The Orthodox Roman Catholic

Whoever wishes to be saved must, above all, keep the Catholic faith. For unless a person keeps this faith whole and entire, he will undoubtedly be lost forever. Creed of St Athanasius

MISSALE ROMANUM VI: THE MASS AND EFFACACIOUS AND PROPITIATORY PRAYER


Unless our supplications before Almighty God be repentant for all of our past sins and offenses, then our prayers are futile, are mired down in pharisaical insolence, and ultimately inefficacious before Our Heavenly Father

When one considers whether the "Novus Ordo Missae" is more or less efficacious than the "Missa Latina Tridentina", it is imperative that one look first with the utmost circumspection at Our Lord's own words in Sacred Scripture regarding this significant liturgical question.

We can clearly see that Our Divine Teacher gave us an irrefutable paradigm that clarifies authoritatively this complex question in His parable of the two men who went up to the temple to pray:  the pharisee and the publican.

"Two men went up to the temple to pray, the one a pharisee and the other a publican.  The pharisee stood and began to pray thus within himself:  "O God, I thank Thee that I am not like the rest of men, robbers, dishonest, adulterous, or even like this publican.   I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I possess."  But the publican, standing far off, would not so much as lift up his eyes to heaven, but kept striking his breast, saying, "O God, be merciful to me the sinner!"

    "I tell you, this man, went back to his home justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted."  

In Our Lord's own words he told us the pompous prayer of the pharisee was unacceptable before God whereas the publican's prayer was so favorable because he was repentant of his sins and humble, for he did not even


Unless our supplications before Almighty God be repentant for all of our past sins and offenses, then our prayers are futile, are mired down in pharisaical insolence, and ultimately inefficacious before Our Heavenly Father

When one considers whether the "Novus Ordo Missae" is more or less efficacious than the "Missa Latina Tridentina", it is imperative that one look first with the utmost circumspection at Our Lord's own words in Sacred Scripture regarding this significant liturgical question.

We can clearly see that Our Divine Teacher gave us an irrefutable paradigm that clarifies authoritatively this complex question in His parable of the two men who went up to the temple to pray:  the pharisee and the publican.

"Two men went up to the temple to pray, the one a pharisee and the other a publican.  The pharisee stood and began to pray thus within himself:  "O God, I thank Thee that I am not like the rest of men, robbers, dishonest, adulterous, or even like this publican.   I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I possess."  But the publican, standing far off, would not so much as lift up his eyes to heaven, but kept striking his breast, saying, "O God, be merciful to me the sinner!"

    "I tell you, this man, went back to his home justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted."  

In Our Lord's own words he told us the pompous prayer of the pharisee was unacceptable before God whereas the publican's prayer was so favorable because he was repentant of his sins and humble, for he did not even dare to look up.  Clearly, the only efficacious prayers were those of the publican's.

Furthermore, from Our Divine Master's own words we can see how only prayer like the publican's, both humble and repentant, is the basic kind of prayerful offering to God that is efficacious.  Moreover, this kind of prayer is essential to efficacious worship in the Mass.  This most efficacious worship is what we witness in the "Missa Latina Tridentina".  This is so essential to a basic understanding of the big differences in the two masses. 

Why is this so?  Because the very nature of orthodox Roman Catholic prayer through the centuries of tradition in the Church has always manifested certain noteworthy as well as redeeming qualities to be authentic and we must understand these attributes to truly understand efficacious prayer.  First, prayer can seek God's graces and favors by whomever petitions Him-- for either himself or his neighbor's behalf.  Second, prayer can likewise strive to adore and love God for His very nature of everlasting goodness.  Finally, prayer can continuously thank God without end for all the heavenly favors given, suppliant prayers answered, and lavish graces received.  In short, true orthodox Roman Catholic prayers must either adore, petition, or thank the Almighty to be authentic.

But above all, each and every orthodox Roman Catholic prayer must, of necessity, be also sincerely repentant and heartily sorrowful for all sin so it can be efficacious and obtain its supernatural ends of petition, adoration or thanksgiving.  Unless our supplications before Almighty God be repentant for all of our past sins and offenses, then our prayers are futile, are mired down in pharisaical insolence, and ultimately inefficacious before Our Heavenly Father.  It will then, inevitably, fail to achieve its desired ends of  adoration, thanksgiving, and petition.   

Don't we frequently observe today in current Catholic hymnology for the "Novus Ordo Missae" plenty of such pharisaically useless prayers, lacking true humility and repentance for sin, with such popular songs as: "Here I am Lord."

Try and obtain favors or even have a hearing with an angry parent with whom one is not at peace for having offended him or her.  One must first and foremost be repentant with this offended parent and, above all, exhibit a sincere sorrow for the offense rendered to return to his or her graces.  There is simply no room for pride in such a rendezvous as there is absolutely nothing to be proud of before such a justifiably angry parent but only space for true humility and beating one's breast in sorrow, self-incrimination and a firm resolution to sin no more. 

        Therefore, can we not see the utter poignancy and almighty truth of Christ's parable on efficacious prayer and how we can leave the temple "being justified before God and man" like the publican.  Without a heart both humble and repentant before Almighty God, our prayers will inevitably be inefficacious and lacking in the graces and favors from Our Heavenly Father we so ardently need and desire.  

        This, then, is the dramatic and essential difference between the "Novus Ordo Missae" and the "Missa Latina Tridentina":  one is overwhelmingly 'propitiatory' and the other is not.  One is convincingly 'impetratory' and the other not.  The "propitiatory" prayer with sincere sorrow for sin and repentance to Almighty God can only be the "Missa Latina Tridentina", while the declaratory or 'impetratory' prayer that ignores, mitigates, and forgets personal sin with too much pharisaical emphasis on self-worth is the "Novus Ordo Missae." 
 
---to be continued---

J. Hughes Dunphy