Juventutem DC schedules Mass, recollection Thursday at Lourdes Chapel

A Day of Recollection sponsored by Juventutem DC will be held Thursday afternoon, September 15, at 4:00 pm in Lourdes Chapel at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, 400 Michigan Avenue NE, Washington.
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Reverend Father Brian Sanderfoot, pastor of St. Francis de Sales Church in Northeast Washington, will celebrate the Mass of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary and afterward will offer a recollection on the theme “The Roman Canon: We Don’t Change It, It Changes Us.” A men’s Gregorian schola will provide musical accompaniment to the Mass, including the sequence “Stabat Mater.”

The Mass and recollection are free of charge and open to the public; new and returning students at the Catholic University of America and other area colleges and universities are especially invited to attend. Afterward, a social hour is planned at Brookland Pint, 716 Monroe Street NE.

Lourdes Chapel is located on the lower level of the Basilica adjacent to the Crypt Church. The Basilica is about a 10-minute walk from the Brookland-CUA station on Metrorail’s Red Line. Ample free parking is available on the Basilica grounds and in a surface lot across Harewood Road.

Once composure has been established, the Liturgy is possible

From the writings of 20th-century liturgical essayist Msgr. Romano Guardini (1885-1968):

Composure is more than freedom from scattered impressions and occupations. It is something positive; it is life in its full depth and power. Left to itself, life will always turn outward toward the multiplicity of things and events, and this natural inclination must be counterbalanced. Consider, for a moment, the nature of respiration. It has two directions: outward and inward. Both are vital; each is part of this elementary function of life; neither is all of it. A living organism that only exhaled or only inhaled would soon suffocate. Composure is the spiritual man’s “inhalation,” by which, from deep within, he collects his scattered self and returns to his center.

Only the composed person is really someone. Only he can be seriously addressed as one capable of replying. Only he is genuinely affected by what life brings him, for he alone is awake, aware. And he is not only wide awake in the superficial sense of being quick to see and grab his advantage — this is a watchfulness shared also by birds and ants. What we mean is true awareness: that inner knowledge of the essential; that ability to make responsible decisions; sensitivity, readiness, and joy.

Once composure has been established, the Liturgy is possible.

Not before. It is not much use to discuss Holy Scripture, the deep significance of symbols, and the vitality of the liturgical renewal if the prerequisite of earnestness is lacking. Without it, even the Liturgy deteriorates to something “interesting,” a passing vogue. To participate in the Liturgy seriously we must be mentally composed. But, like silence, composure does not create itself; it must be willed and practiced.

Meditations Before Mass (1939)

The greatest sin of modern worship: a refusal to adore

From a talk given in 2012 by the Right Reverend Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Mary Most Holy in Astana, Kazakhstan:

In order to speak of new evangelization correctly, it is necessary first to turn our gaze towards Him Who is the true evangelizer, namely Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the Word of God made Man. The Son of God came upon this earth to expiate and redeem the greatest sin, sin par excellence. And this sin, humanity’s sin par excellence, consists in refusing to adore God, in refusing to keep the first place, the place of honor, for Him. This sin on the part of man consists in not paying attention to God, in no longer having a sense of the fittingness of things, or even a sense of the details pertaining to God and to the Adoration that is His due, in not wanting to see God, in not wanting to kneel before God.

For such an attitude, the incarnation of God is an embarrassment; as a result the real presence of God in the Eucharistic mystery is likewise an embarrassment; the centrality of the Eucharistic presence of God in our churches is an embarrassment. Indeed sinful man wants the center stage for himself, whether within the Church or during the Eucharistic celebration; he wants to be seen, to be noticed.

For this reason Jesus the Eucharist, God incarnate, present in the tabernacle under the Eucharistic form, is set aside. Even the representation of the Crucified One on the cross in the middle of the altar during the celebration facing the people is an embarrassment, for it might eclipse the priest’s face. Therefore the image of the Crucified One in the center of the altar as well as Jesus the Eucharist in the tabernacle, also in the center of the altar, are an embarrassment. Consequently, the cross and the tabernacle are moved to the side. During mass, the congregation must be able to see the priest’s face at all times, and he delights in placing himself literally at the center of the house of God. And if perchance Jesus the Eucharist is still left in His tabernacle in the middle of the altar because the Ministry of Historical Monuments—even in an atheist regime—has forbidden moving it for the conservation of artistic heritage, the priest, often throughout the entire Eucharistic celebration, does not scruple to turn his back to Him.

