Saturday, February 11, 2012

So Who Exactly Is Michael Davies

As a friend of mine pointed out recently...

"We must realize that at that time, Davies must have seemed like a fringe lunatic. However... looking back on it... he was more in line with what Pope Benedict XVI has been doing in his pontificate then anyone could have imagined."

We can say that Mr. Davies maintained the ideals of Catholic orthodoxy in season and out of season.

I would like to include this post from a priest's blog entitled "The hermeneutic of continuity"

Of particular note is the comments that then Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) had to say in a personal note to the Davies family on the occasion of Micheal's death.

I include them here:

    I have been profoundly touched by the news of the death of Michael Davies. I had the good fortune to meet him several times and I found him as a man of deep faith and ready to embrace suffering. Ever since the Council he put all his energy into the service of the Faith and left us important publications especially about the Sacred Liturgy. Even though he suffered from the Church in many ways in his time, he always truly remained a man of the Church. He knew that the Lord founded His Church on the rock of St Peter and that the Faith can find its fullness and maturity only in union with the successor of St Peter. Therefore we can be confident that the Lord opened wide for him the gates of heaven. We commend his soul to the Lord’s mercy.”

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
9 November 2004

Here is a video of a William Buckley's well known television show taped on Apr 22, 1980.  There is a short clip of Davies speaking about 2 minutes and 55 seconds into the show.  You will have to forgive Mr. Buckley who sees on two occasions to know know the name of his own Pope.  So much for conservative Catholicism at the time.  I suppose I was just as guilty of the same kind of inattention... still coming out of the fog of the 60's

Michael, RIP dear friend.  I never had the chance to meet you, but I thank you for the sacrifices you made so that I and my wife and children could learn and love the old Mass.

Eternal rest grant unto the oh Lord!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Chapter 5: The Most Horrible Blasphemy

The modern "conservative" Catholic often does not think of the fact that the reformers in the so called "Reformation" (which was really a revolt, not a reformation) were mostly validly ordained Catholic priests and bishops. They were the real deal, had faculties and were in good standing for a long time before Rome intervened.

I will give you most of pg 30 and 31 of Mr. Davies first book on the Liturgical Revolution which lays this out clearly and exposes the mode of attack that the reformers quickly and smartly took:

"They correctly sensed, not surprisingly as they had almost invariably been priests, that it was the MASS that mattered: That it was against the Mass rather then the papacy that the brunt of their attack must be launched. This point is stressed by Dr. J. Lortz in his book Die Reformation en Deutschland. One of the most outstanding and perceptive contemporary champions of the Mass was the German theologian John Cochlaeus (1479-1552). He rightly pointed out that in attacking the Mass, Luther was attacking Christ Himself "since He is the true founder and perfecter of the Mass, the true High Priest of the Mass and also the One Who is sacrificed as all Christian teachers acknowledge. With equal accuracy he diagnosed the contradiction which lay at the heart of the heresiarch's claim to be "reformers." "They are justly deemed guilty of heresy who instead of seeking remedies for what is amiss, set themselves to abolish the very substance on account of abuse." He warned his fellow Catholic apologists not to concentrate their main efforts on defending the primacy of he pope, but on defending the Mass, a task which was far more vital, for "thereby Luther threatens to tear out the heart from the body of the Church."

The reformers themselves were bitterly divided concerning the doctrine of the Lord's supper, but they were united in a common detestation of the sacrificial interpretation which has always been taught in the Catholic Church. Luther was honest enough to admit the traditional nature of the teaching and support of "the Holy Fathers, so many authorities and so widespread a custom constantly observed throughout the world." His answer was ". . . reject them all rather then admit that the Mass is a work and a sacrifice . . . ".

Luther himself assessed the situation with perfect accuracy when he stated: "Once the Mass has been overthrown, I say we will have overthrown the whole of popdom."

Personal observation from blogger here: We are not talking about the revolutionaries eliminating the Mass... we're talking here about them setting out to alter the character and nature of that which the Mass transmits in the form of what it teaches and is.

Davies: (continued)
The hatred of the Reformers for the Mass is best illustrated by reading their own words on the subject.


You will have to get the book to read on from here in CH 5.

