You go to Mass nearly every day?

Don’t pray at Holy Mass, but pray the Holy Mass..Pope St Pius X

Well, I try to get to Mass most days..sometimes with the kids and dh..sometimes by myself.

The Holy Mass is a prayer itself, even the highest prayer that exists. It is the Sacrifice, dedicated by our Redeemer at the Cross, and repeated every day on the altar. If you wish to hear Mass as it should be heard, you must follow with eye, heart and mouth all that happens at the altar. Further, you must pray with the priest the holy words said by him in the Name of Christ and which Christ says by him. You have to associate your heart with the holy feelings which are contained in these words and in this manner you ought to follow all that happens at the altar. When acting in this way, you have prayed Holy Mass. Pope St Pius X..again

A friend asked me if I go to Mass on weekdays just to find some peace in my busy days.

Not really.

Someone else told me I am a religious zealot, because of my Mass going and my prayers. Zealot? An excessively zealous person; fanatic .Synonym: extremist, crank, bigot.

Oh, gosh, I hope not.

This same person said maybe I go to Mass and pray because it is the only way I can live with my (apparently horrible) life.

It’s not that horrible, really. It is even fun. For the most part.

To be honest, I just go to Mass because I love God. There really is no other reason.

Do we have to go to Mass every day? Of course not.

Are there graces to be received from daily Mass and Communion. Yes. For sure. This act “identifies us with his Heart, sustains our strength along the pilgrimage of this life, makes us long for eternal life, and unites us even now to the Church in heaven, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and all the saints.” (CCC #1419)
Am I better than anyone else simply because I go to some extra masses during the week? Definitely not!

The Eucharist is to be offered to the faithful, among other reasons, “as an antidote, by which we are freed from daily faults and preserved from mortal sins”,as is brought to light in various parts of the Mass. As for the Penitential Act placed at the beginning of Mass, it has the purpose of preparing all to be ready to celebrate the sacred mysteries;even so, “it lacks the efficacy of the Sacrament of Penance”…

For “no Christian community is built up unless it is rooted in and hinges upon the celebration of the Most Holy Eucharist”. Hence it is the Christian people’s right to have the Eucharist celebrated for them on Sunday, and whenever holydays of obligation or other major feasts occur, and even daily insofar as this is possible. Redemptionis Sacramentum
You know, it is easy to be a minimalist with our Faith. To do just the minimum required by the Church, to do the minimum to hopefully get to heaven and avoid hell.
In my dry, arid, aching spritual periods, like when I first moved to Sydney and was cynical and a bit cowed by judgement, well, then I tend towards minimalism.
Yet I know, deep down, somewhere in my intellect and in my soul, that the externals affect our interior soul. That, even if I feel desolate spiritually, I can still practice my Faith, still go often to Mass, pray, read the Scriptures and my missal, pray the Rosary..and this practice of my Faith makes the interior disposition match the exterior activity.
Eventually. Through the grace of God. And, in my case, through the serendipitious moving from Adelaide, to Sydney, to our current parish, the Conventual Franciscans, who have helped. Helped without their knowledge. By their prayers, their works, their example, their faith.
And their Masses.
So, I try to go to daily Mass. It is practice for heaven. Every Catholic Mass is participation in the liturgy of heaven. At Mass, we are present with those who have gone before us, with the saints and angels who all join Jesus as He offers His sacrifice on the cross for us . Honestly, it is of eternal importance for us to be there as often as we can.
As often as we can.
The Church is understanding in this regard and so I try not to be stricter than the Church, try not to be a Mass Nazi, making everyone go to Mass with me every day.
But I still try to go. Myself.
As the Ironic Catholic puts it, on the blog of the same name ~ Why Go To Daily Mass?

It’s kind of like facebook with God, the angels, and the saints

Pray the Mass

Friday was the feast of Pope St Pius X. 1835 – 1914.

St Pius X encouraged frequent reception of the Eucharist by the laity. He codified Catholic doctrines to inspire conformity in the church and rejected modernism .He was a pastoral pope, encouraging personal piety and a lifestyle reflecting Christian values.

