Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Mary's "Yes": The Shot Heard Throughout Eternity


James Christensen - The Annunciation

Today is an important solemnity in the Catholic Church. Today is the story of true greatness unrecognized by a world dazzled only by outward pomp and glamour. It is the Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord in which the angel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary.  Mary had no standing in the world. She lived in a despised little town, part of a slave people ruled over by the mighty Roman empire. She was a young woman in a world governed by men who saw women not as individuals but as mere property to use and dispose of as they desired.  In the eyes of the world, Mary was destined to live a life of insignificance and die unheralded and unnoticed.

But outside of Jesus Christ, Mary was the most powerful person in history.  The Roman Army, Alexander the Great, Napoleon - no great military leader could match the power of this young girl to defeat the enemies of God.  The devil - who had mankind firmly in his grip through his deceptions - was powerless before her.  It was through this lowly young girl that salvation was brought to a world condemned to die.

What weapon did Mary possess that made her more powerful than any military the world has known? How did Mary conquer Satan, the one who controlled the most powerful men and women in history? Mary's weapon could not be seen, heard, felt, tasted or touched by the casual observer. In fact, to the average person, this most powerful of all weapons in history would be interpreted not as strength but just the opposite - as weakness and impotence.

And what is this weapon? It is humble, submissive obedience to the Creator of the Universe. Mary, the Mother of God and our Blessed Mother is the personification of Isaiah 66:2
But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.
Through Mary we learn that the world has it upside down.  The world thinks that we gain power and influence by "bettering" ourselves.  We must learn to be smarter, stronger, more cunning.  We have to always be one step ahead of the other guy.  The world teaches us to never be anyone's fool.  Stand up for yourself.  Assert yourself.  You have rights.  And don't let anyone tell you differently.

That is not the lesson we learn from this most powerful of all human beings to ever live.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Michael Voris Contradicts Michael Voris

I have looked again at the two Vortex videos concerning Voris's press incident at the St. Patrick's Day parade, and I feel compelled to comment on the discrepancies in these videos.  

As I reported on my prior post [HERE], a couple of days after the parade, Voris did a video in which he reported suddenly finding footage after his failed questioning of Cardinal Dolan which shows the Cardinal, as he was walking away, saying something to Joseph Zwilling, his communications director, who then speaks to another man, who in turn expelled Voris from the press area. Somehow Voris failled to see this video footage on the day of the parade.

Here is the Vortex episode containing the second report:

According to the newly discovered video footage, Voris tells us that it was 1 minute 29 seconds after he approached the Cardinal that he and his camera man were "shoved out":
1:29 seconds AFTER the interview a man who did not identify himself came up to us abruptly and said we had to leave and began shoving both me and Matt Pearson, who was running one of our cameras, out of the barricaded area.
This is how Voris reports it:
First – back to the immediate aftermath of our question. Cardinal Dolan gives a political nonsensical response and turns away to walk towards a gathering press scrum. Notice who helps lead him away – the man in the green baseball hat. That man is Joseph Zwilling – the communications director for the archdiocese of New York.

Zwilling knows me. He has seen various Vortex reports over the years. He and I have communicated with each other – although it is usually a very short communication. Point is – he knows me and Church Militant.

In one very brief interlude, the Cardinal says something to Zwilling and carries on glad handing.

A few moments later, as the Cardinal approaches the media scrum, Zwilling turns around to look back to see where we are, to keep track of us.

That alone is curious. There were dozens of reporters and cameras bearing down on the Cardinal and Zwilling’s attention is focused on us.
We swung around to the south side of the media horde and when we did that, we happened to capture footage of Zwilling giving instructions to the unnamed guy who a few seconds later came and physically shoved us out of the barricaded area. 
It is beyond dispute therefore, plain video evidence, that the guy who manhandled us, got his orders to do so directly from Cardinal Dolan’s top aide – the communications director.

