The TLM and the New Evangelisation

ICKSP Ordinations in St. Louis

ICKSP Ordinations in St. Louis

Here’s a great post from Fr Z:

The Institute of Christ the King had ordinations to the priesthood recently in St. Louis.  This promoted an article in the local paper.  The writer (thus, editor) seemed amazed that this sort of thing is going on.  Young people… Mass… Latin….?!!?  Does not computer.

A couple quotes in the article caught my eye.

First:

[Now Father] Altiere is originally from Pennsylvania with a degree from Harvard University. He says his decision to become a priest is owed in part to his discovery of the traditional Latin Mass in a church in downtown Boston.

“At this Mass I really understood the priesthood for the first time,” Altiere said. “The primary reason for the beauty of our churches and liturgical ceremonies is to give glory to God, but it is also such a powerful means of evangelization.”

Read the rest over at Fr Z’s blog

This entry was posted in Latin, Liturgy, New Evangelisation, Pope Benedict, Traditional Mass, Vocations and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to The TLM and the New Evangelisation

  1. GEOFF KIERNAN says:

    Our Young People are starved by the ‘lack of the sense of the sacred ‘ both in their worship and in their lives generally. The NO with its crassness fails to sustain them. Those that are ‘ sustained ‘ do so in spite of the NO. And I feel they really have a calling by God to something great.

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  2. toadspittle says:

    The link is wrong.
    …Interesting, nonetheless.

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  3. toadspittle says:

    “Does not computer.”

    No, indeed.

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  4. mmvc says:

    Thanks, Toad. All sorted now.

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  5. GC says:

    Toads will probably be delighted to know that the rather impressive church where the ordination took place (St Francis De Sales Church) was handed to the Institute of Christ the King by Cardinal Burke when he was still Archbishop of St Louis. Cardinal Burke also flew in to ordain Father Altiere.

    Now styled the Oratory of St Francis De Sales, it was built through the efforts of immigrant German dairy farmers and their families in South St Louis.

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  6. The “New Evangelization” is in the end impossible without the Traditional Latin Mass. That is already obvious to many people. As time goes by, it will become clearer to many more.

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  7. toadspittle says:

    “The “New Evangelization” is in the end impossible without the Traditional Latin Mass. “

    Why do you think that, Robert John? There seem to me good reasons for thinking the opposite. Might well be wrong, though.

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  8. john says:

    @ Geoff.”Lack of the sense of the sacred” How absolutly right you are. I think that Christian worship has in the main fallen victim to a trendy belief that to be relevant it must become modern and thus “supposedly ” relevant. It has been in a significant part through this “modernisation” that I “lost” my own link to God. The relevance of the way in which we commune with Our Lord surely is vested in the continuity and the accumulation of centuries of emerging tradition that in its totality is the perfection of relevance. To suddenly decide that what has been relevant for centuries is no longer, simply to satisfy a passing belief that the falling numbers attending church is due to some strange idea that it is stodgy and old fashioned is so wrong, and so seems to me to be dangerous indeed. I am not here necessarily referring to Catholic practices, but more from my own experiences.

    In discovering the ICRSP and attending traditional Latin.Mass (at The church where Canon Altere was Deacon.) for albeit a relatively short time, I have to paraphrase his own words by saying that in discovering the traditional Latin Mass, I have re discovered what it means to be back in the presence of God; where glory.beauty,majesty, and all that is best and most eloquent in the worship of Our Lord can reflect the respect and devotion owed to him in a liturgy which is the culmination and perfection of centuries. Is this not absolutly relevant in a world where for the most part, belief in everything has been diluted to the point where it has totally lost its flavour because we are afraid to stand out from the crowd?

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  9. toadspittle says:

    “To suddenly decide that what has been relevant for centuries is no longer, simply to satisfy a passing belief that the falling numbers attending church is due to some strange idea that it is stodgy and old fashioned is so wrong, and so seems to me to be dangerous indeed.”

    Well, John – a great many things that were “relevant for centuries,” even only for decades* in some cases – no longer are. That’s life.
    …Although that may not be the case as far as forms of the Mass go. I don’t know.
    But the idea that anything is immutable, is equally dangerous, I suspect.

    *deliveries by horse and cart, typewriters, carbon paper, telegrams, etc., also denying women the vote, imprisoning homosexuals, legally discriminating against Catholics, etc.

