Sometimes it’s just bloody hard to find the time to sit down and write something. The past little while I’ve been struggling with writers bloc AND the inability to find time.
This weekend, I’ll be providing organ accompaniment at my own parish and another in the next town over, who needs a fill-in for a few weekends. Then in two weeks, I’ve got an Anglican wedding to play at and the couple hasn’t decided on what anthems or hymns they require. I might just pick it out for them and tell them they did it and told me last month.
I’ll just say a few words on a short liturgical note, and then I’ll be off again but back tomorrow. My parish priest has begun to knit-pick at the missal, carefully changing any word he deems unfit or incomprehensible such as “disciple” or “consubstantial” or “Jesus” and replacing it with “friends” or “the same as” or “Marjory” in like manner. I’m not a theologian, but I’m almost sure that one isn’t supposed to change the prescribed formula of the Holy Sacrifice that is the Mass. It’s not Cranmer’s short services, or Wesley’s revival hour. The Church has given us, in great beauty, Her rites and traditions quite liberally for our use, according to how they are instructed to be used. If the words of consecration were up to the priest’s discretion, then I highly doubt there’d be a valid Mass said within the walls of my Church until the Lord himself comes and swoops up the man in entirety.
I guess that I have no right to say what a priest should do, but the layman has a right to access the sacraments and to be fed on the truths of Heavenly glory. That isn’t possible when Fr Paul wants to call the Precious Blood “holy wine” for fear he should act as a Catholic, denying the Blessed Virgin her full glory when he refuses to allow Her hymns during a Lady Day Mass, and refusing to hear confessions. This reminds me so, so much, the need to pray for the presbyters, but also the sisters and brothers, nuns and monks, contemplatives, active, etc who are the fuel and the keepers of our great tradition. May God Bless each and every one of them in abundance, and may every stray sheep come into the arms of that blessed and divine Shepherd that is Christ himself.
It isn’t fair to say that one is a bad priest when a man is genuinely called to the priesthood. But, like the beginnings of the Aryan heresy, sometimes not only priests but bishops as well can fall to a greator error, a confusing theology, an inaccurate ideology, straight into heresy, and so on. We mustn’t stand and point that “AH YOU APOSTATE” finger. Effective action equals effective change. Perhaps why I’m so shocked by Fr’s actions is because I’m not used to it. Before, the priests I’ve known were reverent and holy. They handled the Sacred Mysteries with care, and they always had those words to lift you up when you were struggling with this and that. We aren’t perfect, we are sinners, that’s why we need the sacraments. God knows how many times I’ve lied and deceived, cursed and swore. We’ve all done it, but we’re all forgiven if we do the proper penitence to express that we are sorry, that we understand the gravity of our sins.
So seek confession. Regularly. Spill out your soul to Christ, being represented by the man in his stole next to the screen. Listen so carefully to what your confessor tells you, because through the priest the Holy Ghost speaks as a mouthpiece. Listen to him. Write it down if need be. Do your penance, and say the Rosary to our Blessed Mother. We aren’t alone on this earth. We’ve got allies in high places.