(Catholic Conference Centre: Catholic Mass arrangement removed and covered-up, for Buddhist worship.)
As Catholics is it acceptable to accommodate other faiths as we do with our own faith - to treat our Faith as the same as other faiths? To make this point clear, we should ask ourselves, what is the purpose of our faith? To save our own soul, and to save other souls.
WITNESS was made aware of a Catholic conference centre where Mass is celebrated on a regular basis. Only recent the centre has allowed Buddhists to use the facilities for worship. After talking with a few members of the Catholic community, it becomes apparent that this news, was quite common knowledge. The majority did not seem to agree with this - that this was their place of worship, not other faiths. While the minority took the impression that it "pays the bills", and that the priest in charge can do as he see fit. It must be noted that the whole property was purchased and built by the Catholic community through their generous donations. While dialogue will be likely needed for a positive outcome for this Catholic community. Let's leave that up to the shepherd and his sheep..
Having said that, what are the broader implications? The following Latin maxim tells us how we do one thing, affects how we do other things, and vice versa. So how we live, will actually effect how we believe, and how we worship...This applies also when we accommodate other faiths, the same way we accommodate our own Faith. It is like having one facility for two different sports. Sure they are different but maybe, just maybe, we'll try out the other sport and who knows we might even like it and never go back.
Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi.
What about following.., what is the Gospel teaching us? How seriously do we follow it, and act on it?
"If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them. Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work."
As stated, at the heart of our Faith is to save our soul and the souls of others. Surely accomodating other faiths is not the way to go?
"There is nothing colder than a Christian who is not concerned for the salvation of souls."
Seriously - we are called to love our neighbour, but the real problem arises when we do not know our Faith enough, or we do not believe in our Faith enough, or even love our Faith enough to supersede other faiths and to actually love our neighbour. We want to save our own souls by doing good to our neighbours, but do we really want to save our neighbour's soul also?
With all due reverence, where is it? Where is the 'all due' reverence to God in the New Mass?
There is one thing that advocates of the New Mass do not care to focus too much on, something they know they cannot compete with the Old Mass. Perhaps, it is not their primary goal at all - that is the 'all due' reverence to God. For if the New Mass was to focus on all due reverence to God it will look something very much like the Old Mass. However that is not the goal of the New Mass. Let's try to prove it.
The goal of the New Mass is the welcoming of each other; it is focused more for the people, instead of for God. If we randomly chose a few people off the streets and took them to both the Old and New Mass, and ask them which one seem more "reverent" and which one seem more "welcoming", we would be able to predict their responses fairly accurately. So why is this? It's because that's the intended purpose of both the Old and New Mass.
One Mass clearly focuses on all due reverence to our Lord, the other is focuses on welcoming the people. So in a way it depends on what you want to focus more on, our Lord or the people. Remember we are not just talking about showing reverence to God, we are talking about showing "all due" reverence to God.
The moment a priest from the New Mass realizes this and tries to change the focus on giving more reverence to God, he will face strong opposition. Why? Because the New Mass is not build for that... That's the evidence, that's the proof.
While advocates of the New Mass keep on saying 'we can never go back', but why? Does God not deserve our all due reverence to Him?
The faithful will always seek out what is righteous, and they will give back what is owed to God.
Ad Orientem: Are we really waiting for Christ's return? Let's hope so...
Let's make a simple case for Ad Orientem, and leave the rest to the Holy Spirit.
"For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be."
"Keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life."
"For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;"
"Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks."
[Let us be honest: when we are eagerly waiting, we are more likely to be facing the door, than sitting together facing each other. This sense of eagerness for Christ to return should be most relevant at Mass than any other times in our daily lives; for we are together as part of the Mystical Body of Christ. So why does the priest and the people need to face each other and not to the east? Has our sense of eagerness been lost for Christ's return? ]
Catechism of the Catholic Church
III. CHRIST OFFERED HIMSELF TO HIS FATHER FOR OUR SINS
Christ's whole life is an offering to the Father
606 The Son of God, who came down "from heaven, not to do [his] own will, but the will of him who sent [him]",413 said on coming into the world, "Lo, I have come to do your will, O God." "And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."414 From the first moment of his Incarnation the Son embraces the Father's plan of divine salvation in his redemptive mission: "My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work."415 The sacrifice of Jesus "for the sins of the whole world"416 expresses his loving communion with the Father. "The Father loves me, because I lay down my life", said the Lord, "[for] I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father."
[Yes - it's the offering of Christ TO the Father, NOT to us but for us. Notice with ad orientem we face "to" the Father (eastwards) not "to" the people. That is the focus - to the Father.
Too many people who do not like ad orientem say they want to see the priest, to see Christ. So if the priest is Christ would Christ not want to look to the Father? After all the offering is to the Father, not to us but for us.
So why is it not suitable for us to face along with Christ to the Father? Let us appreciate the Mass for what it really is - the offering of Christ to His Father, for our salvation. Appreciate the significance of Christ's love, His offering to His Father.]
If we are to wait, let us wait eagerly, and if we are to "look forward" (Nicene Creed), let us look forward to the east. If we are to celebrate Christ's glory, let it be the offering of Christ to His Father and not to us, but for us... Let us not look to each other but to the east, to the coming of Christ, to where God is.
If the Mass is literally heaven on earth how can ordinary Catholics come to understand this?
Perhaps we should first ask what is the most important part that happens at Mass?
It is the words of Consecration, "This is my body... This is my blood..." Yes transubstantiation happens - when bread and wine become the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ, what we call the Eucharist, the "Real Presence" of Christ. This is why the CCC 1324 says that The Eucharist is "the source and summit of the Christian life." - it is Christ Himself.
Also since we all are part of the mystical body (Church) of Christ - "the communion of saints"; we all celebrate the Christ's Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, this includes those in heaven - the Saints and Angels.
So if God is with us at the Mass along with the Saints and Angels where is heaven exactly? Most people have heard the saying, 'heaven is where God is'. They imply God in the spiritual form, like around us or in our hearts.., so is that heaven? This may be true in a spiritual sense, but what's the difference between spiritual sense with heaven and God at the Mass? Yes God is really present, body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ. So what does this say about this heaven.
What about heaven on earth? If we look to the Bible, it mentions several times about heaven as the throne, and earth as a footstool. One verse mentions: 'This is what the LORD says: Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be?' ~ Isaiah 66:1
At Adoration we come to adore the Eucharist in the monstrance, which is called the throne for God. So heaven is the throne of Christ here on earth, and earth is the footstool. Can we make the connection now? Heaven is present at the Mass because God is present. His is present at the Mass, present in monstrance throne at Adoration, present in resting place in the tabernacle. We don't see heaven because God is veiled. We only have our faith in His Real Presence and of heaven.
Through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, God invites us to celebrate His great glory, in heaven on earth. We believe it! Treat the Mass, the tabernacle, the monstrance, the sanctuary with great reverence, because where God is on earth, heaven is. Literally.
This is the Prayer that was taught by the Angel of Peace to the three children at Fatima in 1916. How fitting is this prayer for us to pray for those who do not believe in God, and even more so do not believe in the Eucharistic God. For the Eucharist is sole means of Salvation. How thankful are we who believe and receive our Lord. How much reverence is due to Him at Holy Communion.
My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You!
I ask pardon of You for those who do not believe,
do not adore, do not hope and do not love You.
Jesus Is On The Floor
Al: Catholic, learning and thankful.