The Transcendent Beauty of Tradition

Holy Trinity German Church (2)

(I have often been tough on Catholic Traditionalists for succumbing to bitterness in their denunciations of modernism. But in fact, they have cause for dismay. After Vatican II, for a time, the Tridentine, or Latin, Mass was suppressed entirely. That was a terrible mistake in judgment. The Tridentine Mass was one of the great accomplishments in the history of the faith. It is the Mass of Bach, Mozart, Handel and Haydn. One does not need to forbid me the joy of Bach to persuade me of the merit of Gershwin or Stravinsky. Thankfully, Pope St. John Paul II restored permission for the Tridentine Mass.

I asked Gary Sarsok, who I have known for a good two decades, to write a piece on how and why the Tridentine Mass speaks to his soul. He is deeply serious about his faith. He fully lives it. He has become something of our “Traditionalist in Residence” here. He has written a beautiful piece. I wish that all parishes offered one Tridentine Mass each week – that the faithful might enjoy both Bach and Gershwin fully. – CJ)

By Gary Paul Sarsok

The Pearl in the Field: the Tridentine Latin Mass

I am half Italian and half Czech. My father and my mother were first generation Americans and learned their parents’ native languages before they learned English. When we went to Image of a white pearl in a shell on a white background.the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where my mother was born all these Italian relatives would be speaking Italian. I never understood a word they were saying, but it was beautiful to hear them. Italian, Old Italian, Latin, the source of the Romantic languages, the universal language of the known world of the time of the Caesars. This is the language of the Holy Roman Catholic Church to this day.

PATER noster, qui es in caelis

I served the Latin Mass in grade school and several times during high school. I took Latin in high school so I could get more familiar with the Mass and at least be able to read it with fluency. Then it was ripped asunder from my heart in 1968. Ages and ages of the Mass that valiant martyrs died for, that great musical genius composed for the Latin Mass. I was as a child awashed in beauty and of the mystery of the Mass said in an ancient tongue which aided in the mystery, that of which the Holy Spirit breathed throughout history an ancient beauty which I inherited. It was and is my birth right, written in my soul.

sanctificetur nomen tuum

The English language is a pragmatic language; there is beauty there but not like Latin. Some have complained about not understanding it. Many do not understand the Italian operas but sense the beauty. And so there is a drama in the Tridentine Latin Mass, a drama of our fall and our salavation written and sung in an ancient tongue for some two thousand years. Like any opera, there are the costumes, the visuals the backround of the scenes, the music, the artistry, the movements. What would an opera be without any one of these elements? We as human need these elements, some elements more than others because we are all different. Those in the Church had a very minimalistic approach to the Mass, they did not take into account that the Latin Mass had all these elements like an opera that appealed to all of our yearnings for the Bread of Life.

Adveniat regnum tuum

I was chosen to sing bass in our high school’s A Capella Choir. Although it was a public high school we sang some of the Masses of Bach and Handel. How grateful I was to Margaret Mitchell our choir teacher. The beauty of the Masses did not escape this Protestant woman. In the back burner of my heart for many years I have desired to thank her for the privilege she gave me.

Fiat voluntas tua

So for many years afterword I went to the Mass in English which had a profaneness, a gutteral language which lacked elegance. It sounds so much better to hear mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa, than the translation through my fault through my fault through my most grievous fault. Those of you who took a language in school you will know what I mean. There are some things that are said that another language says so much more elegantly.

sicut in caelo et in terra

So for many years after the change, I languished. Then in the early 80’s I had a temporary assigment in Raleigh, North Carolina. It was the first time I was away from my family alone. In looking for something to do, I noticed that at Duke University the Music Department was going to sing the Night Office in Latin. I was incredulous I had to read that over again. How can this be at a secular unversity? It was sung A Capela. The women were on one side of Duke’s church and the men were on the other side. One side would sing then the other. It went on from 9 pm to 1 am. These were the most expert singers I have ever heard. All sight singers of whom all that was needed was the musical score of which was read then sung. There were Protestants there recording this beauty that was my rightful inheritance. Why did I have to go 900 miles away to hear the beauty of Gregorian chant at a secular university? I had wondered if this for them was like a museum piece of a time gone by that was never to be again. My heart mourned and I prayed to the good Lord, I begged the good Lord to restore the Sacred to let the Latin Mass to be as it was.

Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie

Several years later in 1988 Father Phillips was moved into an old falling apart Polish parish to close it down. By then the pope had allowed a return of the Latin Mass. So Father Philips started to say the Latin Mass and the parish he was to close started to revive and more and more attended the Latin Mass. Father Phillips began to rebuild the Church spiritually and physically. It became clear that this parish was not to be shut down. There are now about 13 seminarians who have become priests of Father Phillips’ new order, the Canons Regular of Saint John Cantius. Restoraton of the Sacred is the foundation for the Canons Regular of Saint John Cantius in Chicago. The first Latin Mass I attended there, was a Low Mass. It was odd having attended so many Novus Ordo Masses at the quietness of the Low Mass. Like a city kid going to a remote forest. I had brought the missal my mother bought for me when I was still in grade school. As I read the translation of the Mass from the Latin the priest was saying I realized how profound and how serious this Latin Mass is. Our salvation is serious business and without Jesus we are going to the eternal flames. We are humbled in the Latin Mass and we are raised up again. Hoc est Enim Corpus Meam, this is My Body this is our salvation, the Bread of life.

et dimitte nobis debita nostra

This was for me a miracle like the little Francis of Assisi that God would have repair His Church. I am certain it was not just my heart God heard, but he did answer my prayers.

Is this just a matter of taste like dark chocolate versus white chocolate? No! Not at all. The Latin Mass is perfection, a work of the centuries of ages past. It is a masterpiece! Can you remember your grandparents or maybe even your great grandparents talk of the time they lived when they were young? The Latin Mass was then, too. And perhaps they told you of their grandparents and what they lived in their time, The Latin Mass was then. And if you studied the geneology of your family the Latin Mass was then. I met a Scottish man who could trace his family to 1100 A.D. The Latin Mass was then. From the time of the Apostles to our time, it is. Every family has a tradition, and without that tradition we would feel a loss. And Saint Paul said keep your traditions.

sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris

Almost all if not all mystics of the Catholic Faith have spoken about how God talked to them when they had mystical experiences with the Most High God. It was not a verbal language He spoke. It was promptings, urgings of the Holy Ghost. And so that is how the Tridentine Mass speaks to me.

Et ne nos inducas in tentationem

Jerusalem was built as a compact structure but when one looks at the structure it is closely wound, much like the Word of God. His word is the yeast. It is elemental but breaking it down it speaks wisdom, it grows human understanding. His Word is elegant. And so the Latin Mass grows in me the Word of God. Jesus our savior and our best friend who loves us like no other can and no one can ever love us. And so that is how the Latin Mass speaks to me. This is what I have yearned for in this Mass; Palestrina’s Missa Papae Marcelli sung by The Tallis Scholars, directed by Peter Phillips ( ) We have riches like this, a plethora of beauty of ages past that “ Kumbaya” or “On Eagles Wings” will never reach and never approximate in this timeless beauty. These are not antiques in your Father’s cellar. It was then as it is now a new and everlasting covenant that is old yet new. The Living Word, a fire of Love that speaks to every generation, the Tridentine Latin Mass. It took hundreds of years to build Notre Dame, Saint Peters in the Vatican. They would not be torn down to build something better, they are our best.

sed libera nos a malo. Amen


mass closeupmass domethe-creation-of-adam-michelangelo_12163420

About charliej373

Charlie Johnston is a former newspaper editor, radio talk show host and political consultant. From Feb. 11, 2011 to Aug. 21, 2012, he walked 3,200 miles across the country, sleeping in the woods, meeting people and praying as he went. He has received prophetic visitation all his life, which he has vetted through a trio of priests over the last 20 years, and now speaks publicly about on this site. Yet he emphasizes that we find God most surely through the ordinary, doing the little things we should with faith and fidelity. Hence the name, The Next Right Step. The visitations inform his work, but are not the focus of it. He lives in the Archdiocese of Denver in the United States.
This entry was posted in Church Governance, Guest Columns and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

53 Responses to The Transcendent Beauty of Tradition

  1. d. swank says:

    This brought tears to my eyes. There is a Latin Mass community an hour away, but my husband is what Icall a ‘Methodist/Catholic’ who knows only english and wants only english. For him, Latin is only a language he cannot understand.
    I can relate to the words of Mr. Sarsok so well, but for now and maybe to the end of my days I am locked into the Novus Ordo. Christ is there after all, and with eyes closed I lose myself in the words of the mass and allow God to speak to my heart there.


