16 July 2024

The “Perfect!” Missal and the Future of the TLM

She now lives here in the Diocese of Lincoln. Unless the FSSP is suppressed by Francis and his Modernist Minions™, she should be safe.

From One Peter Five

By Jennifer S. Bryson, PhD

I would like to share a happy, hopeful story with you about the future of the Traditional Latin Mass. You read that right: “happy,” “hopeful,” “future,” and “TLM” all in the same sentence at the very moment rumors swirl about Pope Francis being poised to drop another hatchet on the TLM any day now.

This story starts exactly three years ago today on July 15, 2021, when I moved to Austria. For the first week after my arrival, I was alone in Covid-quarantine with no wifi. To pass the time, I had only my dog, the novel The Cypresses Believe in God, and a surprisingly fascinating view of a busy construction site just a few feet (don’t worry, more than six!) below the terrace of my quarantine.

It was a peaceful week, even with the brewing Spanish Civil War in the novel and the hammers of the builders nextdoor. I soon discovered it had not been such a peaceful week in the Church.

The first thing I did at the end of that week was to walk to the location where I would take a Covid test to finalize my liberation from quarantine. It was a sunny, seemingly cheerful summer day. Life looked up. Then, as I passed through a beautiful courtyard with roses in bloom and a fountain flowing, I saw the face of an acquaintance and knew something was wrong.

“Did you hear?” he said to me. I said, “No” and reminded him I had been in a information-free bubble while quarantined. He told me about Traditionis custodes. Uh-oh.

The news left me with sadness and concern. The sadness and concern were because, in recent years, in my second attempt to explore the TLM (the first had been thirty years earlier), the roots of my soul had found rich nourishment. After many years, attending the Novus Ordo  felt like being on a spiritual starvation diet that included Masses leaving me terribly depressed as well as feeling alienated due to the anemic and woke or woke-leaning parish life wherever I went.

By contrast, in the months before moving to Austria, through the TLM and the vibrant, spiritually rich TLM community I had found in Washington, DC (in one of the thriving TLM communities sadly obliterated in 2022 by Cardinal Gregory), logs in my spiritual log-jam were being removed, the waters of Life were flowing again, adjusting my orientation little by little toward God. Yet now, in the in the wake of Traditionis custodes, I faced uncertainty.

My desire to assist at and learn more about the TLM did not wane in any way. I was eager. I researched Latin-German missals and selected one from the FSSP’s excellent German-language publisher. Planning to use it frequently and for a long time, I also ordered a nice leather case for it. It was an investment in my soul and the future.

It arrived. It was lovely to behold, and it was packed with great content. Where I lived in Austria, we had, at the time, a TLM on Saturday mornings. I was delighted to use my new missal at one of these.

Then, just a few days later, as part of the implementation of Traditionis custodes, this weekly TLM was banned. And there I sat with this wonderful new missal. I lived in a village and had no car; another TLM was not accessible. I had used this new missal a total of one time and then, wham!, overnight, it seemed useless. I knew my new missal would be valuable for private devotions and study of the TLM, but this wonderful text is meant to guide us at the sacrifice of the Holy Mass, not be just another prayer book.

Months went by. Sporadically, through travel, I got to attend a TLM here or there. My lovely missal, however, mostly sat waiting to be used.

Over a year later, while talking to the priest of that banned Saturday TLM, I told him about my missal and how after investing time, energy, and money into finding just the right missal, I got to use it at only one Mass before that ban came down. He could tell I felt both astonished and sad that it arrived at the very point in time when our local TLM was about to be canceled. His response? Jubilantly, with a huge smile on his face and his arms sweeping out with animation, he said, “That’s perfect!!

Perfect”?!? Of all the possible responses, this one was not what I saw coming.

He kept smiling. He was really happy. And he could tell I was perplexed yet also curious about his joy. He said, “Yes, perfect! Because it means there will be a future.” I smiled. I said, “Yes, you are right; there will be a future.”

This is how I realized that this nice missal that arrived just as it had no use, was “perfect!”—the time for it to be used was yet to come. After that, as reports from around the region and the world kept coming about crackdowns on the TLM, I derived a certain joy and comfort from that missal. “There will be a future.”

And the more I learned about the pioneers of the post-Novus Ordo TLM, who kept it alive in the face of what seemed like the sky itself falling, the more I understood what an amazing foundation we trads inherit today to build on and pass on, even if we have to maneuver through harrowing mountain passes or underground catacombs to get to that future. “There will be a future.”

In 2023, it was time for me to leave Austria after nearly 2.5 years there. I did not move back to Washington, DC, with its urban political mismanagement, culture fueled by the sexual revolution , and, by this time, greatly reduced access to the TLM. I chose, instead, to move to a part of the country with a (relatively) stable TLM. I looked forward to my new home and, not least of all, to using my “perfect!” missal.

However, the morning I left Austria, in the final moments, there was no room for this missal. And I was completely out of time to rearrange anything in my bags. My luggage and carry-on were packed beyond full. Plus, I would be carrying my dog in her own carrier onto the flight, so my hands would be full. I was racing the clock; I absolutely had to leave immediately to get to the airport to catch my flight.

In a split-second decision, I turned to a young TLM-loving seminarian who had come with some others to say good-bye. He was at a seminary where the TLM had been banned, even though  interest in the TLM among some of the younger seminarians was growing. I handed him the “perfect!” missal.

He saw that there was no way it would fit in any of my bags. And he knew it was a particularly nice missal. I asked him to give it to a seminarian with an interest in the TLM, who did not yet have a missal. This felt like the perfect home for the “perfect!” missal—since, after all, come what may, “There will be a future.”


