Holiness Flows the Mass
Thomas A. Droleskey
The ineffable and august Sacrifice of the Cross is perpetuated in an unbloody manner every time an alter Christus, acting in persona Christi, offers the perfect prayer that is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The same Priest and Victim Who offered Himself up as a propitiation for human sins on the wood of the Holy Cross is offered to the Father in Spirit and in Truth by a mere man whose immortal soul has been forever configured to His own Priesthood and Victimhood. The Mass permits us to be present at the foot of the Cross as we witness the holocaust that our sins imposed upon the God-Man in His Sacred Humanity and at the same the Mass is a foretaste of eternal glories. There is nothing we can do during the course of any day that God has given us from all eternity to live than assisting at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. We must make special efforts, including moving if this is necessary, to assist at the daily offering of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition, thereby helping ourselves to see the world more clearly through the eyes of the true Faith and to be more disposed to cooperate with the life-saving graces we receive in Holy Communion, to say nothing of the many fold actual graces that flow out into the world from each and every Mass.
Focusing our lives around the daily offering of the Traditional Latin Mass, wherein the solemnity of Calvary and the glories of Heaven are most perfectly and beautifully contained and expressed, prepares us to accept God's Holy Will in our lives, recognizing as we must that there is nothing that we are asked to suffer in this life that is the equal of what one of our least venial sins caused Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to suffer on the wood of the Holy Cross on Good Friday. Focusing our lives around the daily offering of the Traditional Latin Mass, whose calendar contains days on which multiple saints are commemorated so as to call to our attention the cloud of witnesses to the Faith who have gone before us, permits us to learn more about the saints, to prepare ourselves for each and every feast day by reading about the lives of the saints and by praying to them that we may in some small way imitate their heroic virtues.
The Traditional Latin Mass, clearly expressing itself as a sacrifice offered by a sacerdos and beautifully singing the glories of Heaven, is a refuge from the world, not an enshrinement of the world's false, pluralistic, relativistic currents that are part and parcel of the whole ethos of the Novus Ordo Missae under the slogan of "inculturation." The Mass of all ages, therefore, permits us to seek to escape from the cares and the influences of this passing world by reminding us that there is a God Who judges, that it is possible for us to lose our souls for all eternity, that we must plead for God's Mercy without for one second presuming that we will be the beneficiaries of this Mercy at the moment of our Particular Judgments. We escape from the world so as to be cleansed from its many--and at times unseen--consequences in the midst of our daily lives, fortified to do battle with the forces of the world, the flesh, and the devil with hearts that are consecrated totally to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and to the fountain of Divine Mercy that was formed out of the Immaculate Heart, the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Love grows the more that we have contact with the object of our affection. A soul that has contact on a daily basis with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as it was taught by Our Lord Himself to the Apostles grows in his love of the Mass, coming to rue any day when circumstances preclude his assisting at the Sacrifice of the Cross. As God alone--Father, Son, and Holy Ghost--is the object of a soul's Adoration, a love of the Mass, the act in which He is made incarnate anew under the appearances of bread and wine, leads to a greater Adoration of God, more fervent acts of Reparation in union with the action of the Mass itself, a more perfect union with the Petitions offered to the Father through the Son in Spirit and in Truth contained in the Ordinary and Propers of the Mass, and a more steadfast spirit of Thanksgiving for having received the unmerited privilege of being a Roman Catholic and thus having access to the worthy reception of the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity made Man in Our Lady's virginal and immaculate womb. Loving the Mass is the absolute prerequisite to loving God so much that the thought of displeasing Him by the commission of a deliberate mortal sin becomes repugnant, the desire to cleanse oneself in cooperation with the graces received therein to be freed of any attachment to our venial sins.
