How Liturgical Indifference Leads To Indifference In The Social Practice (Orthopraxy) followed by a Mic’d Up episode on the same theme and a Fatima Center  Christopher Ferrara – also on the same theme – coupled with a disquisition of the exact heresies that it unavoidably leads

(An excellent article that appeared recently on Novus Motus Liturgicus)

By Dr. Peter Kwasniewski

One of the most astonishing things about the Catholic Church is the almost universal indifference of her members (including her clergy) to the sacred liturgy as such. Sure, many parish parking lots are full on Sunday mornings. Many of the laity are “involved” in one ministry or another. Plenty of socializing goes on around the Mass — sometimes, indeed, with excessive enthusiasm in the pews before and after Mass. Coffee hours are not unknown across the land. And priests work very hard, often at thankless tasks. But when it comes to being “thoroughly imbued with the spirit and power of the liturgy” (Sacrosanctum Concilium 14) or “living a liturgical life” (cf. SC 18, 42), the evidence for it is nada.

It was one of the great complaints of the Liturgical Movement prior to the Council that Catholics, generally speaking, did not possess an intimate knowledge of the treasure of their liturgy or cherish a particularly intense desire to live “under the sign” of liturgical seasons and feasts. A combination of clericalism and growing secularization had removed many of the faithful from close contact with the sacred mysteries conducted in the church, and a rift appeared to yawn between the social aspect of Christianity, its mission in the needy world of today, and the ritual enactment of age-old, august ceremonies. In spite of a whirl of contrary currents in the aula, the view prevailed at the Second Vatican Council that the liturgy is the fons et culmen of the Church, the “font and apex” (or “source and summit”) of the Christian life — a conclusion that would surely have sounded fairly strange back then, but not quite as strange as it does now, when it is well-nigh incomprehensible.

Have we not known Catholics who, in spite of their sincere faith, don’t seem to “get it” when it comes to the liturgy? People who could not possibly agree with the statement that it is the “source and summit” of who they are, what they do, why they live, where they are going, and how they will get there? It seems that Cardinal George was so right when he once quipped: “American Catholics are Protestants who go to Mass on Sundays.” A nefarious combination of individualism and collectivism prevents many Catholics, regardless of their level of education, from perceiving the loss of the liturgical spirit in the context of the Ordinary Form, the loss of the primacy of the transcendent and of adoration. It impedes them, too, from longing for something more authentically Catholic and reaching out for it even when it is available to them in their own neighborhood. The individualism makes us wear blinders and settle for a minimum criterion, namely, “what works for me”; the collectivism encourages a herd mentality that blocks common sense, legitimate critical thinking, and the desire for better things.

In the end, it simply seems that other things are more important in life than the liturgy. It does not come first and last; it does not take precedence and determine the shape of our days, weeks, years. Let’s face it: for such Catholics, Vatican II was wrong about the “font and apex” business, just as far too many might say Paul VI was wrong in Humanae Vitae, or John Paul II in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis.

How, then, might we describe the predominant view, the one we will find in chancery corridors no less than humble homes? It might be summarized thus: the liturgy is one particular means among many for realizing a personal vision of Christian life. The Christian life is a potpourri or hodgepodge of personally meaningful practices, or, at its best, a mosaic of tesserae put together with artistic discretion. The note of modern subjectivism here is unmistakable, and perhaps, also, traces of the scattered, isolated, excessively busy nature of modern life. It can be difficult for people to want to care about something outside the family or outside of work, to stir themselves out of their private world to enter the common and objective world of the liturgy.[1]

It is a great irony of the postconciliar period that the Catholics today who are taking the sacred liturgy most seriously — the ones who are, quite conscientiously, building their everyday lives on it and around it, following its seasons, frequenting the sacraments and using the sacramentals — are the faithful flocking to the traditional Latin Mass, especially where it is offered as the daily fare of a dedicated chapel or parish. The churches where the “unreformed” Mass is celebrated are exhibiting to the Church at large what the Council itself meant by “living a liturgical life” by the “spirit and power” of the liturgy itself. They are largely the ones buying books like Mary Reed Newland’s We and Our Children: How to Make a Catholic Home and David Clayton’s The Little Oratory.

Additional ironies include the fact that there is, in many ways, more active participation going on in these communities than is normal throughout the mainstream church (see here), that the magisterium of John Paul II on such topics as marriage and family and the importance of sacramental confession is being much more consistently implemented in them, and that, by every standard of Catholic identity and mission, they are rock-solid and energetic. How could this be surprising, if what Vatican II said about the liturgy is actually true, and that truth is put into practice?

