Thursday 16 October 2008

Tridentine South Africa- the mysterious impact of the harder path

(Tridentine South Africa)

Article by Marc Aupiais

When scaling a mountain- or simply walking on the streets- a relatively steep slope is easier to mount than a cliff-face, and once one has been walking on this- it slowly become the norm.

The opposite occurs when one is walking slowly along, and suddenly comes across impassable terrain. Here, the untrained wisely refrain, and the trained take joy in their training.

Now, the mass trains us through rituals in intuition- so as to gain the right path to God. When the meaning of the signs is altered, so as to have no basis- not only is this "Superstition", a mortal sin, but it also takes away from any effect of the Divine Liturgy. When we make mass easier for the sake of ease, we sow in shallow ground, and the seeds here quickly find root, but also quickly die. The parishioners who are treated too softly, by church and self- often wither to dust, when faced with the cliff-face of morality. Those who enter faith knowing the cost- see the cliff-face and continue as they had- slowly mounting the impossible. Jesus himself says that conversion is impossible- before adding that this is not impossible with God.

This is why we subscribe as Orthodox Roman Catholics- to the firm belief that softening the path beyond meaning is dangerous- because we lose grace- and then what is possible to God- truly is impossible.

An argument for the Latin Liturgy, is not complete without stating that Vatican II desired and stated this was to be the norm. What we argue for here- is not simply reintroducing a wider use of the Latin mass, but also that one not fear losing persons by not watering down the faith- rather- if we water it down- they only believe they are Catholic, but never truly take root. If we enforce every rule and regulation with utmost detailed power- at least we are building a foundation- even if our beliefs are rejected.

Now, as to the Latin- firstly, it is asked of the church in Vatican II that this be the norm, and secondly- it is not a sin of the laity- should the bishops in their area, or their pope forbid this practice. Quite simply- that sin rests squarely, and only on the competent authority. This is where one must realize the errors of those who reject the Ecclesiastical authority. The actual degree is as follows, as quoted from Vatican II:

ON DECEMBER 4, 1963"

"36. 1. Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.

2. But since the use of the mother tongue, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or other parts of the liturgy, frequently may be of great advantage to the people, the limits of its employment may be extended. This will apply in the first place to the readings and directives, and to some of the prayers and chants, according to the regulations on this matter to be laid down separately in subsequent chapters.

3. These norms being observed, it is for the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned in Art. 22, 2, to decide whether, and to what extent, the vernacular language is to be used; their decrees are to be approved, that is, confirmed, by the Apostolic See. And, whenever it seems to be called for, this authority is to consult with bishops of neighboring regions which have the same language.

4. Translations from the Latin text into the mother tongue intended for use in the liturgy must be approved by the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned above."

Now, when the venacular is to be used- it is to be of benefit to the people- this is why the ecclesiam has allowed it largely- but where it has been caused as the only form- bishops have in fact condemned thousands to hades- in the leaving of these people from the flock, and also in many abuses, and problems with liturgy. In other words- the venacular is allowed by God where it creates fruit- but the manner in which it has been abused, and has been overused- has in fact done the opposite- it has encouraged laxity- taken away from some of the mystery- set us further apart from our Greek brothers, and further has caused a different balance in the mass, and therefore in the spirituality of Catholics- whereby vast majorities of faithful in many countries, especially in South Africa- actually fall under the excommunication, anathema, or condemnation of the church.

Now, when we allow a less defined liturgy- we allow less defined morality- and when we allow shallower public worship, we allow shallower spirituality.

When one takes effort to worship God as in the Tridentine rite- one realizes the purpose of the mass- and more than this of life- that we are worshiping and praying to God.

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