Sunday, 25 July 2021

Resumption of Mass

 If the lockdown in South Australia is lifted Tuesday evening our normal Mass times would resume with 6.45am Mass on Wednesday 28th July.

I have been offering a Mass each day, and thinking much of the regular attenders and their needs.

Let us all pray and make sacrifices to help preserve the Traditional Latin Mass which gives glory to God, and is such a powerful source of blessing to the world.


Thursday, 22 July 2021

8th Sunday after Pentecost 18 Jul 21 Sermon

 8th Sunday after Pentecost 18 July 21 God is close

A recent survey has found: Almost half of US millennials ‘don’t know, believe or care if God exists.’

One could be indifferent to the existence of God only if He were a long way away and very remote from earth’s affairs – and this is what many do think.

Imperfect knowledge of God does begin with very broad concepts, but as our perception of Him improves we come to a very different conclusion – summed up in today’s epistle, that God Himself teaches us to call Him Father! (Rom 8,15)

We go from an impersonal god a million miles away to a God who loves us; who even took on human nature.

People in every age tend to picture God in terms of their own experience of life.

We can sympathise with people who have had very unhappy lives, and who accordingly are cynical about God and life itself.

It is hard for one surrounded by cruelty, deception, betrayal etc to believe in lofty concepts of truth and charity.

Nevertheless the lofty concepts are real and do come from God. The difficulty is penetrating the wall of cynicism.

Even God finds it hard to get through to people who have closed off to Him (given that He will not force them to acknowledge Him).

He is not remote for us, His children and disciples. We learn to distinguish between how things ought to be and how they are.

The fact that the world is full of sin does not diminish God. If the human race had obeyed God from the beginning we would have a very different world now.

It is not too late, even yet, if enough people would repent. The world would start to look like the Kingdom of God, for which we have been praying for so long.

We must be the children of light, referred to in the Gospel. If we are humble, truthful, industrious etc, we will enable God's true nature to be seen in human affairs.

Cynicism will be replaced by Trust.

God does want us to know Him, and to receive the salvation He brings.

He seeks the wellbeing of each person, essentially the soul destined for the next life, and as far as possible the relief of pain and suffering in this life.

And, further still, He wants us to make a response to all this, not just take the blessings and run, but giving thanks to God, remaining close to Him in an ongoing covenant.

This is the fullest of our existence, if we get so far.

God is trying to bring us to see what He is like, and that such things are possible.

He wants to be central to us not just an option or a ceremonial figure; but really have our lives centred on Hm.

This is made more complicated by our own sharing in divine qualities, such as self-awareness, and thus being tempted to form our own ambitions, other than God’s plans for us.

Can we love the real God or do we make ourselves gods? This was the problem for the fallen angels; they fell in love with themselves and rejected the True God.

Many people in every age have done the same thing.

We must follow the good angels and submit to One who is far greater than we are, yet for all His greatness still dwells within us.

 

 

Tuesday, 20 July 2021

Lockdown

 Adelaide is going into strict lockdown from 6pm Adelaide time, Tuesday 20 July.

This means the normal Masses will not be offered at the advertised times.

I will offer Mass privately for the good of all.

The unavailability of Mass is because of the Covid rules, not because of the papal document.

God bless everyone!

Status of TLM

 I am continuing as usual awaiting further discussion and clarification on how the Pope's recent document may affect me.

Like everyone attached to the Traditional Latin Mass I am praying for the best outcome.

We are about to begin Lockdown, so Masses will not continue for the time being.

God bless, and thanks for many offers of support.

Fr David Thoroughgood

Thursday, 15 July 2021

Dedication of diocesan Cathedral 11 Jul 2021 Sermon

Anniversary of Dedication of Cathedral (Adelaide, Australia) 11 July 2021

One thing that we do as Catholics is adore Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. The Host is placed in a monstrance positioned in the centre of the altar and by its central position visibly draws to Itself all who enter the church.

This is enacting what Our Lord intends. He wants to gather all people, all nations to Himself, to restore the unity of the scattered children of God (Jn 11,52); to round up the lost sheep into one flock (Jn 10,16).

