The New Year: So Far, So Good

Catholic stuff.

1. For the last few years, we have spent the last few minutes of the outgoing year and the first of the incoming year in Adoration, as we are blessed with a perpetual Adoration chapel at St. Agnes Church a mere mile and a smidge from Casa de Moore.

Unfortunately, that chapel was vandalized – slightly, some dude just damaged some candle cash boxes – but it was plenty scary enough for Steps to be Taken. So, at least for now, the Chapel is closed from 9 pm to 5 am.

So, looked around for a back-up. Perpetual Adoration is also held an hour away, at Our Lady of Peace in Santa Clara. A quick pole showed the Crew was game. Off we headed, without further ado.

I’ve written a bit before on Our Lady of Peace – the most beautiful parish I’ve personally seen. The church building is a regrettable piece of  architectural something something, but the people, the priests, the whole place is alive with love of Our Lord. So, of course, they are having New Year’s Eve benediction.

We sang hymns – some of the classics in Latin – and did a long litany of Our Lady. Smells and bells compliant. We will be back next year, God willing. Great way to kick off the New Year.

2. On New Year’s Day itself, went to St. Margaret Mary’s in Oakland. The Mass was celebrated Ordinary Form, in Latin, ad orientem. In other words, exactly as a simple reading of the Vatican II documents would have lead one to believe it should usually be celebrated. Yet this was I think the 2nd or 3rd time in my life I’ve seen it celebrated that way.

While I am grateful for any celebration of the Mass in any form, this practice is what I’d most prefer. The simple act of having the priest turn away from us for certain prayers changes the whole tenor of the Mass, and gently reminds us of the lesson we most need at this time and place in this vale of tears: It Is Not About Us. Get Over Yourself.

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Greg Popovich is the most respected basketball coach in the world, and the most successful. His message to everybody in the organization: get over yourself. This is a touch sell to young, rich, hyper-athletic men who have been told how special they are from grade school on. Yet, Pop, as he is called, will ship your behind out if you do not get with the program, no matter how much talent you have. Point: even for success IN this vale of tears, in a child’s game, getting over one’s self has become a key step. How much more is it needed in the spiritual life?

My formative religious experiences include witnessing the sadness of many Catholic at the brutally-handled switch-over in the 60s and early 70s, when there were no allowances made AT ALL for the very human (and harmless) attachments many people felt for the Latin Mass. Instead, any who resisted or complained were branded as fuddy-duddies at best, and called names, and told that, despite what their own lying eyes told them the Vatican II documents actually said, what was being done was for their, and especially their kids’, benefit, and was absolutely REQUIRED by the Spirit of VII even and especially where that Spirit contradicted the express written instructions.

Many people remember anger. I remember sadness, with the anger following at the absurd and abusive manner with which the changes were implemented. I was a kid, and so had little sense of loss (except I really loved the big church choir singing from the loft – heaven sounded like that. Still does.) .

If only.  If only the changes had been introduced via ad orientem Mass in Latin. If only the parishes would have offered *1* mass a week in a form that didn’t seem like a complete rupture and, well, an insult to huge numbers of people. Much sadness and anger could have been avoided.(1)

Related image
Rome: Taking this deferred maintenance thing about as far as it can go.

3. Taking tomorrow off to hang with the kids. Elder Daughter is already back in L.A. doing her acting thing and working at Saint Monica’s Academy. Middle Son is due back at Thomas Aquinas Sunday. Younger Daughter is heading off for a semester in Rome (!) at the end of the month. The Caboose, Mrs. Yard Sale of the Mind and I will be holding down the fort.  2017 is shaping up to be a steady as she goes year: two kids will be juniors in college, one will be starting year 2 of a 2-year acting program, and kid brother will be turning 13. 2018, OTOH – all will be gearing up for the Next Phase: college kids starting senior year, Elder Daughter finishing up the acting school, Caboose turns 14 – and is our only teenager by August. Mom and dad, meanwhile, get older, which has been on the schedule now for over half a century and, in any event, beats the alternative. Just under 8 years until I can retire. But who’s counting?

  1. My fascination (OK, obsession) with pointing out how Luther figures into everything wrong with the world requires me to point out: in On Christian Liberty, his most conciliatory (and least scatological) work, Luther offers to just call the whole thing off, go home and mind his own business, if the Church will simply agree to premises under which all its authority and tradition are destroyed. By refusing, the Church then forces – forces, I say! – Luther to shatter the Church into a thousand pieces. His compromise meant complete surrender. Thus, to this day, it is customary for those demanding unconditional surrender in religious matters to pose as conciliators, where the terms of compromise are that they get to do whatever they want and you get to like it.



Author: Joseph Moore

Enough with the smarty-pants Dante quote. Just some opinionated blogger dude.

2 thoughts on “The New Year: So Far, So Good”

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