The words of St Pius X that I often remember, however, are Pray the Mass.

When we pray the Mass with the priest we have active participation in the Mass, what Pope Pius XI called “active participation in the Eucharistic Sacrifice.”

What is meant by active participation? Well, there is both external and internal participation.

Both forms of participation are present in Mass in the Extraordinary Form, the Latin Mass.

Internal? Mass can be so busy with externals, with apparent active participation,that one has no time to pray. The Latin Mass, however, has a sense of mystery and awe that gives participants a time to pray silently and understand the reality of the Mass.

The traditional Latin Mass has taught me that real participation at Mass does not mean only external activity; genuine participation can also be interior and requires silence. Just as an athlete or student needs quiet to prepare, work, and study, in order to focus fully on the task at hand, so do we need silence to focus fully on God and our presence before Him.

There is time for meditation, and this offers an opportunity for contemplation. I can read my missal, I can prepare before Mass by looking at the readings, at the liturgical calendar, by praying the prayers of the Mass. I can understand the rubrics of the Mass, the parts of the Mass, the the meanings ~ and pass these onto my children.

Mass in the Extraodinary Form gives me time, quiet, to do these things, to pray, to think, to listen to that small still voice, the voice of God. I forget about my daily concerns and am brought towards the sacred. It inspires a sense of awe; as I said in an earlier post, it teaches me about God and the Faith, is is catechesis in action.

So, the interior side of active participation means the interior participation of all the powers of the soul in the mystery of Christ’s sacrificial love. Participation is something interior; it means that my mind and heart are awake, alert and engaged.

Active participation also involves exterior action: saying things and doing things. In other words, the gestures and sacred signs we use in the course of the Mass.

But to talk of exterior and interior participation like this also implies that the two are separate. They are not.

There is a relationship between soul and body in liturgical prayer.There really is unity of being. Unity of body and soul. Unity of the interior man and the exterior man. As St. Irenaeus said ~ Man fully alive; integrating mind, soul and body into the unity of what the human person is called to be.

Interior preparation, prayer, silence, meditation and contemplation. Reading our missals before and during Mass. Praying, not saying, not ignoring, the words of the Mass, not watching as a bystander or as a member of an audience expecting to be entertained.

Exterior participation, sacred signs and gestures. Making the sign of the cross devoutly, according to the rubrics of the Mass, remembering that the cross is our hope. Standing, kneeling, genuflecting. Holding our hands together, self control in body stance and body language, recalling where we are, why we are there, what we are listening to during Mass. Active listening, listening with full attention, with concentration, with effort.

As an aside ~ my famous line, to my kids, when I am telling them to stand and sit properly during Mass – You are not at a picnic! The kids tease me about this continually!

Exterior participation can mean something as simple as the symbolic beating of the breast during the Confiteor. The rubric for this gesture ~ He strikes his breast three times, saying: mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

We remember our sins. The exterior action recalls to our mind , to our souls, our sinfulness, our sorrow for sins. This is active participation, mind, body, soul. Pope Pius XII said that the overriding sin of our twentieth century is a loss of the sense of sin. As we participate fully in the Latin Mass, it is impossible to forget this sense of sin, and impossible to forget our salvation in Christ.

Indeed it is very necessary that the faithful attend the sacred ceremonies. Not as if they were outsiders or mute onlookers, but let them fully appreciate the beauty of the liturgy and take part in the sacred ceremonies, alternating their voices with the priest and choir, according to the prescribed norms. Mediator Dei, Pope Pius XII

And so we sing in Mass, we participate in the hymns, in the responses during Sung Masses, perhaps in Chant.

Active participation in Mass is not new. It is something the faithful have aways been called to, and while actively praying the Mass, we find our hearts and minds are lifted up to God. It is more eaily achieved, I find, within the solemn prayers of the Latin Mass.

Pope Pius X called for active participation in his motu proprio, Tra le sollecitudini, published in 1903, ~ the faithful assemble to draw that spirit from its primary and indispensable source, that is, from active participation in the sacred mysteries and in the public and solemn prayer of the Church.

