Author Topic: Should Laymen love God and the Mass too?  (Read 844 times)

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Offline Matthew

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Should Laymen love God and the Mass too?
« on: May 16, 2016, 12:28:34 PM »
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  • Excuse the silly question in the title, but A) I wanted a compelling title, and B) it seems as though some laymen don't know!

    I've heard single Catholic women lament that there are only two types of men:

    A) Those with a vocation to the priesthood or religious life, who love God, take their Faith seriously, are very knowledgeable about the Faith, are able to deny themselves and fast, they have self-discipline, serve Mass, know the basic prayers, say a daily Rosary, make a thanksgiving after communion, know and sing various Catholic hymns and chant, and in general they place God first in their lives

    B) Those without a vocation who are pretty much the opposite. God falls very low on their priority list, after having fun, amusing themselves, even committing certain sins. They don't place their Faith first in their lives. They don't know much about the Faith (Catholic doctrine, Church history, lives of the Saints, Latin, Liturgy), they are slaves to various habits and passions, they generally are undisciplined so you know they couldn't make it in any seminary or monastery, they can't serve Mass and don't want to learn how, they might know the prayers of the Rosary, but nothing more, and they don't say a daily Rosary, they rush out right after Mass without making a thanksgiving, they never sing, much less Chant, and in general they are very worldly.

    Perhaps this is where the urban legend was born that ex-seminarians are highly sought after by young Trad ladies? (It didn't seem to be true in my case, but I digress)

    What I want to know is: why can't there be LAYMEN with all those good traits I listed under A)?

    Obviously a lot of men fall somewhere in between. As a matter of fact, most of the exceptions that exist are probably CathInfo members -- we attract a lot of serious Catholics, who are almost exclusively laymen. But I want to talk about a very specific issue:

    Why can't ALL healthy young men learn how to serve Mass? Why is serving Mass considered something that boys, aspiring seminarians, seminarians and ex-seminarians have to do? Why do some men so quickly erase "learn how to serve Mass" from their bucket list without having accomplished it?

    I believe these same young men who can't serve Mass are the same ones who don't even CONSIDER a vocation. They don't even try it out. And not only do they quickly dismiss the idea of a vocation, but they don't feel any need to serve God as a layman. That's the part that deserves serious criticism.

    Even if you aren't going to give your whole life to God as a sacrifice of Religion: if you're going to get married, experience the joys of married and family life, have children, make money, be your own boss (eat when you want to, recreate when you want to, etc.) there is still plenty of room for SACRIFICE and SERVICE in a layman's life. There are still plenty of ways the Church needs you, even though you're a layman. As a layman you are not completely "off the hook".

    I've heard the reasons of certain young men how they "know" they are called to be married, and I have to laugh. "I am attracted to women, so I know I'm meant to be married." Uh, yeah...and all priests and religious are homosexuals? Try again, bubba!

    A man will be in this state for years, unable to find a spouse, and yet he's supremely confident that he's called to be married. And in the meantime, he doesn't look into a vocation at all, and doesn't even learn how to serve Mass.

    Unless your knees or health won't permit it, I think all men (especially young men) should know how to serve Mass. It's a privilege reserved to men. Even kings were honored to serve at the altar of sacrifice to the Most High God. But that was in the Ages of Faith. How far we have fallen today.

    NOTE: Men serving the Church in other roles (usher/man who takes up collection, sacristan, Rosary leader, choir, choir leader, organist, chapel coordinator) count as serving Mass. These roles are necessary just as altar servers are necessary. And none of these can be done by the priest.
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    Offline TKGS

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    Should Laymen love God and the Mass too?
    « Reply #1 on: May 16, 2016, 01:58:14 PM »
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  • Quote
    What I want to know is: why can't there be LAYMEN with all those good traits I listed under A)?


    To answer your question, I have just simply never had a talent for singing.  Even in grade school, the choir teacher made it clear that it might just be best if I didn't sing from my diaphragm!