I'll leave that task to you dear readers. But I am reminded here of the words of Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, who died in Rome on 3 July 1982. For it is our own Catholic Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, who is the principal architect of the liturgical reforms of the post Vatican II era. Please remember that the Vatican II documents on the Mass do not describe the new Mass... but rather are talking about the old Mass.

Here are the words of Archbishop Bugnini during those heady days following the Council:

“We must strip from our Catholic prayers and from the Catholic liturgy everything which can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren that is for the Prostestants.” - Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, main author of the New Mass,

L'Osservatore Romano, March 19, 1965
Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, who died in Rome on 3 July 1982, was described in an obituary in The Times as "one of the most unusual figures in the Vatican's diplomatic service." It would be more than euphemistic to describe the Archbishop's career as simply "unusual". There can be no doubt at all that the entire ethos of Catholicism within the Roman Rite has been changed profoundly by the liturgical revolution which has followed the Second Vatican Council.
As Father Kenneth Baker SJ remarked in his editorial in the February 1979 issue of the Homiletic and Pastoral Review: "We have been overwhelmed with changes in the Church at all levels, but it is the liturgical revolution which touches all of us intimately and immediately."

Keep in mind here: I am fully aware of the validity of the New Mass. I am fully aware of the popes having the right and the authority to change the Mass in exactly the same manner as the protestant reformers. But just because something can be done by legitimate authority does not mean it is necessarily a good thing. And questioning it does not mean one is questioning the fairly narrow definition of infallibility. We have no guarantee from Christ that the successors to the apostles will be impeccable.
And so now... in a day where Benedict has liberated that which was never abrogated (though many valid and licit Bishops at the time assured us otherwise)... we must ask ourselves... is the Tridentine Mass just like the option for the Spanish Mass or the Portuguese Mass, or the Mass in Creole... OR IS THERE SOMETHING ELSE TO IT?
Are the Novus Ordo and the Tridentine rite dynamically equivalent?
Make up your own mind on the matter... but it is, I assure you... no small thing.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Loving The Old Mass (Missals)

Click Here for the beginning of this series on the 'Loving Old Mass'

There are many inexpensive options for Missals in order to follow the Tridentine Mass.

The faithful are not to be mute spectators...

Before selecting one we should ask 'what is our goal in having one?' First and foremost, the Church herself has a goal for us. Both pre Vatican II and post Vatican II documents prescribe full, conscious and active participation in the Mass. In BOTH forms we are encouraged to integrate the chants and responses of the propers & ordinary in Latin or English into our prayer. Each individual will do this in their own unique way and that is as it should be. But we are to strive to be united to Christ in the holy sacrifice with as much joy and fervor as we can muster. This requires a little work!

My experience is that the personal missal greatly enhances that injunction. Everyone has their own speed. But the effort you put into following the Mass will be rewarded both temporally and in the efficacy of Grace received. You will find yourself recharged by following your Missal.

Which Missal
I will mention the various purchase options here and try and enclose images so that you can easily recognize them. Next to each option, I will make a short observation about my own experience using each option.

Keep in mind that Missals are like people... in that they are different... they generally express our likes and dislikes (more detail, less detail, more imagery, less imagery, old looking, new looking)... but that they all have one thing in common... the rock solid order and calendar of the old Mass which makes for, in the prayers of the Church, an unchanging bulwark against whim, fashion, fancy, banality or sappiness. There is very little room for priest or layman inserting their own 'novelty' or 'creativity' into the oder of the usus antiquoir.

Try to slowly purchase a used or new Missal for each reading member of your household. There are also children's missals for the very young which are inexpensive and beautiful. This is not such an expense when done one at a time. Also, do not be afraid to WRITE YOUR NAME AND EMAIL ADDRESS in the Missal. Should you leave it in the pew accidentally... some good soul will often find a way for you to get your missal back.

