+Reviled Flying Buttress Publisher Tomas de Torquemada is still reeling from the Novus Ordo Ash Wednesday service he attended the other night. Having become so enamored with the Missal of 1962, it is honestly almost painful to have to sit through the Missal of 1970. Imagine, if you will, having to listen to a Beethoven string quartet, with lyrics added and performed by the Dixie Chicks.
+It would be very easy to conclude, based on experience, that the Missal of Paul VI is not just a different rite: it is a different religion. This is partly because the messages - not only homiletic, but liturgical - are so casual, so sociable, so mellow, so laid back, so chatty and entertaining, so non-judgmental, so...easy! "I don't care what you do during Lent," says Father Novus Ordo, kicking back, regaling us with his engaging manner, and fitting right in, "as long as you remember that Easter comes at the end. Lent is not about mortification, repentance, reconciliation, suffering - it's just a retreat!"
+And so the Spotless People of God, displacing the Spotless Victim, are invited join hands around the table to celebrate themselves! When all is said and done, Lent is just 40 days of team-building!
+Frequently the modern Church is much like a semi-paralyzed stroke victim. She knows in her mind, and in her heart, what Truth is, what Tradition is, what the Sacred Mystery of Faith is, what the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is, what Divine Revelation is, what a well-formed conscience is, what the Magisterium teaches. And yet, she is unable to speak of these things with authority. Why? Because her liturgy - her mouth - is deformed, and she can only mumble.
+What is the environment created by the Missal of 1970? Too often, it is no longer a Catholic environment, but a Protestant one, which only dimly reflects and vaguely recalls the real Catholic Faith, whose holy sacrifice is now wallpapered over by several layers of fellowship. Where is the molten mystery of Faith which bubbles up eternally from Our Lord's Sacred Heart? Crusted over from disuse, perversion and politically correct suppression. Where is the fountain of eternal life, whose promise once watered every corner of the Church, and invited every one of the faithful to drink? It is fallen silent, frozen in mid-air by fear, deception, and glib banality. Where is sin? Enveloped in a fog of "alternatives."
+We at the Flying Buttress wonder if not merely Pilarczyk, but the entire USCCB intends to atone for its sins this Lenten Season - sins committed against the Church and against Our Lord and Lady. The American conference has, on the whole, utterly debased and disgraced the Church. Our clergy and theologians crow like egotistical fools about "reform," "renewal" and "justice," while the Church disintegrates before their eyes as it rushes, with euphoric, messianic zeal, into the anarchic void prepared for it by the vague language of Vatican II. Where is the shame, the repentance, for this self-serving emptiness?
+But thank God for priests like Father Tom Euteneuer of Human Life International. In his latest "Spirit and Life" newsletter, "Conversion Through Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving," he tells us what Lent is really about:
"Lenten conversion is not a superficial renewal like cleaning an old painting or varnishing an antique chair. These are renovations but are not conversions! What the Lord wants is not just the change of bad habits and worldly vices; He wants a clean soul and no half-measures will do. And for that, we are given a forty-day discipline to train us to cleanse the inside of our souls and make them ready for the Lord.
Lenten house cleaning proceeds according to an age-old spiritual discipline of the Church: prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Not ironically, the reason for a three-fold spiritual discipline is that we have a three-fold soul. The “faculties” of the soul are mind, imagination (i.e., emotions) and will, what St. Augustine called the “internal trinity” sixteen centuries ago. As such, the disciplines of prayer, fasting and almsgiving are directed toward converting and renewing our inner powers: prayer enlightens the mind, fasting matures the emotions, and charity strengthens the will."
This is only an excerpt: the full article may be found here
+On the subject of Lenten prayer, we invite our readers to reflect on the short version of the Prayer to St. Michael. Has anyone noticed that it fails to mention the Church? We grant you that it ostensibly refers to the original version as composed by Pope Leo XIII, but the original is never used. Wouldn't it be preferable if a prayer designed to protect the Church actually mentioned the Church by name?
+With that in mind, we offer a revision of the short version of the Prayer to St. Michael, without whom the Flying Buttress would not exist:
“Glorious St. Michael the Archangel, Noble Prince of the Angelic Hierarchies, defend Thy Church in the day of battle, and be her safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May Thy purifying sword cleanse her of evil, and utterly and forever dissipate all darkness which obscures the Chair of Truth for the Light of the World. Holy Church venerates Thee as her protector and patron, in Thee she glories as her defense against the malicious power of hell. Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help to the Mystical Body of Christ against the attacks of the lost spirits, and give her the victory. By the power of Almighty God, may the gates of hell, with the evil one and his infernal followers locked within, be shut for eternity, and may the Church raise the Cross of Our Lord in triumph throughout the earth.”