Welcome to the site for News, Events and up-to-date Information on Traditional Catholicism in the West Midlands (UK). I am one of the Diocesan Representatives for the Latin Mass Society of England & Wales for the Promotion of the Traditional Roman Rite.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

The Sermon of the First Maryvale Mass

The new regular second Wednesday Mass at the Maryvale Institute is tonight. Below is the text of the sermon given by Fr Paul Lester at the first Mass which took place on the Feast of St Damasus, 11th December 2013

Fr Paul Lester at the Maryvale Institute Chapel

"At the introit of this Mass we heard the words "feed my sheep". St Damasus, whom we honour today, fed as shepherd his people with true spiritual teaching and fought against the heresies of his time. A good shepherd feeds his flock, he does not entertain them. A child is utterly dependent on its mother for food, for life itself. This is not about inequality but about life itself. As adults, in the spiritual sense, we are utterly dependent on the One who gives, Jesus Christ, our Lord. We cannot know what it is that comes unless we allow space for it to enter. St Thomas Aquinas states that the highest spiritual perfection is the movement from the contemplative to the active, and of course in this he was no more than meditating about the account of Martha and Mary in the Gospel. The fruit of contemplation enables us to live and act purposefully.

"Feed my sheep, not entertain them, so that their emotions and thoughts are not distracted in each other. Entertainment is recreation, but it is not worship. For in true worship, the sense of self is diminished. If worship becomes entertainment, a form of sentimentalism, it is a form of self-idolatory contained within a circle of self-congratulation. It is not entertainment that people want but peace, peace in their souls.

"Many people have never discovered the ancient Mass, especially the young, but when they have, it has awakened in them a deep faith. In fact, throughout the world the revival of the traditional Mass has often been spearheaded by them, and so we cannot say for them it is nostalgia. They have been captivated by the beauty ad contemplative spirit it conveys. Often, no-one told them but they discovered it for themselves and asked themselves, "Why was this kept hidden from us?" Maybe by those who dislike it - and why do they?

  1. They do not understand Latin
  2. They are not actively involved, like reading or giving out communion
  3. It is quiet and you have to kneel a lot
  4. They cannot hear the priest
  5. At Holy Communion, they have to kneel down and receive Jesus on the tongue
  6. There is no upbeat of folksy music
  7. There is no holding hands/ shaking hands
  8. The congregation does not respond to the prayers
"All these things are correct, but they do not understand that the reason for these things is the contemplation and adoration of God, a foretaste of Heaven on Earth. The Church has for centuries meditated upon the divine mystery of our salvation and has clothed the rites and ceremonies of Holy Mass with a beauty that conveys clearly this truth, and in this the personality of the priest is utterly unimportant. That is why his attention is focussed on the altar of sacrifice. He, though unworthy, must disappear, so that through his anointed hands he will feed his people with the Bread of Heaven, after the example of St Damasus who we honour today."
Fr Paul Lester with server Kevin O'Connor

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