Summorum Pontificum has put us in touch with our history

By Father Alexander Lucie-Smith at the CatholicHerald.co.uk:

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Seven years have passed since Summorum Pontificum, the motu proprio by which Benedict XVI liberated the traditional Latin Mass from all restrictions. As we contemplate this anniversary, it is interesting to ask ourselves what exactly has changed. How has the motu proprio altered the landscape of the Church?

On a personal note, what changed for me was that in the wake of the motu proprio I learned how to celebrate the Extraordinary Form, as it became known. I had been to EF Masses as a child, when staying with family friends in Gozo: in those days there was a Tridentine Mass every day in the little church of Our Lady of Pompeii in Victoria. Moreover, I had been to a Tridentine Mass said privately at my school, and later on to a few in Oxford either at Blackfriars or at Campion Hall. But I cannot say that at any point the EF really ‘grabbed’ me. My preference then, and to some extent now, was for the Novus Ordo celebrated in Latin; because I knew Latin, I was quite often asked to serve these Masses for priests who celebrated in Latin; though my real joy was in a Sung High Mass, of the type I used to attend at the London Oratory with my godmother in school holidays.

My father was a huge admirer of the Latin Mass of his youth: he used to say that its great advantage was that wherever you went in the world, the Mass was the same, in Latin, in the universal language, and thus accessible to all. That is a point of view I have not heard expressed for many a year. But there is something in it. The EF, I discovered as I learned it, is very formal: every gesture and every word has its place, and there is no room for variation, which is a good thing. Every Mass, in theory, is exactly like every other Mass. Why is this good? It is good because it reminds us that the Church is Catholic, universal. Of course we all have our particularities, but we need to remember that the universal aspect ought to take precedence. Why? Because the revelation of Jesus Christ is something that makes sense across space and time. It is valid for all times and places. Therefore it seems to me that the Mass ought to be celebrated in a way that emphasises the unicity of revelation and the unity of the human family. We should not be celebrating diversity, but identity; not celebrating difference, but the common heritage we all share.

I think this is one thing that has changed in the last seven years, and this is one of the looked for fruits of Summorum Pontificum: the EF has ‘reminded’ the OF of the ‘catholicity’ of the Church.

If the horizontal aspect is important, so is the vertical. The EF is clearly old, indeed very old. Codified at Trent, it is much older than Trent, going back to the time of Gregory the Great; in his time it was already old. Moreover, the OF is not ‘new’, in the sense that it is clearly in continuity with the ‘old’ Mass; the ‘new’ Mass is not ex nihilo. So, whether you celebrate one Mass or the other, or both from time to time, you are standing in a millennial tradition, going right back to the time before Pope Gregory. The ancient nature of the Church’s tradition is not something you heard much about when I was growing up, when all the talk was of the importance of ‘relevance’. So it is good that we should feel the worth and weight of tradition, and antiquity. These are useful counter-cultural correctives in this culture of ours, a culture which will one day be in the dustbin of history while the Mass, ever old, ever new, will continue.

So this is the main thing that we owe to Benedict’s motu proprio: it has put us more in touch with our history and with our universality. But it goes further. In using the old Missal, one often encounters a beautiful book, more than fifty years old, yet still serviceable; this goes for both altar missals and hand missals. The bibliophile in me recognises these as beautiful survivals, things to be treasured; and like the music that accompanies a missa cantata, as well as the sheer poetry of some of the texts (one thinks in particular of the Dies Irae), these are beautiful things, and a thing of beauty is a joy forever. Modern missals are cheap and hideous: my altar missal, barely three years old, is already falling apart. Much modern liturgical music is trash, and will not survive much longer; much modern liturgical language is ugly and banal.

By contrast, the words so many great composers set to music are classics: their meaning will never be exhausted, but they bear fruit in every age. Though most of the Mass is not written in a Latin that approaches the elegance of the Golden Age, much of it is lovely. Summorum Pontificum, over the last seven years, has pointed us towards the importance of beauty. Ugliness in the ecclesial setting, is, I hope, I think, in retreat. Beauty has a theological and spiritual role to play; so does ugliness, but not in a good way; the former is essential, the latter to be resisted at all costs. Summorum Pontificum has been an important weapon in the arsenal of all those who want to resist the tyranny of ugliness and banality.

Seven years is a short time indeed. The task is barely begun, but the tide, I pray, is unstoppable.