How often have good and faithful adorers of Christ cried out in their simplicity and humility: “God bless you, Ministry of Historical Monuments! At least you have left us Jesus in the center of our church.”

— “The Extraordinary Form and the New Evangelization” (January 15, 2012)

How to hear Mass well (part 6)

This is the sixth in a series of excerpts from an essay written around the year 1800 by Reverend Father Leonard Gossine and republished in the March 31, 2015, issue of The Remnant:

The Church desires that the faithful should unite themselves at every Mass with Jesus by Communion, and through Him with His Heavenly Father, becoming one with Him, which is the great end of the Sacrifice of Jesus. But as actual Communion at every Mass is not possible, we should receive Communion spiritually, that is, excite in ourselves the fervent desire to be spiritually united with Christ; spiritually because we can then receive only the spiritual gifts and graces given to those who receive Him sacramentally.

If we desire to make a spiritual Communion with the priest at Mass, then we should, after the Pater Noster, sincerely repent of our sins, awaken in ourselves a vivid faith in Christ’s presence, a firm confidence in His merits, and a fervent love for Him, and then at the priest’s Communion excite within us an ardent desire to receive Christ and be united to Him. When this is done, we should thank God for the graces we have received and recall to our minds, during the day, the goodness and love of this divine Saviour, whose pleasure it is to be with the children of men, to enrich them with His blessings.

To be continued…

How to hear Mass well (part 5)

This is the fifth in a series of excerpts from an essay written around the year 1800 by Reverend Father Leonard Gossine and republished in the March 31, 2015, issue of The Remnant:

At the Elevation, we should with the priest, in deepest reverence, adore Jesus, offering Him, the true Lamb of Sacrifice, to God the Father, for His Glory, in thanksgiving for graces received, in satisfaction for our sins and for the sins of the whole world; for help in our needs and our weakness, and in supplication for new graces, offering ourselves also entirely for the same objects.

After the Elevation, we should adore the Saviour present on the altar, thank Him for His gracious condescension, exciting in ourselves the ardent desire of a sincere union with Him and through Him with His Heavenly Father.

To be continued…

Bringing up a child in the TLM: a challenge worth accepting

The following is an excerpt from an essay by Professor Peter Kwasniewski of Wyoming Catholic College entitled “Helping Children Enter the Traditional Latin Mass.” As with all of Professor Kwasniewski’s writings, we recommend it without reservation.

I think it’s fair to say that it will always be a challenge to initiate children into the richness and intricacy of traditional Catholic worship. It can never be taken for granted in any age that the next generation will be liturgically initiated, as if it were an automatic process.

It is a worthwhile challenge to embrace, because the Extraordinary Form of the Mass is your children’s point of contact with the greatest, longest, and deepest religious tradition in the entire world. As the fulfillment of the Old Covenant, the Sacrifice of the New Covenant supersedes Jewish worship and therefore most fully embodies all that God gave to Israel. The Mass is an act of sacrifice that, as the Roman Canon reminds us, circles all the way back to the prefiguring sacrifices of Abel, Abraham, and Melchisedech. Within the Christian tradition itself, the Rite of the Church of Rome is among the most ancient. Its single historic anaphora, the Roman Canon, is older than that of the Byzantine Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. Within the Western tradition, there is no loftier expression of the divine mysteries, no more nourishing access to them. The hard work it takes to enter into this liturgy is repaid a thousandfold in the never-depleted insights and consolations it affords. For this reason, the work of teaching another how to enter into it is a genuine spiritual work of mercy.

All of this presupposes the importance of entering into the liturgy. As Dom Gueranger and the original liturgical movement emphasized, we need to get to know and love the prayer of Holy Mother Church, and doing so requires an effort to become well acquainted with it.

How to hear Mass well (part 4)

This is the fourth in a series of excerpts from an article written around the year 1800 by Reverend Father Leonard Gossine and republished in the March 31, 2015, issue of The Remnant:

We can [at the Memento for the living] follow St. Francis Borgia, who vividly represented to himself, during the holy Sacrifice, the Bloody Sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross and meditated in his memento upon the five wounds of Jesus. At the thought of the wound of the right hand, he recommended to God the Pope, bishops and priests; at the wound of the left hand, officers of justice, and heads of civil power; at the wound of the right foot, all spiritual orders; at the left, all relations, friends, benefactors, and all who had commended themselves to his prayers. The wound in the side he reserved for himself; into this he entered and hid himself with all his wishes and anxieties. He made the memento for the dead in the same way, commending his departed friends, benefactors and all for who he intended to pray, and all forsaken souls, through the wounds of Jesus, offering them with Him to God.