In his encyclical Mediator Dei in 1947, Pope Pius XII insisted that true participation was not merely external but consisted in a baptismal union with Christ in His Mystical Body, the Church.

In 1958, the Sacred Congregation of Rites issued the instruction, De musica sacra, which distinguished several qualities of participation:

The Mass of its nature requires that all those present participate in it, in the fashion proper to each.
a)This participation must primarily be interior (i.e., union with Christ the Priest; offering with and through Him).
b) But the participation of those present becomes fuller (plenior) if to internal attention is joined external participation, expressed, that is to say, by external actions such as the position of the body (genuflecting, standing, sitting), ceremonial gestures, or, in particular, the responses, prayers and singing . . .
It is this harmonious form of participation that is referred to in pontifical documents when they speak of active participation (participatio actuosa), the principal example of which is found in the celebrating priest and his ministers who, with due interior devotion and exact observance of the rubrics and ceremonies, minister at the altar.
c) Perfect participatio actuosa of the faithful, finally, is obtained when there is added sacramental participation (by communion).
d) Deliberate participatio actuosa of the faithful is not possible without their adequate instruction

So, to my friend who made the comment about not liking the Latin Mass because there is no participation, I say – pray the Mass, learn about the Mass, actively listen during Mass, allow the prayers and music and silence to bring you to God.

Hey, start by going to a Latin Mass before making a judgement! ..I think I will invite her..again..

To defend the old rite is not the same as being a worshiper of ancient times; it is to be eternal

To defend the old rite is not the same as being a worshiper of ancient times; it is to be eternal.

A quote. A quote Greg and I have read today, have liked, have discussed.

A quote from Mons. Domenico Bartolucci.

A quote in support of the “traditional” liturgy, what we now tend to call Mass in the Extraordinary Form.

I have written about liturgy before, some examples being here, and here.

Or, this post, or this and this.

Thus, reading the above interview gave me nuggets of hope, quotes to share, ideas to consider once again.

I told a friend, recently, about our praying at a Latin Mass on the Vigil of the Assumption. Her response was to say that she didn’t like the Latin Mass ( she hasn’t attended one! Ever!). Her reason? There would be no participation. ( What the #*#*?)

But there is participation. In the prayer. In the sacred music. In communion with Our Lord, with all the saints.

To quote from the interview ~ I know how participation in old times was like, both in Rome, in the (St. Peter’s) Basilica and outside it, for instance down here in Mugello, in this parish, in this beautiful countryside, which was then populated by people strong in faith and full of piety. During Sunday Vespers the priest could just start singing “Deus in adiutorium meum intende” and thereafter fall asleep on his seat to wake up only at the “chapter”, the peasants would have continued alone and the heads of the family would have intoned the antiphon!

But how does one understand the liturgy in Latin? There are missals to follow. Repeated attendance breeds familiarity with the rubrics, the prayers, the music. The liturgy tends to lift one’s soul and mind. It is catechesis in action.

As the Msgr. says ~ Dearest friends, have you never read Saint Paul: “It is not important to know anything but what is necessary”, “it is necessary to love knowledge ad sobrietatem”


MEMORARE, O piissima Virgo Maria

REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary…..

St. Bernard of Clairvaux composed this prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary, this prayer known as The Memorare .

MEMORARE, O piissima Virgo Maria, non esse auditum a saeculo, quemquam ad tua currentem praesidia, tua implorantem auxilia, tua petentem suffragia, esse derelictum. Ego tali animatus confidentia, ad te, Virgo Virginum, Mater, curro, ad te venio, coram te gemens peccator assisto. Noli, Mater Verbi, verba mea despicere; sed audi propitia et exaudi. Amen.

Many years ago, we memorised it in Latin as a family. My kids of homeschool age at that time used the prayer for copywork.

