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Saturday, November 12, 2005

Catholic Identity

I went to Mass this evening, which is something I rarely do. I tend to prefer the Sunday morning Masses, and at my parish, there are 4.

Tonight, they played one of my favorites, "Blest Be the Lord", and I believe Schulte is the composer..I should look that up. I realized that in the great Haugen/Hass debates that this particular song is often credited (incorrectly) to them so many middle aged Catholics tend to abhor it. It has always been one of my favorites.

When I was a child, I attended St. Mary's Catholic Church in Byron, IL, the only Catholic Church in town. I will never forget the deep red carpeting, the beautiful stained glass windows or the large crucifix which characterized our little church. It was a small church building in a small town, and as such, we did not have a pipe organ. I didn't really care because there was a piano. I loved the hymns sung with piano the best.

Some days, though, a small group sang at Mass, and they used guitar and piano, and one of their favorites was also "Blest Be the Lord". I will never forget how their voices rang out in praise, in tune, and encouraged us all to sing. I would leave and sing this song all day long, praising God in my little girl's voice. My favorite line was "I shall not fear the dark of night nor the arrow that flies by day". (Psalm 91). I was of course, being a little girl, afraid of the dark and this song helped me feel unafraid.

In that little church, I recieved the Catholic rites of passage...the sacraments of Confession and First Communion. There was not a lot of fanfare with the first, but the latter sacrament, for all little boy and girl Catholics, this is akin to a "coming out party" or maybe a Bar Mitzvah (I think I spelled that wrong). It's A REALLY BIG DEAL. My godparents came all the way down from Minnesota and I got to wear my pretty white dress all day long. Unfortunately, Mom did not want me to wear the veil all day, nor did she want me to put it over my face like a bride, lest I get the meaning of the sacrament mixed up or something. (I still have no idea why she would not let me play a little...after all, both the dress and the veil have long since disappeared so I don't even have them as keepsakes anyway).

There is a cultural component to being that why dissidents find it so hard to leave? We grow up amidst the loving rituals and fanfare, and so as we grow and rebel, we tend to take our liturgy and worship for granted, and rather than focusing on the content, we identify more with the cosmetics. We remember the days and the attention and the first reception of sacraments, but we forget, over the years, the lessons which accompanied our rites of passage.

I love the Church and I love being Catholic. I have come to appreciate, in my reversions to the faith, the deep spirituality of the Catholic faith, and the infinite ways of expression. I love the Third Orders, the options in religious life, the opportunities for Perpetual Adoration, etc.

When I was a child, I behaved like a child and I grew up in the Church raised as a child should be raised. And when I became a teenager, I rebelled into young aduthood, becoming the prodigal daughter...but the cultural hold of my faith held on to me..there was an identiy there. So this prodigal daughter came home. And now that I am an adult, I have put away the childish things and I have come to find myself here within the fold of the Church Christ founded, within his sheepfold, an adult, and all the responsiblity upon my shoulders to proclaim and witness what the Lord has done.

Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever!


John said...

God bless you, I love your format

As you have made your way back to the church, have you ever thought of making it all the way back, and attend the Tradional rite , the mass codified by saints and martyrs and worship as Catholics have done for millenia and not as the reformers of the past 40 years have pushed on us and is failing as indicated by the falling away and irreverence one sees each Sunday and on blogs across the country

Find a Tradional chapel with the Baltimore Catechism, whether in communion or independent as your salvation is more important, as is our children's children. Being PC as the New American Bible and all that came from V2 is nice and dandy, and no one would ever condone being nasty, but either we are the One true faith, or we are not. That simple, and V2 clouds that issue, especially when you have Popes kissing Korans and worshipping with Hindus and Rabbis

God bless you

Adoro Te Devote said...


God bless you also, and thank you for your comments.

Be careful not to get custom mixed up with worship. The novus ordo is a valid Mass, and if it's good enough for the Pope, it's good enough for the rest of us.

To answer your question, although I have not had a chance to attend the only Trinidine Mass offered in our archdiocese, but I have attended both the Latin High Mass at St. Agnes, and a Low Mass which was celebrated on St. Thomas Aquinas' feast day at the Cathedral of St. Paul. I LOVE the Latin Mass, and would like to see it offered, but taht is a topic for a whole different post!

Also, I would like to point out that there were abuses prior to V2 in the Mass...people are people, and because many people didn't understand the Latin, they did not know when the priest fudged the words, which of course we recognize well when he speaks in the vernacular. There was a recent article about this, I think on

V2 said many things, and I think the biggest mistake people make is by not reading what the documents actually said. There was so much confusion after this that it was poorly taught, poorly implemented, and today we have a bunch of ignorant Catholics trying to figure out which end is up.

That's for another post, too!

Stop back, then I can say I have 4 readers!

God bless you

Anonymous said...

Oh I am not a rad, I firmly belive the New Mass is valid, as I attended for most of my first 35 years on this earth, but felt along with the rest of my family that it is amiss, especially in the area of catechism. Empowering the laity is Ok-if they are qualified to be teaching, but to entrust them to teach my little ones and my nephew their catechism (I dont want to even go into what kind of lay persons were put in charge of catechism not to mention the "nuns" as they would have been termed plainly not Catholic some 50 years ago)that we had to seek out a church that had both the TLM and the Baltimore Catechism

I love the church and would never say the mass is not valid, but it has strayed, like many of us who lived through the 60's and 70's, I guess it will right herself, she is stronger than any of us and will stand the test of time

Love your blog!


Adoro Te Devote said...


I think you're talking about 2 seperate yet related issues:
* liturgical abuses
* how the catechism is taught (or not, as it were).

I recently spoke with one of our parish priests, the school liasion priest, as he oversees all education. I was hoping to get into teachign this year and in speaking with several people, I learned that teachers are bowing out and actually quitting because the curriculum is not teaching the's teaching pop-psych stuff like "team building", and "group dynamics" BLECCHH! So they could not disobey, so they quit teaching.

Because I'm a rebel, I'd be more likely to disobey the alleged "teachers" in charge and I would pull out the Catechism and start with apologetics relating to the topic of their First Communion...that would be the Eucharist. Confirmation...well, that would be everything.

I agree that the "nuns" have gotten WAY off track and in my own discernment process I find myself cringing at some of the "nuns" in our area. There are the New Age nuns with the labyrinth, etc....never would want them teachign my kids, either. (I don't have any, but if I did...)

So you and I are in agreement on this issue. In our area though, our seminary is solid and our new priests are likewise solid and doing a lot of clean up in our area. God bless them because I know they are taking some flack for doing what's right and preserving the holiness of the Mass!

Glad you like my blog...I appreaciate the encouragement, especially considering my lack of technical ability. :-)