Sad and Confused ...

Please be nice to me - I'm a college student and recent convert to the Church and I'm just trying to figure things out. I really, really don't want this thread to turn into a fight.

To get to the point ... I have attended OF Masses since I became interested in the Church and throughout my conversion process. I love the Mass, but as my spiritual life has deepened I have begun to be troubled by certain elements (i.e. the "sign of peace", a - to me - distracting episode that for some reason has been placed at the pivotal moment after the consecration and before asking God for mercy) as well as some significant abuses that I have seen from a number of different priests lately, at different parishes - some of these abuses were extensive and appalling, and the laity just went along with everything. I go to daily Mass and these Masses are reverent but I have begun to actually dread Sunday Mass for various reasons.

Largely because of this, yesterday I went to the only local EF. It was a low Mass with a very elderly priest and almost no one there. It was beautiful ... but I can't even express how miserable I felt afterwards and still feel ... taking part in the ancient rite only confirmed the painful growing feeling that the current OF was a real misstep for the Church. It is incomprehensible to me why the old rite was done away with so drastically. It was also painful to see how few people there were, and how much difficulty this priest has in being able to celebrate this Mass. And it's perplexing to me to see so much hostility aimed against those who love this rite.

I have a strange feeling of mourning as if it has finally been brought home to me how much the Church that I have just joined, that I love, is struggling. I don't know how to express it. I keep crying uncontrollably. I feel adrift as if I don't know anymore how or where to anchor myself spiritually. When I pray I feel abandoned by God and I wonder if I have done something wrong.

Has anyone felt this way ... and if so ... how do you cope?

Brother you are not alone. Although I was raised with the OF Mass, I to since I have discovered it prefer the EF. As more and more people rediscover this it useage will become more and more common place. Hang in there and pray.

Hello Student,

I’m sorry you’re having a rough time right now. :frowning: I really feel for you. I’m a convert too, and after reading the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium) from Vatican II, I was pretty scandalized to realize what a gap there was between what was actually permitted and what actually takes place in the average parish today. What happened is kind of long and complicated, and it probably won’t serve you to research it until you’re feeling a little better.

What you can be sure of, is that there have been all kinds of troubles in the history of our Church, and this is not the first, last, or worst. Jesus promised his disciples that the gates of Hell would not prevail against His Church.

Don’t worry, God has not abandoned you, and you haven’t done anything wrong. Though all the sadness can make it hard to hear His voice. It’s okay to be sad though. The Tridentine Mass is our birthright and it was nearly lost :frowning:

But it wasn’t lost, and you are not alone! There are all kinds of people working to make it better, including pope Benedict and people like this:
newliturgicalmovement.org/
wdtprs.com/blog/

If you haven’t already, read Scott Hahn’s “The Lamb’s Supper”, read the Baltimore Catechism, and read about the spirituality of the traditional Mass. If you anchor yourself in the knowledge of what the Mass really is, and what you are supposed to be doing there, then no matter what the circumstances are at whatever kind of Mass you are attending, you can still do your part to honor God and participate in Christ’s Holy Sacrifice on the altar with the entire Communion of Saints.

I hope that helps some. Take care and keep praying! God bless.

[quote="Student09, post:1, topic:205896"]
Please be nice to me - I'm a college student and recent convert to the Church and I'm just trying to figure things out. I really, really don't want this thread to turn into a fight.

To get to the point ... I have attended OF Masses since I became interested in the Church and throughout my conversion process. I love the Mass, but as my spiritual life has deepened I have begun to be troubled by certain elements (i.e. the "sign of peace", a - to me - distracting episode that for some reason has been placed at the pivotal moment after the consecration and before asking God for mercy) as well as some significant abuses that I have seen from a number of different priests lately, at different parishes - some of these abuses were extensive and appalling, and the laity just went along with everything. I go to daily Mass and these Masses are reverent but I have begun to actually dread Sunday Mass for various reasons.