Today's Holy Mass from Corpus Christi ChurchTynong, VIC, Australia. You may follow the Mass at Divinum Officium.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel ~ Dom Prosper Guéranger

Our Lady of Mount Carmel

From Dom Prosper Guéranger's The Liturgical Year:

Towering over the waves on the shore of the Holy Land, Mount Carmel, together with the short range of the same name, forms a connecting link to two other chains, abounding with glorious memories, namely: the mountains of Galilee on the north, and those of Judea on the south.

“In the day of my love, I brought thee out of Egypt into the land of Carmel,” (Jeremiah 2:2, 7) said the Lord to the daughter of Sion, taking the name of Carmel to represent all the blessings of the Promised Land; and when the crimes of the chosen people were about to bring Judæa to ruin, the prophet cried out: “I looked, and behold Carmel was a wilderness: and all its cities were destroyed at the presence of the Lord, and at the presence of the wrath of his indignation.” (Jeremiah 4:26) But from the midst of the Gentile world a new Sion arose, more loved than the first; eight centuries beforehand Isaias recognized her by the glory of Libanus, and the beauty of Carmel and Saron which were given her. In the sacred Canticle, also, the attendants of the Bride sing to the Spouse concerning his well-beloved, that her head is like Carmel, and her hair like the precious threads of royal purple carefully woven and dyed. (Song of Solomon 7:5)

There was, in fact, around Cape Carmel an abundant fishery of the little shell-fish which furnished the regal color. Not far from there, smoothing away the slopes of the noble mountain, flowed the torrent of Cison, that dragged the carcasses (Judges 5:21) of the Chanaanites, when Deborah won her famous victory. Here lies the plain where the Madianites were overthrown, and Sisara felt the power of her that was called Mother in Israel. (Judges 5:7) Here Gedeon, too, marched against Madian in the name of the Woman terrible as an army set in array, (Song of Solomon 6:3,9) whose sign he had received in the dew-covered fleece. Indeed, this glorious plain of Esdrelon, which stretches away from the foot of Carmel, seems to be surrounded with prophetic indications of her who was destined from the beginning to crush the serpent’s head: not far from Esdrelon, a few defiles lead to Bethulia, the city of Judith, type of Mary, who was the true joy of Israel and the honor of her people; (Judith 15:10) while nestling among the northern hills lies Nazareth, the white city, the flower of Galilee. (Hieron. Epist. xlvi. Paulæ et Eustochii ad Marcellam)


When Eternal Wisdom was playing in the world, forming the hills and establishing the mountains, she destined Carmel to be the special inheritance of Eve’s victorious Daughter. And when the last thousand years of expectation were opening, and the desire of all nations was developing into the spirit of prophecy, the father of prophets ascended the privileged mount, thence to scan the horizon. The triumphs of David and the glories of Solomon were at an end; the scepter of Juda, broken by the schism of the ten tribes, threatened to fall from his hand; the worship of Baal prevailed in Israel. A long-continued drought, figure of the aridity of men’s souls, had parched up every spring, and men and beasts were dying beside the empty cisterns, when Elias the Thesbite gathered the people, representing the whole human race, on Mount Carmel, and slew the lying prophets of Baal. Then, as the Scripture relates, prostrating with his face to the earth, he said to his servant: Go up, look towards the sea. And he went up, and looked and said: There is nothing. And again he said to him: Return seven times. And at the seventh time: Behold, a little cloud arose out of the sea like a man’s foot. (1 Kings l8)

Blessed cloud! unlike the bitter waves from which it sprang, it was all sweetness. Docile to the least breath of heaven, it rose light and humble, above the immense heavy ocean; and, screening the sun, it tempered the heat that was scorching the earth, and restored to the stricken world life and grace and fruitfulness. The promised Messias, the Son of Man, set his impress upon it, showing to the wicked serpent the form of the heel that was to crush him. The prophet, personifying the human race, felt his youth renewed; and while the welcome rain was already refreshing the valleys, he ran before the chariot of the king of Israel. Thus did he traverse the great plain of Esdrelon, even to the mysteriously-named town of Jezrahel, where, according to Osee, the children of Juda and Israel were again to have but one head, in the great day of Jezrahel (i.e., of the seed of God), when the Lord would seal his eternal nuptials with a new people. (Hosea 1:11, 2:14-24) Later on, from Sunam, near Jezrahel, the mother, whose son was dead, crossed the same plain of Esdrelon, in the opposite direction, and ascended Mount Carmel, to obtain from Eliseus the resurrection of her child, who was a type of us all. (2 Kings 4:8-37) Elias had already departed in the chariot of fire, to await the end of the world, when he is to give testimony, together with Henoch, to the son of her that was signified by the cloud; (Apocalypse 11:3, 7) and the disciple, clothed with the mantle and the spirit of his father, had taken possession, in the name of the sons of the prophets, of the august mountain honored by the manifestation of the Queen of prophets. Henceforward Carmel was sacred in the eyes of all who looked beyond this world. Gentiles as well as Jews, philosophers and princes, came here on pilgrimage to adore the true God; while the chosen souls of the Church of the expectation, many of whom were already wandering in deserts and in mountains, (Hebrews 11:38) loved to take up their abode in its thousand grottoes; for the ancient traditions seemed to linger more lovingly in its silent forests, and the perfume of its flowers foretokened the Virgin Mother. The cultus of the Queen of Heaven was already established; and to the family of her devout clients, the ascetics of Carmel, might be applied the words spoken later by God to the pious descendants of Rechab: There shall not be wanting a man of this race, standing before me forever. (Jeremiah 35:19)