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36 Responses to Summorum Pontificum has put us in touch with our history

  1. John says:

    The way we commune with God from here on earth can never be a reflection of the way that we will commune with him in the beauty and splendour of heaven, but I believe it is our duty to try and reflect something of heaven here on earth as a sign of both our respect and our love of Him.
    As humans, we have throughout history lavished great art and music on Kings and Emperors, and have given obedience to them in their palaces, so how much more should we give of the best to the lord, by worshipping him in a way that reflects the best of what we as human beings can do.
    The worship of God in in own house should honour his majesty and mighty power, and our offerings to him in prayer should be accompanied by beauty and majesty in the form of the spoken word, music, and art in a mystical setting that helps us to transcend the ordinary and see through the veil into the heavenly realm.
    I can see no better way of doing this than by being faithful to the past and making use of all the power vested in all that has gone before

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  2. John says:

    One small thing that annoys me kind of allied to this …. When I was a child, Sunday was always set aside. No playing in the Street, No rowdy behaviour. One dressed in Sunday best and went to Sunday School and then to Church. We would never dream of turning up to Church in casual clothes. Even now I find it hard to contemplate not putting on my best clobber to attend a church service.After all I would never visit my Great Aunt and Uncle looking casual or scruffy,( they would certainly disapprove ) or even the local Mayor !! so why should I not make the very best of efforts to appear before Our Lord looking at least that I have tried and made an effort ! Today when I see all the informality,Jeans, T Shirts ( tea and coffee at the back of church for after Eucharist ) Children running up and down the Aisles DURING a church service, casual chit chat before and after the service, and the happy clappy casualness of some modern day church services I despair… Not for me I am afraid

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  3. Toad says:

    “As humans, we have throughout history lavished great art and music on Kings and Emperors, and have given obedience to them in their palaces, so how much more should we give of the best to the Lord…”

    You make an interesting point, John, which might throw some light on Western Christianity’s dwindling congregations under scrutiny here on another “thread.”.
    Possibly today, we humans look with a more jaundiced eye on the capering antics of Charles and Camilla, “Harry” and “Wills” and Juan Carlos, to name but a few – than humans in the past did regarding the idle and brainless buffoons imposed by capricious monarchic heritage on them.
    Hence a certain antipathy to kings in general – even the King of Heaven.
    I don’t know. What do you think?

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  4. John says:

    Hi Toad, Yes I have to agree with what you say. In the age of information technology there is very little about the sleazier side of human existence that can be effectively hidden, hence as you say respect for authority in all areas is in a crisis.
    Current scandals show that the human race is more “sick” than perhaps we would like to admit.
    In the old days it was easier to manufacture an image. One only has to look at the Victorian era, when for example, the cult of Queen and Empire was at its height, and everyone tried to emulate and aspire to ways of the upper classes; as they were thought of as being the epitome of good taste and respectability.
    Of course it was all an image, with the nasty stuff being well hidden; the difference between then and now is that it’s all out in the open now.
    I suppose I would argue that it has never been right to place “man” on a pedestal for reasons of him being so fallible, but being, for the most, part creatures that need to be lead, it is in our nature to create a cult of personality around our leaders, and we would like to imagine they are forces for good and thus come to proffer a degree of elevation towards them – quite simply it is in our nature to do that.
    I’m not sure if our ambivalence towards earthy leaders is reflected in our attitudes towards God, though I could suggest that some of those who lead us towards the throne of heaven have been erm …maybe a little less than deserving of our respect – I am NOT pointing fingers and I am not singling any faith out, but as an Anglican (on the verge of possible conversion) I am free to say that I have lost a lot of my own personal respect for our leaders in my own church as they are in the main responsible for watering down, devaluing, and throwing traditional worship and respect out as something unfashionable and past its sell by date….. The result being that congregations have lost their sense of awe, majesty, and mystery, and replaced it with weak tea and stale buns in the vestry. In doing so we have for sure done Our Lord a major dis service
    It is down to the leaders of the church to ensure that due respect and deference is preserved in the church; after all I think even the modern day press would be hard pressed to tarnish the name of the Lord, who’s life on earth was one which we can and should safely aspire to emulate

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  5. Toad says:

    “I think even the modern day press would be hard pressed to tarnish the name of the Lord,”

    True, John. Not likely to sell many papers.
    Again, though, I must point out that the press has no need to tarnish anybody’s name.
    …Every day people line up – eager to tarnish their own.