To be continued…

How modern liturgy sunders man from the Divine

Observations penned some years before Summorum Pontificum by German essayist Martin Mosebach. (The reader should bear in mind that Herr Mosebach writes from a land most of whose bishops were already beginning to hurtle toward open schism.)

Perhaps the greatest damage done by Pope Paul VI’s reform of the Mass (and by the ongoing process that has outstripped it), the greatest spiritual deficit, is this: we are now positively obliged to talk about the liturgy. Even those who want to preserve the liturgy or pray in the spirit of the liturgy, and even those who make great sacrifices to remain faithful to it — all have lost something priceless, namely, the innocence that accepts it as something God-given, something that comes down to man as gift from heaven. Those of us who are defenders of the great and sacred liturgy, the classical Roman liturgy, have all become — whether in a small way or a big way — liturgical experts. In order to counter the arguments of the reform, which was padded with technical, archaeological, and historical scholarship, we had to delve into questions of worship and liturgy — something that is utterly foreign to the religious man. We have let ourselves be led into a kind of scholastic and juridical way of considering the liturgy. What is absolutely indispensible for genuine liturgy? When are the celebrant’s whims tolerable, and when do they become unacceptable? We have got used to accepting liturgy on the basis of the minimum requirements, whereas the criteria ought to be maximal. And finally, we have started to evaluate liturgy — a monstrous act! We sit in the pews and ask ourselves, was that Holy Mass, or wasn’t it? I go to church to see God and come away like a theatre critic. And if, now and again, we have the privilege of celebrating a Holy Mass that allows us to forget, for a while, the huge historical and religious catastrophe that has profoundly damaged the bridge between man and God, we cannot forget all the efforts that had to be made so that this Mass could take place, how many letters had to be written, how many sacrifices made this Holy Sacrifice possible, so that (among other things) we could pray for a bishop who does not want our prayers at all and would prefer not to have his name mentioned in the Canon. What have we lost? The opportunity to lead a hidden religious life, days begun with a quiet Mass in a modest little neighborhood church; a life in which we learn, over decades, discreetly guided by priests, to mingle our own sacrifice with Christ’s sacrifice; a Holy Mass in which we ponder our own sins and the graces given to us — and nothing else: rarely is this possible any more for a Catholic aware of liturgical tradition, once the liturgy’s unquestioned status has been destroyed.

The Heresy of Formlessness: The Roman Liturgy and Its Enemy (Ignatius, 2006)

How to hear Mass well (part 3)

This is the third in a series of excerpts from an article written around the year 1800 by Reverend Father Leonard Gossine and republished in the March 31, 2015, issue of The Remnant:

To [offer Holy Mass with the priest], we should humble ourselves with the priest at the foot of the altar, as poor sinners before God, imploring mercy; at the Gloria praise God with the priest, at the Epistle and Gospel thank God for His sacred word, resolving to live in accord and with it; at the Credo make a profession of faith with heart and lips, earnestly promising to live and die in the Holy Catholic Church; at the Offertory offer our heart with all its desires and inclinations, a profession of faith with ear and lips, earnestly promising sacrifice to God; at the Sanctus to praise God with all the angels and saints. Before the Elevation we should be sincerely sorry for our sins, consider that we are unworthy to appear in the sight of God, remember that we must make satisfaction for our sins, and, during the Memento for the living, make a memento with the priest.

To be continued…

How to hear Mass well (part 2)

This is the second in a series of excerpts from an article written around the year 1800 by Reverend Father Leonard Gossine and republished in the March 31, 2015, issue of The Remnant:

[W]e must hear Mass in a three-fold manner. First, by remembering at the beginning of the Mass, that we ourselves should be the offering of reconciliation to God’s justice, but that Jesus, the Son of God, out of infinite love, gave Himself to us as an offering by which we become reconciled with His Father, perfectly glorify and thank Him; and though the priest stands alone at the altar, alone speaking, and with his hands offers the sacrifice, we must unite ourselves with him and offer the sacrifice with him. The first manner of hearing Mass is to perform the sacrifice with the priest, doing as far as we can, in spirit, that which he does, remembering that we have met not only to hear Mass, but at the same time to perform and offer the sacrifice with the priest.

To be continued…