Category Archives: Liturgy

Where Two or Three are Gathered in My Name: New or Old Order of the Mass?

Today, in the Gospel readings, we heard the Lord Jesus Christ say,

“…Again, amen, I say to you,
if two of you agree on earth
about anything for which they are to pray,
it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father. 
For where two or three are gathered together in my name,
there am I in the midst of them.” [cf, Matt 18:15-20]

The Haydock Bible Commentary on verses 19 and 20 states:

Ver. 19. That if two of you. From these words, we learn how superior is public to private prayer. The efficacy of the former is attributed to the presence of Christ in those assemblies. The Father, for his Son’s sake, will grant petitions thus offered. Jans. — The fervour of one will supply for the weakness and distractions of the other.

Ver. 20. There am I in the midst of them. This is understood of such assemblies only, as are gathered in the name and authority of Christ; and in unity of the Church of Christ.S. Cyprian, de Unitate Ecclesiæ. Ch. — S. Chrysostom, Theophylactus, and Euthymius explain the words in his name, thus, assembled by authority received from Christ, in the manner appointed by him, or for his sake, and seeking nothing by his glory. Hence we may see what confidence we may place in an œcumenical council lawfully assembled. T. S. Greg. lib. vii. Regist. Epist. cxii.

So, let’s bring this Church teaching into the confusion brought on by the motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum in light of the express liturgical reform requirements of the constitution, Sacrosanctum Concilium

On the surface, it appears that there is quite a dichotomy between those of the Faithful who docilly adhere to the Novus Ordo Missae (New Order of the Mass) and those others who adhere to the Vetus Ordo Missae (Old Order of the Mass).

Novus Ordo Missae Adherents: These choose Substance (the Real Presence of the Lord re-presented) over form (of the Mass) and orient their personal wills in an attitude of docile obedience to the Holy Spirit which guides the Church, i.e., toward a new form of the Mass – one which reformed the Vetus Ordo. These truly do respond to the authority of Jesus Christ in the Church in the most direct and pure way.

Vetus Ordo Missae Adherents: These choose form over Substance, demanding the original, pre-Ecumenical Council, non-reformed Vetus Ordo over the Substance of the Mass. These are not so concerned about docilly obeying the Holy Spirit and find it easy to doubt or reject the Lord’s direction to reform the liturgy during an Ecumenical Council. These doubt the authority of Jesus Christ in the Church in the most direct and pure way.

So, then, who are really gathered in the Name of Jesus Christ? Those who obey the teaching of an Ecumenical Council and prioritize the Lord’s own Person as more important than liturgical form? Or, those who disobey the teaching of an Ecumenical Council and prioritize the old form more than the Lord Himself – who don’t regard His presence during an Ecumenical Council to be of any bearing on their choices?

Isn’t being “in the Name” of Jesus fervently a) being obedient; b) being responsive to authority established by the Lord Himself, and c) loving God (Substance of the Mass, not form of the Mass) above all else? So, you figure it out. Who are really, with full intent, actually gathering in the Name of Jesus Christ? Who is being heard?

Our Sacrifice with Christ’s? What is It?

Love of the CrossWhat is your sacrifice, your oblation which is joined to that of Jesus Christ in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass?  Do you offer it?

I was inspired to consider this question.  I have been wandering whether I am getting through to the Lord at Mass.  Am I being heard?  What should I be offering?  What can I possibly offer here which is not already annihilated by Christ’s own inexhaustible Gift for the eternal salvation of our souls?

It came to me.

It’s not just our praise.  Men brown-nose their bosses with praise daily.  No, it is not simply praise since praise by itself is empty…empty of what it is the Lord is seeking.

What is the Lord our God seeking?  He is seeking…

FAITH. He wants us to walk in to Him truly believing in our hearts that He is real and really loves us.

HOPE. He wants us to walk in to Him truly hoping in our hearts that He has a plan for us, a plan so wonderful and fulfilling that we would nearly die of joy if we knew it in its fullness now.

LOVE.  He wants us to walk in to Him truly desiring to obey every one of His words, whether through Scripture or through Tradition, knowing that to obey Him is to do everything which is exactly right for each and every one of us.  You know, the true obedience of love takes faith and hope.

SURSUM CORDA…ET GRATES.  So, when we are at Mass, and you hear “Sursum corda!” or “Lift up your hearts!” then exclaim in your hearts, “I believe you!  I hope in your plan!  I desire to do whatever you say, Father, Son and Holy Spirit!  Speak to me!  Guide me!  Be with me!  Heal me! Refresh me in my suffering for you!  I am yours and You are Mine!  I am nothing without you. Thank you for what you are doing for me!”

Thanks be to GodThose who bring thanksgiving as their sacrifice honor me;
 to those who go the right way
I will show the salvation of God. [Psalm 50:23]

SMILE. Because we are so tempted and injured and so stressed by the world, this is our sacrifice, a sacrifice of the spirit which enjoys in us and brings our bodies along with it in a great big smile. 🙂

This is all summed up in St. Paul’s exhortation,

I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect. [Romans 12:1-2]

And after our sacrifice to and with the Lord, in the Mass, a sacrifice of joy!

This day is holy to our Lord; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. [Nehemiah 8:10]

I love You my Lord.  Why would I not? Thank You forever and ever. Amen.