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  6. John says:

    Well Toad I can not disagree with that !!!

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  7. Father Smith writes, “The EF, I discovered as I learned it, is very formal: every gesture and every word has its place, and there is no room for variation, which is a good thing. Every Mass, in theory, is exactly like every other Mass. Why is this good? It is good because it reminds us that the Church is Catholic, universal.”

    It is also good because if you read the prayers of the EF Mass – and especially if you read them in Latin – you find passages and moments when the prayers are so profound that they seem almost – as Father Smith suggests – to hover at the edge of eternity.

    You do not, to say the least, have quite the same impression with the Novus Ordo Mass, although what Father Smith writes in its defense is both good and true. In an interview, Alice von Hildebrand, the wife of one of the great Catholic theologians of the twentieth century, Dietrich von Hildebrand, spoke of her husband’s reaction to the ‘spirit of the council’ after Vatican II: “My husband was reading a theological journal, and suddenly I heard him burst into tears. I ran to him, fearful that his heart condition had suddenly caused him pain. I asked him if he was all right. He told me that the article that he had been reading had provided him with the certain insight that the devil had entered the Church….Many a time I have heard Americans say that Europeans ‘smell conspiracy wherever they go.’ But from the beginning, the Evil One has ‘conspired’ against the Church – and has always aimed in particular at destroying the Mass and sapping belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. That some people are tempted to blow this undeniable fact out of proportion is no reason for denying its reality. On the other hand, I, European born, am tempted to say that many Americans are naïve; living in a country that has been blessed by peace, and knowing little about history, they are more likely than Europeans (whose history is a tumultuous one) to fall prey to illusions … Judas had played his hand so artfully that no one suspected him, for a cunning conspirator knows how to cover his tracks with a show of orthodoxy.” (http://www.catholicamericanthinker.com/Unreferenced-Communism.html)

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  8. Toad says:

    “But from the beginning, the Evil One has ‘conspired’ against the Church – and has always aimed in particular at destroying the Mass and sapping belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. That some people are tempted to blow this undeniable fact out of proportion is no reason for denying its reality. “

    …I’d suggest that well over half the population of the world would deny this “fact.”
    Doesn’t mean it’s not true, of course. But…

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  9. johnhenrycn says:

    “Doesn’t mean it’s not true”

    Nor does it mean that it’s not not true 😉

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  10. kathleen says:

    @ Robert John Bennett

    That’s a moving and insightful quote from the indomitable Alice von Hildebrand: how “from the beginning, the Evil One has ‘conspired’ against the Church – and has always aimed in particular at destroying the Mass and sapping belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist”. We have overwhelming evidence to claim these are indeed “undeniable facts”… whatever Toad might say. 😉

    I have yet to meet a faithful Catholic who grew up with the EF Mass who did not feel devastated and bereft when this sublime Mass was replaced with the Novus Ordo Mass at Vatican II. Certainly my parents carried this sorrow with them always, and although my mother (who died two years ago) was overjoyed when Pope Benedict’s motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum, enabled Catholics to return to the Mass of the Ages, it is still not very widely available to most people.

    Good old Fr. Tim Finigan posted this amusing video on the first anniversary of Pope Benedict’s motu proprio – enjoy! 🙂

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  11. Thank you, Kathleen. I like the video. The point is clear!

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  12. Toad says:

    ” We have overwhelming evidence to claim these are indeed “undeniable facts”… whatever Toad might say…”
    (Sigh.) We are (or should be) talking logic here. If a “fact” is denied by anyone, and this “fact” is – by several million Muslims, Atheists, Hindus and several assorted varieties of Christian – then it is not an ” undeniable fact.”
    But that does not necessarily mean it is untrue.

    …Nor is the evidence here “overwhelming.” indeed, many millions of people do not find it at all convincing, but instead highly speculative. No metaphysical evidence can ever ultimately be anything more than a matter of faith – by its very nature.
    Doesn’t automatically mean it’s not true, though.
    To suggest otherwise is misuse of language. An undeniably grave sin.

    I have firm faith that Bach is better than The Beatles Many disagree. They are wrong, I am confident, but I can see no way of presenting them with overwhelming evidence to support my assertion.
    (Pedantic, boring old twit, Toad.)

