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제목 On the 3rd Commandment - Never go to New Mass(2016-02-14)
작성자 관리자 작성일 2016-02-15



On the 3rd Commandment - Never go to New Mass(2016-02-14)


My dear brethren,
God is everywhere, yet He required in the Old Testament that certain places be consecrated to Him: the Tabernacle in the desert, and later the Temple of Jerusalem. He could be prayed and honoured everywhere, and He did give grace everywhere, yet He wanted that special prayers and sacrifices be offered to Him in this temple.


 Similarly in the New Testament, Holy Mother the Church consecrates churches to the worship of God. Though one can pray everywhere, yet these places are “houses of prayers” and many more graces are given there. Why so? Because of the Incarnation! The very Son of God came down from Heaven and took a human nature in the most pure womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who thus became like a most eminent tabernacle. He lived in certain places, and though He could be prayed everywhere, undeniably there were many more graces that were given when coming close to Him, and “touching the hem of his garments”.


  In His human nature, He is The Way to the Father, and there is no other way: “No man cometh to the Father, but by me” (Jn. 14:6). All graces pass through the Human Nature of our Lord Jesus Christ, at least through His soul and very often through His body: they were all deserved by the Sacrifice of His Body on the Cross. Hence all men need to come close to our Lord Jesus Christ, to His human nature, to His Body especially in the Holy Eucharist.


 Similarly God is eternal, yet He required that certain times be dedicated to Him. One can pray at any time, but one is required to pray at certain times, in the Old Testament on the Sabbath day, in the New Testament on Sunday, the “Day of the Lord”. There are also “holy days”, such as Christmas, which are special days of graces, when God gives most abundant graces.


 Why so? Again, because of the Incarnation: these days such as Christmas, Easter, are anniversaries of what the Incarnate Word of God has done “for us men and for our salvation,” as we say in the Creed. Even the feasts of the Saints are feasts of eminent members of Christ, of His Mystical Body the Church. It is such a marvellous thing that God the Son deigned to come down on earth and redeem us by His Sacrifice on the Cross and rise again on Easter Sunday, how could we be so ungrateful and not celebrate that event? That day has been sanctified by the Incarnate Lord Himself.

 In the Old Testament, the day chosen by God to be consecrated to Him was the Sabbath, i.e. the Saturday, the last day of the week. It has a double signification: 1/ it signifies that Christ would come at the end of the Old Testament, 2/ it signifies the eternal rest promised to the Saints at the end of the world. Indeed among the Seven Days of Creation, “God rested on the Sabbath”, and there is no evening to that last “Day”, which thus signifies the Day of eternity, that has no end. Thus the Scriptures say: “Blessed are the dead, who die in the Lord. From henceforth now, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; for their works follow them” (Apoc. 14:13): in that day of eternity, they shall have “eternal rest” and “perpetual light” (no evening).

 In the New Testament, the Church sanctifies the first day of the week, the Sunday, 1/ because Christ rose from the dead on Sunday, which thus is the “Day of the Lord”, 2/ because Christ is at the beginning of the New Testament. One already finds in the New Testament itself the expression “day of the Lord” to designate the Sunday (Apoc. 1:10) and it is universally used since the very early Church. It was with the power that our Lord Jesus Christ had given to Peter “to bind and to lose” that the Apostles changed the day to be sanctified from the Sabbath to the Sunday. Those Protestants, such as the Seven Day Adventists, who pretend one should still sanctify the Sabbath, practically deny this authority which the Holy Gospels very clearly show as being given to the Apostles, and they practically deny that the Saviour has come, still observing some of the Old Testament ritual observances.


It is also very important to give the first place to God, the first place to our Lord Jesus Christ in our life: He deserves it! Because He is God and we owe all things to Him. So we give him the first day of the week.


 What are we obliged to do on Sunday? The Commandment of God says we should “sanctify” the Sunday, to make it holy, really holy. So we are obliged to pray on that day. We should pray every day, but if you miss your prayers on a Monday or a Tuesday it is not a mortal sin, but if you do not pray at all on a Sunday it is a mortal sin! Since the holiest action is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Church has a “commandment of the Church” to go to Mass on Sunday. If you have a good Mass, a Roman Catholic Traditional Mass available on Sunday, you must go there.

 If it is too far, you are not obliged to go all the way there every Sunday. How far is “too far”? St Alphonsus, doctor of the Church and specialist of moral theology, said that anything above one hour travel to go (and same back) would excuse from the obligation to go to Mass. At his time it was travel by foot, walking, which is certainly more tiring than by car… Please note that you are still bound to “sanctify” the Sunday, by special prayers: you should spend as much time in prayer as a Mass would last, which is at least 30mn. You can say the Rosary, with readings of the appropriate Sunday Mass proper, with singing (particularly recommended in family), with catechism to the children… A family living too far should sanctify the Sunday together, since “where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Mt. 18:20).

 If you can go to Mass, you should and you should arrive in time, even rather earlier to be able to go to confession, or to say the Rosary with the other parishioners, etc. To arrive late at Mass is a sin: it is a venial sin if you arrive before the creed (or the end of the gospel when there is no creed), but it would be a mortal sin if you would miss the Offertory, because it is an essential part of the Sacrifice (Offertory, Consecration and Communion).