    Offline Matthew

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    Should Laymen love God and the Mass too?
    « Reply #2 on: May 16, 2016, 02:58:33 PM »
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  • Quote from: TKGS
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    What I want to know is: why can't there be LAYMEN with all those good traits I listed under A)?


    To answer your question, I have just simply never had a talent for singing.  Even in grade school, the choir teacher made it clear that it might just be best if I didn't sing from my diaphragm!


    An inability to sing would excuse one from the particular element of "singing chant" just as bad knees or bad health would excuse a man from the particular  element of "serving Mass"

    But the big picture remains. Laymen should be fervently in love with God and His Church, and should do their part to grow the Church and help save souls.

    It shouldn't be that 100% of the fervent men are going into the religious life or priesthood. Not that these men shouldn't become priests, that's not what I'm saying.

    I'm saying that if virtually all of the devout, fervent young men are becoming  priests or religious, then a WHOLE BUNCH OF LAYMEN are falling short in fervor. Because laymen are called to sanctity and perfection as well.

    No more than 25% of men have a vocation to the priesthood and religious life. So out of 100 fervent, devout Catholic young men you know, only 25% of them should be entering religious life and the other 75% should be staying in the world as laymen and getting married.

    But to achieve that 25%/75% percentage split, I am calling for a huge addition to the FERVENT LAYMAN portion of the equation. We need all the priests we can get!

    Declining to pursue a vocation is not a license for an easy life, laziness, lack of discipline, ignorance of Catholic doctrine, permission to have lots of fun in life like a heathen, or any of those things.
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    Offline Croixalist

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    Should Laymen love God and the Mass too?
    « Reply #3 on: May 16, 2016, 03:52:18 PM »
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  • Yes, this is the direction we ought to be heading and not trying to make all priests and religious like laity. You might be a tad overzealous in saying all men should know how to serve Mass, but I certainly agree all should desire to contribute in whatever way they can.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the emphasis on having boys as altar servers more a matter of expedience in order to help the very young discern a vocation as soon as possible?

    Either way, these are great things to aim for.
    Fortuna finem habet.

    Offline Matthew

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    Should Laymen love God and the Mass too?
    « Reply #4 on: May 16, 2016, 04:14:23 PM »
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  • Quote from: Croixalist

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the emphasis on having boys as altar servers more a matter of expedience in order to help the very young discern a vocation as soon as possible?

    Either way, these are great things to aim for.


    Altar boys are the ideal. But every man should be able to step up and fulfill this duty when it is required of them.

    It's kind of like knowing how to fight. It makes you a man, you might not need it on a regular basis, but when the day comes, it's good to have.

    You'd be surprised how many groups and chapels have a shortage of altar boys. Oh, and by the way -- who exactly is going to train those altar boys? Some adult men have to know how, in order to train the boys.

    But it's more than that. Finding one or two men to train the servers isn't a big deal. But who is going to motivate all those young boys to WANT to serve, when they never see any of the grown men (who they look up to) serving Mass? Boys aren't stupid. They want to be grown-up men as soon as possible. Whatever that means, they want in: watching R movies, fornicating, swearing -- or leading the Rosary, serving as choir director, and serving as MC on the altar. Boys need good Catholic male role models to imitate.

    Furthermore, it's hard for those grown men (who still can't serve Mass) to expect their boys to serve Mass. How can they expect their sons to learn something they never bothered to learn? Nemo dat quod non habet. No one gives what he doesn't have. It's hard to instill a high value of serving Mass in your sons, when you yourself still haven't managed to value it enough to learn how.

    At the SSPX chapel in San Antonio they have very few servers, considering the size of the congregation. But there are STILL many grown men (including some older men) on the serving roster today who date back to when Fr. Timothy Pfeiffer was there. He was the one who originally pushed the men to learn how to serve Mass, sing Gregorian chant, etc. I was always impressed by how that chapel regularly used Credo IV, which is probably the best one, rather than the old standby Credo III. Fr. Tim Pfeiffer believed, as I do, that Gregorian chant is accessible to almost all, and that anyone can learn the melody by means of repetition.



