Monday, June 27, 2011

Vin Nichols on the Priest at Mass

There is a fascinating sermon from Archbishop Nichols on Zenit about the role of the priest at Mass, Fr Z has got his red pen out to it .
Interestingly he is using the new Mass texts, I understand many priests are using at least the Eucharistic Prayers, now the interrim Missal has been published.

Here are some key points:
  • Among us priests Liturgy easily becomes a point of contention. It should not be so.
  • ....the Church is asking us to recover some of the richness and depth of our liturgical heritage and, at the same time,
  • We need a fresh approach in contrast to long-formed habits and familiarity.
  • We don vestments to minimise our personal preferences, not to express or emphasise them.
  • Liturgy is never my own possession, or my creation.   
  • Liturgy is not ours. It is never to be used as a form of self-expression. 
  • The Mass is the action of the Church.  That’s what matters, not my opinion.
  • ... the Liturgy forms us, not us the Liturgy. 
  •  At Mass I am the Lord’s instrument just as I hope to be in the day that follows.
  • ...things old and new can serve [the people to meet Christ]. Our choices though are shaped both by the instruction of the Church in its norms and guidance and by our duty to serve our people.
  • At Mass we need space – spaces of silence, spaces for the quiet recollection of the people, both before and during Mass.
  • In my view one quality enhances this sense of divinely filled space in which we worship God: it is the beauty of the Liturgy and its reverence.  A beautiful, cared for church is the best preparation we can provide.
  • .... whenever the Liturgy of the Church, the celebration of the Mass, truly enters our heart and soul, then the result is a vibrant sense of mission.






23 comments:

Saint Michael Come To Our Defense said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=EvWEOpLLEso

Mr. Vincenzo at his Sancte Pater blog has posted this video of Padre Zulhsdorf.

I was taken aback at how soundly Roman Catholic his sermon was.

He also looks a little tired.

Many here in America criticize him for as much as he appears to have 'on his plate'.

I was glad to see one of his sermons.

I hope you feel the same after you view this video.

*

Saint Michael Come To Our Defense said...

I am reminded of something from a sermon I once heard;

"The world can live without the Sun;

It cannot survive without the Priest."

*

sceptical said...

Liturgy is never my own possession, or my creation. Liturgy is not ours. It is never to be used as a form of self-expression. The Mass is the action of the Church. That's what matters, not my opinion. The Liturgy forms us, not us the Liturgy.

All of which are fine words when presented for international consumption. In the meantime, in the Archdiocese of Westminster...

Sadie Vacantist said...

The structure of the new Mass does not lend itself to the avoidance of these defects. These defects are compounded by a laity wanting to be part of the floor show.

jacquelineparkes said...

Sounds good to me ...

shadowlands said...

What I particularly picked up on, in the Archbishop's words, was this

"They are, fundamentally, matters of the heart, of our disposition. As such they can shape what we do. We do well to examine what lies in our hearts."

Even if it is given to us, the ABILITY to read other men's hearts and it seems on blogger this is the norm rather than the rare, we have no AUTHORITY to judge other men's hearts (I include myself in that accusation, I've done my share of judging).
Learning to know and understand my own heart's motives, inclinations and defects of same, takes up the best part of my day.It is exhausting, to be frank.

The Archbishop's words rest easy on my spirit. They release me from having to keep an eye on my neighbour's preferred form/rite/expression/lack of and get on with making myself a vessel fit to receive Christ.

Just to end on a controversial (to some) note, when praying lately I have been prompted to place persons with same sex attractions (and people challenged in any way gender wise) under Our Lady's protection. I don't know if this is me imagining this request or I am truly being led, but it is a strong urge. I do not see Jesus or Our Lady being presented publicly as positive relevant role models in the Catholic church for the latter, simply as judges. I see many people using homosexuals as sticks, to beat each other up with, in arguments related to seperate topics, eg the Archbishop's diocese in this comment thread (Soho Masses). I would link Father's readers to another video of the AB's and ponder his words:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gr_qwBEvKkM

Also to Father Tim's excellent recent post at Hermenuetics blog. I will certainly be praying for this:

http://the-hermeneutic-of-continuity.blogspot.com/2011/06/pride-weekend-mass-in-london.html

pelerin said...

