|A great place to start - and there|
are many more words than
Thursday, June 27, 2013
Spiritual Prepping Continued
So, Michael Voris keeps saying it, and I keep saying it, and I know many agree: we – the laity – need to prepare ourselves to defend the Faith and stand by it, come what may.
The question is: what’s the best way to engage in this spiritual prepping?
In the Vortex from June 25, Michael Voris said that the laity must
…become as educated in the faith as possible – change the way we live our lives so that immersing ourselves in the faith becomes the number one goal of our day – to preserve the integrity of the faith…
But how do we go about “immersing ourselves in the faith”? Well, I would suggest that one way is to attend daily Mass…in the extraordinary form. However, the problem here is that for many of us, a daily EF Mass is simply not an option. So, will the Novus Ordo Mass do? Generally speaking, I would suggest that it will not do. A priest who has quite a bit of pastoral experience and who says both forms of the Mass on a regular basis has told me that he doesn’t believe that the Novus Ordo, in general, is capable of forming Catholic disciples of the Lord Jesus who are able to resist the lure of today's secular culture. In a way, that is quite an indictment!
This same priest also pointed out to me that the EF Mass is more “difficult” than the Novus Ordo Mass, and today often involves inconvenience: availability, travel, scorn from others, etc. However, he suggests that perhaps these difficulties and inconveniences contribute, even just at the human level, to a better formation of strong Catholics. Certainly those who want to attend the EF Mass often learn to make sacrifices!
Making a spiritual communion is a way to overcome the lack of an EF Mass, though. And I find it edifying to read through the prayers of the usus antiquor, just as if I’m at Mass. To me, it seems that those prayers contain much of our faith that has been jettisoned in the prayers of the Novus Ordo. The EF Mass is much more a part of Catholic tradition than the NO Mass is, and as such, it has much to offer us both intellectually and spiritually.
If you’ve never (or rarely) been to an EF Mass, I challenge you to make an effort to begin attending one, at least now and then, if at all possible. I believe it will change you, change your perspective on the faith, even if you are a pretty solid (real) Catholic right now. (See my post “7 Reasons Why You Should NOT Go to the TLM” to see 7 reasons why you really should).
If you are not a regular EF Mass attendee, I suggest you actually study it a bit. By that I mean that you can buy the Latin-English booklet, and you can watch EF Masses on You Tube. The training videos that the FSSP (and others) have put out for priests and seminarians is also a good way for the laity to learn about the Mass. (Go here to see a long list of training videos available on You Tube.)
What else can we do to begin to immerse ourselves in the faith? Well, the Mass is the “source and summit” of our Christian life, so daily Mass attendance is important. The Mass is the greatest public prayer of the Church; but let’s not forget the second most important public prayer of the Church – the Divine Office, or the Liturgy of the Hours.
Priests and deacons are required to say the Office daily. There’s a good reason for that. It immerses one in the prayer life of the Church! A major point, historically, of the Divine Office was to keep the scriptural prescription to “pray without ceasing”. The hours of the day are sanctified by the Divine Office; it keeps us focused on our Catholic pilgrimage, and redirects our steps continually toward our heavenly homeland. You can buy the books, or you can find the Office online. Go here for the “old” Divine Office, in Latin and English (actually, there are several “old” versions on that site to choose from). If you aren’t praying the Divine Office now, you might start by praying Vespers after (or before) your evening meal, and Compline before you retire for the night. Add in Lauds (morning prayer) after a bit. Pray Sext (noon prayer) on your lunch break. Fit it in as you can. It’s worth it.
Of course, there are other means of immersing ourselves in the faith. A good starting point would be to orient one’s reading and studying toward getting back to the basics…because so many of us were never taught the basics in the first place. A commenter on this blog suggested:
Aside from the Traditional Mass (if you're so lucky), the Rosary and daily prayer, the trusty Baltimore Catechism read daily can't be too highly recommended for those Catholics like myself that either were woefully formed and/or are subjected to having to worship on Sundays at a Novus Ordo Mass.
She is so right! But I think we’ll delve into the possibilities there in another post.
And let me remind you that ChurchMilitant.TV has great programming that will edify and enlighten you as you begin (or continue) your spiritual prepping.