Largely because of this, yesterday I went to the only local EF. It was a low Mass with a very elderly priest and almost no one there. It was beautiful ... but I can't even express how miserable I felt afterwards and still feel ... taking part in the ancient rite only confirmed the painful growing feeling that the current OF was a real misstep for the Church. It is incomprehensible to me why the old rite was done away with so drastically. It was also painful to see how few people there were, and how much difficulty this priest has in being able to celebrate this Mass. And it's perplexing to me to see so much hostility aimed against those who love this rite.

I have a strange feeling of mourning as if it has finally been brought home to me how much the Church that I have just joined, that I love, is struggling. I don't know how to express it. I keep crying uncontrollably. I feel adrift as if I don't know anymore how or where to anchor myself spiritually. When I pray I feel abandoned by God and I wonder if I have done something wrong.

Has anyone felt this way ... and if so ... how do you cope?

[/quote]

Well, as to you feeling adrift, yeah, I have felt that way a lot, but for different reasons (not b/c of the RC church per se, but organized religion in a general sense). I really feel so sad reading that you cry about your church and the direction it's taking, how sad...

I just wanted to comment and I have a question as well, I hope it's not misplaced...

When I DID go to mass forever ago, I used to actually DREAD the part of the mass where you'd have to show others the "sign of peace"...well, b/c I was/am pretty shy, I was painfully so as a kid/teen, and I had/have an aversion to people touching/hugging me. Go figure.
That being said...what's an OF and an EF mass? I'm guessing one is the older mass where some of it was in Latin, and one is the mass that's done away with that?

[quote="Student09, post:1, topic:205896"]
...but I can't even express how miserable I felt afterwards and still feel ... taking part in the ancient rite only confirmed the painful growing feeling that the current OF was a real misstep for the Church. It is incomprehensible to me why the old rite was done away with so drastically.

I have a strange feeling of mourning as if it has finally been brought home to me how much the Church that I have just joined, that I love, is struggling. I keep crying uncontrollably. I feel adrift as if I don't know anymore how or where to anchor myself spiritually.

Has anyone felt this way ... and if so ... how do you cope?

[/quote]

This is exactly how I felt last summer when I first went to TLM.
It is a mystery to many why the old rite has been destroyed (yes, destroyed).
I obsessed over this for ages and felt angry, sad, disillusioned, robbed of my spiritual heritage, etc. I still get these feelings sometimes, especially after really awful NOs.

However, there is hope. As the previous poster said, the number of people discovering the TLM is growing. I'm convinced that one day it will exist side by side with the NO. For now, I'm just grateful that I have been led to it and as a consequence grown spiritually. I feel deeply connected to the past and our beautiful tradition.
So don't despair. Pray for the TLM and that more people are brought to it. Thank God for bringing you there. And don't forget that this crisis in the church is nothing really new. There has always been some kind of crisis and a sea of problems: heresies from the start, schisms, etc. The history of our church is not an easy, pleasant story. But Jesus has promised to be with us til the end of time and that the gates of hell shall not prevail. The chursh today is in trouble once again but that is not the end. So...we have to have faith in his words and keep praying.

I know what you mean. One cannot lose hope though, keep things right on your community level. Keep your parish on track by being the voice that stands by the church, don’t let the wolves, and believe me there are wolves, attack our liturgies and families.

My experience has been very similar - the feelings of mourning, the sense of struggle, and the tears. But I have not felt abandoned by God. I have united my suffering to that of Our Lord on the Cross. Every morning when you arise and every time you are aware of these feelings offer them to God. If you do this your pain can draw you closer to God rather than being a barrier.

Also, study Church history. Every era has had horrible, seemingly insurmountable, problems. And yet, the Church survives and people of holiness live among us.

Can you pin point what you find offensive in the OF? I grew up with the Latin Mass and was there when the Mass was switched to English. Frankly, I’ve had 3 yrs of Latin and could read the Latin Missal. It seemed to me that the words were the same except easier to understand in English. I’d rather have a clear understanding of the prayers during the Mass. As for the sign of peace… are we not all one family in Christ? I can understand not wanting to shake hands but a smile and wish of peace is nice for anyone to give and to receive.

