Launching a Missal

When we think of all the ways that STRESS enters into our lives – illness, moving, relationships , the Lions, pregnancy, job changes, lack of chocolate, and so on –  the occasion of welcoming the new Roman Missal is probably a pretty tiny blip on our radar. Right?  And yet, whether we’ve been going to Mass regularly for decades or since sometime last week, it might start occurring to us to wonder, “Hey!  Why are they messing with the Mass?”  And to feel rather put out about it.  Because we humans like things to remain the same.  It’s comfortable.  Cozy.  And it kinda substantiates that we’ve been right all along, doesn’t it?  So… “We shouldn’t be changing the Missal!  Because that would mean we’ve been doing it wrong all these years!” might cross our Catholic minds.

But I hope not.  Because what we really have before us is a new opportunity to celebrate the ancient and holy Mass with both freshness and wisdom, in a spirit more united than ever with the Church all around the world.

Here’s what happened to help The Church realize the need. Blessed Pope John Paul II was gifted enough in many languages to be able to fluently celebrate the Mass for different congregations in their native tongues.  There were days, for instance, when this Polish Pope would celebrate a Mass in English in the early morning and in French right after that.  Such mornings caused him to realize that there were significant differences in what was being prayed. Quelle surprise! In a universal church!

And so, after years of sustained study by teams of learned scholars, we now have the gift of the New Roman Missal.  To be opened on the first week of Advent.  And here’s what we can do to appreciate the gift, the meticulously unified Mass: we can strive to better understand it.  It’s a gift that will help us attain Heaven, and – talk about a stress buster! – begin to experience paradise right now.

How can we prepare for such an out-of-this-world gift?  There are many ways, including reading a great book, like The Lamb’s Supper by Scott Hahn or What Happens at Mass by Jeremy Driscoll.  Or by attending a video-based class like the one we are hosting on Monday nights coming soon.  Or by listening to a Lighthouse CD on the topic – they’re in our narthex!  Let’s decide to truly engage in this historic moment in the life of our Church – in the life of our own souls.

Your PCL (Pickle!),

Marian