At length figures gave place to the reality: the heavens dropped down their dew, and the Just One came forth from the cloud. When his work was done and he returned to his Father, leaving his blessed Mother in the world, and sending his Holy Spirit to the Church, not the least triumph of that Spirit of love was the making known of Mary to the new-born Christians of Pentecost. “What a happiness,” we then remarked, “for those neophytes who were privileged above the rest in being brought to the Queen of heaven, the Virgin-Mother of him who was the hope of Israel! They saw this second Eve, they conversed with her, they felt for her that filial affection wherewith she inspired all the disciples of Jesus. The Liturgy will speak to us at another season of these favored ones.” (Whit Sunday, Paschal Time, vol. 3) The promise is fulfilled today. In the lessons of the feast the Church tells us how the disciples of Elias and Eliseus became Christians at the first preaching of the Apostles, and being permitted to hear the sweet words of the Blessed Virgin and enjoy an unspeakable intimacy with her, they felt their veneration for her immensely increased. Returning to the loved mountain, where their less fortunate fathers had lived but in hope, they built, on the very spot where Elias had seed the little cloud rise up out of the sea, an oratory to the purest of virgins; hence they obtained the name of Brothers of Blessed Mary of Mount Carmel. (Lessons and Nocturn)

In the twelfth century, in consequence of the establishment of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, many pilgrims from Europe came to swell the ranks of the solitaries on the holy mountain; it therefore became expedient to give to their hitherto eremitical life a form more in accordance with the habits of western nations. The legate Aimeric Malafaida, patriarch of Antioch, gathered them into a community under the authority of St. Berthold, who was thus the first to receive the title of Prior General. At the commencement of the next century, Blessed Albert, patriarch of Jerusalem and also Apostolic legate, completed the work of Aimeric by giving a fixed Rule to the Order, which was now, through the influence of princes and knights returned from the Holy Land, beginning to spread into Cyprus, Sicily, and the countries beyond the sea. Soon indeed, the Christians of the East, being abandoned by God to the just punishment of their sins, the vindictiveness of the conquering Saracens reached such a height in this age of trial for Palestine, that a full assembly held on Mount Carmel under Alanus the Breton, resolved upon a complete migration, leaving only a few friars eager for martyrdom to guard the cradle of the Order. The very year in which this took place (1245), Simon Stock was elected General in the first Chapter of the West held at Aylesford in England.

Simon owed his election to the successful struggle he had maintained for the recognition of the Order, which certain prelates, alleging the recent decrees of the Council of Lateran, rejected as newly introduced into Europe. Our Lady had then taken the cause of the Friars into her own hands, and had obtained from Honorius III the decree of confirmation, which originated today’s feast. This was neither the first nor the last favor bestowed by the sweet Virgin upon the family that had lived so long under the shadow, as it were, of her mysterious cloud, and shrouded like her in humility, with no other bond, no other pretension than the imitation of her hidden works and the contemplation of her glory. She herself had wished them to go forth from the midst of a faithless people; just as, before the close of that same thirteenth century, she would command her angels to carry into a Catholic land her blessed house of Nazareth. Whether or not the men of those days, or the short-sighted historians of our own time, ever thought of it: the one translation called for the other, just as each completes and explains the other, and each was to be, for our own Europe, the signal for wonderful favors from heaven.

In the night between the 15th and the 16th of July, of the year 1251, the gracious Queen of Carmel confirmed to her sons by a mysterious sign the right of citizenship she had obtained for them in their newly adopted countries: as mistress and mother of the entire Religious state she conferred upon them with her queenly hands, the scapular, hitherto the distinctive garb of the greatest and most ancient religious family of the West. On giving St. Simon Stock this badge, ennobled by contact with her sacred fingers, the Mother of God said to him: “Whosoever shall die in this habit, shall not suffer eternal flames.” But not against hell fire alone was the all-powerful intercession of the Blessed Mother to be felt by those who should wear her scapular. In 1316, when every holy soul was imploring heaven to put a period to that long and disastrous widowhood of the Church, which followed on the death of Clement V, the Queen of Saints appeared to James d’Euse, whom the world was soon to hail as John XXII; she foretold to him his approaching elevation to the Sovereign Pontificate, and at the same time recommended him to publish the privilege she had obtained from her Divine Son for her children of Carmel, viz., a speedy deliverance from Purgatory. “I, their Mother, will graciously go down to them on the Saturday after their death, and all whom I find in Purgatory I will deliver and will bring to the mountain of life eternal.” These are the words of our Lady herself, quoted by John XXII in the Bull which he published for the purpose of making known the privilege, and which was called the Sabbatine Bull on account of the day chosen by the glorious benefactress for the exercise of her mercy.

We are aware of the attempts made to nullify the authenticity of these heavenly concessions; but our extremely limited time will not allow us to follow up these worthless struggles in all their endless details. The attack of the chief assailant, the too famous Launoy, was condemned by the Apostolic See; and after, as well as before, these contradictions, the Roman Pontiffs confirmed, as much as need be, by their supreme authority, the substance and even the letter of the precious promises. The reader may find in special works the enumeration of the many indulgences with which the Popes have, time after time, enriched the Carmelite family, as if earth would vie with heaven in favoring it. The munificence of Mary, the pious gratitude of her sons for the hospitality given them by the West, and lastly, the authority of St. Peter’s successors, soon made these spiritual riches accessible to all Christians, by the institution of the Confraternity of the holy Scapular, the members whereof participate in the merits and privileges of the whole Carmelite Order. Who shall tell the graces, often miraculous, obtained through this humble garb? Who could count the faithful now enrolled in the holy militia? When Benedict XIII, in the eighteenth century, extended the feast of the 16th July to the whole Church, he did but give an official sanction to the universality already gained by the cultus of the Queen of Carmel.