There is a strange comment from someone interviewed in the video link provided by sceptical:

'My faith is more important to me than what the Pope might think.'

Presumably he still regards himself as a member of the Catholic Church and says every Sunday 'I believe in one holy Catholic and apostolic church' but perhaps he adds to himself 'but I don't follow what the Pope says?' This must have confused non-catholic viewers who must wonder what the definition of a Catholic is today.

parepidemos said...

This is a fabulous letter from the Archbishop of Westminster. Unusually, I think this is one occasion when Fr.Zuhlsdorf's addtions/comments are completely superfluous.

Auricularis said...

I would link Father's readers to another video of the AB's and ponder his words:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gr_qwBEvKkM


In response to this, I would say that the notion of "judge not" has been tirelessly used by those, who are not resonant with the church on morals, to quash any condemnation of deviations from church teaching and practice. The fact of the matter is that canon law states that a priest may refuse communion to a public sinner, not only for their own good (sacrilegious communion) but also the scandal and confusion it causes the faithful.

The Soho masses are indefensible. There is proof available to show that these masses are a hub of dissent against the teachings of the church on homosexuality e.g.) bidding prayers celebrating "civil partnerships", advertisements for events that attack traditional marriage, promotion of dissenting literature at the back of the church, etc. Archbishop Nichols cannot claim ignorance and his refusal to be a shepherd and bring back the erring into the line, is something he'll have to answer for.

Jacobi said...

Fine words from the Archbishop. I hope he now follows them up with action, firm action!

Athanasius said...

Jacobi - he won't. One cannot help but think that he says these things because he still hasn't got a red hat. But I could be wrong...

jacquelineparkes said...

Forgive me...but who is this Fr Z? Is he an Abp or Cardinal even?

shadowlands said...

Auricularis said:

"Archbishop Nichols cannot claim ignorance and his refusal to be a shepherd and bring back the erring into the line, is something he'll have to answer for."

As a Catholic, what authority do you hold, to judge the head of the Roman Catholic church, who is also my country's spiritual head, appointed by the Pope?

Also, other catholics in this thread, who claim to be traditional and orthodox in their religious leanings, are casting doubts on the Archbishop's heart motives, mentioning that he doesn't have his Cardinals hat yet and so forth.

How dare you? I mean, truly, I am asking, how do you dare to be so high and mighty. When did this Holy Spirit illumination happen to you, that enables you to read men's souls? Archbishop's souls?

Is it a gift given to some and not others?

And how come it's taken as read (by yourselves) that your own heart's intentions are just and in accordance with the Magisterium? Who OK's your motives?

Obviously not the head of the Catholic church in the UK, as you have more or less accused him of heresy or is it schism, or is it something worse?

I'll stick with scripture's advice: Hebrew's 13:17, in order to avoid being tossed about by every blogger's viewpoint, that all contradict each other. It's like mixing with a bunch of differing protestant denominations somedays.All these mini-popes!

Where's ma beads? I need a decade to settle my head!

Saint Michael Come To Our Defense said...

All the strength of Satan's Reign is due to the easy-going weakness of Catholics.

The Prophet Zachary asked the Divine Redeemer:

What are those wounds in the midst of Thy hands?

"With these was I wounded in the house of them that loved Me. I was wounded by My friends, who did
nothing to defend Me, and who, on every occasion, made themselves the accomplices of My adversaries".

Are there adversaries of our Lord in Holy Mother Church?

Are we to stand by and whisper "It is God's will" when we see them crucifying our Lord again?

Are there not Bishop's pretending tradition in search of the red cap?

Do we help the Wolf put on his sheeps clothing?

*

georgem said...

I think some of the comments made here are based on evidence rather than supposition. While it is true one cannot guess what is in another's heart, one can assess what might be going on by his/her actions.
However, the Archbishop's words on the role of priests are well worth a considered reading. He may not have written them, but he signed them off and delivered them and has made a good number of percipient points.

shadowlands said...

