ALMS: Latin Mass on 17 Jan 2013, 6 pm at Ateneo de Manila University

Latin Mass on 17 Jan 2013, Thursday, 6 pm, at the Oratory of St. Ignatius of Loyola in Loyola House of Studies, Ateneo de Manila University

Latin Mass on 17 Jan 2013, Thursday, 6 pm, at the Oratory of St. Ignatius of Loyola in Loyola House of Studies, Ateneo de Manila University

After the RH Bill: The Age of Catacombs

Procession in the catacombs

Procession in the catacombs

Welcome to the Age of Catacombs. The Secular State is now against the Catholic Church in the Philippines. We need to prepare for a long protracted warfare for souls. This is the Year of Faith. This is my proposed battle plan:

For Priests

1. Increase devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and the Mass. Organized groups to make Holy Hours at least once a week or once a month. Encourage proper dress at mass, especially for priests. Encourage kneeling to receive communion and discourage communion in the hand. Use the Nicene Creed and kneel at the mention of Incarnation.

2. Encourage priests and seminarians to wear their cassock as a habit inside and outside the Church. If they don’t believe the idea, they can at least try it for a month and compare the reactions of people to their presence.

3. Revise the seminary formation. A priest should have read all of Summa Theologica before ordination. He must also know how to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in both ordinary and extraordinary forms. He must also be able to speak, write, and read in Latin.

For the Laity

1. Form confraternities of the holy rosary in every school and parish. UST and the Dominican schools can lead here. The Dominicans wiped out the Albigensian heresy before. They can do so again with the same tried and true method: the rosary. The members promise to say the rosary everyday, as a group if possible.

2. Revise the Religion curriculum taught in Catholic schools for K-12. The curriculum must make sure that at Grade 12, each student should have read all books of the Bible and all articles of the Catechism. They should be able to know whether a statement conforms to the teachings of the Catholic Church or not and answer True or False accordingly. Or better yet, they should be able to cite the actual passage of the Catechism.

3. Form Catholic apologetics groups in every college. A Chesterton Society used to exist in Ateneo de Manila. Debating for the sake of debating is useless unless it is done with charity, and with the purpose of conversion to the Catholic Faith.

4. Encourage more women to spend more time at home, so that they become the primary educators of their children. The formation of children should not be relinquished to house helpers. “The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.”–William Rose Wallace.

5. Encourage religious orders to analyze their histories. They should ask the following questions: “When was our order at the peak of its numbers and spiritual strength? What did we do then? When was our order at the lowest in numbers and spiritual strength? What did we do then?” By this simple exercise, the religious orders would know in a very scientific manner substantiated by history how to increase their numbers and spiritual strength.

6. Read more Papal Encyclicals and less newspapers. Read more about the history of the Catholic Church. Read the lives of Saints instead that of movie stars.

7. Read St. Ignatius’s Guide for Thinking, Judging, and Feeling with the Church.

Low Mass on 21 June 2012, 6 pm at the Oratory of St. Ignatius of Loyola

Ateneo Latin Mass Society poster for Low Mass on 21 June 2012

Ateneo Latin Mass Society poster for Low Mass on 21 June 2012

Latin Low Mass on Nov 24, 5:30-7:00 pm. at the Oratory of St. Ignatius in Loyola House of Studies

Latin Low Mass on Nov 24, 5:30-7:00 p.m. at the Oratory of St. Ignatius of Loyola

Latin Low Mass on Nov 24, 5:30-7:00 p.m. at the Oratory of St. Ignatius of Loyola

Mass without Microphones: A Glimpse of the Old Mass

Last Monday in our parish in Makati, I went to a 6:00 am mass after a short procession for the Feast of the Immaculate Concepcion. At the middle of the mass, the electrical lights and sounds turned off. The priest continued speaking, but his voice now unfamiliar, so remote, so distant, like the voice of a man shouting in the desert: “Prepare the way of the Lord. Make straight his path.” Or of Him teaching on a boat in the Sea of Galilee: “The Kingdom of God is like a net thrown into the sea….” The choir–or should I say the cantor–sung her part. But her song also sounds from afar, as if sung by angels in the heavens proclaiming the good news to the shepherds. The commentator mumbled, her voice inaudible. The candles blazed more brightly. The breeze blew.

It seemed eternity. But it was only a few minutes. Then the lights turned on, the fans hummed, the speakers blared. The mysterious turned ordinary; the heavenly, earthly. I was not in the desert, nor in the sea, nor in the upper room; I was in my seat. I sat and listened.

Before the microphone was invented, how did our ancestors celebrate mass? They use missals.

There is only one missal for the whole year; not three missals for three years as we have today. The readings may be fewer, but they are easily remembered. One side of the missal is in Latin; the other side in English. Black texts are meant to be read; red texts are directions on what to do. Everything is scripted: how the priest bows, how he raises the chalice, what silent words he address to God, what spoken words he addresses the people. So even if the altar were a hundred paces away, everybody knows what is happening.

This was the Old Mass. This was the drama before Mari Mar, the pageantry before Mutya ng Pilipinas, the musical before Miss Saigon. This was the mass of candles, bells, incense, chants; the mass of sin, mercy, atonement, sacrifice. This was the mass that was celebrated in Limasawa when Magellan set foot in the Philippines, the mass that converted the entire archipelago to the Catholic Faith, the mass that built our glorious cathedrals, the mass that made the religious orders flourish, the mass that made many saints, the mass of the masses.

In 1968 the Old Mass was forbidden and the New Mass was imposed. The old missals were thrown out and the altars were turned around. The Latin became English; the Gregorian chant, pop songs; the organ, guitar; the altar boys, girls. Statues of saints were removed, confessionals were turned to cabinets, altars were stripped bare, and tabernacles were sent to the sides. Such wanton destruction. Such utter desecration.

The New Mass needs a new church as a new wine needs a new wineskin:

    Gone were the Gothic, the Romanesque, the Baroque;
    in came the cylinder, the pyramid, the cube.
    Gone were the icon, the veil, the collar, the fast;
    in came the the stick, the bare, the lay, the crass.
    The windows were opened: “Let the fresh air in!”
    And in came the whirlwind that swept the inside clean:
    Gone were the parishioners. Gone were the priests.
    Gone were the crosses. Gone with the wind.

Let us pray for the return of the Old Mass in our parishes. Pope Benedict XVI in 2007 has allowed the celebration of the Old Mass as long as there are parishioners who ask for it and there is a priest who wish to say it; the bishop’s permission is not needed. So ask.