  2. Jim M. says:

    A beautiful piece that reflects what is the hearts of many.

    I too wish each parish would offer just one Tridentine Mass a week. This was the form of Mass that the Church embraced for over 1000 years. You do not have to understand Latin to have a feeling of participation in the greatest sacrifice known to mankind.

    I don’t reject the new mass, but I can’t help noticing that this change in Mass coincided with the greatest decline in morality and faith the world has ever seen. Over the last 40 plus years, concepts that were embraced by all as moral constants have been flipped 180 degrees in the opposite direction. What was evil is now good, what was good is now evil.

    I am no expert in maters of the Church, but I have read that exorcisms in Latin are more effective than those spoken in other languages. Why is that?

    While I can’t advocate going to “all Latin, all the time”, I can advocate for one thing I believe it is critical importance – bring the Prayer of St Michael back into the Mass. After the Prayer to St Michael was eliminated, the Church has suffered some of the worst scandals in its history, including child abuse. The shepherds trusted with the most vulnerable among the flock abused that power and trust. I lost count of how many Catholics left the Church over this. It was and is an abomination, that created a desolation in the pews.

    Quisnam Est Amo Ut Deus!


  3. Barbara Dore says:

    i would like to learn latin.


  4. We attend the Latin Mass sometimes and I love Gregorian chant. I also like the Eastern Rite Masses- in fact I like them better than the Latin. They are warmer, richer and more beautiful to me. The Latin is a bit funeral and military. I much prefer a good Mass in English as my daily fare. But the Mass is the Mass is the Mass. Due to my background I do like the Hebrew Mass and it resonates with my soul. In my experience there isn’t a great demand for Latin Masses and those I have attended are not exactly bursting at the seams. In one parish in Perth we had a weekly Latin Mass that I attended but only about 20-30 people attended on a good week.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mary A says:

      If they sing it right, Gregorian is not funereal. As for Latin vs. Novus Ordo, I am for continuing the reform of the reform. Much of what we have and do was never supposed to be.

      Liked by 1 person

    • NancyA says:

      I’m not sure how long ago you were in Perth, Br.Gilbert Joseph. A priest friend of mine was there for a year. Irish, but from an American diocese. He was downtown in the chapel, with his friend, an Italian. I believe they prayed the Tridentine.


      • Nancy I know the priests you speak of very well. I have known the Italian one Father T since before he entered the seminary. Father R the Irish one is a great speaker and had quite a following. Everyone was sad to see him leave Perth and return to America. I heard he visited Perth recently but I wasn’t there at the time. They are both friends of the Moderator of our community Father Doug as well. I have never attended a Tridentine Mass by them but many times the ordinary form in English.


        • NancyA says:

          Fr. R was here while in seminary. Our family attended his ordination, and he is godfather to my youngest, 12 year old Betsy, who has special needs. She’s the one whose very own scent smells of chrism on a newly anointed baptized babe.

          I miss him. Fr R has told many stories about his best friend, Fr. T, his mother, their history and their sufferings. God bless them and keep them close!


  5. malachi99 says:

    Very well expressed Gary. A lot of people wrongly assume that the Mass of Ages is for aesthetes or the educated chattering classes. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Are you saying that the language of Shakespeare isn’t as beautiful as Latin. I disagree. Unfortunately whoever is in charge of putting the Mass into English have done a pitiful job-the Anglicans have done better. If you heard some of the Australian accented Latin by Aussie priests or old Thai ladies singing in Latin when I was in Thailand you might not think it so beautiful. Of course when you have a sung Latin Mass it can be divinely beautiful if you have a great choir. Its nice to have exterior beauty but for me its all about heart to heart intimacy with Jesus.