They were both looking directly at us as you can clearly see. Zwilling is doing the talking and then his guy comes over and does his thing.
The footage shown by Voris does seem to support his narrative. However, it also seems to be spliced somewhat, and there is one scene that definitely does not belong with it showing the Cardinal surrounded by the press.

Notice that Voris reports here that after he attempted to question the Cardinal, "We swung around to the south side of the media horde." According to this report, no one touched Voris at all immediately after the interview. In fact, he had time to walk away from the area where he had originally approached Cardinal Dolan and thus was able to get a different view of Zwilling and the "unnamed guy who a few seconds later came and physically shoved us out of the barricaded area" which is shown on the video.

There is a problem, however, The narrative from the first report released on the day of the parade flatly contradicts this "newly discovered video". Here is that Vortex episode made shortly after the incident:

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Michael Voris: Faithful Catholic

The fa├žade must be maintained at all costs. You can never be allowed to see the man behind the curtain because once the light is shined on all this, it all comes tumbling down – immediately recognizable for the joke that it is.
Michael Voris
Sleight of hand is a trick used by magicians.  Free Dictionary defines it as, "The performance of or skill in performing juggling or magic tricks so quickly and deftly that the manner of execution cannot be observed." It is also defined as " Deception or trickery." A good magician directs your attention away from what he is actually doing and fools you into believing something that did not, in fact, happen. David Blaine and David Copperfield are two of the best.

Another expert at sleight of hand is Michael Voris, and he had this on full display in his latest Vortex episode in which he allegedly exposes Cardinal Dolan as a thug.

Voris shows video taken right after his failed questioning of Cardinal Dolan in which we see the Cardinal say something to Joseph Zwilling, NY Archdiocese Communications, who then says something to another man.  This man then walks over and orders Voris and his cameraman out of the press area.

Now, one does wonder why it took two days to find this video. Why didn't they see it along with the video that was produced on the day of the parade? Was this somehow hiding and then just suddenly popped up? It seems somewhat suspicious, but nonetheless, I accept Voris's account as factual.

After showing us this video, Voris then says:
Is this how the archdiocese of New York, Cardinal Dolan and his staff treat faithful Catholics?
This is where the real sleight of hand comes in.  Did a "faithful Catholic" ask Cardinal Dolan the question that got him kicked out?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Michael Voris Spiritually Assaults Cardinal Dolan

Michael Voris came to town to report on the "scandal" of Cardinal Timothy Dolan and the St. Patrick's Day Parade. Voris didn't really get anything to report about Cardinal Dolan personally. However, Voris is now representing himself as Cardinal Dolan's victim, and the Catholic blogosphere is eating it up. Voris reports that he was "roughed up" by "Cardinal Dolan's handlers" at the St. Patrick's Day Parade in NYC and actually shows us this on video.

A closer look at the video completely disproves his story.

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Dangerous Superficiality of Traditionalism -- Part 2

St. Catherine of Siena
I recently did a post on traditional Catholics and the emphasis they place on external worship, citing the fact that this can be a very dangerous road. Just because something looks holy, that doesn't necessarily mean God is present. I gave the example of an Anglican high mass which looks very similar to a TLM. However, that is very deceptive because Jesus Christ is present in the TLM while the Anglican Mass truly is nothing more than smells and bells.

I have found great support for this argument in my Lenten reading.  Part of my spiritual reading for Lent has been The Dialogue by St. Catherine of Siena, a doctor of the Church.  The Dialogue is the record of conversations St. Catherine had with God the Father in which, while in a state of ecstasy, she dictated the Father's words which were written down verbatim by her secretaries (St. Catherine could not read or write, at least not until the end of her life).

In Section 68, God the Father talks about the difference between loving Him and loving the consolations we receive from Him.  He warns of the great danger that comes from loving the consolations more than Him.
Page 129-130 - But my servants, even though their love is still imperfect, seek and love me for my love's sake rather than for consolation and pleasure they find in me. Now I do reward every good deed -- but the measure of the reward is the recipient's love. . . .it is not my intention that the soul should receive this consolation foolishly, paying more attention to my gift than to me. I want her to be more concerned about the loving charity with which I give it to her, and to her unworthiness to receive it, than to the pleasure of her own consolation. If she foolishly takes only the pleasure without considering my love for her, she will reap the sort of harm and delusion of which I am about to tell you.

