to forgive THEM. Just like Jesus did on the Cross.

    I understand you being disheartened and wishing to give up Blogging altogether. But what will that achieve? One more great voice silenced forever. And your readers denied whatever good they get from reading you. Oh ... and the devil laughs once again!

    Whatever St Kolbe might tell you, my opinion is that you, and others like you, should continue Blogging to be a force for good against all other evil on the Internet. And also, because the Pope told you to keep on Blogging.

    You know ... as I visit many Blogs, I often get into a situation where I start typing furiously in the comments box and then ... my finger (or mouse) hovers nervously on the "Post Comment" button. Then after a short prayer ... the decision is clear to me on whether to post my comment or not. As I re-read this long comment I'm wondering whether to post it or move on to another site and leave my thoughts un-said.

    I urge you to do the same, or better still, don't visit such sites with negative postings. But whatever you do, don't stop Blogging.

    Ok ... I'd better post this and hope for the best!

    God bless.

    (For some reason Blogger does not want to sign me in today. Maybe it's a conspiracy of silence against me. Perhaps I should join it!)

    Victor S E Moubarak

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  15. Colleen,
    I guess it's unanimous then ;)

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  16. Victor,
    I don't comment most of the time on sites with negative posting but on occasion when I see someone attacked by name without VERY good reason I do. Especially if the person who is attacked is honestly trying to reach out to others and lead them to God. I guess you can see by my recent posts that there is more to all this than just what I've written about. There are a couple of things that deeply trouble me when it comes to blogging. Maybe I'll write about it on here or send you an e-mail. The lack of kindness on the web is bothering me more than usual because of a recent incident that came from a place I didn't expect to come from. Added to this is the fact that I am grieving over someone's unexpected death. The manner in which his death took place underscores how precious life and a person's good name is.

    This comment probably makes no sense to you.
    I'm sorry, I'm sitting here with tears running down my eyes because last week I found out that our friend's body (who we thought had died while walking down the street) was actually tossed onto the street after he died as if he was a piece of garbage to be disposed of and my mind just can't grasp why anyone could care so little as to do such a thing.
    Man's inhumanity to man. I struggle with this, both on the web and off of it.

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  17. Mary, I was thinking you'd come across a blog that was misleading and potentially dangerous. That's the down side of the internet. We can come across so much erroneous information by do-gooders or people who are trying to influence you to leave the Catholic Church.

    I was contacted by someone a few months ago, and her intention was "to save me from going to hell because that's where Catholics go" or some such nonsense. She gave me a link to her church, the one true church, and her pastor unabashedly states "only his 50 or so church members are going to heaven." She thought she was doing an act of kindness by telling me my faith was a false one. I didn't get offended though.

    Just this morning I saw a comment on my blogging friend Sarah's blog, The Clay Rosary Girl, and someone is trying for her sake, to convince her the early Christians got it wrong. If you care to see it, it's her post dated Aug 12th about Making a Spiritual Communion. Feel free not to check it out. Your decision :) This is the second time that I'm aware of, that some one commented on her blog trying to convince her the Catholic Church will not lead to eternal salvation.

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  18. I'm so sorry to hear about the death of your friend in such tragic and hurtful circumstances. May he rest in peace.

    I shall pray for him right now; and a special prayer for you too.

    Mary, people can be evil. Very evil indeed. They can even Crucify their own God in a most cruel way.

    Yes ... we weep in the face of such evil. Wherever it occurs. And we pray and we hold on to our Faith as never before.

    Have courage Mary. May Our Lord be by your side and console you in this most difficult time for you.

    God bless you and your family, dear friend.

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  19. Noreen,
    This happens to me sometimes too. Shortly after I started blogging there was 1 man determined to "save my soul from hell". He left comments on my blog. I didn't get offended, he was honestly concerned for my salvation.

    Thanks for telling me these stories, Noreen. I'll go take a look at your friend's site. I know many folks are well-meaning but let's face it - there is a lot of anti-Catholicism out there. Most of it stems from a lack of understanding about our faith. Some don't even consider us Christians. Strange, isn't it?

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  20. Thank you, Victor. I really appreciate your kindness and prayers. This has been a long, hard summer with 3 deaths and my good friend's son paralyzed from his diving injury. Hearing that Ronny's body was thrown into the street put me over the edge.

    God bless you, Victor. You are always a source of consolation to me and you are in my prayers too.

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  21. Thanks for posting this, Mary. It stabs me to the heart when I see such hatred and ignorance concerning the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and, let's add this, the Popes. I don't visit those sites. We must pray and forgive those who have offended us.

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  22. Barb,
    I have been praying about it and will continue. I really do think it's blasphemy to say that the New Mass isn't valid though I realize that those who say such things truly believe they are correct so they are not doing it out of malice (one hopes). That the Pope considers it valid doesn't seem to hold any weight for some reason so you are correct in adding in Popes. In truth I wouldn't mind seeing the TLM added to more of the Mass schedules in our diocese. The Latin Mass has been suspended in our Parish since our Pastor died and I'm not sure it will be reinstated. Anyway, regardless of personal preferences both Masses are valid. Thanks for commenting, Barb.

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  23. "St. Thomas Aquinas would have jumped for joy if he had the opportunities to spread the glories of the Mass that we have at our fingertips."

    This is an absolutely awesome observation.

    This is my first visit here and you've given me a lot to think about. Thank you.

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  24. Kay,
    Thank you for visiting and commenting on this post. I think a number of saints would have jumped for joy if they had the opportunities that we have right at our fingertips :)

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