S.M.c.t.o.d said:

"Are there adversaries of our Lord in Holy Mother Church?

Are we to stand by and whisper "It is God's will" when we see them crucifying our Lord again?

Are there not Bishop's pretending tradition in search of the red cap?

Do we help the Wolf put on his sheeps clothing?"

What if you are personally an adversary of Christ's when you go to Mass, not to worship, but to perform an 'Is this place worthy enough for me to be under it's roof test', never mind that the Lord is made truly present there, It's not good enough for you or are you crucifying Christ when you judge the heart of an allegedly active homosexual you see going to Communion?
Or the heart of an Archbishop, appointed by the Pope when he asks you not to judge and you dismiss this request as him being easy going due to possible clerical ambition? You think it's ok in God's eyes for the laity to judge his heart's intentions without authority, knowledge, or facts, just the bitchy comments you have heard online from certain catholics who see themselves as in possession of what only God has (the book of life)? Where, in scripture or the catechism can I find this instruction?

In the meantime, read Hebrews 13:17.

Therefore, no! I do not help wolves put on sheep's clothing, albeit very articulate wolves who spot every discrepancy in their fellow man (and priest) at Mass. I suggest (regularly) to individuals that they ask the Holy Spirit to reveal their own heart's contents to them FIRST (as the Archbishop has also advised and he is anointed to advise surely or does the uber traditionalist branch of catholic laity usurp his authority?)and having cleansed their own hearts, then go out with their broom to sweep the church clean if given that commission by a vocation from God, confirmed by the Bishops. Otherwise, spend the rest of your life fulfilling the commandment to love. We could all use some advice and good suggestions on getting on better with each other, so that non-believers will look at us and say "See how these christians love each other"

Finally, pray your rosaries!!

Oh dear, I appear to have gone on a bit of a rant. Sorry Father!

I also took umbrage with the comment that suggested the AB hadn't written the words of this document, but just signed them off. Once again, is this a known fact?
The tone used in these accusations reminds me of satan in the garden of eden, it really does have the same gossipy spirit attached to it, are you at all aware that you are coming across like that? Because you are!

To be frank, if Catholicism is this corrupt, why be a Catholic atall?
Truly, I thought we had the stamp/safe guard of Christ? Yet some of the laity are speaking as if they know better. Confusing, very damaging and upsetting!

Auricularis said...

I could imagine that Shadowlands would go off on one, when someone dared to point out the glaringly obvious. Seems to be definitely in the shadows on this one.

If she had bothered to read my original comment carefully, she could see that I was judging the actions of the archbishop in regards to Soho masses, not judging the archbishop's soul. It seems this distinction is quite lost on some people.

As to whether it is actively practising homosexuals going to these masses: could someone explain to me why at these masses:

1. Men go hand in hand to them?

2. Civil partnerships are prayed for in the bidding prayers?

3. Why "Gay Pride" and other events that attack the true nature of marriage are advertised in the notices?

Is anyone so blind, as to not see the mockery these masses are? They are a complete repudiation of the church;s teaching on homosexuality. Only those in denial, would wail and cry that the poor archbishop's reputation is being attacked, even when he has publically shown to be unable to state the church's opposition to civil partnerships:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQKp3wHe8pE

All I can end with is St. Thomas Aquinas words how on to approach those prelates who do not preach the faith properly:

"Where there is a proximate danger to the Faith, prelates must be rebuked, even publicly, by their subjects. Thus St. Paul, who was subject to St. Peter, rebuked him publicly." - St. Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians 2:14

Saint Michael Come To Our Defense said...

“…What if you are personally an adversary of Christ's when you go to Mass?...”

I am a sinner.

The Jews crucified Christ on the cross once.

I crucify Him everyday.

When I come before the Blessed Sacrament at Mass I come as a sorrowful sinner asking for forgiveness and pardon.

I don’t confess according to rote.

If I am still in my state of sin, I don’t receive; I work on changing my heart that I may be forgiven.

Christ dealt with the Good Thief and the Bad Thief from the cross.

He will do the same with those of us at the Blessed Sacrament; it is the Padre’s job to know the souls of his sheep that come for communion, not mine.