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  10. john says:

    Yes toad but is not the church, it’s liturgy and it’s practices the expression of God’s will? Is not the church a continuation of Christs will in the world? and is it not so that the church can not be wrong in the way it expresses God’s will because the church is the manifestation of truth? and thus is not the move back towards tradition, an expression of God’s will for a return to that tradition?, if not for all,for those who he knows will draw closer to him through it.Just my own thoughts

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  11. toadspittle says:

    Lot of questions there, John. And all beyond my scope.

    ..But if the Church can’t be wrong in the way it expresses God’s will, as you suggest – then the NO, as a “product” ( for want of a better word) of said Church, must be right, surely?

    It’s just that recently, having been exposed to both, I’ve begun to think the the N.O. is a lot more like the Last Supper must have been, both in form and content, than the Latin Mass.

    Whether or not that is at all relevant, is another question for someone else to tackle.

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  12. John says:

    “..But if the Church can’t be wrong in the way it expresses God’s will, as you suggest – then the NO, as a “product” ( for want of a better word) of said Church, must be right, surely?”

    Hi Toad, well this is a good point you make, and one which I kind of expected someone to make.. As you say, all forms of worship, if authorised by the church are valid, and have their place, if that purpose is only to raise debate and help us towards an understanding of the mind of God and what he expects of us as individuals in paying him due honour, which is why in my last post I added the sentence “if not for all, for those who he knows will draw closer to him through it”. (Referring to the TLM ).

    It’s not a cop out, but non of us can know the mind of God, but we are obligated to search for the truth of what he wants of each one of us, which is in part why we go to Church, and the journey to this truth can be a convoluted performance – This much I know from personal experience!

    I think the essential in this journey is the Communion, and providing its sacramental nature is unflawed, the way in which we receive is to some extent secondary “given of course that we are in the appropriate state of grace when we receive). What I mean is that the sacrament can be received in the relative informality of your home, in a hospital or on a battlefield and be absolutely valid and appropriate in the most basic form. No my argument is more about paying honour to the Lord in the sacrament, and perhaps the word “appropriate” sums up what I mean.

    I take your point about the NO being perhaps more in tune with the actual events of the Last Supper, but Jesus has ascended into the Kingdom of heaven and is seated in Glory on his Throne, so is it perhaps ? more fitting for those who choose to, to reflect his ascended glory here on earth in the richness of a liturgy that in its antecedence reflects what people have traditionally believed for centuries. i.e the Hope and the Glory of Heaven, in which setting we should offer the very best of what and who we are.

    The move away from this tradition to more simple forms in the 2oth century, and the subsequent move back towards tradition again in what is a relatively short period of time, and evidenced by the emergence of bodies such as ICRSP ( given the length of time the church has existed ),and the LMS, might suggest the will of God is either willing the faithful en mass to a return to tradition, or, is enabling Christians such as myself to reconnect with him in the only way we know how.

    In the final analysis, it is that communication through the Eucharist that is the real crux, not necessarily how we do it, and the truth of how God wants us to enter into communion with him can only be revealed to us by him when he is ready, so for the time being, we continue our convoluted journey 🙂 what say you ?

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  13. mmvc says:

    Not sure what Toad will say, John, but I’m sure I’m not the only one to be blown away by your ability to express yourself with such beautiful simplicity, honesty and clarity! As for your spiritual insights, I for one have found them helpful and enriching. Thank you!

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  14. toadspittle says:

    Yes, we are all certainly on some sort of journey, John. If only to Kensal Green.

    “….the subsequent move back towards tradition… …might suggest the will of God is either willing the faithful en mass to a return to tradition, or is enabling Christians such as myself to reconnect with him in the only way we know how.,”
    …and, contrairiwise, it might not suggest either thing.

    Very difficult to know. Possibly, impossible.

    All a bit theoretical to get overly impetuous about, anyway, is my suspicion.

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  15. John says:

    “and, contrairiwise, it might not suggest either thing”. Well Toad, if we take the view that everything happens for a reason, then, when engaging with our faith as rational Christians, surely it would be against our natures and God’s will not to seek what is true and what is false ( indeed as we are doing here and now on these posts ) and in all we do and all we see. Seeking truth is what our lives as Christians on earth will always be until the truth is revealed to us in fullness when we come before him at the end of our earthly lives. This search… is it not a Holy Quest ? with a merit of its own?, not the end but the means to an end, and that end and the revelation of the fullness of truth and Gods intent only being known on judgement day. Better I think until then to find the Holiness residing in all things and practices concerning personal faith, because without doubt there is Holiness in the NO the TLM and even in my own Anglican Eucharist, where elements of truth and grace reside, so we should be humble and know that whatever we do and however we tackle the how and the why and the when of it all,, as long as we do it in the Love of God and his Church and adhere to Church teaching, it will be seen as good in his eyes