Types of Missals for the Tridentine Mass
-----Name--------- Picture Comments
Simple Red Hand Out Booklet
This missal only contains the ordinaries of the Mass... so there is NO Epistles, Gospels or any of the appropriate prayers (called PROPERS) which change each Sunday. You will barely be able to follow the Mass unless some nice person hands out a supplemental containing the Propers for the day along with this booklet... and in any case you will have to JUGGLE the two. Not an easy prospect... though this is nice if you are already an experienced attendee at a TLM and happen to have forgotten your personal Missal. I'll say this: It's better than nothing. Many congregations ake these available near the entrance inside a church before a TLM begins
Saint Joseph DAILY MISSAL This has become my favorite because of it's simplicity. I sing in a schola and so I can juggle this one, plus all my music and thereby not loose focus as to why I'm there in the first place. I just picked one up on eBay for a mere $20. It's simpler then the Baronius Press Missal and does not have all the Prefaces. But if you sing in a schola or have a wiggly baby... this is a good choice.
The Roman Missal (1962) by Baronius Press In my family, this is considered the 'Cadillac' of Missals. Last time I checked this was $59.95. It's worth every penny. As for understanding the old Mass it goes way beyond the essentials. It even has a Kyrialis (notes for some of the sung parts of the Mass) in the very back.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Chapter 4, Catholic Teaching on the Eucharist

Before I begin let me make a personal observation: Ever since I reverted to the Catholic Church (in my 20's), I have always erroneously thought that the root of the difference between what Catholics and Protestants believed was the three main objections of the protesters: 1.) The Eucharist, 2) Our Lady, 3.) The Apostolic succession and especially the papacy. I was wrong in this assumption. I see now that it is INDEED their false theology of justification which is at the very core of all these other things.

Click here to go to beginning of book review

So without further delay, I wish to give you an excellent excerpt from Chapter 4 (p 26-27). It tells us more then I could ever say on the subject. I will highlight in red... the parts which really jumped off the page for me... and I can not argue with them because Mr. Davies is quoting St. Augustine here.

"As the Church is the body of this head", wrote St. Augustine, "through Him she learns to offer Herself." Furthermore, although the intrinsic value of the Sacrifice of the Mass, like that of the Cross, is infinite, Christ being both High priest and Sacrificial Victim, its extrinsic value is limited as regards the fruits of any particular Mass. The value of a particular Mass "is dependent on the greater or lesser holiness of the reigning Pope, the bishops and the clergy throughout the world. The holier the Church in Her members (especially the Pope and the Episcopate), the more agreeable must be Her sacrifice in the eyes of God...With Christ and the Church is associated in the third place the celebrating priest, the representative through whom Christ offers up the Sacrifice. If he be a man of great personal devotion, and purity, there will accrue an additional fruit, which will benefit himself and those in whose favor he applies the Mass. Hence the faithful are guided by a sound instinct when they prefer to have the Mass celebrated by an upright and holy priest rather than by an unworthy one... In the fourth place must be mentioned those who take an active part in the Mass, e.g., the servers, sacristan, Organist, singers and, finally the whole congregation." Needless to say, the application of the fruits of the Mass to the living for whom it is offered or who participate in it will be governed by their own dispositions (see Appendix I).  Note:  I will be adding this very important index soon [02/06/2012]

"This lack of dispositions cannot exist in the case of the suffering souls in Purgatory, and with them, therefore, the desired effect, whether it be the alleviation of their sufferings, or the shortening of their time of purgation, must infallibly be produced." The effectiveness of the fruits in their case will be governed only by the holiness and fervor of the Church as a whole and Her particular members involved in offering this particular Mass. Once the Protestant leaders "had adopted the doctrine of justification by faith only, and had thrown over the reality of sanctifying grace as the supernatural life of the soul, there was nothing for it but to give up belief in operative and grace-producing sacraments. So the Real Presence and Transubstantiation had to go, and the Eucharist had to loose altogether it's sacrificial character and to be retained simply as a memorial of the Last Supper whereby the soul is moved to prayer and enabled in some way to enter into communion with and to receive Jesus Christ... Hence it is not surprising that, to a great extent, belief in the Mass became the touchstone of Catholic orthodoxy and that all through the centuries of controversies with protestantism, Catholic theologians should have used all their powers of argument and all their resources of learning in it's defense.

The teaching that every Mass produced fruit which the celebrant could apply to both the living and the dead was above all else "good work" par excellence. It was quite incompatible with their doctrine of Justification and must therefore be rejected, as it will be made clear in chapter VII.

There can also be no doubt that the protestant heresiarchs fully realized that it was the Mass that mattered. It was upon the Mass that they directed the full force of their attack.