“…We could all use some advice and good suggestions on getting on better with each other, so that non-believers will look at us and say "See how these Christians love each other"…

Nobody is ever going to be converted by watching us. Never.

Believers are born through God’s grace; many times He grants that grace when with humble and contrite hearts we go into our private places and petition the Lord with prayer and supplication.

Putting on a show, good or bad for nonbelievers is useless, a waste of their and our time.

Saint Benedict had no food for his monks.

He never the less ordered his monks to set the table.

Once they were seated, an Angel appeared, and fed them all, beginning with the lowest monk.

Set your table.

Have Faith, and the place that you have prepared will be supplied with all the spiritual graces needed that the souls before you may gain the Kingdom of Heaven, and you will get the lowest place in that Kingdom as your reward.

But you will be in Heaven.

Christ told the thief “This day you will be with Me in Heaven.”

Being with Christ is Heaven.

If you are going to pray your Holy Rosary, do so before the Blessed Sacrament, that by praying the Rosary you are walking in the garden of Heaven and, visiting the Gardener of souls also.

It is good that you do not realize what is happening right in front of you. You are upset by what little you hear and know; if you knew the Truth, you would perhaps be devastated.

Nuestra Senora Santa Maria de Guadalupe, ora pro nobis!

*

shadowlands said...

"It is good that you do not realize what is happening right in front of you. You are upset by what little you hear and know; if you knew the Truth, you would perhaps be devastated."

I realise that lay folk are seeking to override the hierarchy and believing that God is giving them His voice to do so. I realsie that if another lay person affirms the head of their own Church in their country, appointed by the Pope, they are accused of going 'off on one' and called a 'shadowy' person. This has happened to me many times in the past, from Protestants though, not from Roman Catholics!
Maybe it's time for all the Archbishop's accusers to break away from the authority he holds over them? If they believe God is choosing to reveal his judjments through them directly? So far in this thread it's been suggested he is seeking a Cardinals hat, he is pretending ignorance and is for those reasons failing to carry out his Bishop's role, all by a bunch of non-ordained laity!

They could perhaps become the English black sheepdog branch, a worldwide new ministry I believe?
This thread has shown me, that even the head of my Church in this country has no right to request others to refrain from judging men's hearts yet his own is open to their accusations.
My question again is, by what authority do you seek to override Rome? Rome has appointed AB Nicholls to preside over us, after all. Is Rome at fault?

Do as the AB asks, be obedient and lay your other concerns before the Lord, acknowledging your powerlessness and lack of authority as it may be this that is really infuriating some of you. We all love to be in control don't we? Submission is hard but good and commanded, by God. Hebrews 13:17.
Failing that, write to the Pope.

Gerald said...

You know, Shadowlands, as a homosexual who is struggling MIGHTILY to stay chaste in this incredibly tempting and deadly culture, I am very sad that +VN is making it that much harder for poor souls like mine when he cowardly approves of those scandalous Soho Masses and does little to encourage us as we go under attack both outside and inside the Church.

By letting the wolves run amok in part of his sheepfold, he evidently cares more about public relations than the souls of his homosexual flock.

Maybe I should just go out and get a boyfriend and start going to my archbishop's gay pride Masses. It's SO much easier than the very lonely struggle I have now.

shadowlands said...

Gerald,

You are the first celibate person with S.S.A that I have come across on blogger, who admits that he is struggling greatly with what the church offers (or doesn't)as pastoral care. So well done, you've exposed an area lacking.

I agree, there is a tremendous need for good strong loving respectful, sensitive, compassionate fellowship and encouragement for souls and their families struggling with these issues. You will hear apparent 'recovered' homosexuals stating that there is no need for a specific public voice from the church offering this aid. I disagree mightily! It's needed for whole families! A rooftop shouting ministry! I know of christian mothers of children with S.S.A, one of them a relation of mine who told me, that they initially felt that they had failed their children on hearing of their sexuality. One even became suicidal. What sort of handed down faith when tested manifests such reactions in parents? Well, this particular woman was a strict Roman Catholic. So yes, suicidal catholics do need particular help or ministry, preferably visible. Where would you send her for regular support to an ongoing struggle? In the event, every cleric she has gone to has said words to the effect 'love the sinner, hate the sin'. They dismiss her with these words, not out of malice or even lack of concern. They simply have nothing else to offer. Zilch. I mean, is there a referring body for parents of children with SSA in the church? You don't know, do you? However, as catholics, especially on blogger, we know instinctively, through our own fallen sinful natures how to insult homosexuals, call them vile names, really disgusting terms.It's easier to get in touch with our hae than our love, have you noticed? I notice this, in me, God forgive me.