To adore Him is to allow ourselves to be drawn towards Him,  to let Him take us into the depths of His mysterious life.

He exerts a centripetal force on all His creation, to come to Him, to be restored to its original condition (which was perfect) and freed from its slavery (Rom 8,21).

He is the Centre of creation, the One who binds all things together, and enables all things (and people) to find their true place and purpose.

It is in this context that we have today’s feast, the Anniversary of the Dedication of the Cathedral church, in this Adelaide archdiocese.

Feasts of dedication of churches are considered to be feasts of the Lord Himself, insofar as the church building is His dwelling place. The honour we pay to a church is honour meant for Our Lord Himself.

The Cathedral church is the visible identifiable centre of a diocese. All the other churches are in union with that central church, and share in its purpose. The plurality of churches does not take away from the single unity that should pervade each diocese.

When we celebrate the dedication of the Cathedral we are reaffirming our own desire to be one with Christ; to converge on Him; and to pray continuously that all other people will find their way to Him.

We find Christ fully present here in this church as much as in the Cathedral; that is how well He caters for us. We do not have to climb up to the Temple as the Jews had to do; we worship in spirit and truth, and can do so fully in any part of the diocese.

But we must acknowledge the Church is bigger than wherever we are, and make a spiritual convergence on Christ, the centre of unity, even if we do not make the physical trip.

There are many centrifugal forces at work on us in today’s world, working to divide rather than unite. There are many who will tell us that there is no central truth; no one saviour of the world; no one way to live rightly – it is up to each person to decide for himself. So the spirit of our age is highly ego-centred and individualistic. Never have we been so alienated from each other as a result.

In the name of a false freedom we are encouraged to find our own way on the path to meaning, to abandon traditional beliefs. Only chaos can result from this, and we have plenty of it as proof.

Today’s feast is a reminder that there is a Saviour but only one; there is a flock to which we are called, but only one. We cannot pick our own saviour, but we can seek out the One who is real and calls us to Himself.

We cannot pick our own church as though it is up to us, but we can joyfully take our place in the Church which He has established... the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church, to which we belong, and whose unity we celebrate today.

For unity, where it is found, we give thanks. For establishing unity, where there is discord, we pray.

Thursday, 8 July 2021

6th Sunday after Pentecost 4 Jul 2021 Sermon

 6th Sunday after Pentecost 4.7.21 Death to Life

Imagine you are on a sinking ship, and you promise to God that if He spares your life you will obey Him in all things for evermore.

It may be such a promise is motivated more by fear than love. When we have regained dry land our gratitude and desire to make amends might cool off very quickly.

This is what happened to Israel when they were released from Egypt. Their celebrations very quickly turned to complaints and rebellion.

We have been rescued from something worse than a sinking ship, and worse than physical slavery. We have been rescued from sin and death, that is, eternal death.

When we were baptized we died with Christ and we rose with Him (Rom 6,4), now setting out on a path of holiness which would culminate in Heaven itself.

At that moment we are promising to God that we will do anything He asks of us. We are promising out of a sense of gratitude that He has rescued us.

In doing so, we are setting ourselves to a high standard of attitude and behaviour.

It is not just a general improvement called for, but a radical healing of sin and all its effects.

You were dead, says St Paul, and now you are alive (cf Eph 2,5).

There is a great contrast between death and life. Post-baptismal life has broken with the pre-Baptism sins.

Unfortunately, we do not generally put this into practice. Many are baptized but how many really take it as seriously as it is meant?

In the spiritual world we become accustomed to falling short of our good intentions.

It is one thing to sin and be forgiven for that sin; but another to accept the sin as ‘normal’ and ‘acceptable’.

We avail ourselves of God's mercy but we do not take that mercy as an excuse for slackness on our part.

Baptism has been reduced for many to a social ceremony, another chance to celebrate, a very bland event all round.

Is anyone at a typical baptism ceremony thinking in terms of shedding blood for the sake of the Kingdom of God?

Is anyone resolving to work on areas of fault and weakness to become a strong disciple of Christ?

