Latin Catholic by birth, Byzantine Catholic by the grace of God.
Pro: Restoration of the Holy and Universal Christian Roman Empire.
Caveat: The author makes no claim to being an exemplar of Catholicism or Monarchism (or blogging).
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Location: Upstate, New York, United States

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Christmas with the Latin Trads

For Christmas Mass this year, I attended a Tridentine Indult Mass, the only one currently held in my geographically large diocese. I've been there a few times, and I've always had a hard time following along, but I at least get the feeling a lot is going on.

Before getting to my point, let me preface by saying that I am not a Latin Traditionalist. I think I agree with 95% of what they have to say, and prefer the Tridentine Mass to the Novus Ordo, but I've chosen to go the Eastern route. In fact, I think it's fairer to say the Byzantine Church chose me, or that I was always Byzantine and just didn't know it. And I still prefer the Syriac Maronite Church to the Tridentine Rite. I'm lucky that I have four entirely different Catholic liturgical rites at my disposal, all less than half an hour from my house.

But I can't help but feel like I've been cheated. I grew up in a Novus Ordo parish, with all that goes with it - guitars, altar girls, lack of incense, etc, and spent a good chunk of my life as a mediocre Catholic. My churchgoing was always an intellectual exercise - I went because I knew I had to. I never got much out of it until I discovered my other options. Now that I've spent a good year trying to reorient myself in a Godly manner, in my late twenties, I'm overcoming things that may have never been an issue if I didn't grow up in such a soft, effeminate, permissive, and disoriented church. I've discovered that my alleged Catholic education certainly didn't form me in any useful way, and when I look at the sad state the Church is in worldwide, I can only wonder if a spiritual life might have been easier if I had some leadership early on.

Now, I can't stand before God and point to Vatican II and Paul VI and the Novus Ordo and blame them for my slackness, but I can't help but wonder if God is going to hold the Church leadership in any way accountable for a sorrowful lack of leadership in today's world. I think I could have done better, and been less of a mess, if I had a community of strong Catholics with which to interact. It's hard enough to be good, even with good leadership and a vibrant Catholic culture - both of which I have never had access to.


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Tuesday, December 27, 2005 6:39:00 AM  

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