Thursday, November 17, 2011

When the Goin' Gets Tough....

In my youth (not so very many years ago) I would have finished that line with:

....the tough go shopping!!

Well, the Mall not holding near the allure for me that it once did, I'll modify the old saying just a bit to.... the tough meditate a little on St. Francis deSales. Printed in this space before, but worthy of repetition:

"The everlasting God has in His wisdom forseen from eternity the cross that He now presents to you as a gift from His all-knowing eyes, understood with His Divine mind, tested with His wise justice, warmed with His loving arms and weighed with His own hands to see that it be not one inch too large and not one ounce too heavy for you. He has blessed it with His Holy Name, annointed it with His Grace, perfumed it with His Consolation, taken one last glance at you and your courage, and then sent it to you from Heaven, a special greeting from God to you, an alms of the all-merciful love of God." 

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 St. Francis de Sales, ora pro nobis!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Little Things

Most readers will know that for several years now my husband and I and our boys have assisted almost exclusively at the Mass in the Extraordinary Form, also known as the Traditional Latin Mass. We have learned a great deal about our faith over the years and we continue to grow in our love for this Mass handed down to us through the centuries by Holy Mother Church. But it is so much more than 'just' the Mass. It is so much more than the Latin. It is so many things, in fact, that I'm sure a blog post won't adequately cover them all.

Therefore, I'm not going to get into detail about the prayers of the traditional Mass, or following the 'old' Liturgical Calendar, or the reverence and beauty inherent in all of the traditional Sacraments with the priestly vestments, the incense, the bells and sacred music that go along with them. Instead I will mention just one of the 'little' things that happened today.

At St. Francis deSales Oratory, after Mass there was a very nice display of items for sale, crucifixes, nativity scenes and other statuary made by Christians in the Holy Land. My husband and I decided to purchase a crucifix and after doing so, hastened to find one of the canons to bless it before we left.

We found Canon Wiener and he was very pleased to do this for us, but he would have to do it in the Sacristy, and could he keep the crucifix and return it to us on Wednesday at homeschool co-op? We said of course, that would be fine.

After talking with Canon Wiener my husband and I looked at each other, both thinking the same thing: that's never happened before! Any time in the past that we've asked a priest to bless a sacramental, he has done so on the spot, regardless of where we were. But not this time. We learned today that there is a right and proper place to bless Sacramentals, and I would bet a proper vestment as well.

This is just another of so many little things that enrich our faith. Nothing is trivial, nothing is just by-the-way. Not that blessing Sacramentals in a crowded vestibule after church as we've experienced before makes it necessarily trivial. But certainly the extra care of time and place taken to fulfill our desire for a blessed crucifix today, for us at least, carries with it a level of importance, of reverence, that will translate into our own care for how and where we place the blessed crucifix in our home and further venerate it.

This is what I mean by the little things. Our faith is so much bigger than we are, so much richer than we even know. And we are just overwhelmed with thanksgiving to Our Lord for His leading us to the Traditional Latin Mass community where the small things matter enough that a bigger deal is made of them than anywhere else that we've been.

Truly we are blessed. But at the same time we grieve for that which has been lost over the past nearly 50 years since Vatican II, and for all the Catholics who have no idea what they're missing out on. These 'little' things should never have been lost. It is our Faith, that which has been handed down over the centuries. And Lord-willing and with the help of the Holy Angels and Saints, we will continue to learn and grow in this faith, through the big and little things.

God bless you!