We are not just material beings, but spiritual persons with a need for meaning, purpose, and fulfillment that transcends the visible confines of this world. This longing for transcendence is a longing for truth, goodness, and beauty. Truth, goodness, and beauty are called the transcendentals of being, because they are aspects of being. Everything in existence has these transcendentals to some extent. God, of course, as the source of all truth, goodness, and beauty, has these transcendentals to an infinite degree. Oftentimes, He draws us to Himself primarily through one of these transcendentals. St. Augustine, who was drawn to beauty in all its creaturely forms, found the ultimate beauty he was seeking in God, his creator, the beauty “ever ancient, ever new.”―Sister Gabriella Yi, O.P.

Living right on the left coast of North America!

So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.—2 Thessalonians 2:15

Friday, December 30, 2016

A few reasons why Tradition-minded Catholics love the Extraordinary Form.

Reading the Traditional blogosphere, most, if not all, of the follow descriptors are likely to resonate with Magisterium-oriented, i.e., Christ oriented, citizens.

With good reason, Tradition-minded Catholics love the “old” Mass (TLM, Usus Antiquior, Extraordinary Form) because, in no particular order,
  1. they want to worship God as our ancestors did, and pray the prayers they prayed. What was holy then remains holy now.
  2. because the Extraordinary Form has developed organically, in continuity with the constant Spirit-guided experience of Catholics worshipping as Catholics.
  3. there is greater (and appropriate) silence in the old Mass, especially the Low Mass, in which to find a space for Christ in one’s heart and mind.
  4. the beautiful gestures and signs lead the imagination toward Christ. The whole body is involved.
  5. the priest is mostly facing in the same direction as the people, ad orientem, which is how Catholics have worshipped God for nearly twenty centuries. The priest leads us toward God.
  6. the prayers are beautiful.
  7. there is no distraction of guessing what the Mass will look like from week to week. The Mass “looks” the same no matter where it is celebrated. It honours the practice of the Faith of the people who knew and listened to the two greatest Apostles, Peter and Paul.
  8. the "old" Mass demands a rigorous use of the senses to take in the signs, symbols, smells and sounds which purify our understanding of Who God is.
  9. the "old" Mass requires an intense investment of the heart. The TLM requires a healthy spiritual athleticism, which is why God through the TLM has produced so many stalwart saints over the centuries.
  10. sacred chant and polyphony, even if sung roughly, configures the soul to God through beauty of form and content.

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