. . . When she has experienced my consolation and my visitation within her in one way, and then that way ceases, she goes back along the road by which she had come, hoping to find the same thing again. But I do not always give in the same way, lest it seem as if I had nothing else to give. No, I give in many ways, as it pleases my goodness and according to the soul's need. But in her foolishness she looks for my gift only in that one way, trying as it were to impose rules on the Holy Spirit.

That is not the way to act. Instead, she should cross courageously along the bridge of the teaching of Christ crucified, and there receive my gifts when, where and as my goodness pleases to give them. And if I hold back it is not out of hate but love, so that she may seek me in truth and love me not just for her pleasure, but humbly accept my charity more than any pleasure she may find. For if she does otherwise and runs only after pleasure in her own way rather than mine, she will experience pain and unbearable confusion when the object of her delight, as her mind sees it, seems to be taken away.

Such are those who choose consolation in their own way. Once they find pleasure in me in a given fashion they want to go on with just that. Sometimes they are so foolish that if I visit them in any other way than that, they resist and do not accept it, still wanting only what they have imagined.

This is the fault of their selfish passion in the spiritual pleasures they found in me. But they are deluded. It would be impossible to be always the same. For the soul cannot stand still; she has either to advance toward virtue or turn back. In the same way the spirit cannot stand still in me in one pleasure without my goodness' giving her more. And I give these gifts very differently: Sometimes I give the pleasure of a spiritual gladness; sometimes I give contrition and contempt for sin, which will make it seem as if the spirit is inwardly troubled. . . .
The words I highlighted in the last paragraph, "For the soul cannot stand still; she has either to advance toward virtue or turn back. In the same way the spirit cannot stand still in me in one pleasure without my goodness' giving her more" are very similar to those of Pope Francis when he celebrated Mass on the 50th anniversary of first Mass in a language other than Latin.  From an article by Crux:
Allowing priests to celebrate Mass in the language of the local congregation rather than in Latin allowed the faithful to understand and be encouraged by the word of God, Pope Francis said.
“You cannot turn back, we have to always go forward, always forward and who goes back is making a mistake,” he told parishioners after commemorating the 50th anniversary of the first time a pope celebrated Mass in the vernacular following the Second Vatican Council.
“Let us give thanks to the Lord for what he has done in his Church in these 50 years of liturgical reform. It was really a courageous move by the Church to get closer to the people of God so that they could understand well what it does, and this is important for us: to follow Mass like this,” he said as he left Rome’s Church of All Saints March 7.
Pope Francis at Anniversary of First Vernacular Language Mass
The Remnant Newspaper posted a typical traditionalist response to this message from the Holy Father:  "Pope Francis Celebrates Tragic Anniversary Today in Rome."  As this article states,
[T]he so-called "New Mass" and all of its Protestant trappings were imposed on the Church by modernist revolutionaries acting under the auspices of the demonic "spirit of Vatican II."
Father Z, who tries to appear more moderate than the extremist Remnant Newspaper, was basically in agreement with this statement [HERE].  Father Z deftly avoided any mention of the Mass or homily by Pope Francis.  He started out his post, entitled "Speaking of 50th anniversary of vernacular Masses… BUGNINICARE! (Revisited)",  with the following statement:
In some circles there has been some panting whoopdeedoo about the fact that 50 years ago Paul VI celebrated Mass for the first time in a Roman parish in Italian.
Yes, Father Z, and the one making the biggest "whoopdeedoo" about this was none other than Pope Francis.  The Vicar of Christ, unlike you, felt this was a very important event in Church history.

