My Call as a Priest in 2017

My Call as a Priest in 2017

A parishioner clicked off this photo from the choir loft this weekend. Yes, this is a Novus Ordo.

We continue to do our best to eliminate anything from the Novus Ordo that was added by Bugnini or others. There are limitations, and I continue to make no move without, first, checking with Bishop Morlino. I am merely an appendage of the Bishop.

The fruits are countless. Among the many fruits, the greatest is a congregation who places faith in God as their “primary vocation.”

I believe my mission, as a priest in 2017, is to offer the Novus Ordo Mass in its purest form, while offering the Traditional Latin Mass on Sundays, as well. The goal is to get people to heaven. If this is not my central focus, as a priest, I am in the wrong profession. This means helping them to become detached from the deadly bondage of the world, of sin and of the devil. Awe-inspiring, God-centered Masses can, in many ways, jolt people out of these attachments, inspiring them to turn their lives “totally” over to God.

People are free to debate me on this topic, but I believe we need to “meet people where they are at,” and do our best to coax them out of a lifetime of casual, entertainment focused, man-centered Masses by offering, first, this sacred and God-centered Novus Ordo Mass that is not altogether foreign to the Mass they are accustomed to.

In my experience, I have seen a kind of knee-jerk aversion to the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM). While this is not the case in 100% of those I have witnessed, it is mostly true to be so. It is what it is. However, I have also witnessed another beautiful phenomenon. I have witnessed many, who may have originally been reluctant to attend a TLM, become more and more open to it with each passing day they are immersed in the way we offer the Novus Ordo Mass at St. Mary of Pine Bluff.

I know there are those who want to abolish the Novus Ordo Mass. I seem to hear this, mainly, from TLM “newbies.” I believe this is because they may still carry some of their worldly attachments – mainly, pride – with them, as they are being transformed, daily, by this more profound experience of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. As a result of these worldly attachments, they still possess a desire to count themselves among an “elite class” who are “better than” those who don’t know what they know.

Of course, Jesus railed against this attitude the most (i.e., Scribes and Pharisees), because, instead of being an “attractive community,” these smug and snobby folks make the community repulsive to others. Fortunately, this elitism does not seem to be pervasive among those who attend the Traditional Latin Mass. If it were, they would remain a tiny, obscure fringe group that would never become mainstream in the Catholic world. They would be left to their own smug little group.

Yes, I would love it if the Vatican said, today, that the Traditional Latin Mass is the only Mass from now on, but that does not seem likely, and it is out my control. What I can control is my approach to my call as a priest in 2017. And that, I believe, is to gently coax souls away from worldly attachments, and into the arms of our Lord. I need to do my best to get people to heaven.

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