March 21, 2013 – Feast of St. Benedict
Today being the feast of St. Benedict, my thoughts turn to the richness of the sacred liturgy and it’s importance in my life. And incidentally, God bless Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI who did so much for the official prayer of the Church during his pontificate.
I’m a fan of Father Z. Years ago I started reading his blog regularly because the sacred liturgy is my “thing” if you will, and the original title of his blog was “What Does the Prayer Really Say?”. He has taught me a great deal over the years, not just about the liturgy (both forms of the Latin rite), but about the world and other cultures, too. A lot of what he wrote about the fine points of Latin, all the arts, the Faith and the Church have sent me through many doors on many adventures. He introduced me to classical Chinese opera by commenting on it. Not for the faint of heart that art, as its sound and form is totally foreign to western ears and eyes, but my journey led me to appreciation of the excellent Chinese film director, Zhang Yimou and I have enjoyed many of his works.
You’d be hard put to find someone more well-rounded and broadly educated than Father Z, to say nothing of his facility with languages. Reading Father Z’s blog is what being part of the universal Church is all about because he challenges us to think beyond our own neighborhood parish and life and opens our eyes to God’s many gifts to us.
This all leads up to one of my favorite posts of his. On March 18th he wrote, I Am Thinking About Those Red Shoes which is the entré to writing about what celebrating the Extraordinary Form has made him realize about his sacred priesthood.
Having been involved in the restoration of the Extraordinary Form liturgy since 1999, and having researched the entire subject including the Vatican II document, Sacrosanctum Concilium, for two years preceding that, I have met many priests who expressed almost the same thoughts as Father Z in this post. One priest in particular said to me, “It wasn’t until I started celebrating the Extraordinary Form that I finally understood what it means to be a priest.” He had been ordained for nearly 20 years and is no dummy. This experience happened to me too many times to count in my travels through the Midwest attending conferences, making retreats, on vacation, or just plain driving three hours one way to attend the Traditional Latin Mass on a Sunday.
If you are a lover of the sacred liturgy as I am, and a lover of the sacred priesthood, visit Father Z and read this post. Then think about the priests in your life who might want to consider learning the Extraordinary Form. It may very well deepen how they see their vocation which is so precious to the Church. Encourage them and support them if you can. Send them a link to this post or Father Z’s post. You will be mightily blessed because Jesus and Mary never forget the ways we show our love for priests.
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R. Now and forever!
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