“ It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to put confident in the mortals. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in the princes.” （ Psalm 118: 8-9)
I rarely like to write anything about the liturgy or politic in the church, since I do not think that I am well-prepared for this topic. However, I do want to share something about my sadness these days, since I see so many of my friends are fighting battles which are not supposed to be battle at first place, at least within the Catholic Church.
My friends are fighting hard in America for life and the sacraments of marriage. and in my home diocese, we are fighting a battle called “ Hell exists” . Why does it need to be argued that Hell does exist? What makes me more sad is that our opponents are not those who do not believe in the Christ, but some of our spiritual fathers who are supposed to guide our souls, and our dear brothers and sisters who we wish one day will make to the Heaven together.
there is not a lot of things I can do than prayer, since I am a sinner just like others. I do wish to write somethings, first to some of our spiritual fathers, our dear priests and then to my friends. I do not wish to educate anybody, just a little bit share of feelings, and a reminder to myself..
Truth set us free
I feel a kind of sad when I heard my local parish priest not willing to tell people to come to Church every Sunday and reluctant to mention Sunday obligation. I understand these days that everybody is busy, but as a priest, what makes you feel scared?
After being a Catholic for 1o years, I know it is not uncommon for priests trying to be nice.We are told frequently that truth will scare people and if you make too many requirements, nobody will go to church any more.
There is an interesting video called Church of Nice(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxrIjE-WNVA). These days, we are trying to create the Church of Nice （ FIY, Canon A told us before that Nice means Stupid in French.. and Latin…) . So the Sunday becomes a day of gathering. Everybody is happy and leave, live in the same way as before. No needs to go to confession, because there is no hell and everybody can go to heaven.
Does Jesus Christ ask us to be nice in this world? If all of us want to be nice, who will become the final “bad guy” ? I do not want to wait for the final judgment to know the answers. because the truth have been told again and again in the Bible, in the catechism, in the writings of saints, in the documents of church.
Beautiful Liturgy is the best way to “draw” people
It is weird for me that Church needs to make “advertisement” to “draw” people. Why do we trust more in the human power than lord’s power to “draw” people? Why do we believe in more human attachment than the moving of holy spirit?
These days, many priests make complains that it become harder and harder to make people come to the church. They have to think about to some “attractive” and “creative” ways. For attractive, in some parishes, parishes offer food, deserts, drink to attract people. In summer, ice cream is really a good draw. For creative, mass has to be short because people are busy. Mass has to be happy. Music has to be popular and Mass has to be participatory.
Is one－hour mass really long? It is because that our love is too short. Think about how many hours we spend on work each week? how many hours we spend on internet, entertainment each week? One hour per week with Lord. is it too long?
Traditional Latin rite is about 1.5 hour for Normal Sunday Mass 2.5 hour for feast day, and 3.5 to 4 hour for the big feast like Holy week mass and Christmas. Every times, I never feel mass is too long. The good Friday mass is my favorite. It is really long, half of the mass requires us kneel there. It is physically and emotionally demanding, but compared with the sins we committed throughout a year?
Does mass have to be happy? Mass is not just a gathering. The happy is not created by human-made music, or “nice” homily”, and many creative puppet show….But the true love from God: the sacrifice of Lord on the cross for the redemption for us.
Popular Music, Gregorian chants have been popular for more than centuries. Participatory of mass? what is a better way than prayer to participate in the mass?
I am not a person that I have to go for Latin mass, but I admit I do love Latin mass and traditional orders and groups far more than new mass because Latin mass make priests to take it more serious. A lot of rules are “fixed” in the rubrics. It does not give priests a lot of freedom to change it or if he changes something, we will know immediately. For new mass, it does have more freedom, but we need to think more carefully whether what we do are merely pleasing people.
Have Confident in Lord
After being with the Institute of Christ the king the Sovereign priest for three years, I am encouraged and moved by their priests many times . The first time I went to Chicago, Canons dressed in Cassock and walked with us in the downtown Chicago. It is strong contrast with the modern world. Really remind us of many beautiful sentences in the bible about the ” Everybody looked at us. We felt so proud to be a Catholic at that moment. Their willingness to show their identity as Catholic priests is a strong confident in our Lord and great encouragement for us.
I gradually know how lucky I am that I could be with SFdS for a while. There are so many people online share the pictures of SFdS and ICRSP but never get a chance to see them in person. Gradually, I feel a kind of responsibility to say something. I do not know how much and how far I can go and I do know it is not an easy task to do.
As faithful, we do not have a lot of ways to influence how mass or homily is said around our areas. The only thing I can do is try not to participate in the mass or the part of mass which has problem. Try to tell the priests if they do not their job right. Some of my friends do this job quite professional. they can often cite a lot of professional documents.( It is real spirit of Second Vatican Council ! ) and if they do not listen to us ( it happens all the time) , pray for them. Besides that, I guess, we can gather together sing vespers and Gregorian chants! hahaha..and encourage each other to join religious vocation.
Life in this world is never supposed to be easy, but following the Lord is the easiest way.