The holy Liturgy gives the following account of the history and object of the feast:

When on the holy day of Pentecost the Apostles, through heavenly inspiration, spoke divers tongues and worked many miracles by the invocation of the most holy name of Jesus, it is said that many men who were walking in the footsteps of the holy prophets Elias and Eliseus, and had been prepared for the coming of Christ by the preaching of John the Baptist, saw and acknowledged the truth, and at once embraced the faith of the Gospel. These new Christians were so happy as to be able to enjoy familiar intercourse with the Blessed Virgin, and venerated her with so special an affection, that they, before all others, built a chapel to the purest of Virgins on that very spot of Mount Carmel where Elias of old had seen the cloud, a remarkable type of the Virgin ascending.

Many times each day they came together to the new oratory, and with pious ceremonies, prayers, and praises honored the most Blessed Virgin as the special protectress of their Order. For this reason, people from all parts began to call them the Brethren of the Blessed Mary of Mount Carmel; and the Sovereign Pontiffs not only confirmed this title, but also granted special indulgences to whoever called either the whole Order or individual Brothers by that name. But the most noble Virgin not only gave them her name and protection, she also bestowed upon Blessed Simon the Englishman the holy Scapular as a token, wishing the holy Order to be distinguished by that heavenly garment and to be protected by it from the evils that were assailing it. Moreover, as formerly the Order was unknown in Europe, and on this account many were importuning Honorius III for its abolition, the loving Virgin Mary appeared by night to Honorius and clearly bade him receive both the Order and its members with kindness.

The Blessed Virgin has enriched the Order so dear to her with many privileges, not only in this world, but also in the next (for everywhere she is most powerful and merciful). For it is piously believed that those of her children, who, having been enrolled in the Confraternity of the Scapular, have fulfilled the small abstinence and said the few prayers prescribed, and have observed chastity as far as their state of life demands, will be consoled by our Lady while they are being purified in the fire of Purgatory, and will through her intercession be taken thence as soon as possible to the heavenly country. The Order, thus laden with so many graces, has ordained that this solemn commemoration of the Blessed Virgin should be yearly observed forever, to her greater glory.

Queen of Carmel, hear the voice of the Church as she sings to thee on this day. When the world was languishing in ceaseless expectation, thou wert already its hope. Unable as yet to understand thy greatness, it nevertheless, during the reign of types, loved to clothe thee with the noblest symbols. In admiration, and in gratitude for benefits foreseen, it surrounded thee with all the notions of beauty, strength, and grace suggested by the loveliest landscapes, the flowery plains, the wooded heights, the fertile valleys, especially of Carmel, whose very name signifies “the plantation of the Lord.” On its summit our fathers, knowing that Wisdom had set her throne in the cloud, hastened by their burning desires the coming of the saving sign: there at length was given to their prayers, what the Scripture calls perfect knowledge, and the knowledge of the great paths of the clouds. (Job 37:16) And when he who maketh his chariot and his dwelling in the obscurity of a cloud had therein shown himself, in a nearer approach, to the practiced eye of the father of prophets, then did a chosen band of holy persons gather in the solitudes of the blessed mountain, as heretofore Israel in the desert, to watch the least movements of the mysterious cloud, to receive from it their guidance in the paths of life, and their light in the long night of expectation.

O Mary, who from that hour didst preside over the watches of God’s army, without ever failing for a single day: now that the Lord has truly come down through thee, it is no longer the land of Judæa alone, but the whole earth that thou coverest as a cloud, shedding down blessings and abundance. Thine ancient clients, the sons of the prophets, experienced this truth when, the land of promise becoming unfaithful, they were forced to transplant into other climes their customs and traditions; they found that even into our far West, the cloud of Carmel had poured its fertilizing dew, and that nowhere would its protection be wanting to them. This feast, O Mother of our God, is the authentic attestation of their gratitude, increased by the fresh benefits wherewith thy bounty accompanied the new exodus of the remnant of Israel. And we, the sons of ancient Europe, we too have a right to echo the expression of their loving joy; for since their tents have been pitched around the hills where the new Sion is built upon Peter, the cloud has shed all around showers of blessing more precious than ever, driving back into the abyss the flames of hell, and extinguishing the fire of purgatory.

Whilst, then, we join with them in thanksgiving to thee, deign thyself, O Mother of divine grace, to pay our debt of gratitude to them. Protect them ever. Guard them in these unhappy times, when the hypocrisy of modern persecutors has more fatal results than the rage of the Saracens. Preserve the life in the deep roots of the old stock, and rejoice it by the succession of new branches, bearing, like the old ones, flowers and fruits that shall be pleasing to thee, O Mary. Keep up in the hearts of the sons, that spirit of retirement and contemplation which animated their fathers under the shadow of the cloud; may their sisters too, wheresoever the Holy Spirit has established them, be ever faithful to the traditions of the glorious past; so that their holy lives may avert the tempest and draw down blessings from the mysterious cloud. May the perfume of penance that breathes from the holy mountain purify the now corrupted atmosphere around; and may Carmel ever present to the Spouse the type of the beauties he loves to behold in his Bride!

The Ancient Roots of the Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

A sermon for today's Feast. Please, remember to say 3 Hail Marys for the priest.

St Eustathius, Patriarch of Antioch

St Eustathius, Confessor, Patriarch of Antioch

From Fr Alban Butler's Lives of the Saints:

From St. Athanasius, Sozomen, Theodoret,1. 1, Hist. c. 6, St. Jerom, in Catal. c. 85. See Tillem. t. 7 p. 21, Ceilier, t. 4, and the Bollandists, Bosch in his Life, t. 4, Jul. p. 130, and Solier in Hist. Chron Patr. Antioch, ante, t. 4, Jul. p. 35.

