Monday, June 14, 2010

Re-Christianizing Our World

ZENIT: Why do you feel that following the traditional Roman rite is vital to "re-Christianizing" our world?

Father Goodwin: The Traditional Mass is a very important element in the re-Christianization of the world because it so clearly and fully embodies the faith of the Church. The whole notion of Christ's sacrifice is the central point of the Mass.

Of course, the primary objection that's most often offered to it is "Why would you want to celebrate the Mass in a language that people don't understand?" But that makes the assumption that the relationship of people to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is primarily one of comprehension; that the Mass is a piece of information to be learned and understood.

Today, Mass is most often celebrated in the world where people can see everything that is going on and understand everything that's said. Can we honestly say that the result of this has deepened their appreciation for what's going on? When pollsters tell us that 80% of Catholics under the age of 59 have a non-Catholic idea of what the Blessed Sacrament is, the whole communication thing may not be so successful. That should not be the primary goal. The primary goal is the worship of God.

The Mass is not a bunch of jumbled elements that we put together or we construct in order to make something that is meaningful to us. The Mass is something that exists in itself, to which we conform ourselves, so that we can more perfectly unite with God.

I think that's what young people find in the Traditional Mass. They're not looking for an explanation; they're looking for the presence of Christ. This is, in a very primary way, about reverence, piety and devotion.

ZENIT: While priestly vocations are waning in many other orders in the United States and around the world, ordinations within the Fraternity of St. Peter are increasing. What do you think draws these men to the Fraternity?

Father Goodwin: We have seminarians who have grown up with the Traditional Mass. We also have seminarians who have come to us after seeing the Traditional Mass two or three times before they entered. One found it on the Internet and said, "As soon as I saw it, I knew that it was for me."

The vocations come from God. He is sending them to us. He picks [these men] and he points them toward that perennial treasury of the Church. Prayer and faith, having spoken to human hearts for 2,000 years, is hardly likely to become a dried-up, unusable source just over a couple of decades. The human heart does not change and God's appeal to it does not change.

We started the seminary here about 10 years ago. We've had, more or less, 12 or 15 candidates a year. This year we have more than 25 coming in. We could take more if we had the room and the staff to take care of them.

Read the full interview...

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