 What if the only Masses available are scandalous, for instance due to communion in the hand and other grave lack of respect for the Blessed Sacrament, women ministers of communion, altar girls, women readers, etc. All that is opposed to the honour due to our Lord Jesus Christ, opposed to the dogma of faith concerning the priesthood reserved for men. No one is obliged to go such scandalous masses, because one must protect his faith from such danger! The commandment of the Church does not apply to such scandalous masses. You and your children will keep the faith better by sanctifying the Sunday at home, rather than going to such Masses: but then do not omit to sanctify the Sunday at home, otherwise you do sin.

 What if the Mass is the New Mass, but without those additional scandals? The advice of Archbishop Lefebvre was to avoid the New Mass, because even when not adding further scandals, it contains in itself a new spirit and orientation that goes very much in the Protestant direction: the turning around of the altar, no longer directed as an altar of sacrifice offered to God but as a meal-table towards the people; the suppression of 95% of the signs of the Cross during the Canon, of 70% of genuflexions, of the proper prayers of the Offertory, bad translations even in the holiest place such as “for you and for all” instead of “for you and for many” in the consecration itself, etc. This is not surprising since it was made by a commission that included six protestant ministers! All these reforms slowly undermine the Catholic faith. Hence the advice of Archbishop Lefebvre to avoid them: you will keep the Faith better by sanctifying the Sunday at home, provided you make the effort to go to the Traditional Mass when you can.

 What about traditional Masses not in union with Rome? If the priest is not in union with Rome, such as a Russian Orthodox priest, though he may offer a traditional (Eastern rite) Mass, one may NOT go to such Mass: this has been the constant teaching of the Church. The reason is given by St Thomas Aquinas: the Holy Eucharist is the Sacrament of unity; participating in it while rejecting that unity is to put a lie in the Sacrament, and that does offend God, offend our Lord Jesus Christ, since it offends His Bride the Church, His very Body the Church. The same applies if the priest refuses absolutely any relation with the Pope, though he may recognise him in theory: his actions deny his theoretical claim.


 The Society of St. Pius X has always rejected such position, and has always recognised the Pope: we were perfectly legally established in the Church and have never been severed from her in any valid way. This was acknowledged by Pope Benedict who said that the Traditional Mass has never been forbidden (thus acknowledging that the very reason behind the suppression of the Society of St. Pius X was invalid); he then lifted up the (invalid) sanctions against our bishops. And this status within the Church is practically recognised by Pope Francis, who gave us normal jurisdiction for confession. We are working for a proper canonical situation without any compromise in doctrine.

 There is a second obligation in this third commandment: to rest on Sundays. The rest in the Old Testament was more strictly required, because of the symbolism it had. In the New Testament, the Sunday should still be a day of rest, which means that “servile works” are not allowed on Sunday. Servile work indicate the kind of works done by slave at the time of Moses: typically all the hard physical work, such as ploughing the fields, washing the house, building work, etc.


 The Church teaches that necessary work is not forbidden: thus if there is a real necessity such as for simple daily works (cooking, washing dishes) or some unexpected necessity (e.g. a storm threatening the harvest, a tsunami…), then such work is not forbidden. Also more generally, intellectual work is not forbidden: such as students learning their lesson, or a medical doctor or an attorney, etc. It is irrelevant whether that work is paid or not. One must remember that the purpose of the rest is to be free for spiritual activity: prayer and study of the Doctrine of Christ; and also for the purpose of practicing fraternal charity: the Sunday should be a family day, when the family is more together. it is recommended for families to have some restive time together.

 For some persons, Sunday is a sport’s day: sport is not forbidden on Sunday. But beware: it must NOT take the first place, which is reserved for God. It is absolutely wrong when sport has taken the place of Mass, and God is completely out of one’s activities: it is a return to paganism, with the worship of the body like in Pagan Greece. If competitions are organised on Sunday, one must insist that God is first, and not allow the competition to take the place of Mass. The Martyrs preferred to die rather than burn a little incense to the pagans’ god.

 Sunday is also an occasion to do some good work, such as visiting the sick in hospital, or other charitable work. It is a time for teaching catechism to the children in the family: it is also good for the adults to revise their catechism or pursue some other spiritual reading.

 When a whole village, a whole city, a whole country faithfully sanctifies the Sundays, then truly Christ reigns in that village, city or country. It used to be the case in good Catholic countries in the past, not that long ago. A mere 50 years ago in Catholic countries, all businesses were closed on Sunday, the churches were full and Sundays were truly the days of the Lord, for the greater benefit of the whole people. We must bring that back first in our families, and as much as possible around us in our villages and cities.

 The holy Gospels tell us that Mary and Joseph observed the “custom of the feast.” So may the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Joseph help us always to sanctify the Day of the Lord and the holy Feast Days as faithfully as they sanctified them, so that Christ may reign in us now on earth and for ever in Heaven! Amen.

 

Fr. Laisney(SSPXASIA)