A. D. 338.

ST. EUSTATHIUS was a native of Sida in Pamphylia, and with heroic constancy confessed the faith of Christ before the pagan persecutors, as St. Athanasius assures us,1 though it does not appear whether this happened under Dioclesian or Licinius. He was learned, eloquent, and eminently endowed with all virtue, especially an ardent zeal for the purity of our holy faith. Being made bishop of Beræa in Syria he began in that obscure see to be highly considered in the Church, insomuch that St. Alexander of Alexandria wrote to him in particular against Arius and his impious writings, in 323. St. Philogonius, bishop of Antioch, a prelate illustrious for his confession of the faith, in the persecution of Licinius, died in 323. One Paulinus succeeded him, but seems a man not equal to the functions of that high station; for, during the short time he governed that church, tares began to grow up among the good seed. To root these out, when that dignity became again vacant, in 324, the zeal and abilities of St. Eustathius were called for, and he was accordingly translated to this see, in dignity the next to Alexandria, and the third in the world. He vigorously opposed the motion, but was compelled to acquiesce. Indeed, translations of bishops, if made without cogent reasons of necessity, become, to many, dangerous temptations of ambition and avarice, and open a door to those fatal vices into the sanctuary. To put a bar to this evil, St. Eustathius, in the same year, assisting at the general council of Nice, zealously concurred with his fellow bishops to forbid for the time to come all removals of bishops from one see to another.2 The new patriarch distinguished himself in that venerable assembly by his zeal against Arianism. Soon after his return to Antioch he held a council there to unite his church, which he found divided by factions. He was very strict and severe in examining into the characters of those whom he admitted into the clergy, and he constantly rejected all those whose principles, faith, or manners appeared suspected: among whom were several who became afterward ringleaders of Arianism. Amidst his external employs for the service of others, he did not forget that charity must always begin at home, and he labored in the first place to sanctify his own soul; but after watering his own garden he did not confine the stream there, but let it flow abroad to enrich the neighboring soil, and to dispense plenty and fruitfulness all around. He sent into other diocesses that were subject to his patriarchate, men capable of instructing and encouraging the faithful. Eusebius, archbishop of Cæsarea, in Palestine (which church was, in some measure, subject to Antioch), favored the new heresy in such a manner as to alarm the zeal of our saint.* This raised a violent storm against him.

Eusebius of Nicomedia laid a deep plot with his Arian friends to remove St. Eustathius from Antioch, who had attacked Eusebius of Cæsarea, and accused him of altering the Nicene Creed. Hereupon, Eusebius of Nicomedia, pretending a great desire to see the city of Jerusalem, set out in great state, taking with him his confidant, Theognis of Nice. At Jerusalem they met Eusebius of Cæsarea, Patrophilus of Scythopolis, Aëtius of Lydda, Theodotus of Laodicea, and several others, all of the Arian faction; who returned with them to Antioch. There they assembled together, as in a Synod, in 331, and a debauched woman, whom the Arians had suborned, coming in, showed a child which she suckled at her breast, and declared that she had it by Eustathius. The saint protested his innocence, and alleged that the apostle forbids a priest to be condemned unless convicted by two or more witnesses. This woman, before her death, after a long illness, called in a great number of the clergy, and publicly declared to them the innocence of the holy bishop, and confessed that the Arians had given her money for this action, pretending that no perjury was implied in her oath, upon the frivolous and foolish plea that she had the child by a brazier of the city called Eustathius.3 The Arians accused him also of Sabellianism, as Socrates and others testify; this being their general charge and slander against all who professed the orthodox faith.

The Catholic bishops who were present with Eustathius, cried out loudly against the injustice of these proceedings, but could not be heard, and the Arians pronounced a sentence of deposition against the saint; and Eusebius of Nicomedia and Theognis hastened to inform the emperor Constantine of these proceedings. The Arian bishops invited Eusebius of Cæsarea to exchange his see for the patriarchal chair of Antioch, but he alleged the prohibition of the canons; and the emperor Constantine commended his modesty by a letter which Eusebius has inserted in his life of that prince.4 We should have been more edified with his humility had this circumstance beer only recorded by others.5 This happened, not in 340, as Baronius and Petavius imagine, but in 330 or 331, as is manifest not only from the testimony of Socrates, Sozomen, Theodoret, and Philostorgius, but also from several circumstances of the affair.6 The people of Antioch raised a great sedition on this occasion, but the emperor Constantine, being prepossessed by the slanders of the two bishops, ordered St. Eustathius to repair to Constantinople, and thence sent him into banishment. The holy pastor assembled the people before his departure from Antioch, and exhorted them to remain stead fast in the true doctrine which exhortations were of great weight in preserving many in the Catholic faith. St. Eustathius was banished with several priests and deacons first into Thrace, as St. Jerome and St. Chrysostom testify, and from thence into Illyricum, as Theodoret adds. Socrates and Sozomen confound him with a priest of Constantinople of the same name, when they tell us he was recalled by Jovian, and survived till the year 370: for St. Eustathius died thirty years before St. Meletius was advanced to the see of Antioch in 360, as Theodoret testifies. Nor was he mentioned in the council of Sardica, or in any of the disputes that followed; and our best critics and historians conclude him to have been dead in 337. Philippi, in Macedon, which, in the division of the empire into diocesses, was comprised in that of Illyricum, was the place of his death,7 but his body was interred at Trajanopolis, in Thrace, from which city Calandion, one of his successors, caused it to be translated to Antioch, about the year 482, as Theodorus Lector informs us.*