On memorising prayers, especially in Latin ~ Pope Benedict XVI urged Catholics around the world to memorize the most common Catholic prayers in Latin. Learning the prayers in Latin as well as in one’s own language “will help Christian faithful of different languages pray together, especially when they gather for special circumstances,”…
“Latin, for centuries the vehicle and instrument of Christian culture, guarantees not only continuity with our roots, but remains as relevant as ever for strengthening the bonds of the unity of the faith in the communion of the church.”
Pope Benedict XVI, 2005

Copywork ~ copying quotes or passages ~ By selecting wholesome works that exhibit the best in eloquence and style, you bring to your child the beauty of …language, and help him to develop a love of reading, writing, and learning. In choosing works containing relevant content, you can also reinforce lessons from across the curriculum; any course of study can be the subject of copywork. Use copywork to reinforce Biblical values, catechism verses, and character-building lessons; pick historical documents and speeches to make the past come alive. Enliven foreign language study by including foreign literature as copywork. Help a child learn what scientists, artists, musicians, architects, and poets thought, and how they interpreted their times. Give children the diaries and writings of kings and commoners, so they can understand how they lived. All of these are wonderful fodder for copywork. Copywork – Charlotte Mason


To sleep, perchance to dream

As Hamlet would say..Aye, there’s the rub!

The rub being what it is one dreams of…Hamlet was talking of eternal rest but I am talking ordinary, daily sleep . Finding it to be too dream-y.

Too dream-y?

Have you ever had a recurring dream? A dream, that when one is asleep and dreaming seems real, and one wakes up, startled, only to eventually realise that the experience was just a dream. And, freakily enough, not only a dream but a dream you have dreamed before.
I woke up at one forty-five this morning, sobbing. I started. I breathed a sigh of relief as I remembered that the memories were only of a dream. Virtual, not real life.


Then I had a cold shiver moment, as I remembered that the events of the dream were the same events if a dream two days ago, and of a dream last week.

Different nights, different people in my dream, but the same circumstances. The same room, the same corridor, the same physical abuse..but each dream had different people hurting me.

Real people, not dream people, people I know in real life, each doing the same thing but different people each dream.

Very freaky.

The kids and I have discussed weird dreams, recurring dreams, had a laugh about some of their dreams.

Everything, even dreams, can be an unschooling moment, you know!

I think we dream so we don’t have to be apart so long. If we’re in each others dreams, we can be together all the time. Hobbes, from Calvin and Hobbes

We love the comic Calvin and Hobbes! Anthony learned to read, at ages four to five, on Calvin and Hobbes ( and Snoopy and the computer game Civilization and those old Ladybird readers..).

Greg, Thomas and I laughed at the above quote. So funny, so cute!

But I certainly don’t want to spend more time with those people in my dreams! Ouch!

Anyway, this recurring dream has sent us on a little rabbit trail on quotes on dreams, how dreams work, psychology, Shakespeare…


What Saint said that?

When times go bad
When times go rough
Won’t you lay me down in the tall grass and let me do my stuff?
Fleetwood Mac, Secondhand news

Listening to Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours album yesterday, one of my happy albums.

And I thought of changing the chorus above ~

When times go bad
When times go rough
Won’t you quote St Francis de Sales and let him do his stuff?

Well, I hope that is not too irreligious.

Our family has a thing for St Francis de Sales and the many quotes attributed to him.

Saint Francis de Sales 1567 – 1622 was Bishop of Geneva . He was an accomplished preacher. He is known also for his writings on the topic of spiritual direction and spiritual formation, particularly Introduction to the Devout Life. St Francis de Sales was the spiritual director of St Jane de Chantel, founder of the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary, a religious order for women. I used to have a bit of a mis-trust of St Jane whilst liking St Francis and the two did not seem to go together in my mind ~ but, in recent years, I think I have come to understand St Jane and her choices better.

Quotes from St Francis de Sales?

Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength.

Can I be both strong and gentle?

Friendships begun in this world will be taken up again, never to be broken off.

Very apt.

The test of a preacher is that his congregation goes away saying, not ‘What a lovely sermon’ but, ‘I will do something!’

We listened to a homily like this last night..