Monday, February 25, 2008

Alice von Hildebrand on Summorum Pontificum

~I know that this article was published in December, a busy time. So I thought now's a good time to make a citation. Thanks to Dr. Blosser for the reminder. He's republished the entire article on Scripture and Tradition.
Many repetitions in liturgical prayers have been abolished; they were viewed as "unnecessary." That repetitions have a profound meaning is ignored. Granted that repeating a piece of neutral information is meaningless and boring, words such as "Lord have mercy' cannot be repeated often enough. A wife once complained to me that her husband never said to her that he loved her. In a roundabout way, I tried to make him understand that she would appreciate hearing these sweet words, to which he answered, "I told her so when I asked her to marry me. She therefore knows it. Why should I repeat it?" He was missing the point. The key words in a deep human relationship are, "I love you," "Thank you" and "Forgive me." Marriages in which these words are never uttered are doomed.

Prior to Vatican II, women entering church wore a veil, whereas men took off their hats. Feminists interpreted this as a clear sign of discrimination. Now women go bare-headed like men. By allowing this change, according to the feminists, the Church is "slowly" trying to correct her ill-treatment of the female sex. But once again, a profound symbolism has been eliminated. Not only are we now disregarding a recommendation of Saint Paul, but we no longer understand its deep meaning. Because Mary, the Woman par excellence, was privileged to carry the Savior of the world in her sacred womb, and sacredness calls for veiling, women wearing a veil were reminded that their bodies have the very same structure as the one of the Theotokos. Mary has given life to the Savior; women are also "mothers of life" and this implies a unique closeness between them and the One who is the Life of the world. To be veiled indicated clearly the sacredness of the female body, and once again, this sublime message has been lost.

That girls are now allowed to serve on the altar is a manifestation of the same tendency to confuse the role of men and women in Holy Church. Women, under the nefarious influence of feminism totally forget that receptivity is their special charisma (for Mary said: "... be it done to me ...") and an essential feature of religious life. In our secularized world, only "doing" is appreciated. Silence, receptivity, contemplation are "inefficient."

Another reason why the Traditional Mass has such a powerful attraction is that it incorporates what Plato calls: "the golden chord of tradition." In a society where marriage and the family are breaking down, in which innumerable people are "uprooted," in which the "deprivation syndrome" is endemic, the awareness of participating in religious celebration that goes back for centuries, that has been the spiritual food of innumerable, cherished saints, is a powerful incentive to "feeling at home," in a deeply spiritual sense. One feels embedded in the "Communion of Saints" and experiences that saints living centuries ago are our spiritual contemporaries. Our poor prayers are joined to those of beloved saints and carried by them to God. It is such a consolation to those of us who daily feel the imperfection of their praise of God. The Traditional Mass has a note of "eternal youth" (... qui laetificat juventutem meam ...); this is why it could not die.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

God bless Mrs Von Hildebrand!

She is the smartest woman this side of the Mississippi, or any side of the Mississippi, present company excepted.

Her husband wrote one of the books that helped bring me back to the Church: "The Devastated Vineyard".

I would love to meet her some day.
Thank you for posting anything that this holy lady has written.

God bless you.