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War On TLM Is War On Souls

July 22, 2021 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK

By the time you read this column we will have discovered whether the Vatican or the Pope has issued a modification of Summorum Pontificum (SP), which basically will serve to gut that document.
The revolutionary nature of the motu proprio SP, issued in 2007 by Benedict XVI, served to restore peace liturgically within the Church by giving free access on the part of every lay Catholic and every priest to our historic traditional worship as it existed before it was malformed by committee after Vatican II in the name of ecumenism.
The document put into action the truth that the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM), which was at one time sacred for everyone in the Church, must be sacred now for everyone as well. What was at one time holy, because handed down by the Church in the power of the Holy Spirit, must be holy now also for us.
The Rorate Caeli blog and others, quoting other sources, some unnamed, in recent days reported that on the Friday after this column is being written (July 16), Rome is allegedly going to issue a modification of Benedict XVI’s groundbreaking document which freed the Traditional Latin Mass and radically altered the ecclesial post-Vatican II landscape.
What is expected with the document are possibly two changes to SP. First, as has been already reported, the new motu proprio expected from Francis will require that any priest offering the Traditional Latin Mass must also offer the Novus Ordo, or Vatican II Mass. What this will do, in effect, is force any priest who has reservations about the new Mass to violate his conscience on the matter. Second, the new motu proprio is expected to return to the bishops the ability to restrict priests from offering the Mass.
This will be a great tragedy for all of those parishes or communities in the Church which have not already established this form of the Mass on a Sunday, bringing the same renewal and growth everywhere this has already been accomplished.
As I can attest, since we have committed to the Traditional Latin Mass daily as well as on Sundays, our congregation has grown, our offertory has increased, and now a family has moved into our town in order to be close to our parish church for the purpose of attending the Traditional Latin Mass every Sunday. This is certainly a trend which I hope will continue and which I have urged the other members of the parish to consider.
At one time as late as 1962 my father, when moving to our area for the first time, searched for a Catholic parish before deciding on a location for a home. He discovered the church, the elementary school, and the high school all co-located and, having committed with my mother to Catholic education for me and all my siblings, thereafter found a house in the same town.
Times have certainly changed. After COVID many people no longer need to live near their work with the ubiquity of tele-work. Even before that, a good deal on a home was nearly the only consideration about where to move and the parish was an afterthought, if that.
With the subsequent phenomenal growth of homeschooling and the popularity of the Traditional Latin Mass among homeschooling families, we’ve seen another factor bolstering TLM parishes such as mine. With faith formation rightly restored primarily to the parents, we are eliminating the widespread recent phenomenon of attempting to hand on the faith to children of parents who are not committed to the same.
At one time years ago nearly the entire town surrounding our parish converted to the Catholic faith but, over time, as is tragically true of the Church generally, families fell away from the faith and many ceased to practice any longer. When I took the helm over ten years ago we had a few families that attended for First Communion or Confirmation classes but all ceased to attend once the first sacraments were received.
Matters changed dramatically once we upped our game with restoring the sacred in our church decoration and furnishings and committing fully to the TLM. We have young people who come to Mass every Sunday and spend time with each other over lunch afterward. They are not attending Mass for the purpose of entering the Church, getting baptized, confirmed, or receiving First Communion. They are attending Mass to attend Mass.
We do have converts, but they commit to the community before taking convert instruction. They then remained with the community after converting. Converts who have not become part of our weekly Sunday lunch community which takes place following the TLM are less likely to continue to practice the faith.
So often in parishes the Sunday Mass attendance figures are artificial because families might attend while their children are attending the parish school, or the First Communion or Confirmation programs, but discontinue attending weekly Sunday Mass after eighth-grade graduation from the parish school or after reception of first sacraments. If there are enough of these individuals cycling through the parish, it might appear to be stable over a matter of years, but COVID served to rip the scab off of these and many other festering wounds afflicting the health and well-being of the Body of Christ.
Many who were superficial in their faith simply stopped attending Mass at all after COVID. In many parishes the attendance numbers are through the floor. On a recent Sunday the offertory total in a parish that was once considered twice or more the size, was the same amount as that of my small church of perhaps 150 families. The historically larger parishes with extensive legacy physical plant in this new landscape will now be potentially more vulnerable financially than one like mine that travels low and under the radar with a church, hall and rectory only to maintain.
Missing in so many parishes, as is testified to by many priests, are the 18-30 year olds who attend the TLM at my parish, in college or out working after college and who are yet unmarried, want to court in a traditional Catholic way, get married in the Catholic Church and raise a Catholic family, all centered around the spirituality of the Traditional Latin Mass. They also plan to shun contraception and be generous and welcoming of children and thus have larger families.
The shocking thing about the whole issue of the leaders in the Church waging a war against our traditional historic Catholic worship is that they’ve excluded a possibility that the growth of the TLM is the work of the Holy Spirit speaking through souls. There results a growth in vocations, a growth in families, a growth in the practice of the faith, a growth in donations. Growth and flourishing characterize the Traditional Latin Mass wherever it is offered faithfully.
Those who wage war against the Holy Spirit, no matter how high or lofty their office in the holy Church, will not win. If the Holy Spirit cannot work now in the Church through the TLM, has He has done for millennia, then He cannot work at all. And we know this cannot be true. God have mercy on those who are waging a useless and unholy war against the Holy Spirit and the immortal souls of the faithful by attacking those who wish to commit exclusively to the TLM as is their God-given right.
Thank you for reading and praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever:apriestlife.blogspot.com

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