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    Offline Capt McQuigg

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    Should Laymen love God and the Mass too?
    « Reply #5 on: May 16, 2016, 04:26:19 PM »
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  • Why aren't the men in category B better than they are?  That's a good question.

    The men in category B from Matthew's OP are a step up from your average Novus Ordo male but just being better than Novus Ordites is not a good way to Love Our Lord and His Mass.

    Laymen should take it one small step at a time, with each step a small increase in devotion.  These laymen are attending the TLM so they are already on the right path.  

    It really is, in the end, a mystery.  


    Offline TheRealMcCoy

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    Should Laymen love God and the Mass too?
    « Reply #6 on: May 16, 2016, 04:36:43 PM »
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  • Great topic.  We built an altar in our garage so my younger sons can be taught to serve.  Also I forced them to be in the choir for a year to learn the basics of chant for the Mass.  My next goal is to buy a piano so we can dive deeper into that because I believe this generation of boys will be the men that will lead the Restoration.  Once you learn a song you remember it for life.

    I will also be purchasing liturgical items to store in my home for potential traveling priests or to start an underground house church.  You never know! :incense:

    Offline Franciscan Solitary

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    Should Laymen love God and the Mass too?
    « Reply #7 on: May 16, 2016, 06:08:25 PM »
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  • I've been told by experienced priests that it's best to have adult and boy altar servers together.  Otherwise the boys often see Catholicism as a childish thing they must put aside with other childish things when their childhood is over.  The idea grows that religion is for women and children, not for "real" men.  Quite a mistake to make, after all.

    What is most needed is a MALE Catholic education primarily for young men.  Women's education is vastly easier to accomplish.  Men's education is the great challenge that can turn everything around.

    And it's the FRANCISCANS who should be the ones to carry the brunt of this hard work.  Then Benedictines would provide a stable base and Dominicans do the preaching, but FRANCISCANS need to do the HEAVY lifting for MEN'S Catholic education.  And the Franciscans need to be like dead men to this world and fight to the death against the prevailing anti-intellectual, provincial (i.e., barbaric) mindset that is actually one and the same with Feminism.  Feminism and Rambo redneck idiocy are nothing but the two sides of exactly the same Jansenist & Anabaptist mindset of heresy & apostasy.

    We have our work cut out for us.  REAL men's Catholic education is where the war is won and lost.  Time to begin winning that war for a change...

    In particular, Benedictines and Franciscans have vast labours to achieve.  We need to focus primarily on them, be ambitious for God (& His People & Church) and not overly nice to our fellow males of the species.  When men take holy pride in being men they will see the desirability of entering into the Roman Catholic clergy.  Especially Benedictine and Franciscan clergy.



    Offline Franciscan Solitary

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    Should Laymen love God and the Mass too?
    « Reply #8 on: May 16, 2016, 06:43:21 PM »
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  • Quote from: Franciscan Solitary
    I've been told by experienced priests that it's best to have adult and boy altar servers together.  Otherwise the boys often see Catholicism as a childish thing they must put aside with other childish things when their childhood is over.  The idea grows that religion is for women and children, not for "real" men.  Quite a mistake to make, after all.

    What is most needed is a MALE Catholic education primarily for young men.  Women's education is vastly easier to accomplish.  Men's education is the great challenge that can turn everything around.

    And it's the FRANCISCANS who should be the ones to carry the brunt of this hard work.  Then Benedictines would provide a stable base and Dominicans do the preaching, but FRANCISCANS need to do the HEAVY lifting for MEN'S Catholic education.  And the Franciscans need to be like dead men to this world and fight to the death against the prevailing anti-intellectual, provincial (i.e., barbaric) mindset that is actually one and the same with Feminism.  Feminism and Rambo redneck idiocy are nothing but the two sides of exactly the same Jansenist & Anabaptist mindset of heresy & apostasy.

    We have our work cut out for us.  REAL men's Catholic education is where the war is won and lost.  Time to begin winning that war for a change...

