You walk up a flight of granite stairs to a pair great wooden doors beneath a spire rising, it seems, miles toward the heavens. The heavy door opens slowly, because of its weight, but surprisingly easily, like a perfectly balance vault door. The vestibule is dark and reverent, not grand at all. It might be the foyer of an old, downtown office building except for the small stained-glass windows. Then to the inner doors, smaller, but heavy and wooden.
Opening these doors, the eye beholds man-made, God-inspired vision of what entry to Heaven must be like.
First, and properly, the eye is drawn toward the ornate, spired altered featuring the crucified Chist suspended high above the ornate tabernacle, shrouded in green and gilded in gold. Immediately, you are reminded that this is God's house, the repose of Christ's murdered and resurrected body, lying in state and simultaneous living outside and inside the confines of time and space.
Next, the veils. Women with veils covering their heads, lending them a beauty that no make-up could imitate or even approach. And the men in ties, jackets, and suits, as if coming to meet a president. Or their creator.
On either side of the church are lines of men, women, and children awaiting confession. Up front, about a hundred reverent faithful kneel praying the rosary.
The mass itself displays a reverence you haven't witness since Mark McGwire's 1998 home run chase. How sad, you think, that only sports lends a proper example of the kind of reverence you're witnessing here. But there it is--the mass of catechumens with holy water and incense to cleanse the alter, the priest, the servers, and people. You realize you are here for only one reason--God. You are not here to feel good, but to worship the Almighty Creator of the universe, of all that is visible and invisible. By God's grace, man was inspired to make, in the visible, the obviousness of the invisible Lord. He is obvious because fo the care and beauty.
"Et introibo ad altare Dei: ad Deum qui laetificat juventutem meam." (And I will go to the altar of god, to God, the joy of my youth."
The Latin tears down questions. It sets aside disputes over meaning of words, for these words have remained for 2000 years, unchanged. The mind, liberated from concerns about what it's hearing, is free to worship its Creator and Savior.
Christians who have never experienced such a mass must find a Tridentine church soon. I urge every Catholic, including every Catholic priest, to get to a Tridentine mass before July ends. My fellow parishoners at St. Alban Roe should make a pilgrimage to St. Francis de Sales one Sunday. Arrive at 9:25 for the 10:00 High Mass. Pray the Rosary and go to confession. And meditate on this:
When we go to into our hyper-modern, stript, empty churches each Sunday, bombarded with loud, crappy music and witness the slap-happy tossing about of Christ's holy body, are we really worshipping God? Or are we whisltling Dixie? Does the bastardized New Order of the Mass, intentionally corrupted by liberal priests who sought to "change the meaning of our faith" treat God as man's supreme creator, or does it treat man as God's only hope for salvation?
Heavenly Father, Your only Son lived and died for us, leaving us a covenant church, guided by the Holy spirit with a mission to bring souls to Christ for the coming of Your Kingdom. Yet man has corrupted that church to placate his own pride, ego, and desire to dethrone You. Lord, send the Holy spirit to these men. Fill them with the graces they need to humbly accept Your divine will so that they may be inspired to restore the sanctity of the Mass, the devotion of the soul, and the reverence of the sacred Body of Your Son, our Lord, Jesus. I ask this through the same Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you saecula saeculorum. Amen