Modernism is ideological, Tradition is not, it is realistic.
|Tradition v. |
It is Modernism with abstract concepts, adopted from the prevailing culture, which has claimed to transform Catholic life and thought. Starting from modern philosophy, idealism, Personalism and the ideological psychology of modernity, modernism has wanted to adapt the truths of the Faith and the actual life of Christians; in so doing, it has destroyed everything and has rendered the Christian life, first false, and then useless and impossible to live.
In Modernism, everything comes from ideology; cogitations by contemporary atheist and agnostic thinkers are embraced uncritically as good, and there is a desire to force Catholic thought to adapt to them so that it will not remain ‘outside history’. It is a continuous desire ‘to keep up with the times’ so that Christianity does not grow old. It is not reality that commands, but ideology and the ideas of intellectuals.
Tradition, by contrast, comes from reality.
The reality where God reveals Himself, is made known, and the reality of man, a poor sinner, who has need of a salvation which he is unable to give himself. This is realism and Christian simplicity. When one draws close to the world of Tradition one senses the beauty of this simplicity and realism. The man who is simple of heart and who has not been spoilt by the pride of the latest intellectuals in vogue, tastes this simple realism which enables him to face his existence and to act worthily. He senses that everything becomes clear in life.
Pride makes man delirious : it makes him complicate the simplicity of God and makes him lose the way of salvation. Pride - pride of the intelligence and heart - impedes his ability to reason and so makes him complicate everything. ..and “the Lord hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart”.
However, it is necessary to be vigilant always.
Even in Tradition this pride can “return”. This pride that ruins everything. Tradition must be lived in simplicity and not with haughtiness. All of it must be lived in firm realism: the Mass of all time must be celebrated and attended because it saves the world from the abyss. It must not be lived merely as a demonstration – as a “political” position - against modernity. A Traditional pilgrimage with the Mass of all time, must be done not as a show of strength, so as to prove to the modernists that these things are done better by conservatives. Rather, it must be done as an urgent appeal for forgiveness and graces to the Lord, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the Saints, as, for example, we did on the second pilgrimage to Oropa [Sanctuary dedicated to the Black Madonna near Biella, Piedmont, Northern Italy], which is part of the great nine-year novena that anticipates the Centennial of the Coronation of Our Lady.
It is a question of life and death; if we fall into the trap of ideology, Tradition will be on a dead-end street. Traditional manifestations will be held here and there, perhaps even solemn ones, but these will not touch hearts, will not really communicate grace and will not change lives. We want to remain with those simple and great people, who for centuries have been kneeling before Our Lord, knowing that they are in need of everything. A humble people, because they are souls who truly ask forgiveness for their sins. A people, courageously firm, because on the truths of the Faith, on the form of the Traditional Mass, on Catholic doctrine, they will not give in to even one iota, because all of these have been given by the Lord for our salvation. They are not our property.
By contrast, the intellectual who loves the Traditional Mass out of conservatism, in one way, wants these public moments to affirm his taste for ancient things, but at the same time, he becomes weak in the battle against heresy, for fear of being excluded from the public assemblies of today, or worse, from the public life of the Church; he comes to terms with error and ambiguity from the modernized Church, because of the human need to be a winner in the end; he does not trust the Lord and wants to be assured of a victory which is purely human.
We must pray frequently, we must attend the Traditional Latin Mass frequently, if possible daily, we must receive the Sacraments, we must love Catholic Doctrine, so that we remain realistically and humbly attached to Our Lord. And the Lord will give us the graces, even after the darkest night, even after the most tremendous crisis of the Church.
May the Most Blessed Virgin grant us a pure heart, and free us of intellectual pride. Then it will really be Christmas.
[Editorial: Radicati nella fede, December 2012, bulletin of the Catholic community of Domodossola and Vocogno, Diocese of Novara, Italy - Translation and tip: Contributor Francesca Romana]