    In particular, Benedictines and Franciscans have vast labours to achieve.  We need to focus primarily on them, be ambitious for God (& His People & Church) and not overly nice to our fellow males of the species.  When men take holy pride in being men they will see the desirability of entering into the Roman Catholic clergy.  Especially Benedictine and Franciscan clergy.


    Continued comment:

    Absolutely right that virtually all the adult men (unless some actual physical or mental weakness prevents them) should be actively serving Mass!  Then the boys would simply tag along in order to become real men.  The focus among altar servers should be on men, and only secondarily on boys.  

    AND Catholic men should use that as a basis for an on-going interest in the education of young men (and sometimes older men too).  There is another ingredient in this however.  The men also require a military spirit.  Not Keystone Cop running around with guns and knives, but more an actual sense of Knighthood among us.  The men's education needs to have a military focus, again not superfluous weaponry but actually a real sense of nobility and Catholic aristocracy.  Basically we're all nobles now and the Mass of 1962 (and Breviary of 1961) are key to realising this truth.

    We should train virtually all the young men to be noblemen.  Literally and with appropriate holy pride and (as Catholic warriors) even holy warrior arrogance towards the enemies of God.  We men are not called to be overly "nice".  We absolutely need the Catholic women for that; they can be good at niceness whereas we Catholic men never will be.  We should be strong, courteous and a little nice, but not too much.

    Also men's education must always fully include training in vocational work skills.  Financial stability is always key for male innocence in future and all Catholic men should be innocent men.  No difference between Catholic clergymen and laymen there.

    We need to go seriously whole hog with this.


    Offline Last Tradhican

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    Should Laymen love God and the Mass too?
    « Reply #9 on: May 17, 2016, 01:40:31 PM »
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  • Quote from: Matthew

    I've heard single Catholic women lament that there are only two types of men:

    A) Those with a vocation to the priesthood or religious life, who love God, take their Faith seriously, are very knowledgeable about the Faith, are able to deny themselves and fast, they have self-discipline, serve Mass, know the basic prayers, say a daily Rosary, make a thanksgiving after communion, know and sing various Catholic hymns and chant, and in general they place God first in their lives

    B) Those without a vocation who are pretty much the opposite.


    I've heard single Catholic men lament that there are no marriageable women who  love God, take their Faith seriously, are very knowledgeable about the Faith, are able to deny themselves and fast, they have self-discipline, serve Mass, know the basic prayers, say a daily Rosary, make a thanksgiving after communion, know and sing various Catholic hymns and chant, and in general they place God first in their lives.

    In fact I see these poor men bring in girls from the streets all the time, to see if they can convert them. As a matter of fact, I can count at least 12  young men like this at my chapel's Sunday mass. I can see clearly that the girls do not want to be there. I can see more than that with the way they dress.  
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    For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch as to deceive (if possible) even the elect. Mat 24:24

    Offline Last Tradhican

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    Should Laymen love God and the Mass too?
    « Reply #10 on: May 17, 2016, 01:50:48 PM »
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  • Quote from: JPM
    You rang? And quite attractive, athletic, and incredibly witty to boot.  Let's just say I had the pick of the female TRADCAT litter and fared very, very well. [/Trump]


    Quote from: Matthew


    What I want to know is: why can't there be LAYMEN with all those good traits I listed under A)?


    Why can't there be more men that are not set in their ways, more men with common sense, with a business mind for money and management, men that can repair/build/ do hard labor?

    Why can't priest have a business mind, why can't they be good managers of people, why can't they repair/build/ do hard labor?

    The answer is that not all men can be like you and me. The good traits you listed in A describes you. The good traits described by me describes me.  They are "easy" to learn for us, but not for others. It is not their "thing". That's life.

    By the way, I don't serve because I am not needed at my chapel. I don't sing because I don't have the voice (and I have 6 little ones to attend to at mass).
    The Vatican II church - Assisting Souls to Hell Since 1962

    For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch as to deceive (if possible) even the elect. Mat 24:24


     

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