I guess it would be fair enough to say that blogs are within the scope of propriety even if in a very public sphere they offer personal, bordering on intimate, reflections. With the wonderful celebrations at the Basilica in Fribourg on 8 December, I guess you could say that my heart is overflowing and I must speak.
2017 here in Switzerland has gifted me with three occasions, all of them Marian, to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass: in Fischingen, a Pontifical High Mass on the occasion of a pilgrimage for the Fatima Centenary, a Missa Praelatitia in Sankt Pelagiberg for the Holy Name of Mary, and now for the Immaculate Conception a Pontifical High Mass in the Basilica Notre Dame de Fribourg. These three moments have had their positive, yes warming and reassuring impact on my heart. No doubt a person has to do something to prepare his heart to receive them in this way, but in any case, the Tradition, or should I say the Blessed Mother has won my heart in most delicate fashion.
Without having such a chair, I'd like to say ex cathedra, that the Vetus Ordo is how a bishop is meant to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The Traditional Latin Mass in all its solemnity really carries the bishop. The above picture captures it quite well, as I sit front and center, with my old knees covered!, while the subdeacon reads the Gospel in French, I listen waiting to preach my homily. With the Novus Ordo, we were taught in the seminary at Mass practice or in homiletics to be sharp, to be proactive... in the Vetus Ordo, the liturgy, with Christ the High Priest, Mary with all the angels and saints, carries me in most attentive fashion and challenges me to allow myself to be changed, transformed, really made over to Christ Jesus. The liturgy carries the old man in me and makes me an icon of something of which I am not worthy and for which from beginning to end I repeat my Domine, non sum dignus... and my miserere nobis! It is so right and so age appropriate!
It took me really too long to let go and allow others to carry me through this experience. Obviously, a priest who celebrates his daily low Mass or a Sunday High Mass, Missa Cantata, without assisting ministers, well, he has to be at the top of his game, so to speak. I just want to go on record that bishops get the better part of a free ride, even if they should really interiorize it all by memorizing a goodly part of the liturgy.
Bishops, do yourself and the Church a favor by accepting the invitation should it come your way and doing your little, old part to let this great icon shine forth from the heart of Christ's Church!
PROPERANTES ADVENTUM DIEI DEI