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      Interesting, Br. Gilbert. When I quote the Psalms, I almost always use the translations from the King James Version – which was a masterful achievement to keep both the sense of the text and the poetry as well. That is always the tension in trying to translate.


      • Yes for beauty of language you can’t beat the KJV. I really don’t like the modern ones as much. I remember reading an article in the old Jewish encyclopedia where the Jewish writer said that the King James Version was slightly more beautiful than the original Hebrew. High praise indeed! The Douai Rheims is not bad but not quite as poetic as the KJV. It is also much easier to memorise verses in the KJV.


    • Br. Gilbert, coming from a small parish with a struggling music ministry, I just know we would not do justice to a Latin Mass. Our Archdiocesan Basilica has a paid choir and their music is stellar. However, most parishes have volunteer choirs and in our case getting people to practise is like pulling teeth! I so look forward to the new era when people will have their priorities realigned (self included!) when the only thing more important than preparing for Mass will be the Mass itself.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Bev says:

      Reading this entry above and remembering Mass as a child, I would love to have that opportunity again. We now have one Tridentine Mass per month on a Saturday morning.
      There are sometimes three of us there. It’s Low Mass, so apart from the odd reply to the priest in Latin, and hearing the epistle and gospel in both Latin and English, that’s it. A half hour of almost total silence. That is not the Mass I remember. That is not the Mass that I love. However, that’s the best anyone is going to get in a radius of 300 miles around our city.

      When I go to Mass for the second time on Sunday (I go in the morning to my own parish), I at least get to hear some Latin as the priest’s at the Cathedral mingle some into the Novus Ordo.
      And the standard sung parts of the Mass actually remain similar to chant and the same Sunday to Sunday. (And it doesn’t sound like someone made it up so they could have their own chance at whatever, as in, is it going to go way up?, no, down again, up?, no try to guess and new almost every Sunday.)

      The music is prayerfully done, with the songs chosen (thank goodness not the usual fare) by a woman who plays guitar and sings and makes it give the “nostalgia” of the Tridentine Mass – if that can be said to be possible. (As it happens, she is one of the large number of three.) It took me a while to discover that 6 pm Mass, which is so reverently done, so deliberate in every action, there can be no one in the congregation that does not KNOW that Jesus Christ is there upon the altar. (Or they are deaf and blind.) I do have to say that if I do not attend that Mass, I feel like I am in a desert. I will remain in this desert for a lot longer because we have a tiny population, priests who for the most part are overworked and have no time or desire to add learning the Latin Mass to their already overloaded schedules. (And they are truly overloaded, driving every Sunday to provide Mass to people who otherwise wouldn’t have one.)

      So even though we do have a Tridentine Mass once a month, it is without any music, and chanting, any anything to surround Jesus with the glory He deserves. jThere no altar boys, and no singing. A Low Mass is NOT quite the same. This young newly ordained priest learned the Latin on his own because of his love of it’s beauty. I hope before he dies that he officiates at a Mass with altar boys and a full choir, and congregation. If this Saturday Mass were said on a Sunday, I would go to a second Mass at 6 pm at the Cathedral.


    • Carlos says:

      I agree with you. I was deeply moved a few years ago when I attended a Catholic Mass following the Anglican Rite. The Church was packed with former Anglicans. They had recently converted en masse (no pun intended) along with their pastor. The experience was heavenly.

      A thought for Latin: when Jesus went to Caesarea (see Matthew 16:20) to reveal his identity as a King of Israel and to select Peter as our first Pope, He was doing that on purpose. The Romans had illegally selected Caiaphas as High Priest. (see John 11:49) so Jesus names His High Priest in Caesarea, technically Roman territory. In time Peter would become the Bishop of Rome. That was the answer to the Roman occupation of Jerusalem: Jesus took the symbols of Roman power by first conquering Rome and turning it into the center of Christendom. He also also took the Imperial purple cloak and gave it to His bishops. Finally, following the tradition of the Oriental kings Jesus symbolically cut off the tongue of the conquered king. And so Latin survives only in the Church. The language of the Church is a trophy of that ancient war between Jesus and Caesar.