It is not just Baptism where we have sunk into mediocrity, but the same can apply to all sacraments, and all Catholic life.

Our faith makes sense only when it is seen in its full force. If we become Catholic just to stay the same as we were before, or the same as everyone else is, then there is not much point.

We are meant to see ourselves as dead men brought back to life. On death row and pardoned at the last minute. We can walk free, but we must not forget, like the nine lepers who never came back (Lk 17,17).

It is made more difficult by the general lack of interest in spiritual matters. If you are going to be a serious Catholic then you are probably going to be on your own a lot! In the current climate.

But part of being a disciple is being resilient, loyal, faithful to the end. We can cope with being a minority; we can cope with having to wait for the Master to return; and much else, not excluding suffering and death.

This is the only way we can make sense of our faith. An aeroplane has to commit to taking off if it is ever to reach its destination. In a similar way we must launch ourselves in the Lord’s service.

Many hold back through fear of what real discipleship could mean. Our Lord promises He will look after us. There will be some hair-raising moments, but we will come through them all with His help.

We get stronger with each trial and less afraid; so we come to be what we are – disciples of Christ, children of God, reborn to eternal life. We are alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 6,11).

 

Thursday, 1 July 2021

5th Sunday after Pentecost 27 Jun 2021 Sermon

 5th Sunday after Pentecost 27.6.21 Reconciled

When you bring your gift before the altar, and there remember your brother has anything against you… go first to be reconciled to him and then come and offer thy gift (Mt 5,23-24).

We need to bring to Mass the best we can; to bring ourselves with the best possible attitude to what is happening here.

The Mass is the offering of God in His humanity to God in His divinity, God the Son offered to God the Father, on behalf of all humanity.

It is a perfect sacrifice insofar as it is offered by God, who does everything perfectly.

We are joined to that perfect sacrifice when we participate in Mass; but when it comes to our efforts the perfections might diminish very quickly!

Our Lord in offering Himself is willing the complete forgiveness of all sin; the reconciliation of each person and all people to the Father.

Everything He is doing is for the good of others. He is not seeking anything for Himself.

And this is what we are attempting to imitate. We share in His sacrifice with a contrite spirit, wanting complete forgiveness of our own sins, and wanting others to have the same experience.

This latter point we may not be so clear about. We want others to know the mercy of God, even if they are people who have hurt us, or for whatever reason we do not much like.

It can be difficult also for us insofar as we can be too busy to settle ourselves for each Mass, to tune into the great drama enacted at each Mass. We can be hurried, or worried; distracted by a hundred cares, unable to focus.

As far as possible we prepare ourselves. Come early to Mass, if you can.

What does it mean to be reconciled first with our brother? We cannot go around before each Mass and talk to every person where there may be some frostiness in the relationship.

This would be impossible from a practical point of view, as there simply would not be time.

As far as each Mass goes it would be sufficient if we have at least a general goodwill and a generous attitude to others – not begrudging them the fulness of God's mercy.

We understand that God loves the people concerned, even if we do not.

We understand that our positive cooperation with what He is trying to do (namely, reconcile everyone to the Father) is vital to the whole process.

We do not want to spoil the overall effect by bringing any contrary attitudes to the Mass. We want our offering to be as perfect as it needs to be.

Perfect in purity and extent, the whole universe included. As Christians we are supposed to lead the way out the wrong attitudes, not just be dragged in like everyone else.

This is especially the case when we are dealing with another Christian.

What if the other person does not want to be reconciled? We can still pray for him and enable the perfect sacrifice to be transmitted in its effects.

We can help the divine sacrifice to take effect! It needs us. Even the best medicine needs someone else to carry it to where it is needed. That is what we do at Mass.

It is the perfect sacrifice for very imperfect people, but it does a lot of good all the same.

May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands. He will accept the Son, and us too if we are close enough to that Son.

We could say that we need to be reconciled to come to Mass, and that Mass will reconcile us! Both are ongoing processes which require our cooperation, always invoking the grace of God to supply what we cannot.