The Roman Book of Spells?

The Congress also occurs at a time when the Church throughout the world is preparing to celebrate the Year of Faith to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the start of the Second Vatican Council, an event which launched the most extensive renewal of the Roman Rite ever known. Based upon a deepening appreciation of the sources of the liturgy, the Council promoted the full and active participation of the faithful in the Eucharistic sacrifice. At our distance today from the Council Fathers’ expressed desires regarding liturgical renewal, and in the light of the universal Church’s experience in the intervening period, it is clear that a great deal has been achieved; but it is equally clear that there have been many misunderstandings and irregularities. The renewal of external forms, desired by the Council Fathers, was intended to make it easier to enter into the inner depth of the mystery. Its true purpose was to lead people to a personal encounter with the Lord, present in the Eucharist, and thus with the living God, so that through this contact with Christ’s love, the love of his brothers and sisters for one another might also grow. Yet not infrequently, the revision of liturgical forms has remained at an external level, and “active participation” has been confused with external activity. Hence much still remains to be done on the path of real liturgical renewal. In a changed world, increasingly fixated on material things, we must learn to recognize anew the mysterious presence of the Risen Lord, which alone can give breadth and depth to our life.

Benedict XVI, June 17, 2012

The above paragraph from a message of Benedict XVI to the Fiftieth International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin last year is a great summary of the Holy Father’s teaching on liturgical reform.  The statement reaffirms the importance of the liturgical reforms mandated by the Second Vatican Council which center on the fostering the full and active participation of the faithful. The external changes were intended to help bring about an internal change, namely, the transformation that takes place when the soul has a personal encounter with Christ.  According to the Pope, the relative failure to accomplish this task has consisted in the changes remaining on a merely external level. For this reason these changes have been distorted into something that was never intended, namely, liturgical abuse.  Thus, the “reform of the reform” consists in properly understanding the meaning of active participation and the external reforms in relationship to it. Continue reading

Bloodthirsty Little Gentlemen

I have a reading recommendation for our men and boys who fancy themselves to be knights or knights in the making. It is Father Francis Xavier Lasance’s book entitled Kindess: The Bloom of Charity. I am not an advocate of chicken love, in fact I am all for learning more about providing ourselves with fresh food, but I draw the line at chicken swirlies.

Lest any of the big strapping men find the title of the book laced with a bit too much estrogen, I should point out that Father Lasance is also the editor of the 1945 classic The New Roman Missal, republished under the title Roman Catholic Daily Missal. I think we could justly say that the Roman Missal is The Dangerous Book for Men. Father Lasance’s hand missal, although quite pricey in its new edition, is still one of the best missals for the use of the faithful at the Traditional Mass. Also worth considering is the fact that Fr. Lasance utilizes much of Kenelm Digby’s masterpiece on chivalry and manliness, The Broadstone of Honor in Kindness: The Bloom of Charity.

Here is a story quoted at length by Fr. Lasance from Digby’s work”

A Soldier of the Cross

It remains for us to mark that refinement and delicacy of feeling which formed so striking a characteristic of chivalry. Of this it is easy to find examples. Don Garcia Perez de Vargas was one of the most distinguished warriors who fought at the siege of Seville, under the banner of St. Ferdinand. One day at the beginning of the siege, Don Garcia Perez and another with him were riding by the side of the river at some distance from the outposts when of a sudden there came upon them a party of seven Moors retreating on horseback. The companion o Perez was for retreating immediately, by Don Garcia answered that never, even though he should lose his life for it, would he consent to the baseness of flight. With that his companion rode off. This moment is well described in the old ballad:

Ha! gone! quoth Garci Perez;–he smiled,
and said nor more
But slowly, with his esquire, rode as he rode

Perez armed himself, closed his visor, and put his lance in the rest. But the enemies when they discovered that it was he, declined the combat. “The honor of the action,” says Mariana, “was much increased by this circumstance, that, although frequently pressed to disclose the name of the knight who had deserted him in that moment of danger, Garcia Perez would never consent to do so, for his modesty was equal to his courage.” On returning to the camp, he was met by Ferdinand, whose first question was: “What is the name of the knight who fled and deserted you?” “My liege,” answered Garcia Perez, “ask anything else and it shall be done as you commanded. This man is already sufficiently punished.”

You guys need a real battle to fight. It’s not like there are not any out there. Any suggestions?