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  16. toadspittle says:

    “…surely it would be against our natures and God’s will not to seek what is true and what is false ( indeed as we are doing here and now on these posts )”
    Well, John, seeking is one thing. And, yes, we all must (or should, or ought to) do just that.
    “Better I think until then to find the Holiness residing in all things and practices concerning personal faith,” … … ” …as long as we do it in the Love of God and his Church and adhere to Church teaching, it will be seen as good in (God’s) eyes.”
    Agreed. And I’m sure very many a Muslim, Hindu, Seventh Day Adventist, or Anglican – as you say – would also agree. …Which is what makes it all a bit awkward, to my mind. But it takes all sorts.

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  17. John says:

    No not at all Toad. I am, as you know by now an Anglican who has been seeking the truth for many years whilst an Anglican, and now my search has brought me to the verge of conversion to Roman Catholicism because I opened my eyes and ears to God’s will and he has brought me here. If this conversion should happen, it is God’s will, not mine.

    But what of other faiths? Surely those of other faiths than Christianity have not, and are not seeking to be reconciled to the Trinitarian God of the Nicene and Apostolic creeds? This being so they are not likely to find the truth which is Christ’s truth, and so will never reap the rewards of union with him. Those wishing to find the truth which is Christ, must first know him, then love him and then hear him and follow.

    Those who follow other creeds are free to do so because they have the free will given to them by God, and they have chosen not to hear Gods call and have taken other paths.

    What I am saying Toad, is that that is the whole reason for the Church to exists, is to help all of us to find what the God of the Old and the New Testaments is saying to each of us by means of its sacraments, its teachings and its offices.

    I should say that there is a distinction here between lets say an Anglican, or Methodist or United Reformed church Christian, and lets say a Muslim or a Hindu for example, because the former group already share a common belief as outlined in the Creeds and the early councils, so have already fulfilled some of the criteria necessary for commencing their search i.e, we all ( along with the Roman Catholic community), already “know” “Him” and hopefully “love” him and are in their own denominations looking for the same truth, which will be revealed in whatever degree the Lord wishes it to be revealed to each of us “Each of you should continue to live in whatever situation the Lord has placed you” . 1 Corinthians 7, but this does not mean we should sit passively without effort ” I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me” Proverbs 8:17

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  18. toadspittle says:

    “Those who follow other creeds are free to do so because they have the free will given to them by God, and they have chosen not to hear Gods call and have taken other paths.”

    What about the billions who lived and died without ever hearing the word, “Christ” spoken? What about that little tribe from the Amazon jungle the other day?

    I sometimes idly imagine God saying to Himself, “I don’t mind if humans don’t worship me. I’m perfect, and it makes no difference one way or the other. I just wish they’d stop doing awful things to each other in my name, for once.”
    Very idle imagining, for sure.

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  19. John says:

    Hi again Toad, well now, from what I understand there is a distinct difference between discovering the reality of God and then turning away from him wilfully, and never having known him at all, and those who live their lives in ignorance of him and never having the chance to put their trust in him.

    For those who have come to know of him, and subsequently and wilfully turn their back on him in favour of other deities, they will never know the love of God or be in a position to reap the benefits of his sacrifice and redemption.

    On the other hand, I do not believe that the bible talks much about “ what if’s”, and the question about the fate of those who have never heard of him is a great deal more difficult to answer from Biblical texts, but my own view is that as a righteous judge, a loving God, a God who sacrificed his son Our Lord for the sake of all mankind, such a God would not condemn those who have not had the opportunity to invite him into their lives.

    Let me for a moment make a contrast ( the best I can come up with at the moment )…… I personally am a believer in God, I have been for all of my life. I have worshipped him, prayed to him, attended and partaken of the Eucharist regularly and diligently, preached in the pulpit, lead intersessions at the Holy Communion, and served at the altar. Regularly attended Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, and taught in Sunday School.

    In my heart I have been true and I have believed in the efficacy of my communion with God through my church. Therefore I ask you Toad as a Catholic – Am I in full communion with Our Lord ?……

    The answer is (from your point of view as a Catholic) has to be No Why ? because my communion is imperfect due to my having attempted to engage with Our Lord through the medium of a body ( the Church of England ) that has no apostolic succession. ….

