As is my custom, I went down to confession this morning, unhappy as usual about my unchanging list of sins, but glad as always of God's free gift of grace and mercy.
Later to-day, I was rather intolerant and testy with a close relative, who is getting on in years and rather failing in mind and body: to be honest, seeing him so upsets me, and rather than be kindly and caring I get angry with his slowness and messiness - God forgive me. In fact, this afternoon I seemed to be warring with those with me, having to ask their indulgence. I must do better, else how can I give thanks for forgiveness and remain mean myself?
This evening, off, not to Church of Apostles - I didn't blog about it, but let's just say after enduring the wretched antics at last Sunday's Mass there (the first half of Mass I mean, not the Eucharistic Liturgy) I have vowed and declared not to go there again - but instead to what is actually my parish church, St Francis of Assisi. Yes, I decided to go to the Saturday Vigil Mass. The sermon reminded us that Our Lord is the Good Shepherd, since He has compassion on those he finds wandering shepherdless and lost: in Him we must trust. As another observed afterward, it was really nice to go to Mass there, as served by the Franciscans, and find it painless and pleasant (certainly relative to the depressing diocesan standard). Now I think of it, while in my Melbourne days I sometimes found Sunday Mass at St Dominic's, East Camberwell, a bit infra dig., it was so much better than what was on offer in surrounding parishes that people came from miles around - and the Dominicans ran it.
Yes, as regards what people have sometimes to endure (all unwilling) when they go to Mass - no wonder so many give up going! I believe in the truth, beauty and holiness of what happens at every altar, and still have to resist running out the door when faced with philistine madness, doctrinal confusion, irreverence and impiety. Without a strong sense of the obligation to worship Almighty God on Sundays and Holy Days, a sense that sine Dominico non possumus, as the Abitine Martyrs declared, I could easily stop going except to the once-a-month Extraordinary Form. After having two years of the Traditional Mass, Sunday Mass in the Ordinary Form can be a real disappointment: at least now I may have found another Segor (Zoar), a place of refuge (Gen. xix, 22). If only there were plenty of ordo, due order, in the Novus Ordo, instead of sad and confusing confusion. As Fr Flader, a canon lawyer, argues, the faithful have a right to the liturgy and sacraments of the Church: one may add, too often their rights are violated. Away with profanitas! We, Christ's little ones, desperately need the tranquillitas ordinis of orthodoxy, not heterodox rubbish.
(I should explain: while Mass at Carmel is still my preference, all things being equal, in the bleak midwinter getting up for early Mass there on the one day of the week I can get a good sleep-in is not so attractive... The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.)