Sunday, June 24, 2018

Masses of Reparation


I've been getting behind with my photos, but I want to remind readers not only that the Mass of Reparation for the Abortion Referendum in Ireland took place in Oxford as planned, on Friday 15th, but that another will take place in London:

Wednesday 4th July, 7pm
Wednesday 4th July, Sung Mass.
Our Lady of the Assumption, 10 Warwick Street, London W1B 5LZ

The Mass in Oxford was well-attended. It was low-key but beautiful. It is important to understand how the ancient liturgy, and in general authentic Catholic culture, calls on us to embrace a mortified life, a life of penance, but that this does not mean ugliness. Sorrow does not exclude joy; repentance implies hope. The Votive Mass pro remissione peccatorum is about sin, yes, but about God's willingness to enable us to overcome it. The gospel gives us the saying of Our Lord, 'Ask and you shall receive'. If we ask for the grace of repentance, we will receive it. If we ask for forgiveness, God will take us back into his love and friendship. If we ask him to help us restore the evils done by ourselves and by others, he will listen to that also.

Liberal theology is the theology of despair. It says that repentance is impossible for us, a life of grace in the future is impossible for us, a restoration of justice and beauty and innocence is impossible: it tells us to accept the ugliness and depravity and make the most of it. This is absurd: evil, even. At every moment in her history the Church has been making reparation, has been restoring, rebuilding, and purifying: a work of joy which overcomes sorrow. We have restored the fabric of our churches, we have restored the fabric of our societies, and above all, and most lastingly, we have restored the tattered fabric of the human spirit.

These things are only possible with God's help: contrary to the liberal, that is not a euphemism for 'impossible'; it draws our attention, rather, to the need for prayer, and collective, liturgical, prayer, as the centre of our endeavour.

It is not too late to make a start: and not too early, either.


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