Thursday, June 14, 2012

Me and Evelyn Waugh

I've just ordered a book, A Bitter Trial, about Evelyn Waugh's struggle to remain faithful after Vatican II knocked the stuffing out of the Catholic tradition. I couldn't agree more, nor could I have expressed my feelings more perfectly.

"Every attendance at Mass," he wrote, "leaves me without comfort or edification." Further, "I find the new liturgy a temptation against Faith, Hope and Charity but I shall never, pray God, apostatize." Shortly before he died, he wrote, "The Vatican Council has knocked the guts out of me... I have not yet soaked myself in petrol and gone up in flames, but I now cling to the Faith doggedly without joy. Church-going is pure duty parade."

This so well expresses how I feel when I attend a Novus Ordo Mass! While I feel joy, comfort, edification, peace, and a fullness and nearness to God at the traditional Mass, I feel a temptation to sneer and find fault and doubt when I attend the Novus Ordo liturgy. I know I should not do it; I know it is wrong-headed and prideful. And I know I should be grateful to God that I have been given the gift of a traditional Mass close by me which I can attend when I am at home.

But one of the great joys of my childhood was that no matter where I was, I could always find a Catholic Mass, and it was always the same, and it was always beautiful and predictable and comforting and true. Now, I never know what I'm going to find - it all depends on the parish's self-proclaimed "liturgists."

At least, in reading Waugh's words, I find comfort in knowing I'm not alone in my feelings, and that greater minds than my own have been subject to the same temptations.

I have been attending Mass, even when not at home, and participating - with however heavy a heart. There must be a reason for all this, as God always has a purpose.