Sunday, August 14, 2016

Being a miserable wretch is not a good evangelization tactic.

Where did all these miserable-and-loving-it people come from? I had that thought while reading the comments on a Catholic site yesterday. The moderator said how wonderful it was that Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles didn't end up like a typical foster child but was adopted, and is Catholic. Nice. A guy who who must be a lot of fun at parties wrote in to say that she's not a real Catholic because she goes to the Novus Ordo Mass. Really? How does he know? Look, Novus Ordo  is the only option for most American Catholics. Most don't even know the traditional Mass of all ages still exists. If, like me you have access to multiple Tridentine Masses you are blessed but don't get cocky because you could lose it all at any moment depending on the whims of your bishop.

 I am a traditional minded Catholic because I read a lot and realized that what I was reading had nothing to do with the crap I was seeing at my local parish. I decided to go to the Mass that made the saints and so I got up early one Sunday took a train and a bus and walked through a rough neighborhood and found St. Mary Mother of God Church in Chinatown, DC. That Mass was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. There was no kindergarten music, there was no hugging and kissing and back rubs and there were no jokes.  The priest in his homily talked about the gospel he'd just read and said things like "sin" and "Hell". It was astonishing. The more I went, the more I read, the more I discovered that Catholicism is deeper than what I'd been taught in high school. I wanted and hungered for that Faith. I was also in my early 30s. I was completely unaware of Traditionalism when I was 19. I went through quite a bit before I walked into St. Mary's and I probably never would've gotten there if I hadn't first walked into the Catholic Information Center in DC with it's marvelous pre Vatican II library.

 Simone Biles  takes her rosary with her everyday and does not miss Sunday Mass. That's better than what I was doing at 19. I felt like registering with the site and telling Mr. Miserable to go soak his head but to my delight several other people wrote in and  told him about himself instead. Being miserable and a downright nasty is not an evangelization technique.
I once worked with a positively evil tempered devout Baptist. One day it dawned on me that if I were a savage pagan and this awful woman was the only person professing to be a Christian that I had ever met I would have gone back to my savage lands and continued being a pagan. Mr. Miserable and my evil former co-worker probably drive more people from finding God than they've ever attracted.


Daniel Cornell said...

I had a traditionalist on a Facebook group say that we should not even bother praying for the police officers in Dallas that were shot because they were most likely in hell anyway. He made this statement without knowing anything about the officers. These so-called traditionalists would rather sit in their self-enclosed pity circles and complain about how awful the world is rather than trying to evangelize the culture. I am traditional and love the TLM, but I've had to distance myself from traditional online groups that drag me down spiritually and offer no enrichment to my spiritual life. There is so much pride and arrogance and snark among these types of traditionalists that it makes me sick.

Sal Sal said...

Thank you for this Dymphna, it's very accurate. There is a church in Manhattan that has daily TLMs and when I first re-entered the Church I thought it would be good to go to this exclusively. While I still read a lot of traditionalist books and materials and would go to the TLM every once and a while I felt it was better to go to my local parish based on the ideas that:

a) my local parish was great as far as being reverent and the clergy stationed there seemed (and still seem) like good men and good priests. When some Trads talk they just go on and on about how invalid the N.O. is. I'm not entirely convinced.
b) yes, some traditionalists can be downright un-Christian.
c) the people at my local N.O. church were good people, my neighbors, and good Catholics generally.

All things considered it just made sense for me. Now if my local parish had a choice between the TLM and the N.O. well....

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

The novus ordo is a valid Mass. One can make a case that the Tridentine is more reverent, reflects more accurately the sacrifice, etc., but those traditionalist who think they are the only Catholics on the planet because THEY go to the TLM are filled up to the neck with pride. They actually have more in common with the leftists who in their pride dissent because they know more than the Church. I go to both Masses and meet God every time in the Holy Eucharist. I praise God for a reverent Mass regardless of the form and for priests who strive to worthily act in persona Christi.

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

"The novus ordo is a valid Mass."

Some Eucharistic miracles support it is at least at times so. Some theological reasoning (Father Gregory Hesse - though Pope Michael considers his ordinnation invalid - while still alive gave a series of talks*) suggests the opposite.

"those traditionalist who think they are the only Catholics on the planet because THEY go to the TLM are filled up to the neck with pride."

Unless of course the great apostasy - great and not universal - did happen over a few decades and that those who participate in Novus Ordo risk participating in the new theology too (apart the risk of Mass perhaps being invalid), like the newspeak about Biblical Chronology in 1994.

I was reminded of this disaster while reviewing a C14-recalibration I had made, which I had (unlike Tas Walker) based on real Chronology being that of the Christmas proclamation - as it is in Latin Mass and used to be even in Novus Ordo up to ... 1994.

Here is the article, btw:

Creation vs. Evolution : C14 Calibrations, comparing two preliminary ones, mine and Tas Walker's

* One of them here:

Fr Hesse: The New Mass is the Foundation of a New Faith & New Church
Defeat Modernism