St. Eustathius bore his exile with patience and perfect submission, and was under its disgraces and hardships greater and more glorious than whilst his zeal and other virtues shone with the brightest lustre on the patriarchal throne. We may please ourselves in those actions in which we seem to be something; into which, however, self-love, under a thousand forms, easily insinuates itself. But the maxims of our Divine Redeemer teach us that no circumstances are so happy for the exercise of the most heroic virtue as humiliations and distresses when sent by Providence. These put our love to the test, apply the remedy to the very root of our spiritual disorders, employ the most perfect virtues of meekness, forgiveness, and patience, and call forth our resignation, humility, and reliance on Providence; in these trials we learn most perfectly to die to our passions, to know ourselves, to feel our own nothingness and miseries, and with St. Paul to take pleasure in our infirmities. Here all virtue is more pure and perfect. A Christian suffering with patience and joy, bears in spirit the nearest resemblance to his crucified Master, and enters deepest into his most perfect sentiments of humility, meekness, and love; for Jesus on his cross is the model by which his disciples are bound to form themselves, which they nowhere can do with greater advantage than when they are in a like state of desolation and suffering.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel

The earliest Carmelites were Crusaders from Europe who were disillusioned with the wars and violence associated with the Crusades. Some were so disappointed that they decided not to return to Europe but rather to stay in the Holy Land on Mount Carmel, the “garden of God,” the mountain of Elijah, and to seek intimacy with God and listen to the divine whisper of hope and presence.

They settled in the wadi-ein-Siah, a dry river bed, which reflected the state of their disillusioned souls. They lived as hermits in caves for a while but eventually needed the prayerful support of others in community. In the 1180s they built a chapel and named it after “Our Lady of this Place” – amid the darkness of disillusionment, they were aware that the Lady of Nazareth was so open to God’s presence that she might rekindle the spark of faith and presence in them. Nazareth is just across the Jezriel valley from Mount Carmel. They believed that Mary, “Our Lady of this Place,” would open them to experience Emmanuel, the God who is with us!

Within 100 years, as Islam reclaimed the Holy Land, the Carmelites gradually migrated to Europe and became a more mendicant Order, in service of and by the request of the Church. They continued to claim the “Lady of the Place” or “The Lady of the Mountain” to help them live in God’s presence. She would continue to teach them that wherever they are, God is with them.

Carmelites understand Mary as “our Sister in faith” – she stands beside us making us more aware that where we are is holy ground. Carmelites are officially called the “Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel.”

In the 13th and 14th centuries, when the Carmelites, along with many other religious communities, were threatened with suppression, the tradition arose that St. Simon Stock had a vision of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, who told him that if the Carmelites wore their apron or habit in faith, that she would take care of them. The Carmelites survived and the tradition of the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel developed and continues to invite people to live under Mary’s mantle and have her heart, being radically open to God’s presence.

Collect of St Eustathius of Antioch, Bishop & Confessor ~ Indulgenced on the Saint's Feast (See Note)

According to the Apostolic Penitentiary, a partial indulgence is granted to those who on the feast of any Saint recite in his honour the oration of the Missal or any other approved by legitimate Authority.

V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto thee.
Let us pray.
e beseech Thee, O Lord, hear our prayers which we offerest on the festival of Blessed Eustathius, Thy Confessor & Bishop, and through his intercessory merits, who hadst the grace to serve Thee worthily, absolve us from all our sins.
Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.
R. Amen. 

Nota bene - St Ustathius is not celebrated on the Universal Calendar, but according to the Martyrology, today is his Feast Day. The Collect is taken from the Common of Confessor Bishops. 

Collect of the Feast of OL of Mount Carmel ~ Indulgenced on the Feast

According to the Apostolic Penitentiary, a partial indulgence is granted to those who on the feast of any Saint recite in his honour the oration of the Missal or any other approved by legitimate Authority.

V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto thee.
Let us pray.
O Lord, Who hast given this excellency unto the Order of Carmel that the same should be especially styled the Order of the Most Blessed Mary, always a Virgin, thine Own Mother, mercifully grant that we who on this day do renew her memory in solemn worship, may worthily be shielded by her protection, and finally attain unto thine everlasting joy.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who livest and reignest with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, forever and ever.
R. Amen. 

15 July 2024

"To God Who Giveth Joy To My Youth": Thoughts on the Growing Revolutionary Threat to the Traditional Latin Mass

'One of the marks of revolutionaries is a complete lack of respect or tolerance for anyone who has an opposing point of view. Once they have formulated their opinions then nothing and nobody will come between them and the course of action they intend to follow.'

From Rorate Cæli

By Leo Darroch

One of the marks of revolutionaries is a complete lack of respect or tolerance for anyone who has an opposing point of view. Once they have formulated their opinions then nothing and nobody will come between them and the course of action they intend to follow.  To the revolutionaries, anyone who is not singing their tune must be suppressed and removed as quickly as possible. A current example is the contemptuous way in which the sacred liturgy and its adherents, both clerical and lay, have been treated in recent years, especially from Rome.  There is intrigue on a grand scale and at the highest levels in the Church, and the opinions of the laity, for example, are of no interest to those driving forward their agenda. Examples from history show that the revolution never ends until the revolutionaries are faced down and defeated. 

The Mass of the traditional Roman rite, as promulgated in the Missal of Pope St. John XXIII (1962 edition), is a work of literature that encapsulates the clarity and precision of the Catholic faith in every prayer and in every phrase. Indeed, in its beauty, truth, and divine inspiration, it is beyond compare among any documents or international treaties produced by governments or nations, and surpasses all the great works of literature produced by the greatest of secular writers. It has been refined over centuries by the greatest writers, doctors and saints of the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It contains not only the clarity and precision of our Faith but is celebrated in Latin, an angelic language described by Pope St. John XXIII in Veterum Sapientiae (1962) as having "proved so admirable a means for the spreading of Christianity throughout the West. ". It refreshes the soul and creates a common link not only with fellow Catholics in every country but with every member of the Church down the centuries through our families back to Christ Himself. At Eastertime we are reminded in the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ that on the Cross were written words in Hebrew, Latin and Greek. The traditional Roman rite also includes Hebrew, Latin and Greek and so it transports us back to the very Cross of Sacrifice on which our Saviour gave His life for us.

