Sunday, October 26, 2008

Christus Rex at Kelmscott

Owing to my forgetting about daylight saving, I slept in (not realizing that there was to be a sung Mass to-day) and ended up missing even the late Mass at the Pro., so I hied myself out to Kelmscott instead, for the 2pm Low Mass there.  

Now, this was providential, because it gave me the chance to see Fr Michael Slattery, a very holy Scottish priest, celebrate Low Mass for the first time on Sunday.  (He's one of a number of priests that have been learning to celebrate the Traditional Mass lately.)  His Latin is very good, he's just about got the rubrics down pat - as seems often to happen with priests new to the old Mass, he forgot the Dominus vobiscum at the Offertory - and furthermore his sermon was very moving, shewing something of his evident piety and love of God.

He told of how as a wee lad he'd been given a commemorative cup at the time of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation, of how he'd learnt at school that the British Empire, The Queen's protection, and the benefits of civilization had been extended throughout the world by many brave adventurers, and of how he had an old UK passport in which all are requested to give him due assistance without let or hindrance, as he is a subject of Her Majesty - all this told with a twinkle in his eye! - and he contrasted these truths, perhaps more questioned now than of old, with the enduring truths of our Faith: that we have a King Whose kingdom is far more than any earthly empire, Whose kingdom has been extended throughout the world by apostles, saints and brave missionaries (such as St Paul, St Francis Xavier, and Bl Mary Mackillop, his fellow Australian Scotswoman), Whose true and loyal subjects we are called to be.  

He also mentioned something of himself, who had spent some time with the Servites, been a teacher, come to Australia, and become a priest of the Diocese of Bunbury in process of time - and now has come to Perth to work for Archbishop Hickey at the new Lumen Christi centre, essaying to reach out to spread the light of the Gospel to the unchurched and unbelieving masses: the 25% of Australians who have no belief in God.  

He spoke of St Thérèse and her Little Way, of how we are called to live out love; and this he linked to the gift of God for, as he said with a smile, The Queen has never visited him, nor the Governor-General, nor the Prime Minister - but Our Lord comes to us in the Mass, that greatest of joys to all the saints and the source of their courage, to more and more win us to Himself, freeing us from the darkness of sin and ignorance and bringing us into His kingdom of light, to strengthen our faith, buoy up our hope, and fan our love into a flame, that we may ask what we should do for Him, and set out bravely to do it.

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