  7. Kati says:

    I wonder if you are aware of how the Tridentine Mass has also become (and has great potential to be) a unifier between English-speaking and Spanish-speaking communities here in the United States. Here is a little bit about that:

    Thank you very much for sharing. I listened to the entire you-tube link as I went searching for the above article. Gorgeous! Even my dog reacted to the glorious angelic voices in an extremely positive and peaceful manner. 😉


  8. Hengehold Family says:

    Worth the read. God spoke loudly to me through this; see what you receive…

    Julie Blessed Wife & Mother of 12

    ***Sent from my iPhone*** typos inevitable



  9. patrick says:

    I for one love the beauty of the Latin mass. I agree that Latin is the “high” language of the Church. I took four years of Latin in high school. I’ve been to mass at St. John Cantius and as a matter of fact it was the family parish back in the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s. The Lord should be afforded such honor with respect to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
    However I must say representing English as pragmatic, or guttural lacks charity. There are many Holy priests, and good people that celebrate the Eucharist in their native language. I’m sure any of the Romance languages sound beautiful such as French, in that the reasoning is a little shallow. I understand what your saying and agree with most of it, the Mass regardless of language is Beauty and Love Itself. With all due respect I know you desire what is good.


  10. ellenchris says:

    A friend of mine used to ask a very pertinent double question: Has the Guest of Honor truly been invited, and is He genuinely expected to come?” If Jesus Christ is really at the center, the rest should follow.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. diane says:

    this was beautiul – the mystery is exploded in the Latin Mass – i went to one a few years ago and was suprised as to how much i missed it, having grown up with the Latin mass and having it taken away without nary a remembrance. thank you Gary for your love of Christ and may you continue to walk in the light of Christ.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Mary A says:

    Good expression of the mystery and beauty of the Tridentine Mass. There is another aspect. I think that without the background of the meaning of the Mass as expressed in the old liturgy, the Novus Ordo Missae could be interpreted in a Protestant manner. Which may have been Bugnini’s intention, as he was not a fair player, according to Fr. Louis Bouyer’s memoirs. Don’t get me wrong, I love the New Mass’s simplicity and sobriety, but the translation was terrible terrible terrible (they actually said at the time that since English never repeats, we can’t repeat the repeats in the new Latin text- which was supposed to be used.). Other languages didn’t fare so badly, but I do think we need to follow Benedict’s freedom in use of the Tridentine rite. It is the law that anyone can say it, without bishop’s permission. I would definitely opt for the old rite of Baptism (way better) and exorcism (exorcists themselves complain about the new rite). My comfort during all the manipulations and disobediences and lies and chaos of the late sixties and early 70’s was that I always thought that the “renewal” of the Liturgy, with the complete loss of the heritage of prayer, music, gesture, and ritual was a stripping of the garments of the Church (which would follow into Christ’s passion). Also, in English, the text sounded like it was written by a committee that didn’t have a highly literate command of English. I did know that the Novus Ordo canons harked back to very early Mass prayers, but even they were streamlined and dumbed down. I do believe that once the old Liturgy is lost as an organic part of Catholic culture, it is lost forever. I think that it can be restored as an artifact, as a museum experience, but never again as our native environment. It just takes one generation, and they had it. Now when I attend Tridentine rite celebrations, they are always self-conscious, unnatural, stylized, vain performances – when done by the young. Even the way they speak Latin is hilariously arch, like the Archbishop in Princess Bride. I have never been fortunate enough to attend a Tridentine mass by a priest who was weaned on it. May God bless all his confused children. As for the new fixes, they are a perfect example of “you can’t go back.” They are an improvement, yes, over wrong translations, but they are neither English nor Roman prose and satisfy no one except a committee. And to use ” send down like the dewfall” in a literal, non-poetic sense is absurd. Dew doesn’t come down. In any case, the new Mass, without the silly songs, is a good Mass for an underground on the run.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Gary says:

      Fr Phillips from St John Cantius in Chicago had trained well over 800 priests nationally and internationally on the rubrics of the Tridentine Latin Mass. His priests and the choirs have done a astounding job in keeping it organic as you have mentioned. What is sacred will always attract those seeking the sacred.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Mary A says:

    And Christ will come and bring the heavenly Liturgy.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. This was absolutely beautiful, Gary; I really appreciated reading it, thank you.

