From a priest… (my emphases)
Dear Fr Z:
I’ve just returned from France where, among other things, I took part in the Chartres Pilgrimage.
After registering for the Pilgrimage, I discovered that the usus antiquor would be required of all participating priests, I decided it was high time to learn how to celebrate the Extraordinary Form, thanks to a very kind and patient FSSP priest in the neighborhood.
At first, I was taken back by the demand to stick to the Extraordinary Form, then I realized that a far worse injustice was inflicted when it was ripped away from the faithful shortly after the Council.
Several months beforehand, however, I took it upon myself to celebrate the older Breviary–I bought the Baronius edition– […]. I was therefore exposed to a greater number of the Psalms and, since I was using an edition based upon the Septuagint, I found these Psalms to be more Christologically obvious. Not only that, but the prayers, I discovered, were more even more “manly.”
The great boon in celebrating the Extraordinary Form, for me, was mainly twofold. First, there is something very liberating about incessantly asking the Lord for forgiveness as we do, in not only the Confiteor but also the many private prayers of the priest. The Scripture became very true for me: “Humiliamini in conspectu Domini, et exaltabit vos.” Second–and I understand that some of your readership may differ from me here–as a Charismatic Catholic, I deeply, deeply appreciated the celebration of the Pentecost Octave, with the sevenfold Veni, Sancte Spiritus and the focus on the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the Epistle. I’ll come right out and say it: The “mutual enrichment” envisioned by Pope Benedict has come true in my own priesthood by the exchange between Traditionalism and the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.
Without abandoning the Ordinary Form, I confess that the older Missal and Breviary has enriched my priesthood in ways I had never imagined. In fact, I found myself becoming more robustly priestly and fatherly.
[ NB] I also want to take a moment for public repentance. Long ago, at a certain liberal seminary far, far away, I was indoctrinated with a disdain for, and even a mockery of, Traditional Catholics. I jumped on the bandwagon for their supposed liturgical naivete and sanctimony. I was convinced that they were backwards, habitually uncharitable, and elitist. After being around 14,000 other Traditional Catholics and priests of more traditional religious congregations, I found them to be astonishingly affable, joyous, and genuine. I was especially surprised to not have heard a single murmur against Pope Francis during the Chartres Pilgrimage. So, to all of those Traditional Catholics I mocked in the past: I am truly sorry. I was wrong. You are doing tremendous good for Christ and His Church.
And you, Traditional Catholics, you are so young! Attached is a picture I snapped as I was walking, of a young boy and a tonsured monk in long, deep conversation–as I took it, a word came to me: “The future of the Church is in her past.”
I have also become convinced that Summorum Pontificum was in fact a prophetic document, as it made possible a place of refuge and safe harbor in the face of the Church’s current crisis.
If you decide to reproduce this, kindly withhold my name.
Do keep up the good work.
Fraternally in Christ….
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