By my previous post, I by no means stated or meant to state that all communities but those that preserve the 1962 liturgy are lost. That would be ridiculous and presumptuous to say. I simply stated that in such communities have I heard those very somber tones, not gloomy tones but somber ones, sober ones, tones that make your heart long to sing well to our Tender God, to weep for your sins, to amend your life with real vigor and intention and not faint wishing. Such communities, so ostracized, are not out to gain anything, to curry favor. It can be tempting for many of us to wish to curry favor, for one unspoken reason or another. (And unthought reasons.)
But of course there are heroes and saints among other communities. When I walk into some such communities, I get an immediate and palpable sense of true humanity, real common sense and down-to-earth charity. Often, these are dominated by immigrants from the Third World.
On the other hand, Fr. Cipolla has on Rorate pointed out that too many people have perceived 1962 communities as sometimes smug, self-enclosed, lacking evangelical outreach, judgmental, etc.
Let these simply be perceptions, all the way around.
The lesson? How sick is man! How sick is the lived life of the Church today! We are all very sick – let us face it. Bitterness within haunts many; flippant frivolity carries many blindly through life. When one makes progress, he begins to lord it over his neighbor.
What then, Pessimism? By no means! When all seems lost, there must be some great consolation for those who genuinely believe in God. I am very pessimistic in terms of the world. I think it is going to hell in a basket. Yet, the saints give us reason to hope against all odds. For if God exists, now is surely his proving time. He may let us go on another year or so in our wayward rebellion. In our confusion. Our failure to teach the Full Catholic Faith. Our failure to love and live in charity, to dress the wounds of the poor man beaten by thieves. He may let us go on a little while. But he will come with his decision at some point. And at what greater time to prove his greatness?
If the Jews were about to be swamped by the Red Sea, if Satan’s Legions had them cornered and all was lost, if no hope in man was possible, God suddenly and decisively acted. Praise his holy name. And now, if vocations to the priesthood are plunging at suicidal proportions; if Mass attendance is abysmal; if donations to the coffers are at their wits end (too many pedophile and homo-sexual scandals to recall for the donors, etc.); if knowledge of the faith has been corrupted; if sinful rebellion among the hierarchy has set in (Paul VI’s vision of the Smoke of Satan); if Modernism has crept in on its giant lion’s feet; if confusion about simple things like what a man and a woman are has cast its hideous veil upon nature; if deceit, dissension, lies, fornications, greed, malice, ruthlessness, heartlessness have set in and are ready to tyrannize us all; if Satan has friends in all the opposing camps and thus is about to checkmate the Church of God; Then God has no choice but to save his little flock from the violent madness. Act he will, and decisively. Many of us there are who know it, who hope it, who believe it.
Take, then O Lord, our hearts of stone, if we are smug, and smite them upon the Rock of your Christ. Take, then, O Lord, our quivering fear, if we are terrified of your terrible wrath and unable to breath, and ask us to rise up and walk and show ourselves to the priests. Take then, O Lord, our fornicating hearts and chasten us with your firm but gentle hands. Lead us to your promised land. Amen.