I don’t know. I do know I would love to sense more reverence at Mass, less joking, less yacking on cell phones, less disrespectul attire.

I want a Communion rail. I don’t want singing when I’m receiving the Eucharist. I’m troubled too.

Oh and PS: Welcome home.

I congratulate you on reaching out for guidance and support. There are many people within the Church that will be able to assist you. However there are also many who may be inclined to discourage you from pursuing the Extraordinary Form (Latin Mass). So you have to be careful who you talk to. You are early in your search and it could be disastrous to your young faith to get into a discussion about the changes that have come about since Vatican II. Pray, read about these changes and then pray, pray, pray some more. God will lead you to what you need, sometimes His timeframe is a mystery to us. So never give up Hope. It wouldn't hurt to say the Act of Hope daily.

Check out www.latinmassschedule for EF Masses throughout the US.

Stay close to Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Mother and you will find what you seek. God bless you and keep you.

I would never be mean to you and I feel sad that you are going thru this problem, but I have to honestly say that I love that part of the Mass where people shake your hand and
smile.
I don’t know what to do or what you can do to overcome this, but why not talk to your spiritual counselor? Or to a priest?

You may want to check out retreats in your area. The ones I’ve been to were very quiet and
very reassuring. You don’t have to be Catholic to go to one, btw.

Talking on cell phones! I too have been seriously disturbed by other people talking on cellphones.
I understand family emergencies and such but clearly the calls taken by the person next to me were not of that nature, and I could hear the entire conversation!
I wish that the powers that be would designate ONE pew, way in the back, for people who
must have their cell phones on.

[quote="Student09, post:1, topic:205896"]
Please be nice to me - I'm a college student and recent convert to the Church and I'm just trying to figure things out. I really, really don't want this thread to turn into a fight.

To get to the point ... I have attended OF Masses since I became interested in the Church and throughout my conversion process. I love the Mass, but as my spiritual life has deepened I have begun to be troubled by certain elements (i.e. the "sign of peace", a - to me - distracting episode that for some reason has been placed at the pivotal moment after the consecration and before asking God for mercy) as well as some significant abuses that I have seen from a number of different priests lately, at different parishes - some of these abuses were extensive and appalling, and the laity just went along with everything. I go to daily Mass and these Masses are reverent but I have begun to actually dread Sunday Mass for various reasons.

Largely because of this, yesterday I went to the only local EF. It was a low Mass with a very elderly priest and almost no one there. It was beautiful ... but I can't even express how miserable I felt afterwards and still feel ... taking part in the ancient rite only confirmed the painful growing feeling that the current OF was a real misstep for the Church. It is incomprehensible to me why the old rite was done away with so drastically. It was also painful to see how few people there were, and how much difficulty this priest has in being able to celebrate this Mass. And it's perplexing to me to see so much hostility aimed against those who love this rite.

I have a strange feeling of mourning as if it has finally been brought home to me how much the Church that I have just joined, that I love, is struggling. I don't know how to express it. I keep crying uncontrollably. I feel adrift as if I don't know anymore how or where to anchor myself spiritually. When I pray I feel abandoned by God and I wonder if I have done something wrong.

Has anyone felt this way ... and if so ... how do you cope?

[/quote]

I understand your perplexity and sympathize with you. I grew up with the Tridentine Mass and truly miss it. The Novus Ordo, to me is more like a Protestant service. But, we have to keep in mind, it is not our feelings that count but the centrality of the Mass, that is the celebration of the Eucharist. We must Keep Jesus at the center and focus of our worship, not whether, or not, the way it's done.

More and more believers realize that the Tridentine Mass is the true Mass. God Bless.

PAX DOMINI :signofcross:

Shalom Aleichem Totus Tuus Domini

Thank you for all your kind and helpful replies. I know God hasn't really abandoned me and it only feels that way. I think I'm kind of in a state of shock. But I'll recover. It's good to know that I am not alone.

[quote="phoenixrrt62, post:4, topic:205896"]

When I DID go to mass forever ago, I used to actually DREAD the part of the mass where you'd have to show others the "sign of peace"...well, b/c I was/am pretty shy, I was painfully so as a kid/teen, and I had/have an aversion to people touching/hugging me. Go figure.

That being said...what's an OF and an EF mass? I'm guessing one is the older mass where some of it was in Latin, and one is the mass that's done away with that?

[/quote]

Hi, I'm shy too, but the main trouble I have with the sign of peace is not the touching other people - although I could live without it - but the timing. Lately I have found that I often become extremely absorbed in prayer during the consecration. It is actually painful to tear my attention away from God at that moment so that I can move around and look at and talk to other people. People often continue hugging and talking while the choir is singing "Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us", which is distracting and seems inappropriate given that we are supposed to be asking God for mercy. Then there are only a few minutes to prepare for Holy Communion and by that time that deep absorption in God is usually gone because of the talking and hand-shaking. I honestly don't think they could have chosen a worse place in the Mass to put it. The EF doesn't have this problem.

OF is for "Ordinary Form" also called the Novus Ordo and EF is for "Extraordinary Form" also called the Tridentine Latin Mass.

BTW I saw that you're an agnostic. I grew up atheist/agnostic and in spite of the difficulties and the rough patches, finding the Church has been the best thing that ever happened to me.

Just remember, even an OF Mass is still the Mass. If you prefer the EF, that’s fine, too. It is possible to celebrate both forms reverently, and indeed there are many priests who do - they don’t catch attention, sure, but reverent celebration of either form of the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is a boon to any parish.

[quote="Cojuanco, post:15, topic:205896"]
Just remember, even an OF Mass is still the Mass. If you prefer the EF, that's fine, too. It is possible to celebrate both forms reverently, and indeed there are many priests who do - they don't catch attention, sure, but reverent celebration of either form of the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is a boon to any parish.

[/quote]

As I said, I have seen reverent and beautiful OF Masses and I love the Mass in that form. Also I'm looking forward to the new translation.

But I do have a few questions - for instance, why was the priest turned around? Why does he now face the people? What was the reasoning behind this? About halfway through the EF, I realized that for the first time I was not being distracted by the priest and was free to focus on God - I was facing God with the priest. I guess you could say it's just a "preference" but there must have been some theological reason for having the priest face the altar, instead of the congregation, in the first place. So what happened - did the theology change?

The theology never changes - but there was a concern in those days that the people had no idea what the priest was saying, and that they were in a way seen as excluded from the Mass.

But the reasoning why the priest in the EF is facing the altar is because he's performing a sacrifice - to God.

[quote="Cojuanco, post:17, topic:205896"]
The theology never changes - but there was a concern in those days that the people had no idea what the priest was saying, and that they were in a way seen as excluded from the Mass.

But the reasoning why the priest in the EF is facing the altar is because he's performing a sacrifice - to God.

[/quote]

I'm confused. Weren't people better educated and more literate - on the whole - in the 20th century than in the preceding centuries? And they could read missals? I wasn't around then, so I don't really know what it was like. What specifically about the 20th century made people feel excluded from the Mass and that they didn't understand it?

[quote="vsedriver, post:8, topic:205896"]
Frankly, I've had 3 yrs of Latin and could read the Latin Missal. It seemed to me that the words were the same except easier to understand in English. I'd rather have a clear understanding of the prayers during the Mass.

[/quote]

I hear this all the time but I haven't seen any evidence that people understand the Mass or the Eucharist more since the change to the English Mass. In fact, the opposite would seem to be the case, if the percentage of Catholics going to Church is any indicator of this level of understanding.

I notice that you’re located in Riverside. Sometimes my job takes me to inland empire cities. Can you please refer me to a parish that offers a reverent OF in your area? When and where?

Maggie

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