Monday, December 17, 2007
We are in a whirlwind of housecleaning for Christmas. We've been very busy with the shop. Sister St. Aloysius is pouring over cookie recipes. I am untangling the lights. We still have to move furniture around for the arrival of the tree and find the tree stand. At school we're working on our Christmas pageant.
It's not really a pageant. It's a concert. Grades five and up are singing in harmony, which is my job.
It has occurred to me that if Sister Mary Fiacre was with it, the three of us could go caroling as a trio. Oh well. It would probably flummox the neighbors anyhow. They would think I was with the Taliban or something.
It's all so cheery.
Too bad I have to address these bummer questions. Not that you shouldn't ask. The answers are just no fun.
Sister, what are your thoughts on the renewal of the Latin mass?
This question has been floating in our question box for sometime and I apologize for letting it hang. I'm certain you won't care much for my answer.
I just don't care about the Latin Mass. I would hope that if the Mass changes back to Latin across the boards, that you'll all go out and learn Latin again so you can understand it.
Calm down. I know you understand the Mass no matter what language it's in. But the point of having the Mass in Latin in the first place was to have it in a language that everyone speaks. It didn't start out that way. But that's what happened. Everyone used to understand the Latin used in the Mass. It wasn't just 'pretty' and 'traditional' it was understandable. The reason the Vatican made the change is that the Church realized that hardly anyone was speaking Latin anymore, except for a few moldy perennial students.
Here's my story in support of the Latin Mass (which you Latin Massaphiles should love): During the Holocaust, in the camps, a group of Jews gathered in the latrines for a high holy day. It was the only place where no one would pay any attention to what they were doing. The gathering included Jews from all over Europe, but they held their service in their common language, which everyone understood. I'm not sure what that language is called...not Yiddish...it didn't matter that they couldn't speak to each other and be understood. They were speaking to God and they all understood the words they were saying to Him.
You get my point. The story really doesn't work if the people gathered don't all understand that common language, see?
The other arguments I keep hearing..."it's so beautiful!" "it's so traditional!" just don't cut it for me. Sorry. If you love the Latin Mass and want to drive to the next town every Sunday, go for it.
I'm happy to have the Mass in the language of the crowd so that any new comer off the streets can listen to what is happening. If it changes back, I'm okay with it. I'd prefer that if did not, unless everyone takes up Latin again. Since no one can even remember phone numbers anymore because there is a phone book in your cell phone, I'm not holding my breath for people reviving Latin.
Does the Church have a teaching regarding whether Protestants go to purgatory? Does a martyred Protestant go straight to heaven? What ARE the rules about Protestants and salvation, anyway?? I mean, practically every faithful Protestant these days (not all of them, I realize) believes in and practices artificial birth control - a mortal sin. So do they all go to hell because of it?
Any light you can shed would be appreciated!
Boy. This one is a really big bummer. Sadly, yes, the answer would be hell for all involved. That is the official Church stance. To say otherwise would be to say the the Church is not the One True Church, but the One of Any Church That Makes You Comfortable.
But the Church doesn't actually say that all those people are going to Hell for certain, because we don't know their hearts for certain. They could repent at the last second. God could be merciful. We hear that He tends to be so inclined.
So the answer is yes, but not really really. Yes, but with loopholes, so to speak.
We also never ever say that anyone is in Hell for certain. Not even Hitler. We give everyone the benefit of the doubt.
After all, Jesus said, "My Kingdom has many rooms."
It's just that those people will have the rooms next to the ice machine and the elevator.
Kidding. Just kidding. But not about the Hell part. Sorry.
Not very Christmas-y.