Disturbing the Peace
Perhaps my favorite blessing of the Traditional Latin Mass is the peace and quiet, particularly at the Daily Mass. One finds himself praying and at peace in Christ.
Now comes the pope to disturb even that. With his wicked motu proprio Traditionis Custodes, Francis invades the silence of the Latin Mass like an angry siren interrupting a peaceful dream.
I noticed today to at Mass, in myself and in the comportment of all I could see, a fidgetiness similar to what one sees at the Novus Ordo.
Praise Jesus that we were allowed to attend Mass today, that our archbishop has not, yet, abrogated the Mass of the Ages in our archdiocese.
But we have no idea what the future holds, which explains the fidgetiness. Not even the peace of Christ in the tabernacle and sanctuary can escape the pope’s will to disturb, disrupt, and sully the sacred. We want only to worship God as perfectly as we humanly can, to get out of His way and let Him work through us.
The Exodus in Summorum Pontificum
In the Book of Exodus, God commands Moses to free His people from slavery in Egypt. The Lord tells Moses to ask the Pharaoh for permission to go into the desert to offer a sacrifice and worship to God…then keep going.
Of course, it takes some plagues before Pharaoh’s heart softens a bit to allow the Hebrews their journey. And, once the Hebrews head out with all their worldly posessions, Pharaoh realizes, “Hey, they’re not coming back!” Pharaoh sends his army after them.
The Jews, of course, are angry at Moses and God for leading them out of the relative safety of Egypt only to die at the hands of the Pharaoh’s charioteers in the desert.
Pope Benedict’s motu proprio Summorum Pontificum seems a lot like the Pharaoh’s release of the Hebrews to worship God as God commanded. And Pope Francis’s reversal of Benedict’s permission makes Traditional Catholics feel like we have charioteers breathing down our backs—not only return us to the slavery of modernism, but to strike us down in the desert. Francis must have realized that, once allowed to worship in the desert, we had no intention of returning to the felt banners and Super-Soaker holy water antics of the Novus Ordo.
Trust in God
That leaves us trads stuck between the Red Sea and Pharaoh’s army. Many of us are angry at Pope Benedict for not going further and for resigning. Some of us feel we are now more vulnerable than ever and in a worse place than we were before. Trapped, disturbed, hated, persecuted, hounded, and vilified. We are the scapegoats of the Church’s horrendous half-century past.
Some might feel tempted to return to Egypt, to throw themselves on the mercy of Pharaoh. But the lesson of Exodus is that we must trust in God who knows our hearts and Pharaoh’s. And Francis’s. We must assume that God hardened Francis’s heart just as he hardened Pharaoh’s. And we must pray for patience and perseverence as we wait for the waters to part.
Evil Always Overplays Its Hand
As we wait, we can take some solace in lessons learned from the exorcists: evil always overplays its hand. As Dr. Peter Kwasniewski told Remnant Newspaper regarding the immediacy of Francis’s draconian motu proprio:
Yes: this too is unprecedented, and it may turn out to be one of the ways in which this move by Bergoglio is suicidal, since evil has a way of overreaching itself in its ambitions, and falling into catastrophe. It’s clear that the lack of vacatio legis was due to fears over the pope’s health: serious surgery presents the risk of a sudden end to the pontificate, and if a pope happens to die during the vacatio legis of a law, the legislation never goes into effect.
The Catholic Church has been living through catastrophe for just about all of my life. All self-inflicted wounds. Traditionis Custodes is just the latest unforced error, but it may be the biggest. The Western Church’s only bright spot for the past 10 years had been the Traditional Latin Mass communities, particularly among the young and converts.
For the time being, though, Francis has sent us into the desert, seemingly to die. The Church will go on even if Francis’s sinister plot succeeds, but it will continue to diminish in every way. And the graces that come through the Church and its sacraments will continue to dry up. The forces of evil will only grow, exacerbating secular problems like authoritarianism, plagues, slavery, and murder. And, yes, absent the pope and all the bishops concecrating Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the United States and all the countries of the world will fall to communism. (Read more here.)
We have our mission: to live according to God’s will, to worship Him as perfectly as we can. That may require very difficult decisions and ruptures in our lives. Don’t expect your future to look anything like you imagined just a year ago, whether Catholic or not.
Human history is entering a new phase, and we have no idea how long we are trapped between the raging sea and the advancing army. The only peace is in Christ, but the pope has made that peace even harder to find. Do not despair, though. He is with us.