Pope St. John XXIII also said in Veterum Sapientiae:

The inauguration of Christianity did not mean the obliteration of man's past achievements. Nothing was lost that was in any way true, right, noble and beautiful. The Church has ever held the literary evidences of this wisdom in the highest esteem. She values especially the Greek and Latin languages, in which wisdom itself is cloaked, as it were, in a vesture of gold. 

Again, in this document Pope St. John teaches: 

Thus, if the truths of the Catholic Church were entrusted to an unspecified number of them [vernacular languages], the meaning of these truths, varied as they are, would not be manifested to everyone with sufficient clarity and precision. 

The Missal of Pope St. John XXIII of 1962 is indeed "true, right, noble and beautiful' and the truths contained therein are conveyed with absolute "clarity and precision." For this reason alone it must not be lost to our Church and the faithful. 

The Fathers of Vatican II, in their wisdom, decreed; 

Finally, in faithful obedience to tradition, the sacred Council declares that Holy Mother Church holds all lawfully recognised rites to be of equal right and dignity, that she wishes to preserve them in the future and to foster them in every way.  [Sacrosanctum Concilium, n.4].

The Mass of the traditional Roman rite is indeed the most beautiful treasure of literature there has ever been; its beauty is unsurpassed and will never dim. Pope St. John XXIII, who not only praised Latin as being an admirable means of spreading the faith, also criticised the vernacular as being unsuitable for spreading the truths of the Church with sufficient clarity and precision. Is it not remarkable that the 'old Mass’ contains all the things praised by Pope St. John? In 1961, the year before the Second Vatican Council opened, he described the Church as "A Church vibrant with vitality." Is it not even more remarkable that the 'new' rite of Mass includes those things specifically condemned by him? and, that by 1968, only seven years later when vernacularism had already taken hold, his successor Pope St. Paul VI bemoaned the fact that the Church was in a process of selfdestruction? The case for the vernacular is actually contradicted quite spectacularly by those who were responsible for its introduction. In the Preface specially written for the new rite Mass of Pentecost Sunday there is the sentence: "Today we celebrate the great beginning of your Church when the Holy Spirit made known to all peoples the one, true God, and created from the many languages of men one voice to profess one faith." [emphasis added]. Is it not nonsensical that in the new Mass, that is celebrated in any language or dialect the priest may wish, they are repeating these words in every language under the sun?

Pope Pius XII, in Mediator Dei, makes the point that “people differ so widely in character, temperament and intelligence, that it is impossible for them all to be affected in the same way”. This point is well made. We encounter God in the Mass in many different ways. Unfortunately, the creators of the new Mass seem unable to understand this fact. There is no light and shade, no time for individual reflection, no allowance for any personal encounter with our Lord and God. The congregation is regimented and controlled on a human, physical level; and no allowance is made for the transcendental and the uplifting of the soul. It is an horizontal experience. 

But what about 'The Mass? 1 think it is particularly significant that in years preVatican II with the universal Latin Roman rite, people said they were going to Mass. It was quite specific. Nowadays, with the multiform, multilingual, multivocal new rite, the more common expression is that they are going to church  perhaps, because as they are not quite sure what awaits them when they get there, it is best not to be too specific. To repeat the question! What about the Mass? The Novus Ordo Missae of 1969 is undoubtedly a valid Mass in itself. Unfortunately, as we all know, it allows such freedom to the celebrating priest that many Masses in the intervening years have strayed so far from the guidelines, and abuses are so rife, that such ‘celebrations' are completely unrecognisable as 'The Mass' to those of us au fait with the old Latin rite. The accusation is often made that we will not, or cannot, move with the times and are locked nostalgically into a particular period in time like liturgical fossils. But people are only nostalgic with a wistful affection for something good and pleasing. Those who understand tradition have a greater appreciation of the immensity of our Church and its great sweep of history over two millennia. It is the modernists who are locked into a particular period of time  their own.

An erroneous opinion leads some to confuse liturgical unity with liturgical uniformity. Some European peoples feel a compelling psychological and cultural craving for uniformity as an expression of unity. They struggle, therefore, if they succeed at all, to understand unity in complementary diversity. The Bishop is Sponsus Ecclesiae, or espoused to his local Church. It makes sense, therefore, that since the Bishop is the Celebrant, traditional liturgies of the Latin Catholic Churches flowed from the various sees which lend their names to those liturgies (eg, Roman, Gallican, Ambrosian, Sarum, Dominican). That alone precludes the notion of uniformity as a necessary expression of ecclesial unity. Far from afflicting the ecclesial unity, the differences between the liturgy of the Roman Curia and the liturgy celebrated in the Roman basilicas enriched the beauty of unity of the Roman Rite.

From what has been affirmed above, it is not difficult to make the due distinction between liturgical unity and uniformity. Uniformity of the Roman Rite became a fundamental issue, albeit not a defining quality, only subsequent to the Council of Trent. It is, therefore, ironic to see bishops appeal to an ethos of the Tridentine era, to object to a rumoured broadening of the authorisation of the “Tridentine” Mass. 

In a speech in New York in 1970, Dr Eric de Saventhem, the first president of the International Federation Una Voce, said:

The Church has always known a plurality of recognized rites and of liturgical language. But that "Pluralism" - to use the modern word - grew out of respect for tradition: The much-decried unification and indeed uniformization of the rites of the Mass which was achieved by the Missal of Pius V was undertaken by that holy Pope at the express request of the bishops assembled in Council who asked Rome to prescribe a uniform rite for the entire Latin Church because they had found that on the diocesan, or even synodal level, it was impossible to stop, or even curtail, the proliferation of unauthorized texts for the celebration of the Sacraments. We are just witnessing a repetition -- both of the proliferation of unauthorized texts and of episcopal inability to cope with it. Perhaps we may also see a repetition of that act of wisdom which, just over 400 years ago, made the Bishops ask the Pope to draw up and to enact "in perpetuity" the uniform ritual of the Mass which was promulgated in 1570 (14th July) and which has brought such immense blessing to the Church.

