07 November 2011

The Little Things, Indeed

Jill, a reader of this site, has a blog of her own.  She posted something yesterday that I really enjoyed, so much so that I wanted to post it in its entirety here.  The beauty of Catholicism, and of the Mass particularly, can be described, argued, proposed, appreciated and discussed from so many angles.  But sometimes the little things really hook you: 

The Little Things

Most readers will know that for several years now my husband and I and our boys have assisted almost exclusively at the Mass in the Extraordinary Form, also known as the Traditional Latin Mass. We have learned a great deal about our faith over the years and we continue to grow in our love for this Mass handed down to us through the centuries by Holy Mother Church. But it is so much more than 'just' the Mass. It is so much more than the Latin. It is so many things, in fact, that I'm sure a blog post won't adequately cover them all.

Therefore, I'm not going to get into detail about the prayers of the traditional Mass, or following the 'old' Liturgical Calendar, or the reverence and beauty inherent in all of the traditional Sacraments with the priestly vestments, the incense, the bells and sacred music that go along with them. Instead I will mention just one of the 'little' things that happened today.  

At St. Francis de Sales Oratory, after Mass there was a very nice display of items for sale, crucifixes, nativity scenes and other statuary made by Christians in the Holy Land. My husband and I decided to purchase a crucifix and after doing so, hastened to find one of the canons to bless it before we left.  

We found Canon Wiener and he was very pleased to do this for us, but he would have to do it in the Sacristy, and could he keep the crucifix and return it to us on Wednesday at homeschool co-op? We said of course, that would be fine. 

After talking with Canon Wiener my husband and I looked at each other, both thinking the same thing: that's never happened before! Any time in the past that we've asked a priest to bless a sacramental, he has done so on the spot, regardless of where we were. But not this time. We learned today that there is a right and proper place to bless Sacramentals, and I would bet a proper vestment as well.  

This is just another of so many little things that enrich our faith. Nothing is trivial, nothing is just by-the-way. Not that blessing Sacramentals in a crowded vestibule after church as we've experienced before makes it necessarily trivial. But certainly the extra care of time and place taken to fulfill our desire for a blessed crucifix today, for us at least, carries with it a level of importance, of reverence, that will translate into our own care for how and where we place the blessed crucifix in our home and further venerate it.  

This is what I mean by the little things. Our faith is so much bigger than we are, so much richer than we even know. And we are just overwhelmed with thanksgiving to Our Lord for His leading us to the Traditional Latin Mass community where the small things matter enough that a bigger deal is made of them than anywhere else that we've been.  

Truly we are blessed. But at the same time we grieve for that which has been lost over the past nearly 50 years since Vatican II, and for all the Catholics who have no idea what they're missing out on. These 'little' things should never have been lost. It is our Faith, that which has been handed down over the centuries. And Lord-willing and with the help of the Holy Angels and Saints, we will continue to learn and grow in this faith, through the big and little things.

God bless you!

4 comments:

Latinmassgirl said...

I had an experience of a "little thing" too at the oratory that was so special I will never forget it.

Years ago, I had just suffered my third miscarriage in a row, and was told by the then rector in the confessional to go by the Mary altar after mass and wait for a blessing for mothers who miscarried.

Expecting a quick blessing, I knelt at the communion rail in front of Mary and a different priest approached me with a book in hand and gently asked, "Do you seek a blessing?" He then proceeded to read from his prayer book a beautiful blessing in Latin which lasted several minutes, of which I could only understand about one fourth of it, but I was truly affected in my soul by the beauty. The grace that I received totally took away my severe depression.

Mother Miriam of the Lamb of God, O.S.B. said...

Beloved,

Thank you for taking the time, and the love of your hearts, to share the "little" things. They are much of what brought me into the Church - not the least of which was the picture of the faithful "taking the time" to pray and to kneel at the noon Angelus throughout pre-Reformation Europe. Our new community of religious does so now through the streets of Tulsa as we witness passers-by and some who join in break into tears at the "appearance" of the faith they once knew and loved. Each gesture says - to us and to the unbelieving - that Truth matters, that God matters - and that He is indeed here - with us and for us.

May we forever take the time - with our children, our families, friends - and enemies - to honor the little things that make up our very great faith - that faith "once delivered to the saints."
My love to you from Tulsa,
Mother Miriam of the
Lamb of God, O.S.B.

doughboy said...

Beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I will truly feel sorry for anyone who regularly reads this blog and neglected to look at the comment box today. Truly, these charming words made my day! Thanks.

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