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  13. mkenny114 says:

    Thanks for posting that video Kathleen – very chucklesome 🙂 However, although it made me laugh, I have to admit it did also make me a little sad, as it reminded me just how much I miss Pope Benedict!

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  14. kathleen says:

    “[F]rom the beginning, the Evil One has ‘conspired’ against the Church – and has always aimed in particular at destroying the Mass and sapping belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.”

    Toad, I think we are talking at cross purposes here. In her article (and my comment) Alice von Hildebrand is not talking about the veracity of the Real Presence of Christ in the consecrated Bread and Wine – it goes without saying that those of the True Faith will know and believe that – but of the Evil One’s constant and continual attack against the Church in order to try to destroy Her, especially the Holy Eucharist.

    That is what is “an undeniable fact” – be the ‘enemies’ conspiring to destroy Her either atheists, Muslims, Catholic-hating Protestants, or whatever – and every honest person would have to admit the truth of this. Just look at the historical evidence! The Church has always, and always will be, the victim of attacks against Her until the ultimate Triumph of the Woman over the Dragon at the end of the world. All we must do is to defend the Bride of Christ in every way we can by remaining Her faithful followers to the best of our possibilities.

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  15. Toad says:

    In which case, I apologise, Kathleen. It is, as Popper says, “…impossible to speak in such a way that we cannot be misunderstood.” Presumably, God is OK with this difficult and perplexing situation.
    …Though I suppose it’s all our fault.

    Certainly, some people regard the Catholic Church as the Scarlet Woman, Whore of Babylon, Source of All Lies and Evil, etc, and would like to see it obliterated from The Face of the Earth. Pronto.
    …That, I agree, is an undeniable fact.

    “Alice von Hildebrand is not talking about the veracity of the Real Presence of Christ in the consecrated Bread and Wine..”
    …Might it be possible for a Catholic to accept …the veracity of the Real Presence of Christ.. in the Eucharist – without also having to believe that bread becomes flesh, and wine becomes blood – while seeming chemically unaltered?
    Because, if we accept that premise – surely everything else “physical” (Science, if you like) is potentially subject to the same apparently illogical strictures?
    …Any object might become anything else – and how would we know?

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  16. John says:

    The video was amusing but the message I fully endorse 🙂

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  17. kathleen says:

    So glad Robert, Michael (Kenny) and John liked Fr. Tim’s Summorum Pontificum celebration video! And our Toad – did he like it too? 😉

    Yes Michael, I’m afraid I have to admit to also missing our dear Pope Emeritus Benedict, especially his amazingly profound and beautiful weekly catechesis. It appears that there are very many Catholics who would agree with us.

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  18. Toad says:

    Love a good movie. The one above, particularly. Haven’t been to the cinema for years, though.
    Dear Old Uncle Fester. Always good for a laugh.
    What a star.
    Mickey Rooney was born to play him.
    Unfortunately, Benedict will now have to play Rooney in the epic psychodrama.
    “How stwange are the vagarwies of fate..” … (Mel Gibson.)

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  19. mkenny114 says:

    Toad,

    Regarding your earlier comment:

    ‘…if we accept that premise – surely everything else “physical” (Science, if you like) is potentially subject to the same apparently illogical strictures?
    …Any object might become anything else – and how would we know?’

    I thought that what made miracles miraculous is precisely the fact that they go beyond what we normally experience in the natural world – i.e.; that they presuppose the regularity of the laws of nature, and that this is what makes them notably extra-ordinary. What I mean is that by affirming the miraculousness of something like transubstantiation, we also affirm the regularity and reliability of nature’s usual patterns, rather than opening everything up to chaos.

    Also, I would suggest that Saint Thomas’ articulation of what happens in the consecration of the Host is not illogical at all – it describes something extraordinary, but I wouldn’t say his description of the event is illogical; in fact, one of the most common criticisms against the doctrine of transubstantiation is that it is too logical, and takes away the mystery of what happens.

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  20. Toad says:

    “…one of the most common criticisms against the doctrine of transubstantiation is that it is too logical, and takes away the mystery of what happens.”

    Hmm, Michael. Lost me on that one.

    Like

  21. mkenny114 says:

    Have you not come across that objection before? I heard it a lot as an Anglican, and it is the prime objection that the Orthodox level against the Catholic understanding of what goes on in the Eucharist.