Apart from these enclaves, however, it seems to me that we are further away than ever from recovering a genuinely Catholic perception and experience of the sacred liturgy as the foundational, central, and definitive activity of the Catholic, the origin of our identity, the purpose of our existence on earth. This is not to say our identity is exhausted in the liturgy or that we do not need to pursue subordinate goods as well.[2] What it does mean is that the beginning of our life is baptism and that the culmination of our friendship with God in this life, as well as our most vital means of staying alive, is communion with the flesh and blood reality of our Lord. Apart from these, we have no life within us, and we have no life to give to the world. We are Christians insofar as we are sacramental, liturgical, and eucharistic — and not otherwise. Even our works of charity are Christian only if they are thoroughly steeped in the worship of God and the Spirit of Christ, which we drink in through the liturgy of His Church.

Sursum corda!

What are the prerequisites for living a truly liturgical life? The liturgy demands time. One has to be willing to give up something — be it extra time in the office, extra time in recreation with friends, extra down time at home. One has to be, at least to some degree, at peace — enough to see a need for prayer and meditation as a work more important than the countless “urgent” items of business or pleasure that clamor for attention. One has to believe profoundly in the words of Jesus: “Seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all the rest will be given to you” (Matt 6:33).[3] One has to recognize that the formal, objective, public worship offered to God by the Church is in itself far superior to our private prayers, however indispensable the latter are in their own order.

It seems to me that one reason we are further than ever from developing and practicing these habits is that, with the modern liturgy being so shallow, horizontal, and mutable, we are not really willing to allow it to be the foundational, central, and definitive activity of our lives as Catholics. Unconsciously, we sense that it cannot serve the purpose: it is too exiguous, too amorphous, too human, too insubstantial. As P. G. Wodehouse would say, “It fails to grip.” Not being either the contemplative reservoir of the Low Mass or the majestic pageant of the High Mass, it comes and goes without seizing hold of our imaginations and our hearts. If we continue to attend it week after week, it is from a sense of duty and a fondness for community. If, like increasing numbers of Catholics, we drift away, it is probably because there was not much to drift away from. Modern Catholics have been given “Doctrine Lite” and “Worship Lite,” instead of an all-embracing and all-demanding philosophy of life that aims at total immersion in the Mystery of God. The latter is worth living and dying for. But the former . . . ?


[1] I am reminded here of the words of the Presocratic philosopher Heraclitus (ca. 535–475 BC): “For though all things come into being in accordance with this logos, men seem as if they had never met with it, when they meet with words and actions such as I expound, separating each thing according to its nature and explaining how it is made. As for the rest of mankind, they are unaware of what they are doing after they wake, just as they forget what they did while asleep. What intelligence or understanding have they? They believe the popular singers, and take as their teacher the populace, not knowing that the majority are bad and the good are few.”

[2] As Vatican II points out: see Sacrosanctum Concilium 9.

[3] See Benedict Constable, “Attending the Traditional Mass: Well Worth the Effort.”

Mic’d Up Planned Parenthood Exposed – Explains how a travesty like this could have come of age in the western world it is through the on-going Vatican II theme of promoting indifference of religion – Cutting babies up and selling the parts is met with widespread indifference – Moral relativism is married to the religious relativism that is imbued in the new rite’s indifference to all doctrinal theological matters Experts in the pro-life trenches are brought onto this one hour of ‘we’ the Catholic Militant

 Christopher Ferrara – The Director of the Catholic Lawyers Association explains via the Fatima Center how the new post Vatican-II religion is in many ways a slow and deliberate substitute of Catholicism

and then he explains the theology of arian gnosticism that has entered the highest levels of the Church

Pope Francis I homilies from Castel Gondolfo Italy this summer are actively promoting (on a daily basis) the needed consideration of the Kasper marriage theology and the lack of consideration and partial adoption pharisaical

The actual theology of the Pontiff continued and includes the Jesuit theology of eschatological annihilation – via denial

Hell is a dogma in jeopardy

These statements echo the “diabolocial orientation” discussed in the Sister Lucia of Fatima messages that would come upon the Church in this the next age of the world and the Church

 In a grand ending to Our Lady of Peace 62nd East side worthy of Tradition Family and Property the community – led by Father Christopher Salvatore gives a grand send off to the gorgeous sacred art Church there – forced into closure -by Cardinal Dolan despite financial and liturgical health

Photo post from it’s last moments as they give royalty to the event – A candle lit Solemn High Midnight Mass with full compliment of altar servers and gregorian chant choir and as seen here in photographs for preservation on the Society of Cluny site

Happy Feast of the Transfiguration

ALG169046 The Transfiguration, 1594-95 (oil on canvas) by Carracci, Lodovico (1555-1619) oil on canvas 438x268 Pinacoteca Nazionale, Bologna, Italy Alinari Italian, out of copyright

ALG169046 The Transfiguration, 1594-95 (oil on canvas) by Carracci, Lodovico (1555-1619)
oil on canvas
Pinacoteca Nazionale, Bologna, Italy
Italian, credits = out of copyright