Eternal Things: No Loss?

IN A previous post, The World, the Sacred Heart and the New Mass, I noted how the old Postcommunion for the Feast of the Sacred was changed in the Missal of Paul VI in order to accommodate modernist theology on the world and earthly things.

Many of the changes in the Propers of the new Missal reflect this “new view of human values,” as Bugnini’s assistant, Carlo Braga called it. (See Work of Human Hands, 223). For the most part, such changes went unnoticed in traditionalist critiques of the reformed rite. But in the liturgy, the little stuff starts to add up.

In the Sunday orations in particular, the reformers routinely abolished or rewrote texts containing ideas that “contemporary man” (i.e., godless, secular man) finds disturbing. One such example is the tomorrow’s Collect for the Sunday within the Octave of Sacred Heart (Pentecost III), which was “sanitized” of unpleasant implications and then put to use in the new Missal’s 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Both the old and the revised texts begin the same way:

O God, the protector of those who hope in Thee,

without whom nothing is strong, nothing holy,

increase Thy mercy towards us;

that with Thee as ruler and guide,

The old text then continues:

we may so pass through the good things of time

that we may not lose the good things of eternity.

In the Missal of Paul VI — the Latin version, please note — this passage was was revised as follows:

we may now so use transient things

that we may cling to those things which endure.

The allusion to the possibility of damnation — the loss of heaven through the misuse of temporal things — has disap­peared. In its place is clinging to “things which en­dure,” a vague, though infinitely more positive notion. (See WHH, 228)

If even such a discreet mention of hell had to go, a fortiori the other more direct references in the collects of the traditional Missal had to disappear as well: everlasting death, eternal punishment, the pains of hell, its fire, etc. (See WHH, 227–8)

Contemporary man does not make hell part of his “new perspectives” — and the Missal of Paul VI is happy to oblige him.

“Hermeneutic of continuity”? Don’t believe it.

Lex orandi, lex credendi.

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  1. Posted June 13, 2010 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    I honestly don’t see any problem; could you please post the Latin original? They seem very similarly legitimate, one being the negative (not in the sense of bad) and the other the positive version of a similar thing. The new version is reminiscent of Rom. 1:20, in that we do not have knowledge of God—a thing “which endure[s]”—in most cases except from the world, through our senses. But there is the possibility that it might mean that by means of the world we attain eternal things, which is mostly wrong; we cannot obtain all revealed truths through natural means. The old version avoids drawing a connection between the world and eternal things, so it avoids this possibly misleading interpretation of the new version.

  2. Posted June 13, 2010 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    The Latin original of the old Collect is:

    “sic transeámus per bona temporália, ut non amittámus ætérna.”

    The problem is not so much the phrase that the revisers substituted in this one instance. Rather, it’s how such changes were part of larger pattern in the Missal of Paul VI: to excise or at least de-emphasize concepts that “contemporary man” (and modernist theology) find unpalatable.

    An examination of the Latin texts from the old Missal that I quote in the footnotes to Chapter 9 of WHH will give you a good idea of what the revisers were up to theologically.

  3. Posted June 13, 2010 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    “cling to those things which endure…” for some people of contemporary mind, it may actually be other material goods that last longer… so striking out the phrase “that we may not lose the good things of eternity.” is a clear sign of the work of the Modernist-heretics.

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