Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Everything New Is Old Again

I read here ( the following wonderful quote from a wonderfully holy man, Dom Prosper Guéranger (

“Since the liturgical reform [i.e., the protestant rebellion of the 16th C] had for one of its principal aims the abolition of actions and formulas of mystical signification, it is a logical consequence that its authors had to vindicate the use of the vernacular in divine worship.This is in the eyes of sectarians a most important item. 'Worship is no secret matter.' 'The people,' they say, 'must understand what they sing.'Hatred for the Latin language is inborn in the hearts of all the enemies of Rome. They recognize it as the bond among Catholics throughout the universe, as the arsenal of orthodoxy against all the subtleties of the sectarian spirit. ...The spirit of rebellion which drives them to confide the universal prayer to the language of each people, of each province, of each century, has for the rest produced its fruits, and the reformed themselves constantly perceive that the Catholic people, in spite of their Latin prayers, relish better and accomplish with more zeal the duties of the cult than most of the Protestant people. At every hour of the day, divine worship takes place in Catholic churches. The faithful Catholic who attends leaves his mother tongue at the door. Apart form the sermons, he hears nothing but mysterious words which, even so, are not heard in the most solemn moment of the Canon of the Mass. Nevertheless, this mystery charms him in such a way that he is not jealous of the lot of the Protestant, even though the ear of the latter doesn’t hear a single sound without perceiving its meaning. While the reformed temple assembles, with great difficulty, purist Christians once a week, the 'Popish Church' watches unceasingly her numerous altars visited upon by her religious children; every day, they withdraw from their work to come hear those mysterious words which must be of God, for they nourish the faith and ease the pains.We must admit it is a master blow of Protestantism to have declared war on the sacred language. If it should ever succeed in ever destroying it, it would be well on the way to victory. Exposed to profane gaze, like a virgin who has been violated, from that moment on the Liturgy has lost much of its sacred character, and very soon people find that it is not worthwhile putting aside one’s work or pleasure in order to go and listen to what is being spoken in the way one speaks on the town square. ...”
This is a quote from “The Anti-Liturgical Heresy” (the original title is "L'Hérésie Anti-Liturgiste," an excerpt of the "Institutions Liturgiques," v. 1), first published in 1840 over 160 years ago. The above appears to me to be both a historically accurate depiction of the 16th C reformers’ mentalities and a prophetic statement depicting some of the 20th C reformers’ mentalities… so alike in so many ways.
Clearly the Evil One has been long at it (well before Dom Gueranger wrote these words) in order to prevail against our Beloved Church. Although Our Lord will in the end have His victory over Satan, we still might want to consider rallying to His cause and defending the Church's arsenal for that battle here on earth.



Suzanne said...

Yes! Latin is the language of the Church. It is sad that I never heard a word of it in Mass all while growing up. It has just been in the last 10 years or so and only in some NO parishes that occasionally resort to Latin. Sad.

the Mom said...


Stop me if you've heard this story before :

Once upon a time two girls had a blog....and they actually wrote on it.

The End

Wow! wasn't that a great story? Don't you wish that life imitated art? I do.

the Mom

Pilgrim said...

Yes, it's true. My life has been less than storybook quality.
But, let me direct your gaze in this direction:,

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