Sunday, November 01, 2009

Catholic Heritage

Something struck me today at Mass. Although I attend an FSSP chapel, sometimes time constraints necessitate my attendance at a diocesan affiliated Traditional Latin Mass held at a Novus Ordo parish. While the diocesan TLM has its regular attendees, it also has a certain percentage of drop-ins.

I observed three unrelated elderly women at today's Mass. One woman asked another "Is this a Spanish Mass?" The second woman responded that it was a high Mass, but I don't think she understood that it was a high Mass of the Extraordinary Form. The first woman took her place in a pew. During the early parts of the Mass the second woman got up and talked to a third elderly woman. While I could not understand what they were saying, I observed a prevailing sense of confusion in both the second and third women's demeanor. The second woman took a seat next to the third woman. Half way through the Mass both the second and third women were gone. The first woman, while obviously not knowing when to sit, stand, and kneel, at least made it through most of the Mass, leaving immediately after receiving Communion.

What struck me observing these three elderly women is something I have observed several times in the past--the greatest source of opposition towards the Traditional Latin Mass within the lay world comes from the elderly. They seem to have become so attached to the Novus Ordo Mass that they refuse to even try the Extraordinary Form. Indeed, the very Mass they once knew and loved in their youth has become a remnant of the past, all but forgotten--they have forgotten their own Catholic heritage. It is the young that are flocking to the TLM, and it is the young that shall perpetuate devotion to the Mass of the Ages.


Anonymous said...

Fair point but if you speak to older Catholics many will tell you that they did not like the Latin Mass and were delighted with the switch.

I am not saying they are right or wrong, I'm not saying Novus Ordo is better or worse just stating a fact.

Traditionalists can sometimes lose sight of the fact that it was not universally popular. Otherwise there would have been no reform at V2.
There is no point pretending that everyone loved Latin Mass when clearly many did not.

Nick said...

Whether the elderly liked the Latin Mass when they were young or not, whether the TLM was universally popular or not doesn't take away from the fact that it was and is a part of our Catholic heritage--far too many Catholics try to forget the Church's history and focus only on the past 40 years since VII.

Anonymous said...

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I think that current time in the world is excellent occasion for restoration true catholic monarchy with help of God and Our Lady. restoration of Traditional catholic Monarchy in concrete manner. Yes, to the full restoration of monarchy is too far way but I think that Good God and Our Lady will help us.

many greetings to U.S.A. and God bless to your work.
In Christo Vere Rege

With catholic Greeting:

Papst und Habsburg Hoch!

Ales Jirkovsky

Convenor said...

It would be very kind of you if you could let your readers know about the December issue of CHRISTVS REGNAT, a journal of Catholic heritage from Ireland:

We'd also be delighted if you linked to/followed/blogrolled our blog:

Pray for me!

God bless you!

St. Conleth's Catholic Heritage Association

Anonymous said...

As traditionalists we must not be disheartened. The younger generation of priests are especially inclined to tradition and the old ways. Even the Pope is taking steps towards a restoration of tradition. It is only a matter of time before things are righted again, but the road to get there may be a rough one. We must brace ourselves for battle. Dominus vobiscum.


Anonymous said...

Hopefully you are still in the habit of posting articles every six weeks or so --- or even sooner.

As far as your observations go, keep one thing in mind. Today's youth are seeking a sense of the sacred as if they were parched travelers seeking water. Today's youth see the profanity of the age. Recourse to historic versions of the Mass is a supernatural reflex, in a quest to encounter the majestic charisma of God.

The older generation of today is now the Korean War generation. There was too much time in their youth dedicated to Americanizing themselves from their parents' immigrant roots. Plus, it was the Instant Age. Instant food, instant this, instant that. In fact, drugs ended up being called "Instant Karma" by the Sixties, and there was a cube game sold, called "Instant Insanity."

The Novus Ordo was seen as the quickie Mass. The Latin Mass wasn't instant enough for that age group. Plus, the fasting days were erased when the Novus Ordo came in. So, by association, the Novus Ordo was preferred. In this age of no fasting days beyond two lenten days, take note of the obesity of this age.

In addition, anything that seemed "old country" was seen as foreign and scary to that generation. That included Latin.

There were a lot of worldly distractions which caught that generation's attention. Committing themselves to those worldly seductions sealed the deal for that generation. At the time, Psychology was replacing Religion and psychologists were seen as the news priests.

Post again, as soon as you can.

Manuel Marques Pinto de Rezende said...

Mr. Nick,

I recently came to your blog, and i must congratulate you for your wonderfull writting, and your sensible thougts.

I wish to thank you for all the infrmation you provide from the Catholic world, especially the initiatives of american catholic thinkers and ecclesiastics.

Though i am a monarchist and a traditionalist, i am amazed with the american inspiration, the interest of american catholics in our traditions, in the word of Christ.

As Burke once said, America will be the last bastion of liberty.

Best regards,

Manuel Rezende, Porto, Portugal

Anonymous said...

I have seen it with both Catholic and Protestant elderly (dislike of Tradition with a capital T, tradition for a reason, not just extant traditional practices). What it PROBABLY is, is that they like status quo; for them objective truth (if they even believe it exists) should take a back door to stability, and they view Traditional things as creating change. Another thing to consider is that they are losing their faculties for rational thinking, so they are clinging to whatever makes them the most comfortable. Jesus said if you are lukewarm, he will begin to "vomit you out" of his mouth. They're the very definition of lukewarm. ONE MORE thing it might be is that the elderly women are non-radical feminists who don't want to wear veils or worry about hemlines, anything specific that relates to their gender. They sense that the logical consequence of Traditional Catholicism is a restoration of constraints on women. While they would like teenage girls to wear more modest clothes to church, they don't want anything "mean" or draconian done to ensure enforcement. They're the "nice" generation.