It is an undeniable fact that there has been a growing crisis of Faith in the Church especially since the 1960s. It is a crisis of identity which has been caused by a general abandonment of a faith of two millennia in favour of a false ecumenism that has its roots in modernism. Even allowing for the good intentions of many of those who were instrumental in bringing forth the revised liturgy and other changes, the tangible result has seen great harm self-inflicted upon the Church. In many parts of the world our churches and seminaries are emptying and closing; monasteries and convents have also been devastated, and the faith of the laity has suffered cruelly through the introduction of new catechetical courses that no longer teach the Catholic Faith in its fullness. Many millions of adults have abandoned the practice of their faith because, in part, what they were taught in their younger days has been undermined and ridiculed by a new wave of theologians and catechists who appear to enjoy the full protection, and encouragement, of diocesan authorities. Many millions of children stop practising their faith even before they leave school because the Catholic 'faith' they are being taught is no longer based on doctrine, faith and morals, but is simply treated as one faith among many where Jesus Christ is listed in religious education books on the same level as Ghandi, Mohammed, and Buddha. 

For many of those who find spiritual solace in the traditional liturgy, the Missal of 1962, of Pope St. John XXIII, is their secure foundation, their doctrinal certainty, their beacon of light and faith in the dark night currently afflicting the Church, and wish to attend Mass according to this venerable and ancient usage; untouched, and without modification or adaptation. Their concern is for the Catholic Faith and to ensure that the faith of their forefathers is handed down in its fullness to their children and grandchildren. 

With the promulgation of Summorum Pontificum, Pope Benedict clearly wished to come to an interior reconciliation in the heart of the Church. He declared that what earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place. 

Following the disastrous events that have engulfed the Church in recent decades, the opportunity presented by Pope Benedict XVI to heal wounds is being squandered. Why are so many, especially in Rome, so opposed to something that was never abrogated and is perfectly valid? Why have priests been removed from their parishes because they wished to celebrate the Mass of centuries, the Mass that missionaries took around the world, the Mass that many of the priests’ forebears died for in martyrdom? This is provoking dismay, frustration, and simmering resentment among priests and faithful. 

There is an endemic (ingrained) failure in the corridors of power to publicly acknowledge the root cause of this desperate malaise – the virtual abolition of the solidly Catholic traditional Latin Mass, instantly recognisable as Catholic liturgy as understood by all, both inside and outside the Church, for the past 1500 years and more. Monsignor Klaus Gamber, in his book The Reform of the Roman Liturgy: Its Problems and Background, writes: 

The Reformers of our liturgy have failed to consider adequately and address the issue of  how the traditional forms of liturgical worship inspired among the faithful a sense of  belonging. They also failed to consider and deal with the issue of the extent to which  simply abolishing these forms of liturgy would also result in a loss of faith among the  people.

Monsignor Gamber was absolutely correct; many Catholics no longer feel at home with their liturgy and the loss of faith has been catastrophic. Perhaps the most positive aspect for those who desire the restoration of the traditional Latin Mass is their very strong sense of unity in the faith and a sense of being at home in a universal Church. 

In the traditional Mass the young people are discovering the beauty, the spirituality, the angelic language, and the dignity of the older form of Mass and are becoming attracted to that.  The prayers at the foot of the altar: Introibo ad altare Dei. Ad Deum qui laetificat juventutem meam (I will go in unto the altar of God. Unto God who gives joy to my youth), immediately concentrates the mind on what is to follow.  Here we have this wonderful Mass of antiquity going back 1,500 years and more; this ancient and venerable rite as Pope Benedict XVI called it, and yet every generation experiences it anew to themselves, fresh to themselves, and the phrase that came to this writer’s mind is, it is the Mass of eternal youth. 

So, in spite of the harsh restrictions which have been imposed over the decades, many young people have discovered the traditional Latin Mass and have become captivated by its sense of the sacred, and its enduring history in spite of persecution down through the centuries. And, indeed, its inherent Catholicity. They have found the pearl of great price and wish to share the discovery with their family and friends. Of course, this was not supposed to happen. In 1969, the new form of Mass was unveiled as the model for the future. This was to be the form and style of liturgy that would rejuvenate the faithful and bring the lapsed back to the practice of their faith. Like many things in the 1960s the impetus for change was driving everything. New was good, youth was the great god to be worshipped, and activity was essential, The reality is that the faithful have been force-fed a diet of liturgical, architectural, and musical mediocrity the like of which has not been seen in the Church over the past two thousand years. And if the liturgy, the architecture, and the music is mediocre then everything descends into mediocrity. And once we descend to this level who, then, can lift us out? 

The answer is there for those with eyes to see it. Far from imposing savage restrictions, the Holy See must fully restore the ancient Roman rite to our altars and sanctuaries and remove all restrictions on its celebration. The Mass of Pope St. John XXIII, of Pope St. Pius V, and of Pope St. Gregory the Great, cast its blessings over untold generations in the past. Let us not deny future generations the blessings gained by those who have gone before. Whatever is of God will prosper and true men of God will welcome this. If it is not pleasing to God it will wither, and true men of God should also welcome this. The restoration of the Mass of Ages which unified and nourished the Church for nearly two millennia would be only the first step, but a huge step, on the road to recovery.

Pictured: John XXIII celebrating Low Mass in his private chapel