Father Z, as part of his response to the "whoopdeedoo" reprinted an old post about Msgr. Annibale Bugnini which Father Z entitled, "Bugninicare!  UNIVERSAL SPIRITUAL-CARE REFORM FOR THE CATHOLIC CHURCH."  After writing disparagingly of the New Mass, Father Z then  posted several pictures showing abuses of the Mass but disingenuously presented these pictures as the natural result of the "Bugnini" changes.  One of the comments was very typical of those posted:
Dundonianski says:9 March 2015 at 8:34 am
A wonderful tapestry of what was (and is) valid and licit; my sympathies to the SSPX!
But the one comment that everyone loved was this:
Henry Edwards says:9 March 2015 at 10:34 am One thing we did not hear from the Bugninicare reformers was “In [sic] you like your old Mass, then you can keep your old Mass.”

Why are traditionalists so insistent on the superiority of the TLM and the spiritual destructiveness of the "Novus Ordo" as they call it?  That answer was given recently by none other than the aforementioned Father Z.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Ain't No Mountain High Enough

"Jesus is God, therefore His love, His Thirst, is infinite. He the creator of the universe,
asked for the love of His creatures.
He thirst for our love… These words:
‘I Thirst’ –
Do they echo in our souls?”
Mother Teresa
The most plaintive, agonizing words ever spoken in all of human history were uttered by Jesus Christ as He hung dying on the cross to bring salvation to a condemned world.  Part of these words, the seven last words spoken by Jesus from the cross, is given little fanfare in the gospels. All we are told in John 19:28 is:
Afterwards, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, said: I thirst.
But what does this really mean?  Was Jesus just complaining that he needed something to drink?  He had been beaten to such a point that he was barely recognizable as a human being.  The blood was almost completely drained out of his body.  He had not had any food or water for many hours and was in an extreme condition of dehydration.  Is that was he was talking about?  With all of the many other things he had suffered - mockings and insults, skin ripped from his body, bones pulled out of joint, hair pulled from his head and beard, a severe whipping which brought him to the point of death, nails driven into his hands and feet, struggling for each breath as he hung on the cross - why would his one complaint, if that is what it was, be about thirst?

Our Lord was talking about something much deeper than physical thirst.  He was talking about a thirst that had driven him his entire life.  He was talking about a thirst he felt even before becoming incarnate, when he shared glory with the Father in heaven (John 17:5).  He was talking of his great love for humanity, for the people who were responsible for all of the suffering he was experiencing.   His thirst is for you and me, for every single human being who has ever lived.  Our Lord thirsts for the worst sinner as well as the greatest saint.  No one is excluded.

In St. Faustina's diary, "Divine Mercy in My Soul", Jesus says to St. Faustina:
I desire that you know more profoundly the love that burns in My Heart for souls, and you will understand this when you meditate upon My Passion. Call upon My mercy on behalf of sinners; I desire their salvation.  (paragraph 186)
My daughter, look into the abyss of My mercy and give praise and glory to this mercy of Mine. Do it in this way: Gather all sinners from the entire world and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. I want to give Myself to souls; I yearn for souls, My daughter. On the day of My feast, the Feast of Mercy, you will go through the whole world and bring fainting souls to the spring of My mercy. I shall heal and strengthen them.   (paragraph 206)
The only condition Jesus puts on His Love is that we say yes to him.   As He said to St. Faustina (paragraph 186), "Call upon My mercy on behalf of sinners; I desire their salvation."

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Are You Judge and Juror of Your Parish?

Only evil minded people profit from confusion in the hearts and minds of Catholics. They're able to sneak in their wicked agendas weakening the faith and self understanding of the faithful.
Michael Voris
Okay, okay, I know.  This is my third post in a row on Michael Voris and the "lies and falsehoods" that he promotes.  But he keeps putting out videos that are truly harmful and, if accepted, will most definitely "weaken the faith and self understanding of the faithful."  So I keep writing posts that counter him and give a different point of view, hopefully one that is true to the faith.

