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A Leaven In The World… The Good News Within The Bad News

November 5, 2018 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK

In a recent column, I shared some disappointing news about a lack of hospitality in the sacristy at St. Peter’s in Rome, after I had requested access to a side altar in the basilica for a weekday morning Mass. But I omitted some most wonderful news of another event which took place that same morning and in connection with that saddening encounter.
I did not tell the entire story because I failed to include the good news within the bad news.
I realized only later that, because I made my request known in Italian for the Traditional 1962 missal, the priest-sacristan for that reason understood I could also speak his native tongue; that may be why he picked me out for “special treatment” that morning, badgering me repeatedly for not celebrating the saint on the current modern calendar as were the majority of priests. I was hardly the only priest celebrating the Traditional Mass that morning, as he well knew, but I was the only one he could be certain would be able to receive his repeated verbal blows.
The modernist wolves in Rome have certainly been emboldened by Pope Francis’ public attacks on Catholic Tradition. The Traditional Mass is the essence, and most important element, of the entire Catholic Tradition. Get rid of the Mass and you can remake the Church into anything you desire. Attacks upon it are especially egregious for this reason.
Bad news seems to get attention more than anything else. That story was picked up by the Canon212.com Catholic news website and seen by many more readers as a result. What was missing in that story as I recounted it was the good news within the bad news. Priests and other workers in the sacristy at St. Peter’s are very well placed to see the evidence of the growing popularity of the Traditional Latin Mass. I believe his behavior was in part motivated by his desire to stamp out a burgeoning movement in the Church of those seeking to get back to her roots, so rudely ripped from their longstanding place after the Second Vatican Council.
The other good news within the bad news, or the silver lining, is the growing numbers of young people who frankly don’t care about the opinions and the fruitless rants of the modernists. They simply go about the mission of rebuilding the Church from the Mass, upward and outward. They have prioritized first things first. They understand the Mass is the source and summit of everything else in their lives and are devoting their talents and energies to promoting the immemorial Mass at the heart of the Church in parishes all over the world.
You see, something else happened that Wednesday morning in Rome that proves the modernists have it wrong and will, in the end, lose their war against Tradition.
A young man of my parish, our sacristan, was also staying at the same time in Rome. He had asked to meet me that morning at the Sant’Uffizio gate of the Vatican for the short walk to the sacristy of St. Peter’s and to serve the Mass. I did not wait for him, but entered right away, assuming that he stayed up late talking with the friends with whom he was staying until the wee hours and therefore was unable to rise early as necessary for the morning Mass.
Unbeknownst to me, while I stood in the sacristy being pelted by the repeated questioning attacks of the sacristan, he fought a battle of his own.
He did get up as promised. Running late for our appointed meeting time, though, and beginning the trek as he did from a point in distant Trastevere, he first flagged down a city bus only to find out it was not headed in the direction of Vatican City. His look of dejection must have been so complete that the driver took pity on him and temporarily rerouted the bus to accommodate him.
After running to the Vatican gate, at one point through a brief rain shower, he begged the Swiss Guards to believe he was meeting me for the Mass and prevailed, after telling them he could prove he was who he said he was by reciting the prayers at the foot of the altar. He was admitted only to be stopped by the gendarmerie police some distance inside.
The Guards interceded and he continued on to the sacristy and into the vast basilica where he found me at my side altar with Mass underway. I heard someone come up and kneel down, gladly realizing it was him as in his familiar voice he commenced the prayer responses of the Mass.
All the obstacles he overcame in his successful mission to arrive at my altar for Mass serve as a parable for all of those who seek to restore our maligned and besieged tradition. His adventure that day is the good news within the bad news we all must seek if we are to find a way forward for the Church and her faithful today.
Those in power now may be winning some skirmishes here and there, particularly in Rome where they can so easily intimidate disenfranchised pilgrims from elsewhere, but young men and women like that sacristan have time on their hands. They will in the first place outlive those who now hold the reins of power. They are the key to the future and a window upon it for those of us approaching our retirement years.
There is much bad news to be had in the Church, with yet another auxiliary bishop as of this writing removed for allegations of sexual misconduct. As a young priest friend remarked in reaction to that latest blow, about the members of the heterodox and dissenting 1960s cadre represented by that fallen bishop, “It’s remarkable to think of how that generation has made a mess of things in every conceivable way.”
The conclusion one draws from the lack of suitability of so many men chosen for bishop, because they fit a certain comfortable and unthreatening modernist mold, is that the bottom of that barrel has finally been reached. The good news within the bad news is that the powerbrokers may finally be forced to choose bishops from among the younger and more orthodox cohort, those who “teach what the Church believes and live what they teach,” as all priests are urged to do on the day of their Ordination.
The good news within the bad news is that everywhere in the Church are the seeds of renewal. In small communities like my parish, where families worship together at the Traditional Mass each Sunday and spend hours together afterward in loving fellowship, are being nurtured the roots of those future vocations to the priesthood, religious life and marriage which will strengthen the Church for the battles to come in the victory we all seek for the eternal salvation of every soul.
Thank you for reading and praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever.
@MCITLFrAphorism

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