Sunday, December 1, 2019 | The First Sunday of Advent
As many of you know, I converted to the Holy Roman Catholic Church in 2014. When I became Catholic, and during the two-year conversion process I became aware of the Latin Mass, the rich traditions of the Church, and their beauty. As most young people are attracted to beauty, so was I. Occasionally I would watch Latin Masses from my computer and began to yearn for this worship in my physical life.
However, as the world goes, so did I. After becoming Catholic, I began to morph my spirituality closer to that of the Novus Ordo. Needless to say, I became less devout and less reverent. Perhaps that this didn't come directly from the Novus Ordo overall, but came from the Novus Ordo that I was experiencing.
In recent times the Novus Ordo is becoming less Catholic and more Protestant. If I didn’t want to belong to Christ’s Church, if I didn’t want Him in the Eucharist, if I didn’t want Mary for my Mother, the intercession of the saints, and so much more I would have stayed a Protestant. Our Catholic Church offers us the fullness of the Faith that Jesus Christ Himself handed over to Peter, our first pope.
There have been so many changes in our Church, changes that were never supposed to take place. Changes that as of current day have never been approved, but those in Church leadership remain silent and allow the abuse to continue, perhaps even our Church leaders don't know any better.
This past August 2019 the Pew Research Center released a poll in which it stated that over 60% of Catholics do not believe that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist. This horrific statistic can easily be proven at just about any Novus Ordo Mass. Communicants have absolutely no idea what they are doing, how they are supposed to receive, but most importantly that they have no idea on WHO they are receiving. Jesus so much wants us to adore His Eucharistic Heart and to receive Him worthily.
Continuing, we Catholics are taught that Jesus Christ is present body, blood, soul, and divinity in the Most Holy Eucharist. Since the Last Supper when Jesus said: “This is My Body, and this is My Blood” the Church has taught such. Traditionally Holy Communion was received kneeling and on the tongue. Times certainly have changed, with many extraordinary ministers, communion in the hand, grabbing of the Eucharist from ministers, dropping of the Eucharist on the floor, and the poor cleansing of the Sacred Vessels all contribute to where we are today: a lack of reverence. The Church has only ever declared the allowance of Holy Communion in the hand to those “where permitted” (Pope Francis, 2018). Thomas Aquinas said, “Out of reverence towards this Sacrament, nothing touches it but what is consecrated.”
Parishes throughout the world continue to introduce “Contemporary Music Masses”, which is nothing but a disgrace to Jesus and to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Drums and other liturgically incorrect instruments have no place in the Mass. The Church Document Musicam Sacram states the following, “those instruments which are, by common opinion and use, suitable for secular music only, are to be altogether prohibited from every liturgical celebration and from popular devotions." (MS 63). And yet, even though the Holy Catholic Church has prohibited the use of such instruments they make often appearances in Her liturgical celebrations. If the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is truly the re-entrance into Calvary, then everyone should have no problem with the prohibition of drums, clapping, and overzealous signs of peace.
Each of these things: drums, clapping, zealous signs of peace, communion in the hand, the removal of statues, icons, altar rails, and the more, and as many know the poor catechetical programs that have been infiltrating the Holy Church for well over five decades has led us to where we are today, a crisis of irreverence.
I recently met with a parishioner who is in his 60’s who told me the following, “under Pope Francis, you will not see traditions come back, frankly, no one wants the Latin Mass to return, especially the young people. The Church does not attract the young with the traditions [of the Church].” This is outrageously false! During the Call to Holiness Conference in October 2019 Raymond Cardinal Burke stated after prompted a question on the future of the Tridentine Mass: “yes, there are some old people like me there [at the Latin Masses he celebrates] but the majority are very young people and very young families.” Burke’s remarks better grasp the reality of who the Latin Mass is and has been attracting, the young.
When I become Catholic, even if I did not know it, I was handed all of the richness and grandeur of the Church. And now, six years after fully entering the Church, I am returning to the roots of Catholicism. This is where I feel at home and at peace. Able to participate actively in a body that truly lives their lives in union with Christ and His Church.
I yearn for a Church body that shares fully in my beliefs as a Roman Catholic. Some may argue that I need a "stronger faith" and that will prevail me through this time of confusion in the Holy Church, however, I know personally that I have tried to keep the faith over the past year, and am burned to the core, and need to return to Jesus' warm embrace. It is not that I want to leave the Novus Ordo, because personally I would love to stay at the parish and continue acting in the many ministries I have been graced to serve in. However, the time is fast approaching when Jesus Christ, the Just Judge will come, and to me that is what we so often forget. We must be solid in our faith, rooted in 2000 years of rich tradition. Currently the members of the Church continue to turn their back to Her and to Jesus Christ, this must change! It is necessary, I believe, for my Eternal Salvation that I follow the inspiration of the Spirit, and belong to a faith community that lives what they preach: reverence.
To the many of those who have aided my faith journey, including those who instructed me in 2012, 2013, and 2014 I will be forever indebted to you. It is not out of spite or disrespect that I make this decision, but rather a choice that Christ has given me, and I graciously and freely accept. God bless you!
Seth is a convert to the Church and lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana.