Thursday, August 16, 2007
Once again, I should be writing my column, but I would much rather tell you about the wonderful celebration of the Rite of Blessed John XXIII last night at St. Joseph's Co-Cathedral. On an extremely humid night in Burlington, I thought we might have three or four hundred people at the Mass. St. Joseph's holds eleven hundred and I would guess that we had nearly one thousand people present. It was extraordinary: many young people, young families, a real cross-section. Bishop Matano really did well, preaching with great passion. His comment,"if this is what it takes to fill our Churches, so be it," has echoed around the Web, judging by a few sites I have visited. It was more than twenty years since I had last attended an Old Rite Mass, my first time as a priest in Choir. Apart from having extremely sore knees (good penance, as one of my priestly brethren pointed out) and sweating like a small suckling pig, I suddenly realized why the Holy Father has liberated this extraordinary rite from the artificial shackles imposed in the past. My insight is neither profound nor original, but it was powerfully experienced: the Old Rite is entirely TRANSCENDENT, "Sursum Corda - Lift up your hearts" - it is profoundly THEOCENTRIC, not anthropocentric. It is worship......I get the feeling things will never be the same!