Lately H and I have been attending The Latin Mass at a nearby church. The priest, Father D, does a great job, as do the deacons and the alter servers. I enjoy the L.M., as does H, but I also still enjoy the 'regular Mass'. This weekend though, the parish that has the LM the hosted a Traditional Catholic Conference. Vendors were there, plus speakers, confession and ending with a Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. Sad to say, H and I had a wedding to go to in Latham, NY which prevented us from only seeing 45 min. of the first speaker, a late ordained priest (38 years old) from Brazil now living and preaching in Wisconsin. Only a priest for two years, he made more sense to me in 45 minutes than a lot of people (religious and non-religious alike) have made to me in 45 years. I have been very privileged that God has put me in contact with so many spiritual people just in the last 5 years of my life; and many of them have made deep and lasting impressions on me. But lately I've been exposed to many lay and religious who are either going back to the more traditional ways or have never left them. The Latin Mass is only the tip of the iceberg. I was 5 or 6 when the L.M. vanished from our church back in the early 1960's, I remember it but then again I don't. It's all so new, but it's been around forever. The reverence that the old ways bring feels very natural to me. And the more I read and hear about the changes brought about by Vatican II the more I'm filled with, I don't know, uneasiness?
I'm a professed Secular Franciscan, and that will never change. What may change or should I say is changing is the way I look at our Holy Church. I will still follow our Holy Father, but I will ask questions. Asking questions is not doubting, which is what I hope will never happen. I'm not going to make this into a spiritual crises, but I do know that something is at work here, and I don't think it's you know who. My wife Helen feels much more stronger about this than I do, but in her prayers she has heard that somehow we (those of us who believe in the old ways) are going to have some type of influence on members of the church where we are members, where I'm the Grand Knight this year, where our Fraternity of Secular Franciscans are. I love our parish, but the lack of reverence that I see is pushing me away. When at the ending of the last organ note at the end of any Mass the congregation bursts into thunderous talking and laughing, with no consideration of those parishioners who are trying to have a bit of quiet time after mass, and worse yet, no consideration of Our Lord in the Tabernacle, where all three priests let this happen, how can I justify any of that in my mind? I don't know where this new (or is it old?) road will lead me, but I do know that the Holy Spirit is at work again. What is in the Heart of Our Lord Jesus, who is our King and High Priest? How does He feel about the path His church has gone in the last 50 years? I don't know and will never know, as long as I'm here on earth. For my own part I can only submit my prayers in all humbleness and humility and hope that I find my way to the Truth.