    To clarify, what I mean is that the critics of transubstantiation, particularly as articulated by Saint Thomas, do not think that the mystery of the Mass can be rationalised, and that the Catholic teaching on this goes too far in doing so (i.e.; seeks to rely too much on logic to make clear what is essentially beyond our comprehension). I do not agree of course, and see what Saint Thomas laid out as making the change in the elements reasonable, but not completely explicable – this of course is my basic point to you earlier, that whilst transubstantiation is extraordinary, beyond normal experience, and can never be fully explained in rational terms, it can be made sense of, and in terms that are certainly not illogical.

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  22. John says:

    Today I attended my very first Sung Latin Mass at Christ The king Sovereign Priest Shrine Church of Ss Peter & Paul & St Philomena at New Brighton in Wirral – The same church that initiated my interest in this blog to start with.
    It seems somehow appropriate to add to this thread with my thoughts on the visit, since it relates directly the spirit of Father Alexander Lucie-Smith’s article in the CatholicHerald.co.uk:
    This was my first experience of such a service, and I entered the church without any preconceptions other than it would be a Eucharist that I would probably recognise in its essentials, but with some differences.
    How wrong can one be? From entering the church to leaving, I was transfixed and totally transported to another realm.
    The church was well supported, and as I waited for my new friends to arrive (they already attend the church), who were kind enough to offer their help in guiding me on my first visit, I was approached by several members of the congregation making their way in, who a enquired as to whether I needed help and was I OK. I found this very touching and their smiles and concern immediately made me feel at ease.
    On meeting my friends and entering the church, I was greeted by more friendly and happy faces, to the sound of gentle organ music.
    Taking our places mid-way down the body of the church, the sense of peace, piety, and respect was palpable, but in no way overwhelming, but rather calming and gentle.
    The prospect of following a sung service in Latin was at first daunting, even with the presence of an accompanying translation, nonetheless, much of which was even to an Anglican, still familiar, could be understood by the actions taking place in the sanctuary, which in their reverence, careful ritual, and smooth flowing movement was akin to prayerfulness itself. Clearly the effort made to achieve such beauty in worship was made with love, because the beauty shone through.
    Considering how complicated such a service clearly is, it remained unhurried, gentle, calm, peaceful and so full of meaning that clearly instilled a sense of peace and wonderment in all who were there.
    The Mass was sung and chanted beautifully, with a superb choir, and despite the trepidation and worry about trying to follow the words of the mass, having been there for 5 minutes none of that seemed to matter as the entire building seemed to resonate with prayer and love of which I was privileged to be a part of.
    After the service I was able to meet many people, all of whom were so warm and friendly and have a cup of tea.
    I am sad to say that I have been in many “modern” “evangelically” minded churches of my own denomination where I would be hard pressed to receive a basic “Good Morning” let alone a smile, or a welcome of the kind received at this wonderful Shrine Church
    This is tradition at its best; and if tradition like this can create such a sense of closeness to God, as clearly it did, and a Christian community that smiles, is welcoming and is clearly happy to be there then I say we should have more tradition in our worship. The only sadness for me was that of course I could not partake in the Eucharist, but I wanted to say to The Shrine of Ss Peter, Paul and Philomena, thank you for such a wonderful experience.

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  23. mkenny114 says:

    John,

    That sounds truly wonderful. I am so glad you had such a welcoming and transporting experience 🙂 Thanks for sharing it!

    Like

  24. 000rjbennett says:

    Yes, I think John’s account of his happiness has also made others very happy. I have a friend who nearly wept tears of joy when he experienced once again, for the first time in over forty years, the Traditional Latin Mass. He said afterwards, “Over and over again I had to ask myself, when they did away with that Mass, what were they THINKING?”

    Robert Bennett

    On 14 July 2014 11:08, Catholicism Pure & Simple wrote:

    > mkenny114 commented: “John, That sounds truly wonderful. I am so glad > you had such a welcoming and transporting experience 🙂 Thanks for sharing > it!”

    Like

  25. kathleen says:

    Dear John,

    I would like to add a few words to express my own delight that your experience of the Traditional Latin Mass was so holy and beautiful. Your detailed description painted a vivid picture for us all, and I really thank you for this. I shall keep you in my prayers that one day (soon ?) you will be partaking of the Holy Eucharist with us too. 🙂

    It is worth pointing out that the Holy Mass is a reenactment of Our Blessed Lord’s Sacrifice on Calvary – the most sublime of all celebrations the world has to offer us – and not just a community get together. Because one’s whole self and attention should be fixed on the altar, and not on the people standing or kneeling with us in the pews, Catholics are sometimes accused of not being friendly or chatty enough. However, although I certainly agree that inside the Church and during Holy Mass one should not distract, or be distracted, by our fellow men, an open and welcoming spirit (especially to newcomers) before and afterwards is certainly Christian and can be a very good thing… as your witness proves.