Each and every day, therefore, is "Thanksgiving Day" for a Catholic. The word Eucharist means thanksgiving. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the fountain of all holiness, permits us to express our own thanks for the gift of the true Faith, for having been given a Blessed Mother, who stands by the foot of her Divine Son's Holy Cross in each Mass just as she did on the first Good Friday, for having been given access to the treasuries contained in the Communion of Saints, making us supplicants of the members of the Church Triumphant and intercessors for the members of the Church Suffering, each of which is present at every Mass. We are given the privilege of partaking of that which is denied to the angels, to taste of the Lord Himself in His Real Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament. Each day provides us with an opportunity to be present at and to benefit from the ultimate act of Thanksgiving, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Our love for the Immemorial Mass of Tradition stands in sharp contrast with the world's hatred of it. The Protestant Revolt was born in an execrable hatred of the Mass of all ages, reaching its most violent expression in its Calvinist mutations, wherein high altars and statues of Our Lady and the saints were smashed with wicked abandon. The Mass of Tradition is hated by the sons of Modernity, men whose hatred of the Incarnation is such that any reminder of this central fact in human history must be wiped away from social consciousness. Hatred of the Mass of Tradition, therefore, is hatred of the Incarnation itself and contempt for the fact that man needs to rely upon the graces provided therein to sanctity and to save his immortal soul. Modernists within the true Church hate the Mass of Tradition because they do not want to be reminded of their sinfulness and do not want to give God the honor and glory that are His due, having deified themselves and their wicked desires. There is thus quite a diabolical nexus between the spirit of Modernity in the world and that of Modernism in the Church, based as that spirit is in a desire to destroy everything that is authentically Catholic and to replace it with the man's prideful belief in his own salvific abilities.
The Calvinists, for example, who celebrated a "thanksgiving" in the Plymouth Bay Colony in 1621 were not only only giving thanks for a bountiful harvest. Oh, no. The Calvinists of the Plymouth Bay Colony hated the Mass, believing that they had been charged by God to find a place that was "pure," a place where the "evils" of Catholicism had never been practiced. The altars of the schismatic and heretical Anglican Church contained too many trappings of Catholicism to suit the wretched lot of people known as Calvinists in England, ignoring the fact that Anglicanism was and remains an effort to accommodate Catholic Tradition to the spirit of the world and to the heresies of Martin Luther, an eerie foreshadowing of the Novus Ordo Missae itself. Those who came to these shores, having been blown off course en route over the ocean to Virginia and arriving instead at Plymouth Rock, in the early Seventeenth Century believed that they would establish the "New Zion," the "shining city set on a hill." They gave thanks for having been given, as they saw it, such an opportunity. The truth is, however, that the New Zion and the shining city set on a hill is the Catholic Church. Period. Those who think they are "purifying" and "simplifying" Christianity by warring about Catholicism in general and the Immemorial Mass of Tradition in particular are warring against God Himself, Who wills that all men be members of the Church He Himself founded upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope, so that they may worship Him in spirit and in truth in the ineffable Sacrifice of Calvary that is the Mass.
In like manner, you see, most of our contemporaries who make much of "thanksgiving day" are celebrating all of the wrong things. Many in our Judeo-Masonic, religiously indifferentist and culturally pluralistic country give thanks for such "glories" as "religious liberty," which means the "right" to be "free" from the influence of religion in general and the true religion in particular, and "civil liberty," which means for so many Americans the "right" to kill babies, both chemically and surgically, and the "right" to misuse their human free wills to live empty lives of Calvinist, capitalistic consumerism and materialism, supporting various industries that reduce man to a slave of the things of this world and arouse his disordered passions to crave for the sensations and thrills of the moment. Yes, to put it bluntly, many will "give thanks" on November 24, 2005, that they live in a country where "reproductive choice" and "alternative life styles" and usury and careerism of all sorts (political, economic, cultural) are seen as veritable virtues that define its commitment to "human dignity." It is needless to point out that many Catholics, having been seduced by the Judeo-Masonic spirit of Modernity in the world and its Modernist expressions in the Church in her human elements in the past forty years, "celebrate" these same evils with gusto. Such things would be unthinkable in a Catholic country that submits itself to the Social Reign of Christ the King and of Mary our Immaculate Queen.