    A thought came to me when I read that the Latin Mass was “ripped” from you in 1968. I had planned to start taking Latin when I reached ninth grade, as my brother had done before me, and our mother before us, only to find that they cancelled all Latin studies the year I reached high school in 1966. The only reasoning expressed was that Latin was dead, and no longer needed.

    Now I can see that there was probably this same timely connection, even in my public schools.

    I’ve always felt a calling to go deep in history. I regret that I have never experienced this Mass that you describe.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I like how you compared the TLM to Opera. One of my best moments in life was when my husband took me to see Luciano Pavorroti on our 7th wedding anniversary. I cried. It was heaven on earth. I went to my first TLM a couple of years ago. I cried. It was truly heaven on earth. It was a feast for all my senses……especially my spirit. When the Mass was over, I saw a young girls in her 20,s and she was crying. She said it was the most beautiful thing she ever saw.
    It is truly truly sad that this is not offered in every parish across the world. What were they thinking when they changed it? I am so very blessed. My church offers a TLM every day.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. David says:

    Thank you, Gary. I know that you mean as guttural,a low form of English. A vulgar or common form of the langue. We are very blessed here in the Archdiocese of Detroit to have several Masses in the 2000 year old form. I am able to attend every Sunday. More and more of our priests are learning this Mass. Tears came to my eyes as I read your article. I cried out praises to Our Lord while I read it. God Bless you , Gary


  17. Kent says:

    I thought the original intent of vat II was to retain mass parts in Latin. Do I like scripture read in the vernacular? You bet I do. However is it awesome to chant Mass parts and psalms? Yes it is. I have been privileged to visit monasteries where much was chanted in Latin.

    Course another problem is ICEL’s work of translating the Latin. Accuracy, poetry and transcendence do not have to be entirely abandoned! I always thought the work that Adoramus does is very good.


    Liked by 1 person

  18. Bob says:

    I’d say we can have our own preferences on Latin vs. English but to avoid contention on the issue since the church allows both. And as for translation that is an issue I understand. Some of the newer versions of the Bible have totally forgotten the beauty of the language in their rush to be precise or to use the proper politically correct gender language, but that is another topic but it does involve lectionary translations also.

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      I fully agree, Bob. I want people to see the beauty in both – though I agree that a lot of our English language stuff is rather clunky – and some of the “improvements’ to the lectionary responses a few years ago made matters worse, rather than better. But, such is life. I very much appreciate the accessibility offered to all through use of local languages.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Observer says:

        One of the most sincerely attended Masses of my life was one early morning, still mostly dark outside, cold temperature, during a long power outage necessitating candles…esp. for the celebrant to read the scripture of the day….and total quiet! Just quiet….for a change! Sometimes I think disturbingly annoying stimuli, from whatever source, during such a mystical event of remembering THE sacrifice of God Himself be it in the unbloody manner, is a tool of the devil to distract from what is most important!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Charlie I know quite a few priests who would agree with you especially the parts the priest says. In trying to stay too close to the Latin they have made it awkward and unnatural for a native speaker of English.


  19. the phoenix says:

    gratias tibi ago propter verba tua, Gary!


  20. Padraig Caughey says:

    Pallestrini is to die for.😊

    Date: Wed, 3 Dec 2014 10:11:39 +0000

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Mary says:

    They would not be torn down to build something better, they are our best…..
    Good point. I see my church as a treasure, an heirloom, a priceless work of art, a symphony, a poem, a classic, it is just a comforting and exalted history that has always excelled in truth and beauty and that gives me a glimpse of God and it feels like home.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Bev says:

