Chaplain’s Corner | Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost (October 20, 2013)

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Dear Traditional Latin Mass Faithful and friends,

One of the oldest catholic organizations that has promoted the traditional liturgy in Latin and Gregorian Chant going way back to the late 1960’s is called Una Voce, which, of course, means “with one voice.” A great deal of thought was given to the foundational principles and goals of this catholic society, which reflected the contributions of noted catholic intellectuals in the United States, Europe, and around the world. The catholic philosopher Dietrich von Hildebrand was one of the guiding lights in those early days. His published writings continue to inspire us; fortunately, there is a revival of interest in his thought. During these last fifty years another profound thinker in matters liturgical has been Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, formerly Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, whose writings on this subject are now published in one large volume in Italian, and in several books translated into English.

Von Hildebrand was not a professional liturgist in an academic sense. Neither is Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Von Hildebrand was an esteemed catholic philosopher, especially in the field of ethics. Pope Benedict was and is an esteemed catholic theologian of the highest rank. Yet these two Germans clearly saw the connection between the liturgy and day to day life. They also realized at the time of Vatican II and in the years following that the liturgy must maintain its sacredness and its connection with the long history of the Church. Pope Benedict spoke of the “hermeneutic of continuity,” which means that for Catholics there is always a connection between present and past, past and present. We don’t reject what went before, but we respect it and revere it, and move ahead firmly rooted in our traditions. We are not afraid of our traditions, but we love them and see their relevance here and now. This way of thinking is not always appreciated in our modern world, but it makes sense from the perspective of sound Catholic thinking. To radically break with the past in a Church that proclaims that Tradition is one of its pillars can never make sense. There must always be continuity. The most significant point of unity is the doctrine on the Mass, which is proclaimed when we recognize the importance of reverence and awe before the great, profound, and mysterious God, who draws near to us under sacred signs. God connects with us; we connect with Him. This unity is also expressed in the way the liturgy is celebrated. Latin and chant are seen from this perspective, uniting believers from all around the world.

To build up unity in the Church is a good thing. That is what it means to be a Catholic. Though from various cultures, we profess one Faith, which is for all people of all times until the end of the world. We see the importance to stand together in Jesus Christ, in solidarity with one another as brothers and sisters of the Lord. We promote among ourselves harmony and unity and not division. We are one in Christ, the Lord of Love. We are instruments of peace, peacemakers. Let us continue to pray as in the Gradual of the Mass today: “Behold how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.”

In Domino Dominaque,
Fr. Mark G. Mazza, Pastor

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