I have written in the past about all of the many times Voris has attacked and condemned lawfully ordained priests, bishops and cardinals of the Catholic Church and demanded that they resign or be fired.  Voris has also urged Catholics to withdraw their financial support from the Church.  One of my posts in particular got a lot of attention because Pewsitter linked to it for a few days.  You can read that post HERE.  As Voris said in that video,
Since money seems to be the only thing that motivates the Establishment Church – it is more than time for the faithful to begin withholding contributions. Why give money to a diocese that is gonna use that money to keep the status quo going – to abuse faithful Catholics while supporting fake Catholics – parishes and individuals.
First of all, as I showed in that post, it is a mortal sin to willfully withhold financial support from the Church. And further, what happens if people stop financially supporting their dioceses and parishes? Church closings, which means loss of access to the sacraments, and if allowed to take its natural course (which won't happen because the Holy Spirit will not allow it to happen), the destruction of the Catholic Church.

Voris is not only aware of the destruction that would result from Catholics withholding financial support, he celebrates it:
The whole thing is gonna blow up anyway – the sooner the better. What will emerge from the rubble is a purified Church, doctrinally, liturgically, morally, devotionally and clerically. Too bad Catholics didn’t know this about 50 years ago.
I would like to know where, in 2000 years of Church history, Catholics have ever been urged to destroy the Church in order to save her.  We have always been urged to pray and sacrifice for the Church and her leaders, but to actively participate in her destruction?  Sorry, Mike, but you're all alone on that one.

Now Voris has made a video in which he is urging Catholics to leave their Catholic parishes, which you can see HERE. Why would a person who claims to love the Catholic Church tell other Catholics to leave their parishes? This is the description of the video from the website:
Almost nothing that happens in your parish each Sunday has a thing to do with the Catholic Faith.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Michael Voris Needs To Take His Own Advice

Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.
Romans 2:1
I know I'm risking making myself into the anti-Voris blog, but it's my blog, and I'll blog what I want to (my apologies to the late Leslie Gore).  Michael Voris is so completely over the top that I feel someone needs to be calling him out.

Michael Voris has made his living from attacking and condemning Church hierarchy. He, on a regular basis, calls priests and bishops evil and destroyers of the faith. He warns them that they are all headed to hell. He tells them they should "Get Out!" as I recently blogged. He calls them "homosexualists" and makes statements that they are either actively homosexual or promote homosexuality. He says they should either resign or be fired. He constantly accuses our priests and bishops of not believing the faith, of being apostates. In other words, he tells priests, bishops and cardinals of the Catholic Church to shut up!

Recently, however, Voris went after someone else who did exactly what he does all the time:  tell a cardinal to shut up!  As Voris explains,
Father Timothy Scott, spokesman for the Basilian Order, re-tweeted one of the articles and most importantly sent his tweet to Cardinal Burke where—get this—a priest publicly, for the whole world to see, blatantly declared to a Prince of the Church “STFU.”
Here is a screen grab of Father Scott's tweet:

I want to make it emphatically clear that I do not support or defend Father Scott's actions in any way. There is no defense to his blatantly disrespectful and scandalous action. However, as even Voris admits, Father Scott realized how wrong he was and followed up with this tweet:

Voris wasted no words in condemning Father Scott:
That’s the language associated with gangs and thugs in drug-selling prostitution rings— not a man of God. To think it is bad enough; to say it out loud is appalling; to issue it publicly for the world to read means he should be immediately removed from his job as spokesman for the order.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

St. Catherine of Siena Warns Michael Voris and the Catholic Blogosphere

In January, Michael Voris did a Vortex episode entitled, "GET OUT!" in which he once again attacked the "homosexual and homosexual-friendly clergy" of the Catholic Church.  He, as is his usual custom, wasted no time in condemning those he accuses:
These weak men, these weak leaders have absolutely no right to work out their psychological illnesses and depravities through the priesthood and episcopate.