    I spent a few days in Paris in January and twice managed to attend a Traditional Latin Mass at St. Nicolas du Chardonnet on the other side of the Seine from Notre Dame. I spoke to nobody, but I somehow felt totally at one with the other people, modestly-dressed women in mantillas and the straight-backed men around me, all in deep prayer and concentration. We were all sharing in ‘One Faith and One Baptism’, so that even without words or gestures passing between us, we were mystically united with Our Blessed Lord in His Eternal Sacrifice.

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  26. John says:

    Yes I totally concur with what you say.
    I know from my own experience (and I think I made mention of this in an earlier post) the lack of respect and sense of prayerfulness and contemplation in the Eucharist, detracts in a very bad way from our personal devotion. There should be no distractions, and the focus should be absolutely concentrated on the anticipation, fulfilment, and mystery that is the Eucharist.
    I am certainly not one who has ever felt comfortable with the informality, casualness, or in the worst cases, “folksiness” – if there is such a word – of such services that seem to be springing up in terrifyingly greater numbers in my current denomination (your earlier video made me smile as I saw so much that was familiar in informal expressions of the Eucharist) as it gives no room for peaceful communion with our Lord, Contemplation on the Eucharistic Mystery, or respect for his presence.
    However, as a newcomer and outsider to Roman Catholicism, it made this special encounter even more special that a few people took the trouble to make me feel at home since, as I am sure you will understand, I was nervous about how I might or might not be received. It’s probably true to say I felt a little bit like a foreigner in a strange land, and something of an intruder.
    Once inside the doors, I along with everyone else became silent as we each I am sure, felt the same sense of being at one with God, and there was absolutely no desire to anything other than be at one with Our Lord, and enjoy his peace.
    In answer to your other point about partaking of the Eucharist, I was introduced to some of the clergy there, and hope to be meeting someone from the Shrine in the near future with a view to discussing my future hopes. ( that ius of course if they will have me lol )

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  27. kathleen says:

    I do understand John; our way of thinking is along the same lines. 😉
    And oh yes… I’m sure “they will have you”! 😆 Someone like you will greatly enrich the Catholic community.

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  28. John says:

    Thanks Kathleen:) you are very kind I will keep you posted on my progress. I have been given a couple of book titles to be going on with which I am looking forward to get stuck into !!

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  29. John says:

    Good Heavens. I dont knw what to think about the following video !!http://blog.adw.org/2014/05/how-not-to-do-eucharistic-adoration/

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  30. John, of course no one can tell you what to think about that video, but I think it’s safe to say that all faithful Catholics would find it repellent.

    It would be interesting to know how many of the individuals in that video really accept all of the Church’s teachings, without exception, and how many of them will still be Catholic in five years, or in ten years, or even in a week.

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  31. John says:

    Robert, I suppose we must as Christians entertain charitable thoughts and have the belief that these people are well meaning, and it is not for me to comment, but I think seriously that for me personally, I would need serious counselling and medication if I ever found myself exposed such an environment. Wow !

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  32. GEOFF KIERNAN says:

    God Help us….please!

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  33. Tom Fisher says:

    So:

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  34. John says:

    Interesting comment on my post concerning my antecedence at my first Latin mass, insofar as I have had a “thumbs down” to what I wrote. I am no way upset by that, but extremely curious as to why someone would give a “thumbs down” to someone having had such a lovely experience. Something I said ? lol. Anyway I am here to learn if the blogger who gave me the thumbs down would like to tell me why

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  35. johnhenrycn says:

    John, there’s been a churlish – perhaps even trollish – layabout here this past week or so. Even I, johnhenry, have been attacked, if you can believe it. People who don’t rebut comments by actually replying to them are – forgive the redundancy – piffling trifles.

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  36. John says:

    Ahhhh. johnhenry, all becomes clear.. Not been on for a week or so so didn’t realise that had been happening….. Pity really, I though I might have been in for a good debate !! lol

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