As Catholics, therefore, we must keep our focus this day and every day on the Thanksgiving of Thanksgivings that is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. We must make whatever sacrifices necessary to avail ourselves of the fullest and most perfect expression of the Mass, being grateful to God for having received the grace of Tradition to embrace that which has been jettisoned, out of ignorance by many and out of malice by a few, by so many Catholics in the past forty to fifty years. We must be grateful for the courage of the priests who have embraced the Mass of Tradition without any compromise or dilution in order to offer us in the laity that which is our absolute right codified under Quo Primum, which merely expresses the actual fact of the matter concerting the immemorial nature of the Traditional Mass of the Roman Rite, unfettered access to the Mass that Our Lord Himself taught the Apostles to say. We must be grateful to Our Lady, to Saint Joseph, to Saints Peter and Paul, and to all of the angels and the saints for being given to see the necessity of eschewing all human respect, including good relations with our family members and the loss of friends in some instances, in order to be fortified in the fountain of holiness that is the Mass of all ages.
Catholics should not keep the secular holidays that are meant to enshrine things antipathetic to the good of souls but to live vibrantly the fullness of the liturgical life of the Church. Today is the Feast of Saint John of the Cross, whose virtues were briefly chronicled in Wrecking More Than Churches. We should read Dom Prosper Gueranger's moving account of this great saint, whose restoration of the original Carmelite disciplines was met with great hostility by some of those who belonged to the religious community in which he had been ordained to the Holy Priesthood. We should do this with every single feast day in the calendar of the Church. The statues in our homes must not be the plaster saints of Modernity's belief that the true Faith is irrelevant to social order, but the saints who glory in the fact that they were given the privilege to offer or assist at the Immemorial Mass of Tradition. We must make acts of thanksgiving for having been brought to the baptismal font so as to be able to assist at the Mass ourselves, using the sacred moments of the Consecration of the Host and the wine in the Chalice into the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of the God-Man and the moments after the reception of Holy Communion to return thanks for all that we have been given, including our crosses, which are the means of our sanctification, the means by which we die to self and live more fully the spirit of the Sacrifice of the Mass with every beat of our hearts.
A love of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass leads us to spend time with Our Beloved in His Real Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament during the course of a day. A love of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass leads us to appreciate the necessity of being totally consecrated to Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, becoming instruments of offering up all of our prayers, including the Mass and Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary, and sacrifices and sufferings and humiliations through the Immaculate Heart to the Throne of God Himself. A love of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass leads us to be thankful for every opportunity in our lives to serve Him, unworthy though we are, as instruments who attempt to plant seeds in His vineyard as we make reparation for our sins and sloth.
God gives us enough length of years so that we might begin to get things right before we die. There is so much that I have learned in the past ten to fifteen years, so much that I have yet to learn and to unlearn, if you will. The occasion of my fifty-fourth birthday today, November 24, give me pause to thank God for the great mercies He has bestowed upon me, an erring sinner, over the years and to thank His Most Blessed Mother for showering me with the graces to have such a wonderful wife, who has used her own commitment to Catholic Tradition to instill in our precious daughter a great love of the Traditional Latin Mass. My wife and I remember our friends and benefactors in every Mass we assist at. We are indeed very grateful for your prayers and support at all times, ever desirous of sharing with you an unending Easter Sunday of glory in Heaven if each of us dies in a state of sanctifying grace, thereby participating in an eternal thanksgiving in the Presence of Love Himself, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
A blessed Feast of Saint John of the Cross, a priest who not only made the Sacrifice of the Mass present in an unbloody manner but who lived the Cross with every fiber of his being, to you all.
Our Lady, Help of Christians, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saint Jude, pray for us.
Saint Rita, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, pray for us.
Saint John of the Cross, pray for us.
Saint Teresa of Avila, pray for us.
Saint Simon Stock, pray for us.
Saint Chrysoganus, pray for us.
Saint Catherine of Alexandria, pray for us.
Pope Saint Clement I, pray for us.