Ye to Daily [Traditional] Mass
Thomas A. Droleskey
is the time of year when many millions of Catholics go on vacation.
Plans are made months in advance of trips to various sites in this country
and abroad. One of things that a few Catholics, however, might forget
to plan assiduously is to plan their trips so that they can get to a
daily offering of the Traditional Latin Mass as frequently as possible
while they are away from home. Yes, I realize that this is not always
possible, especially given the fact that one has to make many sacrifices
these days simply to find the daily offering of the Immemorial
Mass of Tradition, no less actually get oneself to Mass. Nevertheless,
this short exhortation is meant to be a reminder to one and all that
daily Mass is very important to the right ordering of our lives at all
times, yes, even on vacation.
The Holy Sacrifice
of the Mass is the unbloody re-presentation of Our Lord's one sacrifice
to the Father in Spirit and in Truth on the wood of the Holy Cross.
It is the perfect prayer, containing each of the four ends of any prayer
(Adoration, Petition, Reparation, Thanksgiving). Indeed, the Mass is
a propitiatory offering for sins, offered at the hands of an alter
Christus who acts in persona Christi. The Traditional
Latin Mass is the most perfect expression of the Faith of our fathers
and a beautiful, unsurpassed exercise in the worship of God: Father,
Son and Holy Ghost, Who is all beauty and perfection. It is
in the Traditional Latin Mass that we find the proper orientation of
the priest from the moment he begins Holy Mass with the Prayers at the
Foot of the Altar and ascends the three steps (signifying the Three
Persons of the Most Blessed Trinity and the effort we must
make to climb to God in our daily lives) to the Last Gospel, which reminds
us of the importance of the Incarnation in our own lives (and thus the
life of the world) and that the Mass itself is incarnational. The God-Man,
Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, becomes incarnate by under the appearance
of the mere elements of this earth when a mere man, who is the instrument
of the Holy Ghost, utters mere words. The Mass is a miracle, providing
us with the opportunity, if we are in a state of sanctifying grace,
to be nourished by the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the One Who
became Incarnate in Our Lady's virginal and immaculate womb at the Annunciation.
be more important to us than trying get ourselves and our family members
to Mass every day. Again, this is not always possible, especially in
areas where there is no daily offering of the Mass of our Fathers. (I
have written extensively about the inherent harm of the Novus Ordo
and why we should avoid it entirely, a move I knew I had to make for
my own spiritual welfare and for my wife's and daughter's but took definitively
only in late-2002) Our whole lives, though, should be built around daily
Mass. Indeed, the stories are truly legendary these days of Catholics
making tremendously heroic sacrifices to drive many miles and many hours
to get themselves to the Traditional Latin Mass. These people just offer
the sacrifices up to Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, knowing
that she will use the fruits of the merit of her consecrated slaves
as she sees fit. We can rest in eternity. We should make every effort
here in this life to get to Holy Mass as frequently as we can, thus
keeping company with Our Lady and all of the angels and the saints at
the foot of the Cross of her Divine Son, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour,
is a purely personal and very subjective judgment on my part, it is
my belief that one who understands the importance of the Traditional
Latin Mass should not plan vacations that might take him too far of
a distance away from Sunday Mass or daily Mass. We are creatures of
habit. Children need to come to learn at an early age that going to
Mass every day is just part of their routine. They get up, they say
their morning prayers, their prepare themselves to get washed and dressed--and
then they go to Mass. This should be the routine at home. This should
be the routine when on the road. And if a particular site is not near
the Mass, here's some non-infallible, unsolicited advice: don't go there.
You don't have to go to Yellowstone Park or Red China, for example,
in this life. You can see all of the interesting sites of this world
very well from eternity if you die in a state of sanctifying grace.
You don't have to go to the Bahamas or some other exotic locale where
the Mass of our Fathers has been taken away entirely. Our leisure trips
should revolve around where we can get to the Immemorial Mass of Tradition.
My dear wife
Sharon, who converted to the Faith at the hands of Father Daniel Johnson
at Saint Mary's by the Sea Church in Huntington Beach five years ago
this July 30, has done such a wonderful job with our nearly twenty-eight
month old daughter, Lucy Mary Norma, in helping her to look forward
to going to Mass every day. Lucy has come to realize that the day is
not complete without assisting at Holy Mass. Yes, she wants to leave
as soon as the priest has completed the prayers after Mass. "Dada,
let's go," she whispers to me very softly. However, she does look
forward to going and is learning how to be more quiet and attentive
during Mass. I know that this is something Sharon will foster for the
rest of Lucy's childhood if it is God's will for me to die a sudden
and unexpected death at some point in the near future. Indeed, our drives
across the nation in our motor home, which is our sole residence, are
premised upon making as much time as we can to get to the next place,
whether above ground or in the catacombs, where we know we can get to
the Traditional Mass.
(A note for
parents with children who have yet to learn how to behave in Mass: you
receive graces for spending time in the vestibule or the corridor when
you have to remove yourself with your children at some point during
Mass. Each of us needs as much grace as we can get. It is important
to expose one's children regularly to the daily offering of the Traditional
Mass, realizing that doing so will predispose them to continue this
throughout the course of their lives, building upon the graces that
have surrounded them as children when you took them to daily Mass.)
a number of good resources to use when planning a leisure trip. One
of them is www.traditio.com. This
site has a national registry of Traditional Latin Masses. It's usually
quite reliable, listing even the affiliations (if any) of the places
around the nation where Masses are offered. There are others, some of
which are run by the organizations (Society of Saint Pius X, Priestly
Fraternity of Saint Peter, Institute of Christ the King) that offer
the Traditional Mass. (See "Caritas Super Omnia"
for my "ecumenical" bent as a traditional Catholic.) The Traditio
site, though, is the most extensive. The site also sells a "Yellow
Book," as it is called, to provide a hard copy for travelers to
refer to, which is quite handy when one is unable to access the Internet.
We are never
to have a vacation from the Mass. We should not only plan our vacations
around the proximity of the Traditional Latin Mass, we should also plan
where we are going to live around the Mass. We have to be detached
from the things, people and places of this world. The Mass trumps everything,
yes, including family members. It is better to have one's children near
the Mass than near their grandparents. I know that this sounds hard-hearted.
It is not. It's putting First Things first so that we are prepared for
the Four Last Things at the moment we draw our last breath.
travel, we are going to be on the road for the better part of the next
ten days or so. As neither one of my computers permits me to get online
any longer by the use of my cellular phone, the spate of articles being
posted today, July 15, will be the last you will see until around July
26, the Feast of St. Anne. We have much work to do in the advancement
and promotion of Christ the King College. Thus, we need to be on the
road for a little bit before we park for a few months in a new location
to launch the College. We thank you in advance for your understanding
that there will be a gap in articles on this site from now until then.
Our Lady of
the Way, pray for us to get to the Traditional Mass every day.
protect us as we travel.
help us to find the Mass of our Fathers in areas with which we are unfamiliar.
All of the
Guardian Angels and Patron Saints of all of the archdioceses, dioceses,
parishes, schools and institutes through which we shall be passing,
pray for us to remember to keep close to Our Lady as we travel, understanding
that we journey here in this life to find our permanent home in Heaven.