Friday, May 23, 2014

Under the "spell" of the Mass

An excerpt from a letter to his wife by John Adams, second President of the United States:

     "This afternoon, led by curiosity and good company, I strolled away to mother church, or rather grandmother church. I mean the Romish chapel. I heard a good, short moral essay upon the duty of parents to their children, founded in justice and charity, to take care of their interests, temporal and spiritual. This afternoon’s entertainment was to me most awful and affecting; the poor wretches fingering their beads, chanting Latin, not a word of which they understood; their pater nosters and ave Marias; their holy water; their crossing themselves perpetually; their bowing to the name of Jesus, whenever they hear it; their bowings, kneelings and genuflections before the altar. The dress of the priest was rich white lace. His pulpit was velvet and gold. The altar-piece was very rich, little images and crucifixes about; wax candles lighted up. But how shall I describe the picture of our Savior in a frame of marble over the altar, at full length, upon the cross in the agonies, and the blood dropping and streaming from his wounds! The music, consisting of an organ and a choir of singers, went all the afternoon except sermon time, and the assembly chanted most sweetly and exquisitely.
     Here is everything which can lay hold of the eye, ear, and imagination–everything which can charm and bewitch the simple and ignorant. I wonder how Luther ever broke the spell. Adieu."


"Here is everything which can lay hold of the eye, ear, and imagination." Yes, that truly was the genius of the Old Mass!  But don't worry President Adams - thanks to the aggiornamento of Vatican II and the modernist changes that followed in its wake, we have finally updated the liturgy.  No more Latin mumbo-jumbo, no more pious hocus-pocus and chanting, no richly decorated altars. We have Protestantized the liturgy to accommodate people like you Mr. Adams, rather than the "simple and ignorant." Regarding that graphic portrait of the Crucified Christ, you will be pleased to know that we have downplayed the sacrificial nature of the Mass, emphasizing instead the communal meal aspect. You may rest assured that there is little chance that anyone will ever come under the "spell" of the new liturgy.   

John Adams excerpt thanks to Dr. William Zambrano's "Tribulation Times."  Subscribe here.


  1. How very, very shortsighted...On the other hand there is the brilliant, former militant Atheist Andre Frossard's sudden conversion in the Chapel of the Sisters of Adoration. He entered, looking for a friend, and saw the altar from the rear of the chapel, with the Blessed Sacrament exposed in a brilliant light. He had no idea what he was looking at as he'd never seen a monstrance. This is what he wrote:

    “At first, the hint of the words ‘Spiritual Life’ came to me, as if they had been pronounced in a whisper next to me by one who saw what I was as yet unable to see.. ..What I saw was an indestructible crystal of infinite transparency [from which radiated] a pale-blue light of almost unbearable intensity (one degree higher and I would have died). It was a world; another world of a radiance and brightness that in one stroke cast our world among the fragile shadows of unfulfilled dreams. From the dark shore upon which I stood, I gazed on this new reality and truth and saw the order of the universe. At its summit was the Self-Evident Nature of God who was both Presence and Person. A moment earlier I had denied Its existence. Christians call this Presence ‘Our Father.’ I felt all Its tender goodness and sweetness... a sweetness unlike any other, capable of breaking the hardest stone and that which is even harder than stone—the human heart. . . .The irruption of this reality of God was accompanied by a joy which is the exultation of one rescued from death, the joy of a shipwrecked man at the very moment he is plucked from the seas. Only now did I realize how mired in the mud I had been all this time. I was amazed I could have lived and breathed in such a state." In an instant, life changed for the Atheist Frossard. He converted to Catholicism and wrote magnificently and profoundly about the truth of the Catholic Church.

  2. I forgot to say that Frossard's experience in the chapel took place in June, 1935, and that there were people kneeling in the chapel, in which the Blessed Sacrament was perpetually exposed, and no doubt other Catholic images surrounding the altar-- a world of "spiritual reality" similar to what the former president of the U.S. failed to see or sense, remaining on the dark shore......