And yes, they are depravities. For a man who is a practicing homosexual, or struggling with trying to explore his identity, to do that on the Church’s watch is beyond horrible.
Voris played his usual deceptive games by talking about "gay priests" while showing films of gay pride parades which have nothing to do with any Catholic priests.  But it is a way of manipulating people into thinking that these priests he is accusing are right there in the parades.

And Voris makes his usual broad based judgments, condemning the majority of priests.  And he even tells us how we can make these same kind of prejudicial judgments:
A good deal of bishops and priests are gay or gay-friendly. Catholics need to know that.  If your priest or bishop exhibits an unusual amount of friendliness toward and/or acceptance of homosexuality—watch out!
Most of the time they won’t come right out and say it; they play it off as being compassionate and merciful. They want to slyly convince lay Catholics that there isn’t really anything that wrong.
But the truth is that large numbers of these priests have boyfriends or are sexually active —and it ain’t just priests.

To all of whom we say: have at least one bit of masculinity about yourselves and resign.

Go work out your errant psychology somewhere else. You should be working out your salvation, but since you choose to hide behind your collars and under your miters and work out your own pathologies, then get out.
Voris claims to get right inside the minds of these priests and bishops he is accusing and explains exactly what is wrong with them:
For the love of God, why do you stay in the clergy? But that question is somewhat rhetorical. We know the answer, don’t we? You don’t love God, and as a result, you want to corrupt and pervert.

You have a sick and demented vision of yourselves, and you want someone else to approve of your filth and sickness and spiritual depravity.
Michael Voris then goes on to quote from the writings of a doctor of of the Church - St. Catherine of Siena, from "The Dialogue" in which St. Catherine quotes from God the Father (Voris incorrectly says these are the words of Jesus Christ):
[T]his not only causes Me nausea, but displeases even the demons themselves, whom these miserable creatures [active homosexuals] have chosen as their lords.  For Me, this sin against nature is so abominable that, for it alone, five cities were submersed, by virtue of the judgment of My Divine Justice, which could no longer bear them. . . . It is disagreeable to the demons, not because evil displeases them and they find pleasure in good, but because their nature is angelic and thus is repulsed upon seeing such an enormous sin being committed. It is true that it is the demon who hits the sinner with the poisoned arrow of lust, but when a man carries out such a sinful act, the demon leaves.
This quote is taken from The Dialogue, Mystic Body of the Holy Church, section 124, page 237 in Noffke's translation from Classics of Western Spirituality.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Dangerous Superficiality of Traditionalism


The above picture is one that is sure to warm the heart of every good Catholic traditionalist. Here is a priest celebrating the Mass ad orientem. This is the way Mass should be celebrated. This is the true Catholic tradition. In fact, Father John Zuhlsdorf recently wrote a post in which he said that this was the only way to achieve a true renewal in the Church [HERE]:
We need to rethink versus populum celebration of Holy Mass and adopt instead ad orientem worship. Joseph Ratzinger got it right in his The Spirit of the Liturgy. I’ll take Benedict XVI’s vision every day and as many times as it takes on Sunday.

As Klaus Gamber stated, and Ratzinger repeated, the shift from ad orientem worship to versus populum was the single most damaging change made in the name of the Second Vatican Council. Together with that came the jettisoning of Our Lord from sanctuaries, the de facto abolition of Latin along with worthy sacred music, irreverence due to Communion in the hand and the downplaying of kneeling and genuflection, etc. etc. etc.
The following pictures of the same Mass from above illustrate the beauty and sacredness which Father Z is promoting:

As Father Z wrote in another recent post:
As I have written a thousand times, unless there is a renewal of our sacred liturgical worship of God, no other initiative of “New Evangelization” will succeed.  It all comes back to worship.  That’s the activity, according to the virtue of Religion, that coordinates the hierarchy of our relationships with persons (Divine, angelic, human) and our loves (making sure that GOD has the throne of our hearts and minds).  If our relationship with God isn’t squared away, and that must include liturgical worship, everything else will be on shaky ground.  How can we who accept the claim that the Eucharist (the Sacrament and Its celebration) are the “source and summit” of our Catholic lives think that we can undertake something as sweeping as a New Evangelization apart from a renewal of Holy Mass, the Divine Office solemnly celebrated, and all our other rites?  And yet when we hear our leaders, our shepherds, go on and on and on about this or that project or initiative, how often do they connect it – heck, even mention – the centrality and urgency of sacred liturgical worship of God?
Of course, when Father Z and other traditionalists talk about "renewal" of the Mass, they mean a return to the Traditional Latin Mass. They want to see more - if not all - Masses celebrated as pictured above. Father Z and all of his traditionalist followers believe that the TLM is the salvation of the Church and the world. That is actually Father Z's motto: "Save the Liturgy. Save the World." Look at the reverence and sacredness. These people are serious about worship.

An article recently written for Crisis Magazine by a fellow Brooklynite explains very clearly the reasons for the traditionalists' belief that the Extraordinary Form of the Mass is essential for the salvation of the world.  The article is entitled, "What the Traditional Mass Means to Me." [HERE]  It is written by James Kalb. I know Mr. Kalb. We attended the same Mass at the one and only TLM here in Brooklyn.

Mr. Kalb is a convert from the Episcopalian Church. As stated by Mr. Kalb, he believes that the TLM is the true representation of Catholicism:
I came to the Church through the Traditional Latin Mass.
I would have converted anyway. It was becoming more and more obvious that the Church was where I belonged, and it seemed pointlessly obstinate and even artificial to remain apart from her. But the Traditional Mass made the situation clearer, because it made it more obvious what the Church is.
Mr. Kalb writes further:
The Traditional Mass made it clear that the Mass is something different from all that. The formality, the silences, the use of an ancient language, the orientation and gestures of the priest, the indifference to popularity—all those things meant the Mass wasn’t anything like an ordinary meeting. It wasn’t about the people present, and at bottom it wasn’t even their doing. To the contrary, those present evidently understood what was going on as awe-inspiring, mostly invisible, and dependent on someone other than themselves. There was no other way to make sense of how they were acting.
So the Traditional Mass made it clear that there’s a basic dimension in Catholic Christianity, the reliable concrete presence of God, that I couldn’t find anywhere else. That realization clarified what the Church is—she is the way God maintains a visible presence in the world—and the necessity of becoming part of her for those who want to live a complete life.
Notice all of the things which Mr. Kalb points to as setting the Traditional Mass apart: "formality, silences, use of ancient language, orientation, gestures of the priest."  Mr. Kalb feels it is these outward gestures and rubrics which make the Mass Catholic.  As Mr. Kalb writes, the "New Mass" is basically Protestant:
This discussion started as a conversion story, and every conversion has its more personal aspects, so I should also mention benefits the Traditional Mass had for me in particular. The New Mass, especially the earlier translation, was very close to the Episcopalian eucharistic service I was used to before becoming Catholic. The two had evidently been designed to be as similar as possible. That was a problem for me.
What the intentional similarity suggested to me was that the New Mass didn’t give nearly so distinctively Catholic a view of things. I won’t claim that view was fair or that I knew more about the needs of the Church than Bl. Paul VI did, but that was what I saw. The New Mass looked to me like it had been produced less by saints and the sensus fidei fidelium than by an interdenominational committee of credentialed experts and then modified in accordance with the demands of particular communions. For that reason I found it hard to trust unreservedly. It seemed to have been produced in cooperation with people I had good reason not to trust and wanted very much to escape from.
Mr. Kalb feels that the "Novus Ordo" Mass and the Episcopalian service he attended were intentionally made similar, and therefore he has a deep distrust of the "Novus Ordo" Mass.  That is a common criticism of traditionalists against the Ordinary Form of the Mass:  it is too "Protestant".  It just does not have a Catholic feel to it.

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