Last June, Father John Zuhlsdorf posted on his blog a most interesting letter from a priest with a charismatic Catholic background on his experience going on the annual Chartres Pilgrimage last June and learning the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, aka the Traditional Latin Mass.
I only came across this post on Friday and found the letter and the discussion in the combox most interesting, given the experience many of us in the ordinariates have had with with charismatic renewal and our own traditional Divine Worship.
The priest writes (with Father Z’s emphases and comments in brackets):
The great boon in celebrating the Extraordinary Form, for me, was mainly twofold. First, there is something very liberating about incessantly asking the Lord for forgiveness as we do, in not only the Confiteor but also the many private prayers of the priest. The Scripture became very true for me: “Humiliamini in conspectu Domini, et exaltabit vos.” Second–and I understand that some of your readership may differ from me here–as a Charismatic Catholic, I deeply, deeply appreciated the celebration of the Pentecost Octave, with the sevenfold Veni, Sancte Spiritus and the focus on the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the Epistle. I’ll come right out and say it: The “mutual enrichment” envisioned by Pope Benedict has come true in my own priesthood by the exchange between Traditionalism and the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.
Without abandoning the Ordinary Form, I confess that the older Missal and Breviary has enriched my priesthood in ways I had never imagined. In fact, I found myself becoming more robustly priestly and fatherly.
[ NB] I also want to take a moment for public repentance. Long ago, at a certain liberal seminary far, far away, I was indoctrinated with a disdain for, and even a mockery of, Traditional Catholics. I jumped on the bandwagon for their supposed liturgical naivete and sanctimony. I was convinced that they were backwards, habitually uncharitable, and elitist. After being around 14,000 other Traditional Catholics and priests of more traditional religious congregations, I found them to be astonishingly affable, joyous, and genuine. I was especially surprised to not have heard a single murmur against Pope Francis during the Chartres Pilgrimage. So, to all of those Traditional Catholics I mocked in the past: I am truly sorry. I was wrong. You are doing tremendous good for Christ and His Church.
Back in 2011, Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa (shown above greeting Barb Reid, wife of Msgr. Carl Reid, now Ordinary of Our Lady of the Southern Cross in Australia. at his diaconal ordination in 2013) assigned a priest from the Companions of the Cross, a relatively new charismatic order, as our “mentor priest” while we underwent catechesis prior to our reception into the Catholic Church in April 2012.
After we became Catholic, during the time when our former clergy were awaiting ordination as Catholic priests, our mentor priest celebrated Mass for us, according to the now-replaced Anglican Use liturgy of the Book of Divine Worship. When he couldn’t make it on a Sunday, he would get one of his brother priests, including the General Superior of the order, to celebrate it for us.
The General Superior so loved our Mass that he asked Msgr. Steenson for permission to celebrate it! He loved the richness of the prayers. All of the Companions, who were used to guitar masses and hands raised in worship, celebrated our Mass with reverence, ad orientem, and according to the rubrics. It was such a great example of the treasures of our Anglican tradition being shared, as Pope Benedict XVI hoped they would be. And we were blessed by the spontaneity and love of these priests, their freedom in Christ.
The comments section over at Father Z’s was also interesting because of some of the questions some raise about possible excesses in the charismatic movement.
There is some very interesting back and forth in the section, but you’ll need to pour yourself a beverage of some kind and spend about 20 minutes to read them all.
I have reservations about excesses in the charismatic renewal, especially how Catholics continue to go over to Protestant venues to seek a new “anointing.” I have seen good fruit on one hand; I have seen stuff that looks a lot like hypnotic suggestion and craziness on the other. There’s a lot over in the comments section on this issue, pro and con. Enjoy.