    I clicked on the YouTube link and I am so overwhelmed that I can’t breath. Thank you, thank you.
    As long as the Internet exists I can drown in this every day.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. The difficulties & challenges of changing the language of the Church for the ordinary use by the many members were to be expected, on the day of Pentecost did not those of the many lands each hear the Apostles speak in their own native tongues? At first it was Aramaic/Hebrew in the time of Christ, then Greek in the time of Paul, & finally Latin, did not Pilate assign the inscription upon the Cross in those vernacular languages of the day? As time goes forward a clearer more accurate understanding & appreciation for the original Latin texts will be attained & the translation from Latin into the Vernacular will be made ever more faithfully eloquent as will be the Mass. Effectively English is the new Latin, perhaps this was allowed for the sake of reunification, perhaps the Holy Spirit has other reasons. Nonetheless it for us & for those who come after through the guidance of the Holy Spirit to realise new beauties within this ancient Church of ours thus keeping it forever faithful to the Will of God & always ever new.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Mary A says:

    Just a note: The Modernism that traditional Catholics don’t like has nothing to do with “modern” liturgy (other than when liturgy expresses Modernism). Modernism is the heresy that is basically doctrinal relativism. Another little note: support for the Mass of the ages was not based on aesthetics (though aesthetics are an issue) but on the text and the ritual that expressed the meaning of the text.

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      Thank you, Mary. That is an important distinction for all to know – and I think I just kind of assumed it. But if one is not familiar with things, it would be terribly easy to misinterpret it all. Thank you.


    • Mary I wish that was true. In many cases it is but many others who call themselves Traditional mix the two things up. Also Modernism and liberalism is not the same thing. A Catholic may be liberal but still staying within the bounds of the Church and its teaching. I would say that our parish priest here is one of those. In fact some of these so-called Liberal priests are alot easier to work with than those who are rigidly orthodox and nicer people as well. Those who are rigid whether to the left or right are “quenchers of the Holy Spirit”.


  25. Kati says:

    Gary, I just happened to read the most wonderful essay by over at The Catholic Thing written by Anthony Esolen. I consider it a further expansion of the beautiful piece that you have shared. Here is an excerpt:

    ” I was recently flying to Illinois to speak at a new and splendid educational initiative for boys – about which more in a forthcoming essay. En route, I read one of those rare books that in relatively few pages and lucid prose sheds light on far more than its immediate subject matter: Looking at the Liturgy: A Critical View of Its Contemporary Form (1994), by Aidan Nichols, O. P.

    Father Nichols shows that the post-conciliar revisers of liturgical custom had accepted a reductive and mistaken anthropology. It’s hard to fathom how this could have happened to bishops who are supposed to believe in the God of revelation. But let me explain.

    Christians do not believe in the god of Spinoza, reducible to the physical world and its laws. They believe in the Lord who freely spoke the world into existence, whose thoughts are as far above our thoughts as the heavens are above the earth. Christians do not believe in the One of Plotinus, overflowing in being, but unapproachable except by flights of the severest philosophical discipline. They believe in the Word made flesh, who dwelt among us, in humility and glory, glory as of the only begotten Son of God, full of grace and truth.

    You cannot write poetry about the One, the simply ineffable, for there is nothing to say. You cannot write poetry about Spinoza’s placeholder. You could once write poetry about Zeus, just as you could write poetry about any other creature, but Zeus the Thunderer, even for a poet as religious as Aeschylus, could never really become an object of devout contemplation.

    But God, the true God, is the ultimate poet of the world and the cause that there should be poetry in us. About Him there is always more and more to know, not less. And since He has made us in His image, we can be brought into knowledge of Him; we are theomorphic. About the humblest and simplest man there is always more and more to know, not less.”

    Liturgy of the Body:
    All of these writings just make so much BEAUTIFUL sense!

    I also happen to think that heaven may be phenomenal in the sense that we will continue to learn more and more about our God….Who is… without limits. (I am sure that there are lots of factors that will make it wonderful…but this is one that I have been pondering.) 🙂


    • Mick says:

      Kati, I so agree with you: I believe we will spend eternity learning ever more about God–and we’ll never learn it all because He is infinite. And, by the way, I love the writings of Anthony Esolen.


  26. Madeleine says:

    I would probably attend the TLM daily if it was available to me. Not only are the prayers so very beautiful but it seems that very good preaching and teaching also accompany it and I appreciate that as well. As it is, I assist at the TLM once or twice a month as a priest comes from out of town to offer it at a parish in town on Sundays. And he will do so on Christmas day which I am happy about and will be there for it.


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