Gerald, you ended your comment to me with this:

"Maybe I should just go out and get a boyfriend and start going to my archbishop's gay pride Masses. It's SO much easier than the very lonely struggle I have now."

I hear the pain in that statement. Also that you struggle alone. I will not tell you that I love you and hate your sin. I will tell you, if I am able, what I did to embrace the church's teachings in my own life. It's a similar battle we all face with self will running riot, we just need to dodge different bullets. And if I can't do that, I promise not to become frustrated with my own lack of power to control or cause you to change, call you names or state that you are going to burn.I will hold my hands up and say "I don't know."
I will, right now, tell you that I believe that Mary has a special love for any soul tempted with sexual sin or addictions. She, who is purity itself, does not look down in anger at struggling souls, she delivers them, by God's power.
Our Mother is so eager to bring us to spiritual and sober maturity. She is delivering me, from allsorts!!! This time next year, I aim to be a thoroughly pleasant human being, maybe sooner?
This is not fancy wishy washy dream speak. I have been in hell, locked up on the inside of my own head and Mary, through the power of her son, Jesus, bails me out, time after time after time after time. Enduring mercy for enduring pain.

A person who is still struggling should not be distracted by others. Take your eyes off the 'wolves' souls and focus on your own, using the light of Christ (Adoration is a good place for this).

The AB answers to the Pope and God. Infuriating as that may be, it's the truth.
God has given you authority over certain things, the AB ain't one of 'em. Your will is, and will be. If willpower has been diminshed, through habit, vice or whatever, He will increase it, if you ask Him to, in order to do for you, what you cannot do for yourself.

Power to the powerless!
PS. I will pray for you today. Why don't you also pray for the AB? Pass it on, as they say.

Quaretur said...

Is it any wonder that the crisis continues unabated in the church, when clergy and laity (like shadowlands) resolutely turn the other way, when the evidence is there to show that some bishops and cardinals are NOT cooperating with the Holy Father. Just what would shadowlands response have been to victims of clerical abuse, if they told her their stories? Would she accuse them of trying to "overthrow" the hierarchy and being "disobedient"?

What sanctimonious behaviour to tell other faithful Catholics to keep quiet, when the faith is collapsing in these isles! Do you honestly think God is pleased with this false sense of obedience and flattery?

shadowlands said...

Quaeritur? said:

"Just what would shadowlands response have been to victims of clerical abuse, if they told her their stories? Would she accuse them of trying to "overthrow" the hierarchy and being "disobedient"?

Why are you linking people who judge the state of homosexuals soul's at Communion with victims of clerical abuse? Do you see the judges of the latter in aposition similar to a person who has suffered abuse because they are forced to witness, horror of horrors, a homosexual receive Christ? What rot! As Withnall would say.


"What sanctimonious behaviour to tell other faithful Catholics to keep quiet, when the faith is collapsing in these isles! Do you honestly think God is pleased with this false sense of obedience and flattery?"

I haven't told anyone to be quiet, I suggested they searched their own hearts before judging, I also suggested prayer.

Like it or lump it, the AB is the head of the Roman Catholic church in this country, you don't attack the Pope for appointing him, do you? Yet you accuse me of allsorts of vile things for defending the advice of the head of my Church. You and your accusations are not canon law! God is maybe showing YOU that YOU are not in control. Not in my church anyway.

Certain protestants can individually decide where their church should be heading, sack their ministers, reinstate them, anything they all agree on basically. Roman Catholics can't. So If you can't handle that, what are YOU going to do about it?