    My point is this Toad, To what degree does my sincerity and belief in the reality of Christ’s presence in the Eucharist and the practice of my religion ( in all outward appearance Catholic & Apostolic ) remain valid from a position of my ignorance. ?

    I would argue that it holds considerable value insofar as I believed in the Catholicity of my faith in innocence and through true love of the Lord.

    In subsequently, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, acknowledging that the church I was worshipping in was not fully valid, from that point onwards the efficacy of my partaking of the Eucharist in that environment was an affront to God; a denial of the truth that had been revealed to me, making it thus my duty to put things right and follow the right path.

    If this personal summary has no validity whatsoever, then my whole Christian life has been a complete sham, and I cannot believe that God would see it that way, and most Roman Catholics I have spoken with, clerics included seem to take the view that there is and has been true value in my past faith, all Beit imperfect.

    Applying this analogy to the vast multitude of people in the world who live their lives accoring to their particular codes of conduct but unaware of the Love of God, then their contribution to his creation in the form of their lives must also have efficacy in God’s eyes and their actions and deeds measured against their ignorance and as an integral part of Christ’s creation, would not be condemned through an ignorance that is not their fault.

    Toad, you make my brain hurt !!! lol

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  20. John says:

    sorry Capital “B” for Bible

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  21. Frere Rabit says:

    “Lot of questions there, John. And all beyond my scope.”

    Indeed… Or perhaps not. Who am I to judge? What’s for breakfast?

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  22. toadspittle says:

    I think he’s got it! By Jove, he’s got it!
    What’s for breakfast, Rabit? Carrots!! Your fave!

    If I make your brain hurt, John, imagine what I do to my own.
    “Therefore I ask you Toad as a Catholic – Am I in full communion with Our Lord ?……The answer is (from your point of view as a Catholic) has to be No.”
    In fact, the answer from my point of view is, “I really don’t know. But I imagine that a loving God would cut you a bit of slack.” You are following your conscience, and that ought to be good enough.
    I agree absolutely with your penultimate paragraph, but suspect that it is not Catholic dogma. Someone more knowledgeable will confirm, or deny, this. “Without water and the Holy Ghost, you will not enter the kingdom of Heaven.” Something like that. Not much wriggle room. Caused quite a bit of head-scratching, even in Dante’s time.

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  23. John says:

    Good Morning Toad, and yes you are right about the absolute need for Baptism to deal with the issue of Original Sin. There is an interesting official document ” INTERNATIONAL THEOLOGICAL COMMISSION – THE HOPE OF SALVATION FOR INFANTS WHO DIED WITHOUT BEING BAPTISED” and although this deals with infants, if one considers the spirit of what is being discussed, and takes the view that all men can be infants in terms of their ability to know God, then “The principle that God desires the salvation of all people gives rise to the hope that there is a path to salvation for infants who die without baptism (cf.CCC, 1261), and therefore also to the theological desire to find a coherent and logical connection between the diverse affirmations of the Catholic faith: the universal salvific will of God; the unicity of the mediation of Christ; the necessity of baptism for salvation; the universal action of grace in relation to the sacraments; the link between original sin and the deprivation of the beatific vision; the creation of man “in Christ”.
    The conclusion of this study is that there are theological and liturgical reasons to hope that infants who die without baptism may be saved and brought into eternal happiness”

    ,Being mindful of what is being said of course, Baptism is predominantly there to deal with original sin, and of course unlike an infant, who will not have been capable of committing personal sin, and adult on the other hand will have gained the ability to exercise free will, so there is a difference.

    We then enter the realm of cultural differences insofar as one will eventually have to face the issues of “culture”. i.e. were the Head Hunters of Borneo guilty of sin because of the practices they carried out when exercising their free will as adults, and can that be forgiven because they were not aware of Christ?. An extremely difficult area, but one I intend to look in to in more depth.

    Thanks Toad this is a really interesting area

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  24. toadspittle says:

    You know of course, John, that – back when I was a mere toadpole – a place called Limbo existed (or so I was reliably informed) where the souls of unbaptised babies happily spent eternity.
    But it was closed apparently due to lack of interest – seven years ago – by kindly old Pope Benedict.

    And I also agree about the head hunters. If your religion insisted on human sacrifice as a prerequisite for eternal salvation – would you be sinning if you refused to do so, on humanitarian grounds?
    (What a ridiculous question Toad – even by your standards.)

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