Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Why the Young Love the Old

[The Good]

What appeal does the old Mass have for the young? It’s no secret that the intention of Ecclesia Dei offered in 1988 was to appease those “previously” attached to the 1962 Missal or the Latin Mass. It was thought that if this is reluctantly tolerated then opposition to the New Mass will subside. The activists would quietly go away, eventually die off and the criticisms of the deficiencies of the new Mass would be silenced.

However, it didn’t quite work out that way. Strangely, mysteriously, inexplicably even, the appeal of the Mass immediately attracted the youth. Why does the Latin Mass appeal to youth? Why isn’t it dying out? If it really is an anachronism why does it gain strength?

First I believe it is because the youth do not like to be condescended to. They want challenge, sacrifice, idealism. They want to worship God and have become awfully tired of worshipping themselves and their friends. Being your own god is the quickest path to atheism I know.

[The Bad]

The liturgical pirates who have fashioned the “new worship took the Mass to the level of the comic book. The illustrations in the Missalette (because those Missals were so big and heavy and the print so small) do not even rise to the level of a comic book illustration.

Because if there is one overriding theme it is that everything is way too much trouble. Art. Worship. Singing. Real Music. Actually knowing prayers. Learning about the Faith. Pursuing a vocation. Serving others. Keeping the Ten Commandmants. Marriage. Family life.

The only thing the modern Catholic yearns for is a new video game. Another movie channel on their cable station. Brand name clothes. A really nice vacation.

Holiness? Piety? Sanctity? Generosity? To pursue those things is to be elitist. Triumphalist. Holier than thou. Hypocritical.

When we did away with the concept of sin, mortal and venial, sins of commission and sins of ommission a complete vacuum was not created. There is still one thing that is a terrible sin. That would be the sin of hypocrisy. Secondly to be just as rigorously condemned is the sin of being judgmental. If you persist in clinging to your antiquated views of right and wrong naturally you have become judgmental. This automatically makes you worse than the sinner who commits the sins of abortion, adultery, homosexuality, fornication, apostasy, heresy, or apathy.

Instead of saying, “Go and sin no more” what Our Lord really meant was “Go and know that I really love you no matter what.”

[The Ugly]

The Latin Mass elevates the senses, transcends the mind from the immediate, the social, the physical limitations of this earthly world and challenges the mind to confront the future with optimism, eagerness, courage in the face of daunting odds, impossible tasks, awesome challenges, and the hope of heaven. Heaven not as an automatic default, a rut that everyone falls into, a place where Hitler, Saddam Hussein and Judas are holding hands and singing Kumbaya.

Hope for heaven. Use all the weapons in the arsenal of the Faith. The Rosary, the Mass, the lives of the Saints, knowledge of the Faith, seeking the examples of like minded Catholics. Don't let the criticisms of the narrowminded, the anti-intellectual, the fearful keep you from worshipping God, reverently, mysteriously, and wholeheartedly.

Ne is the earth the lesse, or loseth ought,
For whatsoeuer from one place doth fall,
Is with the tide vnto an other brought:
For there is nothing lost, that may be found, if sought.

The Faerie Queen by Edmund Spenser


Lily said...

I have in my stack of books to read (the ever increasing stack) a book called 'The New Faithful, Why Young Adults are Embracing Christian Orthodoxy' by Colleen Carroll. I am very interested to read this one, but I don't know when I'll get to it. I think the youth of today have the benefit of being able to look back through recent history and make judgments for themselves about what is good and what is ugly. They are very intelligent, and given the information they need to make informed judgments will often surprise us with their acuity.

Apollyon said...


Ken said...

1.The young in this generation have lived with the consequences of the anti-Traditionalism (sacred and secular) of their parents, and they are finding it hollow, and corrupting.

2.The 2nd comment left by "apollyon" links to a rotten anti-Catholic slack-jaw heretic blog.

Anonymous said...

FYI, you should fix the title to your blog. On gooogle it shows as just a period.

Sanctus Belle said...

Mary, excellent post. I was a small child in the 70's. My parish was very modern in architecture, I remember felt banners and of course all my CCD courses were mushy-feel-goodie-sing-songie stuff. My very first memory of Mass was a young man with long hair and beard sitting on a chair in front of the altar singing and strumming a guitar. Needless to say I along with my family left the church shortly following my first communion.

By the grace of God I "reverted" in my 30's and now nothing even comes close to satisfying my thirst for solemnity, reverence and piety than the Latin Mass. Its not the Latin, not the "oldness" and not some misguided love for things gone and long ago....its the orientation of the Tridentine Rite toward Jesus in the tabernacle and the piety that goes with it. Its a formal and beautiful lifting of the mind and soul toward somethings GREATER than us. A hippie modern music celebration of "community" does not lift the soul but rather mires it in the ugliness of this world. God save us from more "modernity"!

Ok, I've forgotten the purpose of my comment :) Oh yeah, just to say I'm one of those who grew up "new" and thirst in agony, crying with parched lips for the "old" that gives greater glory to God and brings me closer to His Majesty. Amen+

crusader88 said...

You have everything quite correct. For me, the thing which guided me to Traditionalism is the unwillingness of Modernists to defend even those doctrines we agree on from the secularists.

Just today, I read this comical attempt to refute the Western concept of God on the ex-Muslim oriented Faith Freedom website. The only reason such illogical opinions (or mistaken concepts of logic itself) are not publicly scorned is the cowardice of mainstream Christianity.

Those faithful educated at public schools, and at most parochial schools, are imbued with the Masonic ideas of "tolerance" and "live and let live", not brotherly compassion of love of Truth (which the Faith Freedom founder claims to have, but he also claims the proofs of God are illogical while stating he doesn't need to explain himself. We Catholics have innumerable theologians to examine and refute all the errors we don't have time for). That is another strength of Traditionalism: we are so grounded in the Faith that rhetoric falls as harmlessly by our ears as dead, wieghtless leaves at our feet. Our ability to use reason correctly terrifies unbelievers.

A Replacement for Herself said...

One of the reasons that the young seek out the "old Mass" is that for them it is not old - it's new and the young are forever seeking after novelty.
What is so important about a liturgy that was introduced to deal with a particular problem at a particular time? It's not even the most traditional. Early Christians would have recognised the current rite but wouldn't do so with the Tridentine Rite.

Raindear said...

Nice post Mary! The indult I attend is packed with young families and college students. In contrast, my younger sister recently attended a NO daily Mass and the handful of elderly folk in the pews marveled and rejoiced at the rare sight of a young person in church.

Anonymous said...

I am coming to this post very late, I realize that, however, I wanted to say, as a young man of 35, you captured my sentiments perfectly. I began attending TLM in 1991 when I was 16 years old!--by myself, I might add. People thought I was nuts, I mean really, really nuts.

I dropped out of our NO parish confirmation class because it consisted of nothing more than movie nights at the rectory, pizza parties and mixers/dances with other parish youth, all run by a priest who ran around in bicycle shorts, a tight t-shirt and a bandana on his head. He, of course, left the priesthood in 1997...

Anyway, I just wanted to thank you so much for this post and to confirm, as a young person, the reasons you give are the reasons I began attending TLM.
+God's blessings to you!